Studio Before and After

So, a confession. This is my shame. This is what our guest bedroom/ Phil’s studio looked like:

Every time I walked past that open door, I would cringe. It got worse when I walked inside:

The biggest problem is obviously storage.

Phil has a LOT of craft supplies, and the fur and fleece that he uses takes up a LOT of space. The thing that killed me is that the closet, which was hidden behind the home-made lightbox, and nearly impossible to access with the table in front of it, had plenty of potential. The contractors who renovated the space prior to our purchase had done a HORRIBLE job of planning out how the space would be used, and it was completely inefficient.

You can sort of see what I mean in the picture above, and here’s a shot of the closet, once I pulled out most of what was in it:

We decided to remove the sliding mirrors completely (they blocked your access getting in and out, and that fake gold trim – SO UGLY!). Then we ripped out the existing “guts” of the closet, and put in two shelves that run all the way across the space. We built a ledge to run through the whole closet (and we may end up reinforcing the front of the shelf by adding more ledges on the left and right of the door.) We used a piece of plywood we already had on hand for the top shelf, and we had a piece of MDF cut to size for the lower shelf at Ye Olde Big Box Lumber Store.

We do use this closet to hang some long clothes that don’t get used often, like my formal gowns and Phil’s grandfather’s old coats. We wanted to keep them in here (since closet space in the rest of the house is also hard to come by.) After coming up empty-handed when I tried to find something that would work in the closet department of the Big Box store, I got the idea to add a short towel bar mounted on the underside of top shelf. That’s the silver bar you can see on the left side of the pic. It works perfectly, and has more than held up to the weight that’s hung from it. (The longer items just get tucked neatly to the left.)

At this point, it was just a matter of putting things away so that everything was accessible. Below the bottom shelf, we store most of the plastic bins that used to be stacked near the door. These are the bins we need when we do craft shows, so it’s great that they’re very easy to pull out and put away when we’re done.

On top of the lower shelf is the existing drawer systems we were already using. They’re not my favorite thing stylistically, but you can’t argue with the function. Phil can just pull out the drawer he needs, and have it on a chair next to him while he works.

The top shelf got the items we use less frequently, or items which were lighter. Here’s how it looked when everything was piled in:

From there, it was just a matter of picking out fabric for the curtains (which we scored at the awesome local shop called U-Fab.) I pinned everything, and Phil sewed them and hung them. We both LOVE the results.

Phil’s sewing table is now on the wall where the bins and drawers used to be, and there are still plenty of other things we need to find storage room for (like those big cardboard boxes, which are full of fabric and fur.) One project at a time though.