Transform Your Craft: How to Set Up a Hobby Room in Your Home
A special area in the home, attic, backyard or garage for adults to pursue their interests is becoming more and more of a standard in American homes. You’ve probably heard of the “man cave,” but husbands and fathers aren’t the only adults who need a special space for an at-home retreat.
Every adult can benefit from their own quiet area to enjoy hobbies, interests and activities. Adults devote so much of their time to work, family and other responsibilities that sometimes creating these hobby rooms is the only way to carve out time for yourself. If you build it, you will use it! These spaces aren’t just a place to keep your hobby organized (though that is an important part), but also to help you get into the zone and inspire you to fire up those creative juices.
First, it’s important to know what you need and what you want. For example, are you looking for a place to sew a new wardrobe, but also relax with a good book and a glass of wine? Next, you need to assess what you have. Is there a guest bedroom that’s hardly used or an outside shed that could be transformed? Once you know what you need, you can plan how to achieve that with what you have.
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Let’s start with five easy steps for setting up your home hobby room:
Step #1: Organization is Key
Hobbies require many materials, and actually enjoying hobbies requires you to feel relaxed, calm and comfortable in your space. When designing your new space, make a list of your supplies and then plan for the most effective way to store them. Look around your house — are there bookshelves, desks or tables you are not using? If so, think about how you can creatively repurpose them. You can maximize the space in your hobby room by designing creative wall storage. Some simple effective ways to use wall units, shelves and roof storage include:
- Using open shelving for baskets and bins
- Repurpose bookshelves as floating shelves
- Create storage in, on, under and over — don’t forget the ceiling!
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Step #2: Maximize a Small Space
When done right, even a walk-in closet can become an awesome hobby space. You can replace bi-fold or swinging doors with a barn door to increase the work area. If you need a more efficient workspace, replace the lower shelves with a counter and add storage underneath. Shallow shelves above can provide even more storage. Even a pantry can be a space to work on your hobby. Open or remove the doors, install a counter for working, add shelves below for storage, and install pegs, hooks or pins above to hold yarn, thread and other spooling supplies.
Step #3: Create a Dual Purpose Area
Taking advantage of unused spaces is a great idea, but others in your house may not agree. If you are the only person engaging in this hobby, think about adding a pullout couch for guests or bookshelves for storing other family members’ belongings. Maybe your son or daughter competes in sports or arts; you can create a dual space by building a showcase for his or her awards. Maybe your partner is an avid music buff or collector. Your space can also be a place where he or she can come to admire and grow the collection.
Step #4: Open Storage Creates Bigger Spaces
Many hobbyists and crafters enjoy having their tools and supplies visible; it not only inspires them, but also keeps their projects moving forward. Open storage often combines open wall shelving for big, bulky items and clear plastic tubs for the smaller supplies. For this hobby room style to work, you’ll have to arrange tools and supplies in the order they’re used and keep everything labeled. A pegboard keeps tools in easy reach and a magnetic board keep your supplies and ideas front and center.
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Step #5: Enjoy Your Space
Our hobbies should make us feel good about ourselves. Relaxing, inspiring, meaningful and productive, hobbies add depth and value to our lives. However, you might feel just the opposite when renovating a room to become a craft room. Remind yourself that this is your special place. Enjoying the space entails:
- Wiping Out Clutter: An essential part of enjoying a hobby is a clean, comfortable working environment. When you thoughtfully arrange shelves, storage bins, desks, counters and drawers, you can organize tools and supplies in a logical way that creates an open flow. Keep your surface areas clean of clutter and scraps to maintain a zen mind while creating your next masterpiece.
- Workspace by a Window: A fantastic way to enjoy your space comes from setting the right scene. Put your work table in front of a window, and let the natural light guide your vision. If you’re working with light-sensitive materials, add blinds to reduce glare or prevent sun damage.
- Surround Yourself with Inspiration: Use your own work or work you admire to decorate your space and keep you inspired. You can find one-of-a-kind prints from Etsy or create a real-life Pinterest board to keep you motivated.
- Keep a Schedule: If you’re sharing your hobby room with others, be sure to create a schedule that gives everyone a fair amount of time to spend in the room alone. Even if you enjoy working alongside your partner, you may find that a few hours a week all alone is the ticket to relaxation. Make sure they respect your time with the space, just as you will respect theirs.
- Keep it Cozy: You might zip through a project one day, only to find your creativity stalled when the next project rolls around. Setting up a little corner with a comfy chair and cozy blanket or a yoga/meditation corner could be a great way to jumpstart a creative block.
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When it comes to revamping a room or remodeling a home, we often focus so much on the final outcome that we forget to enjoy the process. Whether your hobby is crafts or games, active or passive, be sure to take the time to be thoughtful in creating your new space.
Be sure to find balance. You might be drawn to the idea of not having a stitch of wasted space, or perhaps an open, airy and minimal layout is more inspiring. Whatever you need, be sure you make a good plan to obtain it — put old, unused but much-loved furniture and keepsakes into storage to declutter your space. Create a layout for your new hobby room, and be sure to include precise measurements, especially if you’re working with a tight space.
In the end, you want to create a space that you will love as much as you love your hobby. If your hobby room is awkward or uncomfortable, you’ll rarely use it, which means you’ll be less likely to actually do the activities you love. You deserve a place to call your own, one that is comfortable, cozy and inspiring.