Hello, CSI readers! It’s Noelle here today. I hope you all are doing well. I got a total wild hair earlier this month, and decided to COMPLETELY overhaul my studio. It was something that desperately needed to happen. I’d been ruminating on the changes I needed to make for a long time. And then, our ancient desktop computer died, and with it died the need to keep this massive computer desk in the room. Here is a before shot (a completely MESSY before shot….) and you can read all about my old studio here.
This meant I could claim the room as COMPLETELY my own! It’s still small, but mine! I feel so blessed to have this space to work, I know many people are working on their kitchen table. So exciting, yet intimidating. There were multiple problems with the space as it was. I knew there was a lot more work to be done than just removing the computer desk and adding a craft table. I had mentioned previously that there was no window, so no natural light. This room is the first room on the right as you enter the front door of our home (in below photo, that blue door is my front door), and the room has no door on it, so it’s visible to anyone who comes in. The desk I intended to keep was not working well for me, either. I recently read a wonderful article here that so perfectly explained many of the frustrations and concerns I also had with my room.
Additionally, I was way short on storage space. This room is my craft studio, office, and theater storage. I run this website and my own blog, plus I design for CardMaker Magazine Blog, and The Cat’s Pajamas Stamps as an artist. I also teach theater to kids and instruct through a couple different organizations. I needed to have a place to store all my books, props, and costumes. Up until this room re-do, they all were in tote bags on the floor of the office-not so organized or accessible! With as many little jobs as I have, I knew it was critical that the space be FUNCTIONAL above all other goals and desires.
So, I ended up having multiple goals with this room; here are a few of them:
- Lighten and brighten the space. I had come to avoid going in the space, it was just so dark and dreary. No window means I needed to employ other tricks to brighten the room. The black furniture and blue walls that I loved 8 years ago? Well, let me just tell you, I was SO over them! They no longer looked classy to me, they just looked…. Dull and dark.
- Highlight my vintage items. I have several vintage and antique items in the studio, ones that I loved. But with all the stuff everywhere, they were getting lost in the shuffle.
- Add more flat space and more storage, including a counter height table for standing up work. Also, add a place to craft with a friend, or my kids!
- Make anything that went in the space removable. Not that I had budget for built ins anyway, but even if I had, I wouldn’t have done them as we have been tossing around the idea of moving lately, and if when that happens, I don’t want all our hard work to go to waste!
- Make the space a MULTI-TASK room, one that would work well for storing my theater items, using my computer for planning and blogging, scrapbooking, paper crafting, sewing, and more!
I have to tell you, I had a lot of anxiety over this project. It knew it was just so important to my productivity and my peace of mind! And for two weeks the entire main level of my house was completely trashed, since I had EVERYTHING that normally was in this room in the dining room, and spent so much time painting and working on projects for the room, that….. well, lets just say the rest of my house went somewhere in a handbasket!
But, in the end it was so WORTH all the stress, cost, and mess. I adore it now. It all started with this table…..
I found this post online about creating a standing craft table from 2 IKEA Expedit shelves (now they are called Kallax, these are the green 2×2 ones). I loved that I could gain BOTH critical storage and flat workspace with this table. I have seen similar tables made from bookcases, etc, but I knew 12” storage was needed for my scrapbooking supplies. I opted to forego the hanging bar system I’ve used for years, and instead put my bags of themed items in these Drona bins that matched the green Kallax bases.
Speaking of the green, I tried to talk myself into a white table, but alas, that fresh and minty color just sucked me in. It attracted me SO much that I decided to make it the main color in the room. It was a bold choice, since when I started there was very little green in the room. I have NO mint green in my house actually, lots of sky blue, navy, sage, beige, deep teal, and olive, but no mint! But I am so glad I took that plunge now! It’s so fresh feeling, not to mention a whole LOT brighter! It still marries well with the other rooms in my house, since it’s just different shades of blue and green anyway.
The table top was made by my hubby and the top was faux painted by yours truly. I used the color Behr Rockwood Jade, which was a good match for this shade of green from IKEA. I faux finished with some sanding, some craft paint, and some antiquing medium. I used the same painting technique I featured on the dining room hutch here on my own blog. The top is a plywood top, with a frame underneath made from boards, and then trimmed out with some pretty trim. The frame underneath the plywood helped lift the top up to the proper height, ad make it very sturdy as well. The table is 5’ long and 30” wide. The feet are Capita feet from IKEA, but I spray painted them bronze, since I was going for a vintage look.
My Cropper Hopper paper holders had to be cut down slightly to fit in these shelves, but it was an easy fix. The new CH holders are designed to fit these IKEA shelves, so never fear if you are getting new ones and you have EXPEDIT or KALLAX shelves. These are about 10 years old and had some sticker residue, etc on them, so I gave them a little makeover with some patterned paper. The narrow ones got a new look with washi tape!
I will be bringing you the rest of this makeover on Friday! Hope you are able to tune back in then.