Wednesday, February 19, 2014

17 Reader Space: The Craft Room Megan Made

I know that there are many areas of the home that are useful and require smart organizing solutions to remain functional, however, my heart tends to race faster for home offices and craft rooms.  What is it about craft areas that make me swoon so hard?  Is that at all normal?  And for someone who is constantly looking to evolve her own creative space {cough cough - me}, oodles of organizing eye candy is a good thing.

So call today's Reader Space feature a bit selfish on my part.  Because it totally is, but I know that others looking to organize their offices or creative spaces will take something away from this feature as well.  Megan's blog, The Homes I Have Made, is always full of organizational eye candy {she really is no stranger around here for good reason}.  She shares a similar love for color and decorative storage and does what she can to achieve both on a budget.  I am always blown away by her creative solutions for DIY'ing beautiful boxes and labels, and that is no exception within today's space.  Here she is now to share more about her recent room makeover!

What is the main function of this space?

"The main function of this space is a combined Office and Craft Room.  We have a three bedroom house; but as it's just my husband, myself and my son.  This third bedroom would typically be used as a guest room.  We decided that we would use this room a lot more as an Office/Craft Room than a guest room.  As a result, this is one of the most hardworking rooms in our entire home! The Office side of the room is used for basic family tasks {bill paying, family planning, paper filing, etc}, as well as my husbands online graduate school, and my photo editing, printable designing and blog writing! The Craft Station side of the room is where I sew, paint, and do all the other crafts I enjoy!"

Any superstar tips for keeping it organized?

"I rely heavily on the mantra 'a place for everything and everything in its place!'  If something doesn't have a designated home, I am much more likely to not put it away and then it tends to lay around and {eventually} pile up!  I like clear work surfaces and minimal clutter, so designated bins, baskets, drawers, files, shelves, and caddies are my go-to solution.  I also believe that a single organizing solution won't work for every last item, especially in a craft space.  Accordingly, before I even get sorting and labeling, I try to give a lot of thought about how BEST to store each item and how often I use it.

Small items such as craft paints, brushes, glitter, tapes, glues, popsicle sticks etc fit perfectly into small see-through bins.  I don't use them very often, so they are tucked down into the cabinets of my craft station.  However, my fabric, which I use quite often, is easier to see and access when kept on mini-bolts {made from small sheets of cardboard} on open shelves.  I also keep my most often-used craft items {i.e., hot glue gun, painters tape, Xacto knife, scissors, needles and thread etc} all in easily accessible drawers so I don't have to rummage around every time I need them.  In the same way, I keep all my heavily-used paper products {i.e., white cardstock, photo paper, laminating sheets, and printable labels} on a file right on my desk top so they are easy to reach on a regular basis.  I try very hard not to combine unlike items into a particular bin or basket if I can avoid it.   Over in our storage towers, I have drawers dedicated to envelopes, batteries, tapes, camera accessories, and more.  Having dedicated drawers for each of these things not only makes labeling much easier {and more accurate!}, but makes finding what you're looking for a complete breeze!  My husband can no longer complain that he can't find the batteries!  Last but not least, what about paper clutter?  In addition to files, I must have {at least} one pin-board for tacking up important papers, design inspiration, family photos and more on the fly - otherwise papers stack up into piles!  In this space I have two!  I have one dedicated to office/family matters - it's the gold striped one on our printer station.  My other is over on my Craft Station - I installed fabric covered foam core board as a backsplash as a place to pin up all sorts of inspiration!"

What items did you find were essential when organizing the space, and why?

"As I said before, having dedicated places for all the various 'things' in this room, be it office supplies or craft notions, warranted lots of different storage options.  My two favorite storage solutions in this room are the storage towers  for office supplies and various wall storage solutions for craft supplies! 

The storage towers were a complete thrift store find/DIY masterpiece that I am so super proud of. Having twelve spacious drawers that are tidy and accessible has been the ideal solution for keeping everything from envelopes to batteries to chargers sorted and organized.

Second, because I like to keep my surfaces clean as work space, I try to utilize the wall in every way I can.  Open shelves hold everything from my fabric collection to diplomas and decorative items.  Curtain rods hold spools of ribbon as well as my ribbon rings of smaller ribbon sections.

Picture ledges hold glass jars full of writing utensils, scissors, paint brushes, and a thread rack.

If you don't have enough drawer, cabinet or closet space - look to your walls!   There's tons of different ways to use them to maximize storage in a small footprint!"

What did you do to go the extra mile and "Make it Pretty"?

"I'm a craft and DIY girl at heart, so I either made or gave an extra little DIY touch to every single thing in this room.  Simple cosmetic touches like wrapping paper on top of the desk and contact paper on the toe kicks provide some subtle pattern and charm without being too overwhelming or complicated.

 Chevron detailing on plan white curtains and a simple fabric table skirt to conceal the printer provide some texture to a room with lots of hard surfaces.

Lastly, a room isn't mine unless it has some super fun and whimsical touches.  My bright turquoise towers, painted stools, paper artwork, subway art, and gold-foil polka dots make this room feel perfectly me!"

What items did you DIY to stay on a budget?

"Like I said before, DIYing and crafting is a major passion and hobby, so I always try to DIY things long before I go out and buy new.  While everything in this room was a good 'score' and done myself, I think my favorite budget-friendly project in this room was the desk.  A few years ago, we made a big and bad decision to buy a huge office-style desk complete with a hutch and ugly office chair.  No matter what I did, I couldn't get our desk organized because the hutch seemingly swallowed everything we put in and on it.  I called it our Office Black Hole!

After realizing the desk was a poor choice, my husband and I thought a lot about trying to sell it.  However, we had recently purchased a lot of new-ish furniture for other rooms in our house and knew we wouldn't get near what paid for the desk in return.   So...I got creative and did whatever I could to make this desk not only look better but function better.  We took off the hutch, allowing a better view of the window, and found a different storage solution for our office supplies {the towers!}.

New hardware, a wrapping paper topper {covered in plexiglass}, and open shelving above the computer made this a more organized {and prettier!} place to work!  A $50 investment changed this corner of the room from a complete eye-sore to major eye candy!"

How has this space impacted your life for the better?

"For a really, really long time, I could not get this room pulled together the way I wanted.  I thrive and am most creative in pretty and organized spaces, so its lackluster aesthetics frustrated me creatively and emotionally!  While it took me 18 months to get it where it is now, it was so worth the journey.  I love coming in here, I love walking past the door as I walk down the hallway, and I love that it is now a space where my whole family hangs out together.

It is fresh, fun, clean and vibrant which makes me feel creative and productive.  I may not always be so lucky to have the room for such a wonderful work space, so I plan to soak up every minute in this room while I can!"

Wow right?!  18 months of working on the space to get it just right.  That really resonated with me because rooms should always be an evolution and a really thought out process {vs. so many of the "instant" before and after transformations we have become spoiled with here in blog land}.  Megan did such a wonderful job of explaining how she really took the time to think about each type of item she is storing in her space, and what would be ideal for her and her family.  Less accessed items are tucked away while daily tools are out in the open.  And I couldn't agree more with her tips regarding utilizing the wall for storage.  Oh!  And those towers?!  I can see why they are a favorite piece in the room.  So. Much. Greatness!  And don't even get me started on that darling toe-kick update!  Seriously sweet.

Many thanks go out to Megan for stopping by today and sharing her absolutely charming space.  Again, you can find the reveal with even more details and links over on her blog here.

ATTENTION!!  Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life, big or small.  They can be anything from an organized drawer or cabinet to an entire room.  Please submit your story and photos to, and I would heart to feature them right here on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and unedited.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!


  1. Ahhh!! I love that storage tower!! Awesome. And pretty neat to be randomly reading a blog I heart and see another one from someone who went to GMU! That's my school, too! Whoot for locals making waves!

  2. Jen, thanks again for this awesome opportunity to be featured on your Reader Space column! So many lovely thoughts and comments, I certainly appreciate them more than I can say! Xoxo!

  3. LOVE this post! Who am I kidding, I LOVE every post on your blog!! P.S. The link to Megan's blog isn't working.

    1. Oh no! I just double checked the links and they seem to be directing over to her blog OK, but I may have missed one. Please let me know if you continue to have any trouble.

  4. Oh my gosh! I LOVE this room it is perfect. I have a craft room to set up soon and I may need to borrow a few of these ideas.


  5. Contact paper on the toe kicks is absolute genius. Adopting that. For sure

  6. Thank you for featuring this! This has given me some great ideas for the office storage. Also, delighted to be adding another fabulous organiser to my blog lovin feed! x

  7. Wow! Looks great! I especially love the fabric covered foam board. Thanks for sharing!


  8. I love the infusion of color! I will have to add some bright color to mine!

  9. I love everything about this room!!! It's so beautiful and functional!

  10. Wow!! This room is incredible! I love how she was able to transform/repurpose so many pieces she already owned. We recently moved, and I'm just starting to scheme for my office/craft space - SO much great inspiration here! Thanks for sharing, Megan!

  11. Wow! I really like the pictures above the computer. So pretty!

  12. This is gorgeous! I love how functional and beautiful it is at the same time!


  13. how can i get that fun gold dot screen saver/wallpaper on my computer???

  14. I love that organization tower. Color . . . cubbies . . . love it all!

  15. I just spied that stack of books. I've flipped through Happy Chic and stole several really great ideas. Could you do a post about fav design books?

  16. loved your room. Where did you find the drawers from loved them.


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