At some point last week we FINALLY measured our living room (this has been on our to-do list for a couple of months at least), which allowed me to start playing with layouts that incorporate office furniture. The changeover affecting 3 rooms (in our apartment, at least). It’s funny how things work like that; I was not expecting to be living in this apartment much after Laelia turned one, and would start to really need her own space. I thought the nursery/office would work great for us while we remained in this here, and it would have been fine if we were able to move when we wanted(planned!!!) to. Since that is off the table, I have spent the last two months coming to terms with the fact that we have to rearrange/move out a lot of furniture in order to give Laelia her own space. So, instead of getting my panties in a twist, I’m trying to make the best of it, and consider it another opportunity to learn more about what I can do. I knew this would be tricky, but I feel like this is trickier than I had anticipated.
Here are the layouts of both rooms prior to said changeover: The furniture swap is going something like this: temperpedic twin bed (stored at my parents) → Laelia’s room office furniture → dining room turned workspace side chairs from the living room → kitchen (more on this later) dining room table →my parents See the interesting little circle there?
So, essentially we are giving up our dining set to make room for our office furniture, which was hard to do at first, but I’ve accepted it. We have a breakfast nook in the kitchen. We don’t need two tables to eat on. We don’t need a formal dining set at this point in our lives. Laelia needs her own space, I need a more cohesive work space, and our family needs more togetherness. So we’ve rearranged some furniture. This is what our living room looks like as I type in it:
We moved the projector to the wall with the heater on it, because we can’t really put furniture on that wall anyway. We lost like, 10 or 15 inches on our overall screen size (we project onto the wall), but OH WELL. I’ve been whining about our projector taking up 12 feet of wall space since we moved in here. Now I have that whole wall! WEE! We are also using our dining room table as the coffee table and it’s kinda fun for now. And as we are waiting around to swap out furniture and sell some stuff off, I’m working on the ideal new layout for the living + workspace, but I can’t seem to settle on anything! There are some looks I know I love, but I don’t see how it can accommodate ALL the things we want this space to do. This space needs to store the following;
• basics: books, magazines, notebooks
• files: house files & work files… & being a designer my work files usually contain boxes of samples.
• art papers: sketch journals, drawing pads of varying sizes, printer paper of various weights and stocks
• sewing: sewing machine, fabric, sewing kit, quilting set, buttons, trims, scraps, yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks
• painting: my acrylic paints, oil paints, model paint, box of paint brushes, watercolors, gouche, pastels, prisma color pencils, copex markers
• general crafting: scrapbook paper, gift wrap, cards, feathers, beads, glue guns, small tools, various scissors and punches, glues, ribbons
• our entire lego collection — could potentially fill a whole BILLY bookshelf by itself
• photographs: oh man, organizing our photographs has been on my to-do list forever
• electronics: iMac, printer/scanner, external HD, netbook, spare wires and plugs, a modem, wireless router, chargers, work MacBook Pro (when not at work)
• photography: a DSLR, two digital cameras, a digital camcorder, a tripod, some lights
• office supplies: tape, tacks, clips, pens, staples, etc.
Wow, I’m exhausted just writing that. If anyone has actually read all of that, I’m sure you’re tired too. I guess a question might be, why do we want all of this in the same space? Mostly, I know that I at least am tired of things being all over the house. I’ve stated before how I’m sick of having my computer in one room, fabric in three different rooms, yarn in two different rooms, my easel collecting dust on a closet shelf, projects being left out and worked on in 3 different rooms, and never having what I need where I need it. Ugh.
In addition to storing many different things, this space needs to allow us to do many different things. We need the space to have these zones:
• 2 computer stations: one larger area for my iMac and possibly hooking up a second monitor. I prefer the printer/scanner to be with in sitting reach. The second area can be a little bit more mobile w/ the MacBook Pro coming and going almost everyday, but we still would like to have a second designated computer station.
• photo studio: I take a lot of photos of objects. It would be great to have a dedicated zone for this, with access to natural light.
• workspace: a surface to do hands-on projects, i.e. LEGO, working w/ a dremel, model painting, small scale drawing, writing, assembling envelopes, gluing, glittering, cutting, organizing, etc. I think this space could double as a cutting space for fabric.
• sewing: omg if I could leave my sewing machine out PERMANENTLY…
• drawing & painting studio: (PLEASE?!) omg if I could leave my easel out PERMANENTLY…
• oversized corkboard: divided into sections for inspiration for different projects
• mailing center: a little space to keep stamps and envelopes and checks to pay our bills, and a calendar!
I know I want a built-in look on my back wall, but I just can’t figure out if I want to have it solid book cases and storage with the desks and workstations pulled out, or if I want to have any of the workstations part of the the built-in. LAYOUT DILEMMA! lol. Also, I’m probably not going to be keeping my old office furniture, but it stays until I find a replacement…
Have I forgotten anything? Probably. Wow, that feels good to have that all written down! Alright, so now that we know what we need to do in our workspace, we have to work on making it happen. There is also an entire section of this room we haven’t discussed yet; our living space. We are also concerned with how these to sections of the same room will interact with each other. What is the vantage point of the projector screen from each workstation? Also, now that our computers will be in the same room as our entertainment system, we’d like to have the ability to connect them to our stereo and to our projector, which is a wiring problem that thankfully hubby seems interested in and motivated to solve.
This post seems to help illuminate the difference between design for function and purpose and design for decoration, as I have barely touched on or thought about how this space will be decorated–colors, patterns, objects, etc. I feel I have to have a good foundation for all of those objects first; I must identify the needs, then consider my decor options after I have a strong layout. Suggestions are welcome! A mood board comes next!
Follow my inspirations on my living + workspace pinterest board. :)
Living + Workspace Series:
• (09/29/11) The Midas Touch ← mood board
• (10/04/11) Building Our Own Coffee Table
• (10/13/11) Living + Workspace; Built-in Sketches
• (11/11/11) Living + Workspace Update
• (11/14/11) Bookcases
• (11/22/11) Painting a Projector Screen
• (03/30/12) Before + After: Antique Lamp
• (04/06/12) Before + After: Front Door
• (06/19/12) Living + Workspace: Current Layout and Mood
• (06/20/12) Living + Workspace: A Revealing Update