Craft room or home office that works for you
Wi-Fi makes it possible to set up a craft or work space anywhere in a home, but if you run your own business, or do freelance work, setting aside a dedicated space makes the job far more pleasant.
When designing your craft or workspace decide on what you need to keep the space organised. You may need a place to store books and files, shelves for materials and supplies, or room for technology that meets the needs of your job. Whatever storage space is required, plan how everything can be fitted into the space - using walls if necessary - to allow the room to feel spacious and a place where you love to work.
In a small room, use this space under your desk or table to keep clutter out of sight. This keeps your desk or table clear to give you plenty of room to work. A pretty, fabric curtain [below] can easily be mounted under a table to hide items.
Decorating the space with your own personal touches makes it your own. A well-organised craft room or workspace that incorporates decorative elements will inspire and motivate you. Accessories give all the comforts of home, so feel free to hang framed artwork to give bare walls more personality and to make the space look more like the other rooms in your home.
If sewing is your passion, add character with your favourite fabrics. Making a pin board wrapped in fabric is an easy way to organise any space. You can even use it to hang small wire baskets above your desk or table to store essentials within easy reach. In a dual-purpose room where you don’t want the office area to dominate, cover plain corkboards with patterned wallpaper or fabric that ties the colour scheme together.
It's so easy to make any workspace your own using fabric, wrapping or scrapbooking paper. Cover files and books with colourful or patterned fabrics that you love to make the room feel homey and a place where you love to spend time.
It is essential to use all the space available to you. The wall above your desk can be utilised to create a big moodboard and attach your favourite postcards, fabric or wallpaper swatches and other bits and bobs to give you inspiration as you work. Mount a piece of softboard, or stick cork tiles to the wall and paint in a colour to match your scheme so you can easily pin up your favourite things.
Not everyone likes to work in a space filled with colour or pattern, and it's easy to buy ready-made cabinets, or make your own, to keep your tools of the trade out of sight. If you are building your own cabinets, be on the lookout for reclaimed materials that you can put to good use and that work well in the space. Stash clutter in boxes or behind cupboard doors for a streamlined finish and go for a timeless look that won't date by using natural materials.
In rooms that receive only a small amount of natural light, keep finishes light to make a room feel spacious. Dark finishes are best kept for larger rooms or those that are filled with light.
GOOD TO KNOW: A great way to shop for cabinets is to look online at sites like www.gumtree.co.za or www.bidorbuy.co.za. On these sites you can pick up bargains that can be given a little TLC to fit into your craft room or workspace. Don't be discouraged when sourcing reclaimed or salvaged wood - even when damaged, wood can often be restored to its former glory with a bit of sanding.
If modern is more your style, you can still shop around for secondhand cupboards and cabinets for your craft or workspace - or make your own storage shelves. And some of the larger hardware stores stock ready-made cabinets - unfinished or laminated - that can simply be worked into a small space with some clever planning. Or build your own stunning desk using salvaged bargains.
Wall shelves don't take up any valuable floor space and can be used to display your magazines, files or folders along an open shelf for easy access. Match them to the wall colour for a seamless, unobtrusive look or create a feature with a contrasting material. To prevent the space from looking too sterile, add a splash of colour through soft furnishings, but stick to one or two colours.
Not all craft rooms and home offices are about crafts and paperwork. Running a small business from home may mean that you need to set up a dedicated room. This decorator's studio [above] shows that there is a storage solution to suit any room. Sample books are filed neatly in a central, wooden island with an extra large cavity and hooks to provide simple ways to hang fabrics.
It is important to keep the space neat to keep it looking professional. Organise supplies in painted bookcases, chests of drawers and shelves. This clutter-free approach keeps everything in order, looks great and is inexpensive to pull off, even if you have an abundance of supplies and materials.
So many people are running their businesses from home these days. It saves on office space rental, offers convenience, and provides an easy way to combine work and home, especially if you have young children. Bear in mind that when two distinct areas share a space, it is important to tie them together so they don’t jar - use similar styles of furniture and a common colour palette in the shared areas.
Keep it simple, or decorate a wall with wallpaper and fabric swatches that not only look pretty, but help to aid creativity. Another alternative is to mount fabric swatches to the wall in stylish frames for a smart display.
Whether it's a space for your creative hobby or arty pastime, or where you conduct day-to-day business, you will enjoy making and doing much more in a space designed to help, not hinder creativity. If you work full time at home, it’s best to devote an entire space to the cause, as a cramped work area can be counterproductive. Take the time to think through what you want and need for the room before you start decorating your dream space.