frogged designs studio tour

November 24, 2014

I have lots of projects in the making but basically no time to photograph any of them. But I have a couple of pictures that I took after cleaning my ‘studio’ last week. I present you… my sewing room!

Short history of the room:
The room is located in the basement of the apartment building I live in. My grandparents built the building in 1969 and used the room for throwing parties, playing pingpong and it was also my grandpa’s workshop where he would store all his tools and repair things that broke.
When my grandparents moved the room was turned into a storage room for old furniture they didn’t need anymore. Then my mom & uncle inherited the building and stored even more furniture /unwanted broken items in there. Old furniture former tenants left behind? Just throw it in there and forget it even exists.
So after I got rid off all the trash, sold a lot of stuff on the German equivalent of craigslist and donated lots of furniture, I was finally able to remove the wallpaper.
Instead of adding new paper, I decided to simply paint it white. This is what the room looked like with just the primer painted on the bare walls.
IMG_1478 (1)

Isn’t it amazing how much difference white walls make?
I think my parents thought I was nuts when I told them I wanted to renovate the room. Tearing down wallpaper and painting the room white is rather easy, but what to do about the hideous floor??

Also, the room was very dusty and had the typical basement smell. Removing the wallpaper and all the old stuff helped a lot.

What it looks like today:
When you enter the room, you see a door that leads to a tiny room where the old oil tanks are. The house is heated via gas so the room is no longer needed. I plan to add a curtain to cover the door
The couch is Julia’s and it didn’t fit into her room so she conveniently ‘stored’ it in my sewing room 🙂

The entire wall is one big closet that my grandpa built. It’s full of my grandpa’s tools, my grandma’s old coats, my mom’s old toys, cleaning supplies, etc. I was thinking about painting the sliding doors white but it would’ve been too much work because they’re varnished. The ceiling is still on my ‘paint white if I ever end up with a lot of free time on my hand’ list.
The cabinet is the only piece of furniture I left in the room. I didn’t keep it because I think it is pretty but it keeps my packaging supplies dust free. In there I store business cards, envelopes, stamps, tape etc.

There is a big dining room table in the middle that I found in the half-price section at IKEA. It’s super sturdy and perfect as a cutting table.
The green carpet is from one of my mom’s friends. He’s a booth builder and had tons of carpet that I could choose from. When I saw the green I knew that it would be perfect – easy to keep clean, it’s bright and cheerful yet not boring.

The famous IKEA expedit shelf used to be in my bedroom. It hosts (almost) all my fabrics, some sewing books, fabric scraps, etc.

I exchanged the drawer knobs for mismatching ones that I got at anthropology years ago. They were $2 each so it was a rather cheap but very effective makeover.

The room has three windows so there is a decent amount of daylight considering it’s in the basement. Unfortunately, I can’t use the heating because it would be ridiculously expensive because of the size of the room. I have a small electric heater that I use from time to time. Other than that I just wear thick hand knit sweaters and wool slippers and hope I don’t freeze to death 😉
The rocking chair was another great thrift store find – 5€! I want to make a nice cushion for it. One day…
Next to the rocking chair is my desk. My Juki TL 2010 Q is my workhorse that I use 90% of the time.  The Juki HZL F600 is the machine I use for sewing in zippers, zigzagging and it has a very neat quilt guide that I often use for sewing knitting needle cases. The free arm is also very hand for sewing bags. You simply can’t live with just one sewing machine… right?
I found the ‘aim high and dream big’ wall art at a store a couple weeks ago and just had to buy it. Having stuff on the wall makes a room so much more comfortable!

In the middle of my desk I store all the tools I frequently use. Plus the cute alpaca plush my friend Sam made for me. It keeps me company whenever I spend half the night finishing orders 😉
The bulletin board’s main purpose is to cover up lots of wholes in the wall. Eventually I’ll buy more paint to finish painting it. Until then I just pin whatever I find on it. I imagine that it could be useful to keep track of custom orders. I really need to figure out a better system than writing everything onto post it’s and sticking them everywhere…
Last but not least, I have a biiig ikea shelf that my uncle didn’t need anymore. It holds everything from unfinished objects to my entire yarn stash, scrapbooking supplies, a printer I need to fix, a vintage sewing machine, my inventory, etc. Several of the boxes in there are empty but empty boxes are prettier than an empty shelf. I’m considering adding a curtain to the shelf because it looks rather messy. Luckily, dust is not an issue in the basement so the curtain would be for purely aesthetical reasons.

And we’re back at the door. (I still need to return the remaining carpet…) Thank you for reading and I’d love to see your creative space 🙂

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  • Reply The Foggy Knitter November 25, 2014 at 02:00

    What a great room, I love to think of your grandparents having cool 60s parties in there! You could hold classes or a crafting group in there. I love second hand bargains too, especially as I love owning things with a history, that someone else has loved.

    • Reply froggeddesigns November 25, 2014 at 15:02

      Yess I've been dreaming of teaching sewing classes in there. There would definitely be enough space but I don't know anyone who would want to take a class – I usually just teach my friends how to knit/sew for free 😀

  • Reply Tahnee November 25, 2014 at 08:18

    You did an amazing job renovating the room, it looks so cozy and cheerful now. You'd never guess it's a basement from the looks of it. I bet it feels awesome to have a space like that to call your own, where you can let out all of your creative energy.

    • Reply froggeddesigns November 25, 2014 at 15:11

      Thanks Tahnee 🙂 I love being able to make a mess down there and just shutting the door behind it whenever I'm not in the mood to clean up after sewing something. When I used my study desk to sew it took me half an hour to get all the stuff out and put it away afterwards. It's a major time saver to have a dedicated sewing room 🙂

  • Reply Noget Uldent November 25, 2014 at 13:38

    What a lovely post. It's so nice to get an entire tour of your studio, one day I'll have one too. 🙂 right now everything lives under our dining table, which isn't optimal at all.

    • Reply froggeddesigns November 25, 2014 at 15:13

      I hear you – I used to use my study desk to sew, which meant I'd have to clean up every evening and during the stressful part of the semester I wouldn't sew at all because it was too much of a hassle to put away all my study notes and get the sewing stuff out.

  • Reply Sam November 25, 2014 at 23:18

    Hurray! I finally get to see your sewing room! It is amazing – and so big! I'm jealous of your big table in the center of the room. I've found that the table in my sewing room isn't quite big enough – and it's too squished into the corner – for me to cut stuff out in there. I'm far more likely to do my cutting on the living room floor.
    Love to see that alpaca has a happy spot on your sewing desk! He must feel right at home with all the yarn shop business cards 🙂
    It looks like a very creative space. The green carpet was an excellent choice. Also love the anthro knobs.

    p.s. you should cover your bulletin board with fabric!

    • Reply froggeddesigns November 26, 2014 at 07:11

      Thank you, Sam 🙂
      It's awesome and big – the only bad thing about it is the heating situation, especially now that winter comes. The other day it was just above 50° F down there 🙁 But hey, I'm always bundled up in thick sweaters and ironing gives off a lot of heat, too 🙂

      ps: I've been thinking about covering the bulletin board with fabric, too! But I don't have any piece of fabric that is large enough and that I'm willing to sacrifice 🙁

  • Reply andrea November 28, 2014 at 08:18

    Tolles Studio! Da hast du ja richtig viel Platz.

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