When we lived in an apartment in California I did all my sewing at the kitchen table. Which means we never ate at the kitchen table. And we never had friends over to eat at our kitchen table.
So moving to our first home in Texas meant the kitchen table would go back to its normal duties….and I would get a real taste of a sewing room!….or a sewing nook….or whatever you want to call it. How about a place to just let my machines be and not have to answer to anyone?
So in our 3 bedroom starter home, we set up the bonus room as an office/sewing space. And we love it. The open floorplan of the house means you catch a glimpse of it from the front room. So I really can’t keep it in a state of fabric mayhem. But my orderly personality is fine with that. I love a clean sewing space.
And I’m so happy with the white/gray tones we finally settled on.
I love walking in here to tackle a new project, taking photos along the way.
So let me show you how we got here.
Everyone loves a good Before and After.
And I have a Before, a Before-Before, and a Before-Before-Before, because this room has been a work in progress.
Here’s how it looked before we moved in (and in all fairness to the previous tenants, they did not know we were coming to take photos):
When we moved in I was in a pastel mood and painted it celery green. It was pretty but I didn’t love it. And coming from an apartment we had very little furniture. Those cabinets housed most of my fabric/supplies.
A year after the celery green, I decided it was time for an overahaul—to get serious and make this into a Sewing Studio. I pushed furniture to the middle of the room and in the heat of the night made a horrible decision, to paint the room yellow.
From soothing, to nuclear headache:
Here’s the thing about bright yellow paint: it’s tricky.
It can work on a wall that absorbs the light, as we did here in Lucy’s room. This is actually the same yellow paint used above. But we only used it on one wall—the wall with the window—so the light is not reflecting and bounding off the yellow. I love how it looks in her room. Cheery.
However, if you paint such a bright shade on all the walls, where the light is reflecting…you end up with 64 ounces of Mountain Dew. Yum.
The good thing about paint is, it’s cheap.
The good thing about a willing husband is he’s able to not roll his eyes after spending all night with a yellow paint brush and jumps right in when you say, “let’s paint huge gray and white stripes instead!”
I love Casey’s flexible DIY spirit.
After the yellow disaster, many of you recommended to simply paint the room white. To let the room be a blank canvas for the bright fabrics and projects to come. And that’s exactly what we did—with the exception of the stripes on the accent wall, which is my favorite design piece of the room (paint colors are Glidden “stone white” and Behr “ultra pure white”).
You guys always have the right answers.
One side of the room is “the office”. The table is a metal dining table from IKEA, along with other Ikea accessories and a Napkin Wallflower. The folding chairs in the corner are my latest Target find. Have you seen those?! Adorable. With little cutout designs on the metal. I bought what was left but might need a few more.
The other side of the room is filled with more Ikea: Billy Bookcases for fabric and an Expedit cubby shelf for yarn, twine, fabric scraps, etc. Bins and cubbies were the best addition to this room. I love having a place to throw those fabric scraps that I just can’t part with, while still keeping the room orderly. You’d never know the the sea of colors and shapes hiding in those baskets.
The Ikea table in the corner is for cutting, ironing, and most importantly….for taking pictures!….which is also why I have the chair—a chair that I had in my room as a kid, which I stripped and repainted—it’s great for standing above the white table and taking pics. Or for standing afar and snapping my kids! This part of the room makes an excellent white backdrop.
(kid shorts • paper ball chains • baby tanks):
On the left side of the room is my sewingl nook. The shape of this room is funny but it surprisingly works well for sewing. I can sit at my table there and still see what’s going on in the front room. And sometimes small spaces are cozy and easy to decorate with just a few furniture pieces. We added more Billy Bookcases….
…and these cute cups from the Ikea kitchen area. They hold my labels, pins, supplies, whatever.
And on the bookshelf are larger bins from Target to hold thread, bias tape, elastic, etc. I love cloth bins because they’re cute and cheap and you can swap them out when you’re sick of the print.
The table is one of those DIY office desks from Ikea where you pick the length and the drawers to go underneath. It’s perfect for both my sewing machine and serger, with a rolling chair to go back and forth between the two. The hanging lights are also from Ikea, mounted with hooks in the ceiling, cords hidden on the corner wall, and a little portable light switch under the desk. Oh the make-it-work contraptions you find at Home Depot.
And here’s something you never see: the backside of my machines. I’m sure you’ve always wanted a peek.
Under the desk are drawers for organizing my patterns and other supplies. It’s getting harder to keep them safe with Clara on the move but I’m teaching her to play with the button drawer below, rather than the important patterns and paper goods.
And since I’m sure you’re wondering “where is all that fabric??” Well here you go! 2 bookcases full (and a few bins in my bedroom closet). Sometimes the shelves are organized, like the one on the left. And sometimes the piles are shifting and toppling over, like the bookcase on the right.
I don’t wrap my fabrics around any boards nor do I have a system for folding. But I do like to keep them organized according to fabric type. The first cabinet is for cottons. I have them sorted by solid colors, prints, flannels, and upholstery/heavy weights on the bottom shelf. I also try to keep my Boy fabrics in one pile so it’s easier to feel inspired for those projects.
Oh and since you can see it in this shot below, let me point out that my handy husband installed window trim and crown molding in every room of the house. It gives such a nice polished feel.
And in the other Billy bookcase I keep knits, silks/satin fabrics, flannel, and fleece. I also have a third cabinet for books, craft supplies, and office stuff.
Overall the space works well for us. And when I say us, I really mean the whole family. Because never fail when I come in here to work, I notice this happening…..
(even when taking these photos they migrated)
..following me in, everyone doing their own projects but hanging out in the same space, our creative space.
And that makes my heart happy.
“Thanks for stopping by!
We’re here all week!”