If your new home has enough space to warrant a dedicated art zone, lucky you! But when half-finished projects as well as supplies such as glue, beads and glitter are involved, a craft room can quickly turn disorganized. With thoughtful planning and a splash of your creative juice, it can become a neat, inspiring space — and a relaxing retreat, too. Interior designer Melinda Miles, owner of Melinda Miles Interiors, in Dallas, shares how it can be done in three steps.
Stage 1: Build Out the Basics
Start by getting the room’s essential elements in place.
Begin organizing the room by imagining activity zones — maybe one for sewing, one for scrapbooking and one for writing activities — to plan how you’ll store supplies.
Then, start big: Install shelves and cabinets, or bring in a roomy armoire — or do both! To accommodate tools and materials of all shapes and sizes, keep variety in mind: Look for open cabinet spaces for baskets, thin drawers for paper and vertical spaces for wrapping paper.
You’ll need a large workspace, but Miles advises against lining every wall with cabinetry and countertops, in case you later need to convert the space for another use (like a home gym or guest room). Instead, place a large table or portable kitchen island in the center of the room; if your needs change, it can be moved. And don’t forget comfortable seating: A padded stool will ensure that you can endure many macramé marathons to come.
Stage 2: Add Embellishments
Layer in a little something extra.
Loading up on bins isn’t necessarily the best solution for storage needs. “The same type of storage doesn’t work for all materials,” Miles says. Do a thorough inventory of your craft supplies and consider how each item is best stored. Think about what belongs in a drawer and what’s better off in a basket. Before you buy, get specific: If you want to store gift bags, measure them first. And be creative: An over-the-door shoe organizer, for example, provides easy access to go-to items like tape and scissors and keeps supplies in sight.
“Details like that really simplify your life,” Miles says. “They make you want to use the items, and they make it more fun.”
After you’ve stocked up on storage supplies to make the room functional, focus on honing a truly creative space. Hang framed photos of family or vibrant nature scenes, and stack a few oversized coffee-table books within easy reach. Add a few aromatherapy candles to put you in the crafting mood. And always keep a plain sketchbook and pencils front and center — you never know when an idea will strike!
Stage 3: Give It the Wow Factor
Load the craft room with items that take it to the next level.
Despite its utilitarian purposes, a craft room should be a comfortable hangout. Outside of craft time, how might you use the space? Make it a part-time office by placing a desk on one side of the room. Or create a reading nook by a window, with a comfy chair, an ottoman and a floor lamp.
For one of Miles’ clients, the craft room is a place to relax with a cup of tea. “She hides out in there and can hear herself think,” Miles says.
Serious crafters should also consider investing in window coverings that maximize daylight but are adjustable; the color of paints and clay will look ever so slightly different, depending on the light, so your window treatments may better allow you to control your medium. Of course, the craft room’s a perfect place to hang a loud, bold valance!