Can you tell me about your studio space?
I often receive emails from readers in the throes of making decisions about studio space, who find themselves with a spare room at home that they can devote solely to needlework.
It’s a wonderful thing, to be able to carve out your own little retreat for pursuing embroidery or sewing or any craft! But the fact is, I’m probably the last person in the world to ask about this!
I usually gurgle out a few chuckles when I get this question. I’ve always been pretty forthright about my workroom.
While I’m quite blessed to have a room that is semi-dedicated to my work, it isn’t one of those perfect, cozy, ideal embroidery workrooms that’s organized to the hilt and attractive to boot. So I’m probably not the person you want to emulate on this point, if you’re looking for your own little Embroidery Haven.
I mentioned earlier in the summer that I was on a re-organization kick out in my garage-gone-workroom-plus-household-storage-catchall-area, and – though you can’t really tell from the pictures – much was accomplished. But there’s still a bit of work to do! And although it pains me to share some of these photos, I will, because I said I would.
Today, I’ll just show you where things stand, mess-wise. Down the road, I’ll tell you about some of the things that have become essential in my workroom, and we’ll chat about some things to keep in mind when setting up your own workroom.
To capture most of the photos of my embroidery workroom that you’ll see in this article, I took my camera out there, opened the door, snapped a few photos with the westering sun shining in (making everything decidedly yellow), and came back to my computer. I didn’t straighten anything. I didn’t even remove things that aren’t pertinent to my Needlework Life.
And as you can see, things are still a bit of a mess.
Most of the work in my workroom goes on here, at the table. Right now, I’m sorting through some things for some photo tutorials and such, so I’ve got a lot of miscellaneous stuff on the table.
When I finish with that, the stuff goes back in the boxes at the end of the table, and those boxes go back in a cabinet. Then I have the whole table space to work on projects like this, that require a whole table to lay out.
This is a mess I still have to sort! The plastic cabinets here hold my mom’s crochet stuff, and it all needs to be sorted into its own space. I haven’t gotten to that yet.
In the cabinets behind this miscellaneous stuff, I keep the majority of my needlework books and magazines. And I was too lazy to move the miscellaneous stuff to get to the books for a photo!
This is what the inside of the book cabinet looked like some six years ago, when I wrote about it here. The collection has expanded a bit, and it’s now more organized (yay!) and it occupies several more shelves.
Keeping most of my books in a closed cabinet was not really a thought-out decision in the beginning, but it’s one of the best accidental decisions I made when putting stuff away initially. Books in a closed cabinet collect a lot less dust, they are safe from sunlight and so forth, and they are out of the way. I don’t access all my books all that frequently, so I’m glad they aren’t taking up space outside the cabinets.
However, earlier this year, I put together two little bookcases that form the front support on a table under the opposite window in the workroom, and these two bookcases provide plenty of space for books that I do access frequently, or that I have on my radar for one reason or another.
Neither shelf is exactly neat right now, and both have some extra room on them, so I’m still going to sort through my cabinet of books and do some further switching out.
The books that I keep on these shelves are mostly reference books that I really like. I keep all my A-Z books (that I wrote about here), all my Beginner’s Guide series (that I wrote about here), and all my RSN Essential Guides (you can find all of them reviewed here on Needle ‘n Thread, on my book page) on these shelves, plus plenty of other oldies but goodies.
What I love about these two bookshelves is that the books are easily accessible on them and easy to see. And the bookshelves are tucked under a tabletop, so they don’t actually take up floor space, but they help provide me with another table top…
….that, right now, is superbly cluttered with all kinds of stuff that I need to sort and address in one way or another.
Aaaaaack! It never ends! (Guess what I’ll be doing today?)
So, that’s where I am with my workroom organization – I have three areas to address still, and then I’ll be satisfied.
No, it’s not the Dream Space for Needlework. But it’s functional, and I’m happy to have it!
We’ll chat more about workrooms down the road a bit. I’ve made up a list of the major items or organizational components in mine that I find essential, and we’ll talk about some important considerations to keep in mind if you’re carving out a space from scratch.
If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, ideas, or input on workroom organization, do feel free to join in the conversation below!