Multi-Purpose Workroom

Last spring, I was asked to help with a project to bring order to a client’s multi-use workroom. An avid weaver, baker, collector and reader, she needed to fit all of her passions in one small room. This room also had to work as a home office and accommodate multiple computers and printers.  It was no small task, so we met to layout out the initial objectives, which were to:


– Increase the functionality of the space as a home office

– Make the space feel spacious, open, bright, and airy

– Brighten and modernize the room without changing any lighting or fixtures

– Retain all of the collections of antique toys, teapots, and highlight favorites

– Showcase her original textiles as artwork


I designed a new layout, the dominant feature of which were new long desks to serve as a multi-function workspace for “work work” and “play work” like sewing. A new rug covered an older wood floor in this log-cabin style home (her husband’s family built the house in the 1930s and it’s been in the family ever since) and tied the room together.


Existing antiques and collectibles were all lovingly returned to shelves and after heavy pruning of books, we calculated the linear feet of shelving required and added new, high capacity wooden bookcases that were painted to match the walls. The existing curio shelf at the ceiling stayed in place, and the neutral linen curtains stayed, too.


Her original textiles were given places to shine as the works of art they are.  A fresh coat of paint helped lighten the space, as did the new lighter surfaces. Her own style shines through in this very practical, loved, and usable solution.









Here are some “befores” of the space to give you a feel of how crowded the room felt. Books were spilling out everywhere and the disparate shelves were groaning under their weight. The client’s collections and artwork got swallowed up visually by all the different objects in the room.


Before: Window wall with books and knick-knacks everywhere. The loom blocked the window and interrupted the flow of workspace:

Before North View 2


Before: A small, cluttered desk didn’t provide enough work space

Before West View


Before: Here’s a busy corner:

And after! Much calmer, isn’t it:



How cute is this little guy?



The room has since become her sanctuary, and has met all of the objectives we first laid out at our initial meeting. Plus, we did it with a relatively modest budget. It feels bright, welcoming, and useful with her feminine hand marking it. Everywhere you look, there is something visually interesting and lovingly collected and curated from her travels and friends. It was a fun, quick project that will serve her well for years to come.

Here’s the final layout so you can see how much we packed in this little space: