Quilting Gallery Blog

5 Ways to Improve your Creative Space

Please join me in welcoming today’s guest blogger, Kat from StudioKat Designs. She shares some useful tips on improving your creative space. Kat’s also giving away a copy of her latest pattern, The Quattro – see below for your chance to enter.

I know I’m a pretty lucky girl. A year ago we built a sewing studio under our old sun porch—a room completely devoted to my creative work. Absolutely everything I need, to handle every possible creative and business task is within easy reach. I have Internet access, a TV, a stereo, and best of all, wrap-around windows with a view out on my pastoral backyard, so there’s lots of natural light. It’s quiet and serene and I have never been more productive and creative in my life.

But, it wasn’t always like this. Until last year, I had to fight for my creative space. In fact, in our old house and it was always a hassle getting started on a project. Sometimes it seemed like I spent more time dragging everything out and then packing it all back up when I got done, than I spent working on my project. Ugh. But, I did it and through the years, I actually got pretty good at carving out the creative space I needed and maximizing its potential.

So… whether you’re working with a lot of space or just a little, here’s some tips that might help you:

1. Claim It

Clear a space that’s just for YOU and set up shop. Take a room if you can get it, or a corner of a room, or a closet. Even a table will do. The important thing is that you have a space that you can call your own and feel assured that your family won’t disturb your in-process projects and supplies.

2. Organize It

The smaller your work area, the MORE important it is to be organized. Invest in some good quality storage units so that the amount of time you spend searching for the items you need is minimized, (if they’re cute and easy to look at, so much the better). Nothing can break your creative flow more quickly than having to continuously stop and hunt for the items you need.

3. Personalize It

In addition to being organized, your work area needs to be as visually inspiring as possible. A good way to do this is by adding items that hold emotional significance for you. Photographs are an easy way to personalize your space, as are handmade items, souvenirs etc. Are you inspired by color? Consider adding a small design board so that you can hang fabric swatches, sketches or magazine clippings that you find interesting. Your decorated space should look inviting, and should make you feel relaxed and motivated to work in it.

4. Brighten It

Even if your room is normally bathed in ample natural light, there will be times that you will need to augment it with additional lighting. Appropriate lighting can lift your spirits, that’s for sure, but let’s face it, it’s really hard to maintain energy and forward momentum in a dark dank corner.

5. Green It

Plants are a wonderful way to add energy to a lifeless workspace. Use only living oxygen-generating plants, not lifeless fake ones. This is especially important if your workspace has no windows to the world outside. Bring yourself back to nature by adding some plants to your workspace, and you’ll find yourself enjoying the environment more.

Now go DO It!

Take a moment now to survey your creative space and jot down a few changes you’d like to make. How can you make your workspace even more relaxing, livable and attractive? If cash is tight, set a budget for how much you’d like to spend on personalizing your space. Think about your favorite places to hang out. What is it about those places that make you feel so good? How can you modify your creative space to create a similar feel?

Don’t have the time or resources for a complete workspace makeover? Then just change one little thing each week. Add a photo. Buy a plant. Clean up the junk pile. But most of all, get busy creating!


So how about you?

Do you have a dedicated space for YOUR creative work?

I’d love for you to leave me a comment here and then…

Go to our Blog

And answer the following question about this post for a chance to win our NEWEST PATTERN,
The Quattro in honor of Quilting Gallery!

Quattro purse

What have you done to make YOUR creative space more organized, relaxing or inspirational?

Winner will be announced on Saturday morning, June 18th on the StudioKat Designs blog.

StudioKat Designs offers original handbag patterns and designs so you can create your own unique pieces of “art-to-wear”. And here’s where you can find Kat on the web!

purse

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This post was published on June 15th, 2011. Post topics: Guest Bloggers. Post tags: .

31 Responses to “5 Ways to Improve your Creative Space”

  1. Denise :) says:

    Great post; I love your sewing room — just beautiful! :)

  2. Charlotte says:

    Yes I have my own quilt studio and it’s wonderful!

  3. sophie says:

    I know that writers are sometimes intimidated by the blank page, but in my space, clean, “blank” work surfaces do the opposite for me. An empty work table or design wall seems to invite me to be my most creative and expansive self and focus on the one thing I am working on now.

  4. Love that studio!
    Yes, I do have my very own space (mostly) but it is in a basement with only one very small window, The space is great, more natural light would make it perfect!

    I think being organized is very important no matter what size your space is………..nothing is more frustrating than spending creative time searching for stuff!

  5. Kathie L says:

    I’m also trying to get organized, and in some cases it means giving some fabric away that I don’t ever expect to use.

  6. sylvia says:

    I’m lucky to have a sewing room!

  7. Anne Sidell says:

    Your studio looks wonderful. Oh, to have that much space for one’s very own just to create in!

  8. Thanks so much for all the nice comments about my studio. I still can’t believe I have such a great place to work. I just love it!

  9. Mary says:

    Very good points about the creative space. Thanks for the help. Your studio looks like a fun place.

  10. Pat V. says:

    My quilting studio is our dining room. The majority of the time it is all mine. Unfortunately, my husband wants it to be available for formal dining once or twice a year (what is he THINKING?!) So I have added low bookcases on either side of the china cabinet. I can keep my supplies and projects in easy reach. When the dining times come, I’ll cover them with quilts (what else?) and use them for display or serving areas.

  11. Lee says:

    The second bedroom is my sewing room, & I find I need to re-organize between projects. Guess I like a bit of order. I’m working on a “Dittyroo” right now.

  12. Donna says:

    Yes, I have a space of my own, but it serves many functions including being my sewing space. I have recently cleaned out boxes of quilt show brochures to only keep info about the quilts I exhibited or the ads I placed. Brought it down to one binder and I got a small patch of clear floor. Hard process, but someday…

  13. Tamsyn says:

    I feel truly fortunate to have an entire room for sewing, an entire room all to myself! Yay!

  14. Patti says:

    Thank you so much for all your suggestions. I have only just got my own space. Our last child has left home and I’m having her bedroom. I can’t wait, but shall take heed of your suggestions. Love the bag BTW. Patti xxx

  15. Dee Winter says:

    My space is in our loft, so I can be out of the hustle, but I can still see what’s going on, who’s coming to the door (I can chose not to answer because I lock the door when I go up there). I don’t feel comfortable being away from the action.

  16. Ruth says:

    Sewing space makes a big difference — my greatest challenge is keeping things organized and tidy — all the nooks and crannies have created the dilemma of “I know I have that – where is it?” – but still love having my own space after many years!!

  17. Nancy says:

    I have a designated extra-bedroom for my sewing space. It is roomy with lots of storage space. I feel very fortunate. I love the natural sunlight you get in your room. I think that is the most important thing ~ having adequate lighting. Thanks for all your inspiration!

  18. Judy says:

    Well, I share a room with my honey, so the first thing I would like to change is to move him out of “my” room. If we all close our eyes and cross our fingers, maybe he will get the hint and move his computer and messes to his man cave in the garage where he makes his jewelry.

  19. Mary S says:

    I have two spaces to work. Years ago I made custom drapes. A large cutting table in the basement (sheet of plywood). The other is a bedroom as the girls are out on their own. It does need some organizing, starting, by using up the fabric stash. Enjoy reading SKD “A Work in Progress”

  20. Terry Pevehouse says:

    My room is so cluttered that it’s hard to move around in. You have inspired me to find solutions to my storage problems. Thanks for the suggestions.

  21. Denise says:

    Excellent suggestion that I plan to incorporate into my space today. Thankyou
    For the insightful tips.

  22. rlbates says:

    Yes, I have a dedicated space to work, but no where near as nice as yours!

  23. elle says:

    I luv form more than function so my creative challenge is to make my old master bedroom visually pleasing but efficient. Yellow is my favorite colour but the palest blue is best for lighting and motivation. My tall cutting table is central and bookcases (covered) , desk, and craft counter are around the perimeter. I like to sew standing at the end of the cutting table. I’d luv an east or north window but perhaps a sheer curtain over that west window will diffuse that strong west sun. Thanks for this great post.

  24. Patty says:

    I am not luck enough to have a dedicated craft area. I sew in the front room, and dining room. Some day I will get the upstairs room, but its cold in the winter and hot in the summer.

  25. Cathy Cheney says:

    My space is a small spare bedroom, now turned into my room. It has big windows with natural light. I’ve painted it one of my favorite colors from the blue family. I have plants in the windows, lots of shelving for books and fabrics, a great sewing table……..It’s very peaceful. My cat, Godfrey, loves it too.

  26. Susan says:

    I loved the pictures! Right now my sewing studio is under construction, BUT almost done! Another couple of weeks and I will start moving everything in. Once finished, I will have 2 large closets, 1 dedicated to fabric only. I will also have a large design wall. The only thing I am missing is lots of natural light. The studio is in a remodeled basement & there are only 2 little windows, but the space is large (26ft x 26ft), so I will have space to spread out. The tips on designing a studio are great!

  27. Rosemarie Nettle says:

    After I retired. I needed a space my own for my sewing and embroidery. So, I claimed our seldom used living room as my sewing room. It used to be a spot in the basement but I felt like I was in a dungeon.
    I removed living room furniture and moved in all my sewing machines, cutting table, shelves for fabric. Made curtains out of Loralie sewing ladies fabric which has very bright colors for the one large window that faces the front of my home. I have my computer, tv which I need for background noise. LOL Painted the walls celery and new carpet and I was good to go. I would love to have track lighting but DH drew the line there so have lamps set around and an ott light over my sewing machine.
    I love to make Studio Kat bags as well a quilt. I have just about all of Kat’s bag patterns although I haven’t made them all. Just recently purchased the Quattro pattern.

  28. Rebecca says:

    I need to do a better job of organizing my craft room!

  29. Jan says:

    As usual, you have provided practical food for thought on creating space and organizing that space. I love your studio!

  30. Karyn Ashley-Smith says:

    I’ve recently claimed the majority of the basement. My sewing room moved several times as family members moved in and out….I’m tired of shuffling it around and having to pick up my stuff….so I claimed LOTS of space in the basement! I have about 1/4 of the basement for “wet” crafts (painting, beading, clay, glue — messy messy) and another 1/4 for sewing/quilting! I’m just a few hours away from it being operational….and I have noticed the need for more light!!!

  31. Katina Hronas says:

    I have a dedicated space but outgrow it with every project!! Thanks for all the wonderful ideas!

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