If you have a hobby, like sewing, photography, music, DIY-ing, collecting stamps or trying to fix what your kids and significant other broke, it helps to have a dedicated workspace. Below are three easy steps to create a functional yet stylish hobby or craft room.
Think you don’t have space for a hobby or craft room? You’d be surprised at the possibilities. Mina Fies, creator of the Renovation Roadmap and Founder & CEO of Synergy Design & Construction, tells Freshome that a client recently contacted her firm for help after the teenage daughter took over the family’s dining room. “It was no longer used for eating, but was overflowing with craft store supplies, half-finished projects and Mod Podge.” Fies helped the family turn the unfinished laundry room into a multifunctional room. The space has sliding wall panels hiding floor-to-ceiling storage and a standalone craft table in the center of the room that also doubles as a place to sort and fold laundry.
In fact, Jennifer Baldinger, a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker at Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty in Scarsdale, NY, believes there’s no wrong place for a craft room. “I love the idea of using odd spaces such as oversized closets, windowless rooms in a basement, even garage space,” she said. And one of Baldinger’s buyers repurposed the area under a staircase to create a “secret” fun play space for their young daughter to create art projects.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to create a craft or hobby room. “You need some good storage shelves and a workspace with a table,” Bellinger says. “I’ve seen some great ones in a back corner of a basement where my clients used an old kitchen table.”
However, depending on how much time you’ll spend there and what you expect to accomplish in this space, you may need to put a little more thought into it. “For comfortable work, you will need sufficient space – reliable and easy to clean,” advises Katy Brut, interior design consultant at NY Furniture Outlets. “The table should either be fairly wide or be able to expand in the process of working on your project,” she says.
Comfortable seating is also important. “Sometimes, you want to look for ideas in books and, if your family is like mine, they want to come ask you questions while you work,” says Janet Perry, a needlepoint teacher and author at Napa Needlepoint in Mare Island, CA. “Having a comfy chair gives you a place for relaxation and them a place to sit when they come in.”
Lighting is another important consideration. “You need a lot of light, and if the room is not bright enough, add lamps,” Brut recommends.
To keep the room organized, Brut says you’ll need a storage system, and she takes a very detailed approach. “In advance, calculate the number of not only boxes and shelves, but even internal drawers,” she says.
“Ideally, all the most important stuff should be at hand. Begin by grouping your stuff by categories and types. For example, ribbons with ribbons, buttons with buttons.” She recommends dedicating larger drawers to tools and materials in large quantities. “Now it’s time for the finishing touch. You need to pick up suitable containers for each group. You will need boxes, jars and organizers – all this can be found in any home goods store.”
Brut also recommends creative ways to repurpose items. For example, decorate a glass jar and store threads, buttons or other small items in it. “If you have opaque containers, be sure to label them to help you locate them when needed,” Brut says.
Perry also recommends using repurposed items for storage. “One of the best things I have gotten for my craft room is card catalog ‘chunks’ – they are great storage and can be easy to find.”
However, you can also purchase bookcases, storage or have custom shelving installed. “When being creative, it really helps to have quick and easy access to the inputs you need, whether yarn, sewing thread and paint, paper, canvas, research material or reference books,” says J.B. Sassano, president of Mr. Handyman. “Consider the power of concealed storage – recessed cabinets, closet organizers, built-in bookcases and the idea of incorporating storage drawers or cabinets in your central work surface, custom built to match your unique needs and sense of style.”
In addition to storage and a workspace, Perry also recommends having a place to display your work. “Not only will having pieces you are proud of make you happy, they often can inspire future work,” she says. “I have many of my needlepoint pieces on display on walls and shelves and I love seeing them.”