My Dining Room Studio, No Room? Repurpose!

Dining room studio

I recently did a bio that suggested we show our studios to the public. Mine was so small I could barely turn around in it. How do you work in an area so small?

We had done everything we possibly could to create more usable space,use what was available more efficiently. We had so many good ideas, but when the studio changed from one for personal use to a place dedicated to my online business. The work space was far too small, the problem of storage was impossible. Where do you store the greatly increased increased supplies, tools and materials? So we needed to rethink my studio.


Studio? What comes to mind? All those yummy, organized studios you see in the quilting magazines?

Dream studios, and then there’s me. One small overflowing little room, shelving up the walls, can’t turn around in, move this to get to that. To make matters worse, it was so isolated from the rest of the family

rooms. I like to keep working while everyone is watching TV in the evening [and most other times as I can].

This needed rethinking.

A helpful Suggestion

My approach came from an innocent helpful suggestion made by my husband,”Why don’t we

just t urn the dining room into your studio?”. After a near heart attack,”what is the man

thinking? Has he lost his mind? This is the reason I’m doing the decorating around this house! Men!”.

Poor man, when we were first married, I made him get rid of his ugly lazy boy chair, he really

liked that chair, but it just did not fit in with my decorating plan. I was doing an English

country/vaguely victorian on a budget kind of style. He even allowed me to paint the living

room walls a subtle coral pink, no not a Pepto Bismol pink. It was very tasteful, but still it is pink. This was a man who truly loved me. I sound so mean. I am highly opinionated about what I like, our living room style was a topic I had strong opinions about.

If I’m being honest with myself, I do have quite a few strong opinions, do you think that

makes me an opinionated person? No, I’m not really comfortable with that thought. I’m a just a woman who knows her mind, that’s better.

Now that you know this about me, you might imagine my reaction to a simple suggestion.

Unthinkable! Imposible! What would this do to my English country/vaguely victorian on a budget design style? I needed a little time to chew on this thought. It was a bigger room. It does have better natural light. I started to came around. Maybe, try it and see. Who knows?

Re purpose!

Think outside of of the box. We rearranged things, removed the chairs, repositioned the table against a wall. Added a large sheet of  Insufoam; safe and thick enough cover to the dining room table, throw a few cutting mats on it’s top, add a few baskets to corral your tools  Some bins and maybe a few of those long, shallow plastic boxes with lids that are stackable under the table to hold fabric. Or if you need to do some artwork, take an old cutting mat flip it upside down and you have an art workspace.

 I placed my

machine facing the living room with the TV, I could and work and be with everyone while the evening’s TV viewing was on.  Repurpose!

This post got me thinking about space and using our available space more effectively.

Who wouldn’t like more storage or an area that is more usable to suit  our needs?

More storage in the kitchen, or a space of our own  to work, think, write or just read a book?Wasn’t it Virginia Woof who said ” Every woman needs a space of her own?”

I thought about this and came to the conclusion, this topic would have an appeal to many of us. I’m going to do a series of posts on this subject. If it has sparked your t thinking or you have a few tips of your own, please, share them with us all. Leave a comment or better still, email them to me and I’ll post a few your tips with new post in the series, if i receive enough I’ll make it a separate post  with them all. So look for the next in the series, it is going to have a interesting suggestion for a person who wants their own studio or craft area, but has not one single iota of space, even with the most resourceful person. I have a idea that is outstanding. See you soon.


cutting table



Studio? What comes to mind? All those yummy, organized studios you see in the quilting magazines? Dream studios, and then there's mine. It's so crowded that you can barely turn around, much less breath.


Published by Barbara Harms Fiber Art

About Myself & My Approach Art has always played a role in my life, in one form or another. by my teens I had narrowed my focus to painting. I decided I was going to become a serious painter. I joined the Las Vegas Artist's Guild at 15, the youngest member at that time. I was completely out of place, I tried to go unnoticed, a mute fly on the wall, with a big smile pasted on my face. I've continued to paint most of my life. After a move to Oregon years later, I was introduced to quilting and fell in love. I was introduced to quilting & fell in love. In time I missed the creative freedom painting made possible. Then I discovered mixed media fiber art, I was home. MY APPROACH TO ART It's the creative process that holds the greatest attraction for me. Starting with a tiny seed of an idea; vague and blurred around the edges, I follow where that leads. There are often many changes and adjustments along the way. The result can often be surprizing. My approach is an instinctual one. Generally, I do little pre-planning. I make creative decisions, choices, directions as they present themselves. This approach can lead to quite a few changes in the direction. I love that element of surprize! Sometimes I have one that I especially like, I can't wait to show someone. At that moment l feel like a six year old, running home from school, a drawing in hand, excited to show Mom. At those times. I'm smiling like the Cheshire cat. I’ve had some of my work published in several magazines. which is exciting. But the most gratifying thing is having clients be really happy with their purchased art quilt. Word press Etsy shop-sales Contact: inquiry Personal Links

7 thoughts on “My Dining Room Studio, No Room? Repurpose!

  1. I have been going to a studio 14 miles from my house to learn the art of mosaics. I don’t have a space to do art in my house. I have a small dining room off the living room that my husband and I rarely use. On a walk today, we decided, it’s our house and the dining room can be an art studio. I came home and typed, “how do you change your dining room into an art studio?” into the browser. Your site came up. Thanks for the inspiration. I also love your work. Peggy


    1. Peggy, We make due with what we have to work with don’t we? One thing that I’ve found I like about this arrangement in the the center of our house and everything gone on. In the evening I can be with the family while they watch TV, I can work.


  2. Awesome, and it did not take that much to change the room. Now you can be with the family and still do some quilting while listening and talking.


    1. It is an interesting set up. I can be at my machine, and be close enough to pop into the kitchen to check on the pot cooking on the stove, then pop back to my sewing. And if the pot should bubble too quickly and start bubbling over, I’m close enough to hear it and run right over to turn down the temp.
      Who knows what we might repurpose next? Maybe We could turn our bedroom into a game room with a pool table and turn the laundry room into our bedroom,Ha ha.There’s no end to the possibilities now we’ve open that door! Just kidding that’s just a bit too far!!!


        1. Dear Scrapydo you make anyone feel so at ease. I poke fun at myself, but it has really worked out well. Now if I can get my blog running correctly I’ll be one happy camper. BTW, you have a beautifully arranged blog, visually attractive easily navigated and set up so.


          1. Thank you and good luck in your new environment! Way back when I had a one bedroom flat I changed the bedroom to sitting room and vise versa. I used the best room for my bedroom and the darker unused sitting space in my real bedroom.


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