Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cleaning the work room

I haven't really shown you many pictures of our (now not very) new apartment - we sort of got to that point where everything was more or less put away and then we stalled out. I've been incredibly busy ignoring my work room lately. Having the luxury of a space where I can stash all my supplies and projects is new to me, and I think I've gotten overly dependent on the "close the door" method of cleaning. After all, if you can't see it, it really isn't there.

Sunday night I was exhausted from the weekend and I had pictures to edit and we hadn't even thought about dinner, so naturally I decided the room had to be cleaned. I walked in and had that moment of panic and despair, where I thought oh, there is so much to do and I'll never get it done so there's not even any point and ohmygod I need a drink and a nap immediately. Seeing the (strong) potential for a meltdown, D suggested putting in half an hour every day this week, which is eminently reasonable and smart, so of course I disregarded it and dove in. I didn't take a before picture, because I'm not a masochist. And it still needs some work, so maybe we can consider these as the starting point.

work room, treasures
{work room, treasures - see sources below*}

I know, you're thinking it's totally clean! Um, not quite yet.

work room, north wall
{work room, north wall - see sources below**}

But it's so much closer.

work room, east wall
{work room, east wall - see sources below***}

work room, work space
{work room, work space}

The work room also needs to be a guest room on occasion, so the giant fold out couch is on the opposite wall, beneath our seriously outdated school map.

work room, south wall
{work room, south wall - see sources below****}

The wardrobes on either side of the couch provide extra storage space. I would have loved white, but these were repurposed from our old apartment and painting them seems like an onerous task.

work room, south wall
{work room, south wall}

It's amazing how much more motivated I feel when the space is cleaner. Almost like I want to go mess it all up again.

Sources (I think this is pretty comprehensive, but let me know if you're curious about anything I've missed):
* - ribbon organizer on wall, adapted from Ikea, see previous post
   - white shelf - Ikea Ribba shelf holding a linocut by D, a homestead by Lily (not the permanent location), a cactus from Jamie, vintage thread spools, a calender by Lynn.
   - wire racks from Ikea, filled with used tea tins, some with chalk label areas (see previous post)
   - lamp from Ikea
   - desk from Ikea (would love to trade this in for a white one, but it's also repurposed)
   - awesome tray (barely visible on the desk) from Ikea

** - everything above +
     - filing cabinet from thrift store
     - chair from dumpster, recovered
     - sewing machine - Janome special edition - most similar to this one
     - white framed display on wall - made from a thrift store frame
     - small under the table cabinet from Ikea, a million years ago

*** - white frame display - made from a thrift store frame
       - lamp from Ikea
       - standing ribbon holder repurposed from old lab equipment
       - Command hooks on the back of the door for the totes
       - easy access tissue paper holder made from this rail in the kitchen section at Ikea, spray painted glossy white

**** - couch, hand me down
         - map, rescued from an elementary school (that thankfully was finally given a map without the Soviet Union, a mere 10 years after it was defunct)
         - Ikea wardrobes in birch
         - contrasting pillow made by me (see previous post)

So yes, almost everything is from Ikea and in an ideal world I wouldn't have completely mismatched wood finishes all over the place. But there was no way I was going to buy anything new if I had something that would work. I keep my eye on Craigslist, with the goal of eventually trading out some of these pieces to make it a bit more coherent. For now, it's functional and I'm happy.


  1. seeing your workspace makes me want new clips....I think I'm off to browse the store :) I am just like you as far as wanting to dive into projects like cleaning at the "wrong" time. Oh well!!

  2. How amazing to have your own room for projects! You can make do with a little table here, or a desk corner there, but having an entire room sounds luxurious. All that cleaning looks like it's paid off big time. :)

  3. it makes me think i need to take the 1/2 hour approach too! :)

  4. Last weekend I cleaned the office/craft room in our house as well. It is such a duanting task, but it feels so good once it is done!

  5. oh what i would do for a work space of my own...yours is incredibly organized and i think it's totally fair to use your door as a cleaning mechanism from time to time.

  6. I'm so impetuous when it comes to cleaning and organization. I let things go, until eventually, at 11:00 at night, I'm running around trying desperately to make my house look beautiful again. A girl can only take so much!

  7. all i can think is "ME AND LILY ARE ON THE SAME SHELF!"

  8. You crack me up. (I also tend to dive into cleaning/organizing at not-the-best times. And then I usually give up or get distracted halfway through. Oops.)

    I would LOVE a workroom like yours. Right now, my sewing machine is on the dining table and there is stuff scattered everywhere. Not the best site for any visitors.

  9. y'know, I used to hate how mix-matched wooden furniture looked in a room, but now our living room is full of it and I really don't mind quite so much. It makes it look warm and welcoming in a way that a matched set wouldn't.

  10. My room is the same way, it's so messy and I can't find the time to clean. But I love that you have a workroom, unfortunately I have my sewing machine sitting in a room I have to share with a blaring television...not the ideal spot.

  11. Such a good feeling! And congrats on getting it done. As for me, I'm still working up to it. How did I acquire so much stuff?

  12. Wow - I would love to have some of your motivation! I too got to the "good enough" stage in my office, and can't quite get motivated to tackle it again. Maybe I'll take your husband's advice of 30 minutes a day!

  13. Isn't it great to have your own space? We just moved into a house where I get my own sewing space and I love it!

  14. yes... definitely concur with the feeling of being energized by an organized room. cheers to your progress!

  15. From a very disorganized person... your work room is too tidy :D
    I clean up mine maybe once every 4 months... But I usually do it when it's soo messy that I can't even work anymore. If I can still find my stuff, then it's tidy enough. I recently posted a tour of my studio without organizing it so you can see how messy I really am

    Your work room makes mine look like a natural disaster area... But hey, it's totally fair to do the closing the door cleaning... it's practically the only cleaning I like to do!

  16. would you just LOOK at all that gorgeous ribbon.

    and how happy is that homestead painting perched above the desk in such good company with dustin's linoleum block and jamie's print?! egad. i'm so flattered. the place looks RAD.

    so now that you've organized your studio, will you come organize my life? three weeks until india. count em, three. weeks.

  17. It's great!! I always love seeing your space.

  18. You are on to a good start to achieving your ideal work area. Those wardrobes are a lot of help. Good luck with the rest of your journey towards your clean and organised work room!


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