Designing the Layout for My Craft Room

My spare room that will eventually be a working office/project room for me is not extremely large. I think it’s around 11X11. Space is not plentiful and I knew that I wanted to have as large of a workspace as possible without closing the room off or making it feel confined. I envision my completed work room to be a clean, efficient, functional space. I don’t want mismatched plastic drawer units, or ugly storage solutions. No plastic tubs etc. I want everything that comes into the room to be useful AND good looking. I had originally thought I would just put a desk in the center of the room facing the door way. (I believe in the feng shui principle that you should never have your back to the door.) Then I wanted to flank the window with mini desks and shelving above. This would create a very symmetrical room with alot of open space. I LOVE SYMMETRY in interior design. However, my desire for more workspace eventually trumped that plan and I decided to go with an L shaped desk. I wanted to be able to open the door of the room and see all the way to the back wall without interruption to keep an “open concept.” Here you can see I played around with painters tape on the floor trying to figure out the dimensions of the desk I wanted to put in there.

and here is my valued helper…

This is Miss Soleil, my helper :)
This is Miss Soleil, my helper 🙂

I have been looking for cabinets for my craft room for over a year and everything I’ve found has been too expensive. I even went so far as to have a company design a “Kitchen” basically, completely decked the room out with upper and lower cabinetry (a crafters dream). All for the low low price of (gulp) $3,000!! lol. Believe it or not, it wasn’t the price that made me not fulfill my dream. My husband refused to let me nail/screw cabinets to a bedroom wall. He (and many others I talked to about it) felt that it would completely devalue our house. They said if I ever wanted to sell it that would be a huge deterrent for any potential buyers because they wouldn’t want to repair drywall and rip everything out etc.

Now, being my stubborn self and having wanted cabinets in a craft room for 15 years I wanted to just say, “TO HELL WITH YOU, I’ll DO WHAT I WANT.” lol, but in the end I’m compromising and have agreed NOT to screw any of the storage items I buy to the wall. We don’t think this will be our forever home so I’m more lenient. Our next house though, I WILL have built in, CUSTOM cabinetry.

After months and months of searching, the most economical storage solution I found were the Malm Dressers from IKEA.

One Choice for Scraproom Storage
One Choice for Scraproom Storage

What I liked about them was that they’re around $80 each and had all drawers. They’re basically plain so I thought I could jazz them up. I found this company, O’verlays who makes decorative pieces you can paint and glue onto IKEA pieces to personalize them and make them more fancy. Like this—

Ikea Malm customized with O'verlays
Ikea Malm customized with O’verlays

Now, don’t get me wrong…I absolutely love the look of O’verlays and highly recommend you check out their site However, I would need 6 overlays and at around $20-25 a piece I would be paying just as much for the O’verlays as I would for the dressers themselves. It seems like too much money to me for cheap particle board dressers.

So, I continued my search. Just recently a Menard’s store was built near my area. Previously, we only had Lowe’s and Home Depot to pick from for big box hardware type stores. I have never been in a Menard’s prior to this week and I have to tell you it has opened up a whole new world of goodies to me!! The slogan, “Save more money at Menard’s” is no joke. I searched the prices of their unfinished oak cabinets and they are LITERALLY close to half the price of the same type of cabinets at Lowe’s and Home Depot. I couldn’t believe it!! Today I went there and bought an 18in wide set of base kitchen cabinet drawers, and a 15in wide set. I have to make another trip to buy another 15in set. It wouldn’t have fit in my car to bring home all of them in one trip. I decided to go with these over the IKEA ones for a few reasons. One, I don’t need to spend a ton of money on O’verylays to decorate them because they don’t have that super “cheap” look as is. Two, the depth of these babies is 24inches, whereas the IKEA ones are only 18 inches. Being that these would be under a desk all of the room behind the drawers would basically be dead space. Deeper drawers, Less dead space. Three, they’re made of actual wood instead of being completely made of particle board. Four, I actually LIKE that they’re unfinished. I had planned on doing something to the IKEA ones anyways and the unfinished wood these are made of will be alot easier to paint on then the laminate finish on the IKEA cabinets. Here are the Menard’s cabinets…

4 drawer unfinished oak cabinet from Menard's @ $75.99
4 drawer unfinished oak cabinet from Menard’s @ $75.99
The 18in version was $79.99

Keep in mind, I’m not a wood worker. I don’t own a saw; I’ve never used a saw etc. So I will be building my own desk for this room by completely winging it. Lol. Here you can see the first snaphoo I have run into after getting them home….(The Height!!)

Compare the height of the table on the left around 29inches high, and the height of the drawer unit, around 36inches high
Compare the height of the table on the left around 29inches high, and the height of the drawer unit, around 36inches high

The bottom of the drawer units has a toe-kick area that isn’t solid so I’m fairly confident it won’t be hard to trim up the bottom a good 5 inches to make them shorter and more of a “desk height” rather than a counter height. We shall see though. I don’t want to do anything to them until I buy the other 15 inch unit so I can do everything all at once. I will keep you posted though!!


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