Do you have a dedicated workspace or craft room at home? I have just got a proper desk from Lakeland Furniture to replace the Ikea table I was working at. I am lucky that I am able to do my job from home and where I work has evolved over the years. Initially, when the boys were younger, I worked at the kitchen table or wherever they were playing. I had a laptop and used that to do my work and I kept all out arts, crafts and work stuff in a large cupboard in the dining room. It worked really well for me to be able to put in 15 minutes here and there and concentrate on the boys.
As they grew and started preschool, the old laptop changed into a desktop still based at the kitchen table. I actually loved working in my kitchen as it is the heart of my home and it meant I could potter and blog when I needed too, however, a couple of years ago we made the decision that I was going to give earning an income from my blog a real go rather than look to go back working for an employer, so we turned our little box room into an office and craft room or Crudy as it has become know.
Over the last two years, the room has evolved to meet a number of needs. Storing our craft and art stuff, somewhere to take photographs, an office for me with my desktop, a place for our books, printers, sewing machine, fabric and cricut. it also accommodates both he boys if they want to do homework or spend time with me (although I try to not work between the hours of 3.15 and their bedtime if I can).
My Cricut Explore Air sits on a kitchen trolley from Argos and it is so simple to wheel out when I want to access my vinyl and paper.
I love having a dedicated office space as it means I can close the door on my work and concentrate on my family – I kind of have my own office hours from 10.00am to 3.00pm with an hour or so for lunch which I spend with my best friend each day (she only lives five doors away)!
Our most recent change to the crudy has been the addition of the Stanton corner desk from Lakeland Furniture. I love this desk as it allows for lots of storage and fitted perfectly into the corner of the small room. The desk is multiconfigurational and can be placed in a variety of ways to fit your space. it is a great size and I can spread out on it and surround myself with all my clutter!
In my past life, I was a Facilities Manager, so I know how important a good desk and chair is and that it is key to making sure you are comfortable. We chose the white finish as living in the north of England we wanted to keep the room as light as possible and the rest of the furniture in the room is white.
You need to really study the instructions as you can build this desk in so many variations, so you need to get what you want clear in your mind as it can get confusing, especially if you are a DIY disaster like me. I had to get MadDad to help build it as I had a total brain fart about it all! Once you get past the instructions the desk is pretty simple to build (according to the husbeast), although the screws could have been numbered better. I love that the desk comes with three storage boxes, perfect for holding our glue guns and all my paperwork. It would be nice if you could purchase additional ones to match.
I know that my room is cluttered, but it is filled with things that the boys and myself have made and looking at them makes me smile. It is also filled with inspirational quotes and colour. I love how the room is developing.
I love that my desk faces the window and I can hear the birds chirping and watch the clouds as thy pass by. I have my inspiration quote daily calendar (UK Link/US Link) on my desk and my peg board to the left (UK Link/US Link). My A2 desk planner from Kiki K is perfect for jotting notes on when I am on the phone. I can even watch Netflix or amazon prime on my iPad whilst I am working!
We also have our Ikea Rastog trolley as an art cart. I first saw this on Tinkerlab a long time ago and we love it. it is so flexible and the boys can take it into their bedrooms when they want to work at their desk rather than the table in the office. Unfortunately, Ikea don’t yet deliver the Rastog Trolley (£50), which is a real shame, but you can get one from Amazon (UK Link/US Link).
Next on the agenda is a new floor, preferably vinyl commercial flooring as it takes so much stick. The carpet is in a real state with hot glue on it and lots of paint! We really use this room as much as the kitchen, so the floor needs to be up to that. I am looking for something that I won’t be all precious over, that can take a glue or paint spill and be easy to clean. I would much rather sweep up cotton and threads from when we have been sewing than get the hoover out endlessly. I quite like the idea of a vinyl flooring.
Here you can see my washi tape storage, which is ribbon storage that I can not find anywhere anymore and my buttons, which are stored in some old screw storage that my Mum had by colour.
I am so lucky that I have another table in the room, which we use to craft on and also for taking photographs. I invested in a lighting system as North Yorkshire can be so dark (UK Link/US Link). I have had these for a couple of years and they are great. I also use a wood effect wallpaper as a photo backdrop (UK Link/US Link). It never goes to waste as once it is marked we use the back of it for colouring and drawing. I also have a HUGE roll of white paper which I got from a friend. It is the perfect backdrop (it is resting on a photo ledge) and is brilliant for supersized drawings. Under the table is a shoe storage cabinet that we got from Ikea for our first home. Each of the shoe holes is filled with stuff from paper and card, to our printing photographs and family albums. On top of it sits our printers (we have two at the moment) and more paper.
So there you have an insight into the nerve centre of the Mad House. Our long term aim is to extend our kitchen into the garage and move this downstairs as an extension of the kitchen, as these are the two most used rooms in our home, its true beating heart and the key to living a creative family life in a digital age.