Suggestions on new house and craft area

tspitzerJuly 5, 2006


I have been thinking about this topic for several days, and among oher things, reading the past posts here. They were very helpful, so I'm hoping you may have some suggestions for me.

My husband and I are moving into a house in August, and expecting our first baby in September. It is a 3 bedroom house, with the bedrooms upstairs. One room will be ours, and one room for the baby. Downstairs, with the standard kitchen, living room, is a formal dining room. We do not require the formal dining room and want to make that into an office. We are both teachers and will be doing work at home, but feel that we would like to be closer to the central activity of the house when we are working, and to have the office there than in the third bedroom. Here is my dilemma - I have some space now, and some options. Do I make a craft area in that office/dining room as well, or in the third bedroom (until we have a second child?). I'm leaning towards making it in the office, because I think it would be used more, but I would appreciate any comments from any of you who may have done that. Also, if I do this, any suggestions on how to do it? I really want to put a lot of craft supplies in storage (basement), and just keep out things I am really using in the near future so it doesn't turn into a junk room, or storage room. I am thinking I would need some table/work space, and some storage space. Ideas on how to do that? Thoughts??...

Thanks so much for any feedback!


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I need some more information on the type of hobby/craft. Scrapbooking, quilting, painting? Do items needs to be left out between work times or can everything be easily put away? What is your tolerance level for looking at the stuff left out? How well will the craft co-exist with the work space needed for jobs? Not knowing the activity makes it hard to suggest storage options.

That said, I found once the kids started crawling, my hobby did not work well for the open space of my dining room. I quilt and was interrupted too frequently. Had to make sure all of the pins, threads, scissors, etc. were put away. As soon as they were toddlers, someone was always messing with my machine tension.

You have a year until you might have someone crawling around. Do you want the baby in the dining room space or could you easily close it off with a door or gate? If not, then I would vote for the craft space to be up in the extra bedroom for now until you need that room. While you may use it more frequently close to the kitchen for next few months, it could be short-term use anyway. Depending upon the temperment of the baby, you may not have much time or energy. How would you feel about moving everything upstairs later, or would you prefer everything in place now?


    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 10:06PM
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Thanks so much for your thoughtful response and questions! I do a variety of crafts, but scrapbooking is probably the main one. I don't mind some things being left out, but I would like the option for them to be picked up and out of the way if I chose. The room currently has doorways, but no doors, so it could easily be gated. definitely have given me some things to think about, hope I answered some of your questions.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 12:20PM
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A few questions about your family lifestyle... When do you and your husband use an office space; before diner while one cooks, after dinner, together, alone? When will you find time to do your crafting; while the baby sleeps, weekends, while the others work, watch tv or play?

I think these questions may help you decide on which area should be office or craft room. If you steal some crafting time while the baby sleeps you might be more at ease upstairs near the little one or you may want to be "scrapping while the baby plays and Dad watches tv.

If one of you will be working before dinner you may like to be close enough to share some conversation or farther away so as not to be distracted.

Once you decide on what goes where I'm sure you'll get a ton of help on how to set things up.

Congratulations on your house and your baby.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 5:46PM
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Thanks for the suggestions and things to think about. I have been thinking about those, and discussing, and I really think I want to make it in the office/craft room, rather than the extra bedroom for exactly the reasons you said. I would rather have less space, and a space that is less designated to crafts/scrapbooking that is actually used. I can see myself using it much more either while dad (and baby) are watching tv, making dinner, doing schoolwork, playing in the living room, etc. I could gate if off if I need to as he grows, but I would like to be nearby to the other people in the family. If it is upstairs it would be an advantage while he's napping or playing in his room, but I think it would be outweighed -- so the office with craft area in the dining room it is! Now I just have to decide exactly how to do that, and I would welcome suggestions!


    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 6:33PM
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Fori is not pleased

If my experience of how we graded papers in the old days is still relevant, teaching homework often requires stacks of stuff--if you and hubby can get your computer(s) in a small desk off to the side, a big table in the middle of the dining room might be good for both office work and scrapbooking.

Our baby is about 15 months old, and we just don't do the upstairs much at all. So, you need to decide if you're going to have naps downstairs, or upstairs. My baby plays, naps, etc., downstairs so if I were thinking of a place to scrapbook, it'd be downstairs. In fact, I lugged my sewing machine downstairs into the dining room so I could do some stuff while being in the middle of things.

Scrapbooking isn't too dangerous, either. The dining room is perfect! (And if you happen to have a playard with the bassinet attachment that you can leave downstairs, you'd probably be more comfortable having naps in that in the living room for several months.)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 2:39PM
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Dear tspitzer,

If you can possibly post a link to a picture of your room we'll all throw ideas at you.

In the mean time I'm including a link to a product I used for a client. It's a very inexpensive piece of furniture that can house your scrapbooking supplies. I think you'll like it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Craft Cabinet

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 10:31PM
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I'll work on getting a picture up here, but it probably won't be right away with the moving and packing and stuff. I can give you room dimensions - approximatley 11.5' square. It has a good sized window on one side, and doorways on two other sides.

I really appreciate the suggestions. I like the cart idea, and its very inexpensive.

I really like the idea of one big table for multiple uses - i had never thought about that, and it makes sense. we both have laptops, so that makes even more sense. I'd have to think about the type of table, the type of organization and storage I'd need, and also how feasible it would be to have multiple uses and keep it cleared off - it definitely gives me something to think about though....

Thanks so much, and feel free to throw out other ideas or comments :)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 8:54PM
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Another thought. How well would you and the DH share a central table? We are spreader-outers and if someone bothers a project we both get pretty peeved, so we don't do well sharing a space like that. For any cabinets, don't forget to check how you can keep them closed. My kids were the world's worst climbers. They would pull out drawers like steps and off they went. I swear they could do it in 2 seconds flat. A couple of them managed to pull dressers over on themselves when they were around two. We were lucky they weren't hurt, but they still drove me crazy. Man, I'm glad those days are past. Now, all I have to do is survive the younger three getting through the teen years.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 1:17AM
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I'm including a link to a "project table" which might work well for you. Being modular you could make it as large as you need. You might want to use cabinets with doors as the base since a toddler will make short work of open bookshelves.

Here is a link that might be useful: Project Table

    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 7:04AM
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