Over the past few months I've been busy sorting and cleaning our flat after we had some building work done. It was messy and disruptive work which meant we had to pack a large part of our home into boxes and cover furniture with dust sheets. If you've ever had any major work done you'll know the filthy mess it generates!
After weeks of cleaning, our home is slowly getting back to normal. There are lots of things to do to get our space back to how it was. It's a work in progress project and we are 'embracing our space' and planning the redecorating ahead of us. In amongst the mess and disruption, a moment of clarity came over me. I found a benefit with all the upheaval we faced, it gave me a chance to really think about our home and how we use our space. This reflection time lead to me making an exciting change to our home. I have created a dedicated craft space just for me.
It all started during our trip away on holiday to the Yorkshire Dales at the end of January. Part of the way through the building work we had planned a holiday to escape the grime and dust. I took a number of my favourite interiors books and magazines to read on our holiday. I love the space and time of a holiday to think and recharge. After each day of walking and sight seeing we came back to the converted barn we were staying in and I sat down with a cup of tea and a piece of cake. Sitting next to the wood burner I read my interiors books dreaming of how we could update and improve our space. We had a few very rainy and snowy cold days so I managed to read my interiors books cover to cover and read the magazines I took with me.
During one afternoon I came across a feature in the January edition of Elle Decoration No.257. Viewpoint is one of my favourite regulars in the magazine and that month's column was all about 'a room of one's own', written by Sam Baker, former Editor of Red magazine. The feature was all about how Sam went about reclaiming a room of her own, her spare room to be precise, to work in following her new job and change in career.
After reading the piece it really got me thinking about how I use our home for my passions and work. We're really lucky to have a spare room in our home, it's a space I use to get ready in, and is a storage space for my craft things. After a little pondering I realised that our spare room wasn't being used as efficiently as it could've been. When we first organised our the spare room five years ago I didn't realise how my life would change in terms of my passions, hobbies and how I used my spare time.
I realised that our spare room was being used mainly for storage and not actually for anything really practical. The desk had become too small and impractical to make many of the projects I had started. I'd taken to moving projects to our dining room
table, unpacking supplies, working on things between meals and then packing up
again. The storage I had in our spare room also was not really working, I had some small storage boxes stacked high with supplies and an overflowing book shelf making it difficult to find things I wanted.
This year an intention of mine was to 'embrace my spare time', by increasing the time and energy I put into my passions. Outside of my full time job I spend lots of time catching up with friends, working on a variety of craft projects, memory keeping with Project Life, taking photos and gardening, as well as trying to keep our home tidy and have time to relax. I started noticing that I wasn't managing to balance all these things and this meant that something had to change. I realised that I needed to use our space differently to accommodate my new passions that have grown over the past few years and have become a huge part of who I am. I found that not having a dedicated space big enough to work in was becoming a real barrier to my creativity. I knew I needed to remove the barrier I had mentally and physically built up to having creative time and find a way to allow more time in the day to create.
I've spent a lot of time over the past few years oohing and ahhing over photos of peoples craft spaces and dreamt that I would one day have my own studio. I've been eyeing up storage solutions, but I had avoided thinking
about them too much, as they wouldn't work in our space as it was. Any new furniture would mean a major change to our space and the furniture we had. During February I was spending time cleaning and sorting through things and I decided it was time for a change.
I decided to take the plunge and change round our spare room and create my own craft studio. I bought two pieces of furniture, a shelving unit and a desk. I chose the simple but very useful Ikea EXPEDIT white gloss shelving system. I have been lusting after the large EXPEDIT shelving unit in the range for a long time, I knew that if I
ever had my own studio I would have a wall of this shelving to store my fabric and book collection. Our spare room is compact and so I had space for the small EXPEDIT shelving unit. Having this shelving meant I could organise for my book collection, scrapbooking supplies and fabric in one storage space, something I was lacking.
I also bought a simple white gloss table from Ikea that was long enough to accommodate my large cutting mat and my sewing machine. It's a real pleasure to be able to cut fabric for my patchwork projects and sew in the same space! Ideally I would've restored a wooden table and to have painted it white but I had a certain sized table in mind and couldn't find what I was looking for.
My craft studio is very much a work in progress. I've got the foundations of the furniture in the room and now I'm hoping to make the space really reflect me and my style. I'm going to create a pretty space decorated in pastel colours to create a calm and inspiring sanctuary full of inspiring things I've made myself and pretty things I've collected. I'm planning to paint the room to freshen things, add a shelf or two above the desk to store and display pretty things and make some curtains. I want to have space for a mood
board and add some new lighting.
I'm so pleased I now have a workable craft space, my own little studio space just for me. A place I can leave projects half finished if I want to, a place to group together my craft supplies, and a space for my library of crafting books. One day I may use the space to teach friends how to sew and create...for now it's my own little haven that will slowly be turning into my dream studio.
Over the past few weeks I've been sewing in the evenings and updating my Project Life album. I've enjoyed the simple pleasure of listening to the radio and spending a few hours to creating things after a busy day at work. It really is a special space where I can escape to... to create, make and reflect. I feel I've really embraced our space and made it fit me and how I want my life to be.
Have you looked at your home recently? Is there anything you could change to allow more space for your passions?