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My Dining Room Studio, No Room? Repurpose!

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.

Summer Colors in a Silk Art Quilt

Here’s my newest art quilt. I have had a lot of interesting results with combining the colored acrylic inks and silk paints.  This is a good example. The abstract back drop inspired the theme. I love the orange, yellow and gold colors

The flowers were painted and appliqued, and finally finished with thread painting.

I did rather abstract quilting to match the abstract back ground.

The colors of summer

Tangerine Sky


Want to remodel, but no denero? How’s about a mural?

Provence mural

Can’t remodel yet? -Add some pizzazz  with a mural By Barbara Harms many of us would just like a change in a certain room? Maybe it’s your kitchen, dining room or bedroom  that’s looking tired?  You can’t fork out the bucks to remodel right now, but want a change, so now what?

How about a mural? It’s an inexpensive do it yourself project. It can make a big bang for your buck as well.   You can paint it yourself, if you have the art gene.  Or if not, try stencils, they’re not that  hard to do ,  and if you look around online, there are some very pretty ones available. Acrylic paints are a bargain, easy to use and only water clean up. Here are a few shots of this mural to spark your own creative juices. Have some fun, if you don’t like it, paint right over it, it’s no big deal.

You may have noted various different fruit on the same vine, it’s called poetic licence!