Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Moving rooms around

I love my Project Room. We spent a fair amount of time designing the layout and finding or building furniture and it worked amazingly well for such a small space. It was definitely over-full and could be cramped when I had household overflow in there, but it was a nice work space.
Used for all kind of projects
In what appears to be a non-sequitur, we also love doing pottery. So much so that we purchased a pottery wheel and planned to install it in the house...somewhere. And there we hit a snag. At first we were going to just keep it on the front porch, but that would mean not using it during the winter. And winter is prime throwing time since so many outdoor chores are curtailed. That meant the Nest and the bridge were out too. No heat in those either.

The decision was to put it in the studio on the second floor. That's where Chris's music and art supplies already were so it made a certain amount of sense. Chris somehow got that heavy kick wheel up onto the bridge (he wisely did this on a day when I was off property) and then we got stuck again. Because the studio had hardwood floors. Beautiful, easily damaged by water, hardwood floors. And pottery wheels kick off water like nobody's business. At least, pottery wheels manned by newbies such as ourselves.

So the wheel just sat there for about a year, unused. Which was a bummer. Then one day, completely out of the blue, I had a thought. Why not switch my project room and the music/art room? (see, told you the topics were related.) After all, the project room has a concrete floor. A virtually indestructible concrete floor that is easy to mop. It seems so obvious now, but it's really easy to get stuck in the rut of "but this is how we designed it" or even worse "but we did all that work already". 

We left the loft bed and one file cabinet since that would give Chris plenty of space to store band-related equipment when it wasn't being used. The pottery wheel fit neatly between the wall and the bed end. 
You can even see out the windows
Chris had scavenged some marble tops and a granite countertop. He banged together temporary supports for them so we could get a feel for how the room performs. I'm sure there will, us usual, be some tweaking.
Marble tops for wedging and working (and Chris's in-process DIY drum machine)
The granite counter was put on the opposite wall on top of temporary legs and the cookbook bookcase. I can easily reach the cookbooks but they're of the way (yeah, I hate how this looks, will definitely be changing this).
Obviously not a "staged" photo
Chris is using the room and I'm sure lots of improvements will be forthcoming. For one thing it looks like a prison cell. Cold floor, bare windows, and hard surfaces. The bed is the only soft space in there both functionally and visually. Horrible.

Fortunately the new Project Room is much more cozy. Here are some quite messy shots that showcase all the storage areas and some work-in-progress for Christmas gifts.
Work bench is now an island
Antique cabinet provides lots of drawer storage
Painting area with great light
We still have a bed for napping, reading, needlework, etc while someone works at the bench. And this bed was a trundle so there is a lot of room underneath to store boxes of supplies and fabric (the trundle portion is now our porch-bed). The long window bench is the top of the optometrists cabinets that we used in the kitchen. It's on temporary legs (and in need of drawer repair) until we figure out what configuration we want for the storage area underneath. That will likely be a project for this summer though so I have lots of time to figure out how it should look/function.

I've already used this room a lot and I have to admit I like it even better than the previous space. For one thing, it's slightly bigger so it doesn't feel as cramped. Plus the light is great coming in all those windows. The only downside is that since it was originally a bedroom, the ceiling light is designed for ambiance, not working. So I need to add task lighting; I'll shop the house and see what lamps I can find.

It's been wonderful having Chris downstairs. Now he can work on songs while I'm making dinner and we can still hear each other. It doesn't feel nearly so isolated for either of us.

All-in-all, a wicked good decision and much more functional/enjoyable spaces.

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