Silver linings...something to think about

sandy808August 20, 2012

Also known as when you get a bag of lemons from life, make lemonaid!

We should have built a loft for my sewing studio....but we didn't.

We should have then added a little more square footage to our home and put a sewing room in....but we didn't.

There are only a few ways to fix this issue. Option 1 is to lift the roof and put a loft in. It could be done but I would die from the nightmare. Not an option.

Option 2 is to add an addition, but that would mess up the careful layout of current rooms for best views outdoors, as well as destroy my walk around porch. Not an option.

Option 3. Sell the house. NOT AN OPTION! I do love the house. It just doesn't have a sewing room. It has other rooms I really like though.

Option 4 is to build a nice detached sewing "room" that looks like a miniature version of my house, but only steps away. Maybe with an arbor to help keep the rain off me. This would have never been my first choice, but it is what it is now.

It would most likely be used for fabric and supply storage, and cutting quilts out. I will still have a corner in the house itself with my machine as I cannot fathom wanting to "leave home" to go sew. Since this is about the only option that doesn't have a negative impact on the house we worked so hard to build, I need to move past the whole sewing room thing, find a viable solution, and get on with life.

I may end up liking this more than I could imagine. Who knows. It will never be my beloved loft, but I don't have much choice now.

When we went to start moving my wood furniture out of our barn and into the house, we discovered that the heat and humidity over the 3 years they were stored while we built our house destroyed the finishes on all of it. I cried for days. I ranted about it. I wouldn't let the furniture come into my house. After many, many tears, and not liking the quality of new stuff that we looked at, a small private furniture store gave me the name of a really good wood refinisher, but he was starting to slow down, so they didn't know if he would do the work.

Well, he is, and I got the bedroom furniture back and it is better than it was new. It is gorgeous! He's bringing back my desk and some other things this weekend, and then my kitchen table and chairs are going next.

I guess what I'm getting at is sometimes when things don't look or feel so good, and we don't get our way, we can sometimes find solutions that bring more enjoyment than the original one. I am blessed to have a nice home, and that should be my focus. It was a long process since we built it ourselves, both so it would be built with quality, and so we wouldn't have a loan from a greedy bank.

However, I learned a valuable lesson along the way. Don't let someone talk you into or out of something that you want. Part of the blame lies with me. I wasn't assertive enough.

Thank you for "listening".

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Annie Deighnaugh

I'm sorry about your sewing room. I considered mine essential to the plan...not only that but it had to be located in the SW corner.

Having a separate out building to be a sewing room can work, depending on your weather in your area...where I live, it would definitely need heat and would need to be built and kept dry, and it would need windows. Certainly a compromise over your dream loft, but better than no room at all.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 4:13PM
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I totally understand about the sewing room. I've heard others who talked about having a little house out back for their crafts and loved it. I think it would be hard to carry stuff back and forth and I would feel isolated out there. But my dh has his office in the detached garage and loves it.

That's a bummer on your furniture but I'm so glad it can be refinished. I have started to worry about what the heat and humidity are doing to my antique dining table which is currently in storage. I have been imagining all the parquet veneer popped loose.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 12:35AM
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Oh my, - this was like reading a post I'd written myself. I'm in a sewing room dilemma too. When we built our house we were so excited to have 2 bathrooms, I didn't think much beyond that. Have been dragging my machine out of closets for 20 years. Now that my children have grown up, I am debating whether to turn a small upstairs sitting room (between the 2 bedrooms) into my sewing space or using the room over the detached workshop. Many things about the detached space seem favorable - it's cute, it's pretty large & it would be all mine. The downside is it would have to be heated & cooled, it is not attached to the house, and up a flight of exterior stairs. Like you, I can't imagine not having a machine in my house for those quick projects & repairs, but I do have my mother's machine that I could use as a spare. The other option is to use to open space at the top of my stairs (kinda like a very small loft) and do built ins. It would be more convenient, but is small & noisy (is open to the stairs & sound travels from floor to floor). Would also have grandchildren running through. Right now my time is so limited, I've just put both on hold. Will be curious to see what you decide with yours!!

So glad the furniture issue is working out so well. Know your heart must have sank when you 1st found it, but sounds like it will be a wonderful fix.

Great message to look for that silver lining. We've been trying to do that a lot lately for several home & personal issues. Good to hear encouraging words from someone else dealing with the bumps of life.

Good luck on that sewing room!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 10:02AM
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I think Option 4 sounds wonderful! It would also give you a chance to enjoy the garden, if you have one...on your way out to sew. Maybe have a blooming vine on the arbor, covering your path to the sewing room?

If possible, maybe a little sink on one wall, with a big greenhouse window...just to start a few spring blooms? Also a great place for the coffee pot and a few snacks, to keep you from having to go back to the 'big house' too often :)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 11:28AM
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A separate small building for a sewing cottage sounds dreamy, but I would worry fabric stored there would eventually get mildew and "that funny smell". Unless as others mentioned you could keep it heated and a dehumidifier running. Not to mention cleaned and dusted for uninvited guests like insects. Like Lass, I was also going to suggest a big comfy chair and a side table for tea when you were ready for breaks would be so great.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 11:23AM
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Oh, Sandy, I knew you'd love having a loft above your kitchen. Sigh. Or a building of your own out behind your lovely Fla cracker style house. It would look appropriate you know. I'm sure the space still is there. Never too late.
Go for it.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 4:00PM
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Ah, t'were it MY little sewing room, if it had a tea pot it would need a chamber pot, as well!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 8:44PM
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ROFLMBO @ Nancy. Prettiest Thunder Mug I have ever seen.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 9:24PM
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How nice that your furniture disaster turned out so well! When I'm Queen of the world & get everything I want, (or win the powerball etc) my dream home sewing setup would have 1 of 2 layouts;

1- A separate bldg for a sewing studio, with a bathroom & kitchenette, gotta be able to make tea now & then. This would be nice but as others noted, loneliness would be an issue.
2- A big great room, with space for my machine & a table to cut/press etc, so I'd be near DH. He could set up the other side of the room for fishing gear, he makes pole & lures during the winter. With a large screen tv on the wall somewhere in the middle & stereo. This room of course will overlook a lovely lake & have a walkout doorwall to a patio. Essentially a fancy walkout basement. (OK, truthfully, I'd want to do this on the main floor but due to the size of the room I'd end up using the real Great Room & I'm not keen on that being a room guests see first off)

Back to reality. I'm going to do some sewing this weekend, but I'll be alone in the dingy basement.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 2:43PM
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One of the things I really like to use are shutters, inside and out. Of course I have them on windows. And closet doors.
And I use bifold doors which are really narrow french doors too.

But where I'm headed is the use I made of recycled old fixed louver closet doors to block off a space where I stored the fishing gear and tackle boxes. In my case, it was in a corner and I kept the shutters closed unless my son needed to get out his salt water gear, or his fresh water gear. He too wrapped fiberglas fishing rods and tied fishing flys. That was some years ago.

I painted the shutter door panels different colors in the louvered area. Like soft lavender, soft aqua. I had one wall in that room rag rolled with lavender paint too. It took about 2 cups of paint to do a wall which was 8' x 12' so you don't need much.

If you want to "cover up" any of your sewing or special interest supplies, like fishing or painting/art work or jewelry making, think about having "screens" to close or open as needed. I was reminded of this by Shades mentioning her "screen door" because those are about 80 inches tall. You could put fabic as a center piece, does not have to be wood or screen, or even louvers, or thin Lexan, put kid's drawings on one or both sides, sandwiching the works. And they make hinges which bend both ways for the ultimate in adjustability.

Or, think about the ceiling track they use in hospitals or exam rooms to suspend curtains, or even small chains to make curtains. It could also work to make a bed enclosure if you don't have a ceiling high enough to have a canopied bed frame made of wrought iron or wood. Just hang the canopy with the ceiling tracks. It could also in a pinch give some privacy for a guest area, right?

But I am maybe not making sense right now. I am very tired, and just recovering from a lot of work preparing for Isaac storm, now must endure humidity to put things back where they can be used. I don't mind moving furniture, that's fun, but geez storm preparedness is NOT FUN.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 4:36PM
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