Creating a space for creativity.

Retirement has many benefits, not least of which is having the time and energy to pursue pastimes previously relegated to the ranks of “one day, maybe!” So, with this in mind, I recently decided to convert a somewhat bleak, unused and  under-furnished bedroom into a bright, uplifting hobby room – a space where I could let my creativity flow untethered by the usual demands of restraint and good taste.

“What is the most important thing for me to have in a hobby room?”, I wondered. The answer was as simple as it was definitive, a table and a chair. Now, although my tastes often run to the sleek and modern, I wanted this room to be more homely, comfortable, feminine and, this cannot be overemphasised enough, inexpensive. So, with this in mind, I went shopping and this is what I bought:

A large metal butterfly - as good a starting point as any.
A large metal butterfly – as good a starting point as any for a design!

I know it doesn’t look much like a table or a chair, but every design needs a jumping off point, and this gave me both a theme and a colour scheme to work with. Also, it was on sale and so pretty, how could I resist?

“What is the most important thing for me to have in a hobby room?”, I wondered. The answer was as simple as it was definitive, a table and a chair. Now, although my tastes often run to the sleek and modern, I wanted this room to be more homely, comfortable, feminine and, this cannot be overemphasised enough, inexpensive. So, with this in mind, I went shopping and this is what I bought:

My beautiful, curvaceous but somewhat uninspiring table.
My beautiful, curvaceous but somewhat uninspiring table.
Worn royal blue tufted velvet. An escapee from great grandma's house!
Worn royal blue tufted velvet. An escapee from great grandma’s house!

And things always look so much worse before they start to look better! Here’s the chair, stripped naked but already revealing its curvaceous form.

All naked and afraid! None of us look too good without our clothes and make-up!
All naked and afraid! None of us look too good without our clothes and make-up!

After much sanding, painting, stapling and gluing… a funky work area at which to create a masterpiece or a mess, was born! For those of you who are into the detail, I used Plascon Wall and All in white in a colour aptly named “Happy happy” for the table. The turquoise butterfly print fabric upholstery was R80 per metre and only took 500cm and a decorative matching turquoise tape was glued along the edge to hide the staples.

My brand new old furniture!
My brand new old furniture!

Next, I needed some storage for all my crafty paraphernalia, so I purloined two pine bookcases from another room and painted them a beautiful shade of pale turquoise inspired by the butterfly. Again I used Plascon Wall and All, but this time with the more Zen like name of Transcendent. As the existing bookcases didn’t fit wall to wall, I bought small, pine shelves from the hardware store, painted them to match and then attached them between the two bookcases. Et voila!  A perfect fit and an ideal place for my creativity inspiring sound system.

Funky, functional storage ... a must for any creative space!
Funky, functional storage … a must for any creative space!

As happy as I was with the results so far, a table, a chair, bookshelves and a butterfly do not make a craft room, so I trolled the internet for inspiration and found it aplenty.

My next project was to delegate the making of two peg boards and a frame for a padded notice board to my trusty assistant (aka my long-suffering husband).Once the peg boards were painted, all that remained was to organise my paraphernalia on the first board using baskets, rods, hooks and clear Perspex (Ferero Roche chocolate) boxes. I used inexpensive plastic mugs in budget friendly shower caddies to store pens, pencils and crayons etc.

I've got this display issue pegged!
I’ve got this display issue pegged!

The second peg board is mounted above a different workstation and has been kitted out for sewing projects, while the notice board was made from a chipboard off-cut that was busy collecting dust in the garage. I covered it in batting and then a pretty floral print before criss-crossing it with pale grey elastic.

A sewing station all ready for action!
A sewing station all ready for action!

All that was left was to cover some storage boxes for the open shelves.

One of my Audrey Hepburn inspired storage boxes
One of my Audrey Hepburn inspired storage boxes

All finished, except for one thing! Now I have a beautiful, functional and feminine hobby room, I suppose I’ll have to take up a craft!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you have a hobby space? If so, I’d love to hear about your creative ideas!

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. Emma says:

    Aghhhhhh beyond jealous here. What a fantastic craft room…. can’t wait to see what finally gets decided on as the ‘craft’. Keep us updated please..

    1. Now the pressure’s really on! Too many ideas, too little time! 🙂

  2. Daphne says:

    Cathy , you are so talented ! What a well designed and stunning looking room . Just love looking at the pics !

    1. Thanks, Daphne. How about sharing some of your crafting ideas/inspirations here?

  3. barb says:

    wow Cathy, you have already completed many crafts just doing the room so perfectly-your inspiration will flow in this very special space! My craft room is an embarrassment, could not possibly share with you! But you have inspired me to get in there and make a start on the next two planned mosaics.

    1. Thanks, Barb. I’d love you to share more about your mosaic projects. Where do you get your inspiration from? Did you do a course?

  4. This is a response that my very talented and creative friend Kym sent me by email. It’s so funny that I really had to post it here! Thanks Kym!!!!

    Love it…. just haven’t figured out how to respond on the blog…. need granddaughter input!

    I love your craft room. Confirm the first craft project was the room itself!

    My project so far :

    1. Build room – check
    2. Furnish room – partly check
    3. Persuade husband not to use it is a general dumping ground for his stuff…. uh ooh
    4. Get him to remove said stuff …. uh ooh.
    5. Buy shelving for garage – to do
    6. Help install shelving – to do
    7. Help sort stuff in garage – to do
    8. Help move stuff out of craft room – to do
    9. Move crafting stuff from Kitchen, lounge and spare bedroom – to do
    10. Finish setting up and furnishing – to do

    And here was me thinking we could relax when we retire 
    Maybe I should give him the new room, and take over the study (aka 2nd bedroom). Hang on – need to repeat steps 2 to 10 inclusive.

    Alternatives
    • Find corner at kitchen table
    • Find corner in garage
    • Read a book in the lounge 
    • Take dog for walk 

    Have a great day

  5. Ken Victor says:

    Thank you for sharing.

    Fantastic ideas. I use to also try and be creative, but I don’t have the space

    anymore. Enjoy your time and your lovely room.

    Kind Regards

    Margaret Victor

    1. Thanks, Margaret! I hope you’ll share your views on my blog topics in the future as I’m trying to start some lively debates 🙂

  6. Jen says:

    What about all those lovely bags you were going to make? Your hobby room would be the perfect place to make them and you have a customer in me 🙂

    1. Oophs! Forgot about that! I can take a hint 🙂 🙂

  7. Jen says:

    No hint 🙂 Was the only thing I could think of that you mentioned you had wanted to do. You are so talented that everyone should be able to have a “Cathy Original” *mwah*

    1. Flattery will work every time. He hehe!

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