Saturday, April 5, 2008

What to do with the craft room?

I am in a phase of re-organization. It hits me every now and then. I feel the need to declutter and simplify - make our life work in the space around us.

Right now, my main focus is my craft room/office. It's the space where I sew and embroider, where I store my scrapbooking supplies, and store all my miscellaneous craft and magazine goodies. But the space has some problems. First of all, right now, it's packed to the gills. There's bins of fabric scraps, hundreds of paint colors, glitter, my oil paints and easel, back issues of my favorite magazines, archived issues of my magazine, and so much more. Plus, I need at least two workstations - one for my computer and one to for sewing. And I'd like it to look clean, and clutter free so I can actually relax in there as well.

So, I'm planning a redo. My first thought was to have some streamlined, professional cabinetry built in. So, I headed to the Chapel Hill Lowes and made an appointment with a designer, who was terrific. I chose a Kraftmaid cabinet and a quartz counter top. His design was simple but attractive, with lots of storage for my tiny scrapbook stuff. But I had a bit of sticker shock when I saw the price. $9K installed.

Next stop, Pottery Barn, where I perused their Bedford Collection of office furniture and hutches. While these are really attractive and reasonably well-built (I actually owned a lot of these pieces in my previous house) they don't give me a lot of vertical storage in the hutches. And then there's the bigger problem, they're really massive and don't fit in my 9X12 room.

On to Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn Teen, where I hoped to find the same type of furniture, on a smaller scale. No dice. Most of the options were nearly the same size as the adult offerings and I still had the limited wall storage.

So, I headed to the Internet, where I searched IKEA. My favorite was this gorgeous collection. It gives me lots of wall storage plus two workstations. And the price makes my giddy - I think I can do it all for under $3K. But given that this is where I'll spend much of my time and I will likely be really hard on the surfaces, I'm a little worried about furniture that I have to put together. Is this IKEA stuff really durable enough for working on every day?

So, today, my mom, the kids and I headed for Furnitureland South. If you haven't been there, you should really go. My sales rep is Todd Needles and he's terrific. He's helped us with TONS of furniture in our house. Plus, Furnitureland South is about 40% off retail price - seriously. People from New England drive all the way down to North Carolina to buy here. Lucky for us, it's about an hour away. Anyway, Todd helped me narrow down the million square feet (no kidding) of showroom space to the Loius Loius Collection from Stanley. The price is right on this collection (about $5K) but my big concern is the peninsula desk, which will seriously eat into the floor space in the room. There will be 4 feet of walk space around the desk if I choose this option, and I'm worried it will look too crowded. Plus, I can forget room for a chair or the credenza that's in there now....

So, here I am, just about back to square one. Wondering what in the heck I should do. I would love to do the built ins, but worry that I will be putting money into a space that will never see returns when we sell the house. (I do think many people will see it as a wonderful homework space for kids, though). I want it to work for now, but I know we won't be in this house forever. What to do? What to do?


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