• Monica Montanari

A DIY Dream Craft Corner

I did this all literally two years ago and didn't post it. Here. I'm sorry. LOL!



I think that any creative person can agree- often, we spend so much time creating things for other people that we completely forget ourselves. I don't know. Maybe that's just me. I'm a giver by nature: I'm happiest when I'm making something for someone else. But there's no ignoring the fact that I've been neglecting my own need for quite some time.


When I first started using crafting and creating things as an outlet, I would do all of my work in the kitchen. I liked spending time near my family but at some point, you've got to allow the kitchen to be used for cooking (sigh). So I took over the home office as my craft room- but seeing as I couldn't exactly mix paint with mahogany, I wasn't going to use the desk for fear of destroying it. So for the last- I don't even know how long- I've set up a foldable Lifetime table in the back corner and just squished myself in there.



Not anymore.



The Table


This year, in the midst of all of my quarantine DIYs, I realized that there had to be a better way to do this- so I got to searching. I quickly realized that what I wanted would need to have storage for all of my supplies, be aesthetically pleasing, and also give me a place to sit and work where I wouldn't have to be crouched over. Perusing around Facebook Marketplace, I came across the perfect piece of furniture that someone was selling. Upon further research I found out that I could buy it new, at Ikea.


Y'all... who would have thought that Ikea would charge over $400 for a kitchen island??? Definitely not me. But the usefulness of the Tornviken (at this point I think Ikea just comes up with words to confuse us) was undeniable.



I had it in my cart. I got through the shipping information and was about to press 'Purchase' when I realized that this is an abomination and I never pay full price for anything unless it's designer (and even then, I find stellar discounts most of the time). So I hopped on the good ol' internet and searched for other variations of mobile kitchen islands. There were a ton of cute ideas that were even prettier than the Ikea option, and for way less. Then, suddenly, I came across a company in Los Angeles that makes kitchen islands; and when I DM'ed them (yes, this was on Instagram) about the cost to have one custom made, my draw dropped and I threw down a deposit on the spot.


If I had the time and patience, I probably could have DIYed it with some 2x4s. But it was so cheap to buy it professionally made that I just couldn't justify not buying it.


A few weeks later they let me know that they were beginning the process- so I sent them more specifics. I literally measured from where I sit to where my knees end because I wanted to make sure I'd have enough room to be comfortable. Then I found the storage cubes I planned to use for my supplies, and built the other side around those, too.


The hardest decision was whether to go with white underneath and a stained top, or to do the whole piece with stained wood. Ultimately, I decided that stained wood can always be painted later, but painted wood is a pain to stain. Wherever I move my craft room to next, I wanted to have that option still. So I decided to go with the more rustic, charming, and weathered look of just plain ol' stained wood. I think you'll agree with the cats that it turned out amazing.



Now, the only thing I needed to do was incorporate it into a workspace that any crafty person would dream of.


Seating


I still loved having the couch that was originally in the office. It gives my family and friends somewhere to sit in agonizing boredom while I craft and it's a favorite napping spot for the cats. Plus, it's sentimental to our family (apparently my brother took his first steps while holding onto it and the whisker stains of my parents' first Cockapoos, the dogs, are still on the armrests. I come from a weird family). We rearranged it, albeit, weirdly, to fit in front of the desk to leave the entire area behind the desk open for creativity.


It's an outdated pinky-mauve, so we got the perfect couch cover from Amazon to cover it up and change the aesthetic.


Storage


Originally I had planned on using cubical storage boxes with lids- I found options everywhere from Target to Kohl's. But then, I decided to mix the farmhouse, rustic theme into my storage solutions, and hunted around for lined wire or chicken-wire baskets that would allow me to hide all of my materials in plane sight.


Our Home Away From Home has an image on Pinterest that's been shared thousands of times of their cute craft-room closet turned storage solution. I am so grateful to Maria for sharing the picture of her adorable baskets with the tag still on. Because of that, I was able to Google the baskets and find (5 years later) the same ones at Walmart.com! Only the smaller size was available, but it worked out perfect, and I ordered 6 of them for $30 less than the 4 baskets I was just about to buy off Kohls.com.



If you own 80 gallons of acrylic paint like I do, you'll love the Spinner I bought to organize some of my most common colors (the white piece in the middle of the top shelf).


Décor


This is the fun part.


I decided that no room is complete without a statement piece on the wall- so I came up with the idea of using an old window (thanks, Facebook Marketplace) as the center of the display, and creating two wooden barn windows out of 2x4s which were stained using the same color that the builder used on the table! The matching set turned out perfect and took probably under 30 minutes to create.



Because we had already been on a mission to make a few blanket ladders for my mom and sister, I decided to just do a third one (again, using 2x4s and the same stain) to create a decorative piece for the corner next to the couch- which also doubles as blanket storage in case it gets chilly.



Pillows were the last piece I needed to tie everything together and make my little observation area as comfy as possible- so I picked out some that would tie together the southern rustic theme I had going on, with bolls of cotton decorating them to tie the couch and the décor all together. Then going along with that idea, I found a cotton wreath to give the perfect finishing touch to the window display!



There you have it- I tied the area to the existing office furniture, created a cohesive theme, and gave myself tons of room to create! To protect the top of the wooden surface, I bought a clear mat (like people use for their office chairs) and cut it to size. Now, I can get as much paint on that as I like and don't have to worry about damaging the furniture. When it gets bad, I can just throw it out!


There you have it. I could do an entire separate tutorial on the easy barn windows, so let me know if you'd want to read it. Otherwise, just enjoy the before and after: