Craft Room Renovation.

So I’ve been working on this Etsy studio/office project for awhile, and true to form, I keep changing things around, and waiting to add certain items, and taking on new projects in the middle. We  finally got it where I’m not embarrassed to show the final result. I am, however, embarrassed to show the ‘before’ photos. In full disclosure, we had begun moving the boys out of this tiny little room and had piled their beds high with stuff when I decided to take pictures. So just know that the worse the before photos are, I guess the better the after will look? I can’t bring myself to put the red walls up first, so we’ll start with the here and now-

This is where I spend many afternoons. I enjoy the light, the airy feeling, and the sun streaming in from the south window. I love having the kids join me, sitting in the reading chair. I even look forward to cozy winter afternoons with them snuggled in the dormer, wrapped in a blanket as winter sunshine streams in over their shoulder. (Yes, I said it. Winter. Who knew?) When I first thought about what to do with this room, I pictured grey walls with lots of color thrown in, something spiffy and awesome like Ashley Ann would do- maybe some coral and pinks, and a pop of red or turquoise and orange thrown in here and there. But each time I went to add a pop of color, it didn’t come together well, and I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I think that is the case for two reasons- 1) Lately, I’m drawn to design blogs that show a bunch of white/neutral themes and 2) so many of the products I create for my Etsy shop have a ton of color. So when I’m in my working mode, the color comes from the products and not the room surrounding it. Either way, I love coming upstairs and working in this room.

And the ‘back then’- Note to self:  Don’t paint a tiny room dark red. Ever again. It may look great in a huge dining room, but a boys’ 10×10 bedroom? Notsomuch.

Yes, I do store my atlas books under the project table-

Rotary phone from Ebay. Makes me smile. Photo prints from the shop, featuring Cape Cod. (Shocking, I know.)

The stained glass window was from the Brimfield Antiques event about 5 years ago- and hanging in our kitchen. So I went ‘shopping’ in our kitchen and brought it upstairs. Chair from Home Goods. Origami crane mobile from my son, Joel.

See? This is why it takes me so long to finish a room. Those two little dormer walls were light grey, no pattern- perfectly fine. But then I got the idea of stenciling a quatrefoil design on them in a slightly darker color. Which I will never do again. Sometimes I don’t know when to leave well enough alone. I do like how it turned out, but the stenciling process? Ugh. For a person like myself, not the best idea. I didn’t want wall vinyl, because I didn’t want the wall to look too perfect. Um, I didn’t need to worry about perfection. Stenciling is hard. So much so that I just finally decided to leave the imperfections and faded/lighter/darker areas and embrace it. Plus, Paul said it looked good that way, and I jumped at the opportunity to not have to fix it all again.

Our little old house is not exactly square. As in, one side of the dormer is a full 1 1/2″ higher than the other. The built-in bureau is far from straight. But I still like it. And the bureau houses lots of supplies, so it’s highly effective. Knobs on worktable and built-in from Anthropologie.

I wasn’t sure what to do in this little spot, and figured I could put some mirrors in to catch light and add a few paper creations. It works for now. Mirrors found at, of all places. The ribbon on the mirrors was cream. And it was fine- but I changed it to some pretty grey ribbon I had cut off of a shopping bag. (See? That’s why these things take me too long. Again, I don’t know when to leave well enough alone.)

The little card catalog style cabinet is perfect for all sorts of papers, small things, and organizational items. I have wanted a vintage, chippy white one for awhile- but couldn’t find one that wasn’t exorbitantly expensive. So I found a new one online and figured I’d distress it. But once it arrived, I couldn’t bring myself to paint it. So there she stands-

I don’t know why, but the drawer label holders came with lime green paper in them. Not exactly pretty. So I found some vintage library cards and prescription papers from Faded Plains on Etsy, and cut them to fit. They make me smile.

Canvas from Justin and Mary. Map Garland from the Etsy shop.

The vintage milk jar carrier is a family item- a treasure given to us by Paul’s Gramp Leon when he cleaned out his barn years ago. And it’s one of my favorite things. Pops of color only come from flowers here. Dahlias from our garden, which are now obliterated due to Hurricane Irene. Good thing the Annabelle hydrangeas dry green. Little table from Kloter Farms. It was dark red. So I mixed some cream paint with chalkboard paint (Because I didn’t feel like going to the store. I wanted to finish it. Now. So I used what we had) and came up with this color-

Pinwheel fans in the Etsy shop. I just felt like adding glitter here and there.

I use these glass jars to house all sorts of supplies- pins, glitter, twine, scissors, fabric, etc. They work great, and I love seeing exactly what I have on hand and being able to easily replace things that are getting low. Plus they remind me of a candy store. From

Part way through, I found that I needed a message board of some type to keep everything organized. So I used some chalkboard paint that we had on hand and painted the (tiny) closet door-

For curtains, I knew I wanted cafe style, and something bright and airy. I didn’t want to have to sew or spend a lot of money. So I ordered dishtowels from Etsy (Faded Plains, again) and attached them to curtain clips and a rod from Target. At first, I figured I would hem them so that they were a little more formal. And then I decided two things- I detest sewing, and I liked the casual feel. So I left it. Functional and light. Mission accomplished.

This little table was supposed to hold my laptop. It rarely does, as I usually leave the computer right on my main work table. But I kept this table, as it’s a good spot for flowers and little photo shoots for products. Plus I like the look of it. My sister bought it on the cheap at an auction and decided not to keep it. The top was a little worse for the wear, so I put together a linen top with a ruffle and some no-sew tape. (See? Detest sewing.) It works. Lavender bunch from our garden. Corbel from our laundry room- originally acquired years ago at a wonderful little store called Nora’s Place in Kent, CT.

The shelves on the table hold business cards, hammers, and my Etsy shipping supplies. The 4 wooden boxes were given to us as a wedding gift almost 13 (what?!) years ago. Wire basket was acquired long ago- but not sure where? Maybe Pottery Barn? Metal drawer from Etsy.

To be fair, the office doesn’t always look this open and neat. Sometimes there are origami globes hanging from the phone so that the glue can dry and hold the string. There are usually a bunch of pinwheels ready to ship sitting in a glass jar.

Sometimes there are orders sitting in a row on the floor, labeled and ready to be boxed up for the post office. There are often a couple kids helping or playing with my craft items. The table usually has some project overflowing its boundaries. A broom and dust pan is sometimes found leaning against the wall. It’s home, it’s functional, and it’s not always neat. I’m not an interior decorator, and it’s by no means a perfect design. But it’s a happy place, and it works.

Thanks for visiting my little workspace.

August 31, 2011 - 8:57 am

kara - love love love.

August 31, 2011 - 8:58 am

Vicki - Oh. My. Goodness! I am swooning! Your space is completely lovely! The light is perfect, as are all the little details! Wow!!

August 31, 2011 - 1:06 pm

Jennifer - i am so jealous…love your space!!!

August 31, 2011 - 1:12 pm

Wendy - Beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing.

August 31, 2011 - 3:43 pm

Minna - LOVE IT! Cannot wait to see it in person ;) Maybe I will volunteer my cutting/gluing skills next time I am there!

September 2, 2011 - 9:24 am

bethany - WOW! Love it! Not gonna lie….jealous! :)

September 7, 2011 - 12:04 am

ericamay - oh my goodness, betsy. my heart was bursting at every little detail. what a beautiful space you have created. i love the detail and care put into each detail. what is in the brown bags ready for shipping? i love that packaging and i’m so curious what’s inside. :) your creativity is wonderful. i can’t wait to see it all in person in a few weeks!

September 11, 2011 - 3:51 pm

jamie - Wow- I just came across this craft room of yours- AMAZING!

September 15, 2011 - 11:23 pm

Anne G - I really enjoyed viewing this….so refreshing!

February 18, 2013 - 1:14 am

Bethany - I love your room! So beautiful! I just have to know where your project table is from..Did I miss it in the post somewhere?

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