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Sewing Room Reveal

Drum roll, please!

I know that you've waited-and-waited for the big reveal of my mom's sewing room/office, and I'm happy to report that the day has finally come!

I had hoped to get the reveal to you by last Saturday, but had a SheKnows assignment that took up my planned photo editing/project compiling time.  However, I've loaded this post jammed-packed with details on the makeover itself, so I hope you'll find it well worth the wait.

Without further adieu...I give you...the sewing room...room...room...room...room (that's an echo, because everything sounds more dramatic and important with an echo, don't you think?)!

In case you are just joining me on this project, let me start by explaining that this transformation started as my mom's Mother's Day gift a few months back.  I didn't send a card, or put together a gift basket like I usually do (see here, here, and here for gifts past).  Nope.  This year, my gift was my time and ideas, which were used to transform my mom's "dump room" into the sewing room she's always dreamed about.

You can read more about this project's roots here.

In June we officially started making plans for the transformation...and here we are...a few months later seeing what was in our heads come to life. Because of that, I'm very excited to finally be sharing this with each of you, and my only wish is that I could give you all a personal tour.  Photos just don't do justice to the actual space itself.

But sadly, photos and videos are all I have to offer, so here you go...

Since I've yet to purchase a wide-angle lens for my camera, these first few photos were taken with my cell phone.  I apologize that the quality is not that great, but I wanted to show as much of the room as I possibly could.

Don't worry though...I didn't shoot everything with only my cell phone.  Let me show you a few of my favorite shots of the room's up-close details... 

I specifically planned to tuck the computer printer within the wardrobe to leave plenty of open desk space for office tasks.  I also wanted the space to be both beautiful and functional, so I looked for as many items as possible that could serve as organizers and decor.

My favorite things about the room were the small things that added that extra touch.  The mason jar succulents (you'll see more of these within other views) were among my absolute favorites because they were so simple.  Plus, the idea to use the mason jars came as a last-minute decision when I was painting some of the other accessories for the space.

I just love those little ideas that pop up when you least expect them, then make you giddy each time you see the finished product.  It's priceless!

Another favorite of mine was what I call the, "Martha Stewart" moment.  When I saw this owl stationary kit at Home Goods, I just knew that I needed to somehow use them in the space.  It was then that the Martha Stewart inside me came up with the idea to create a little stationary tray that my mom could use to keep thank-you notes close at hand. 

Personally, I think there's a little bit of Martha in all of us...and I only hope that if she ever read this post she would be proud.  Ha!

This porcelain bird that I found at Home Goods made the perfect dish to hold all of those push-pins that my sister and I dipped in paint.  Why did we dip them in paint, you might ask?  Well, because I'm weird like that...and I wanted the push-pins to tie into our color scheme...AND we had extra paint left after we painted the other accessories, so why the heck not?!

You'll see me posting later this week about how to make the awesome bulletin board that you watched me demonstrate in the tour video.  It was really fun to see this piece develop from an idea into the real thing, and I owe a lot to my mom for working her magic on the sewing machine to make this vision come to life!

My mom also sewed the trim at the bottom of each curtain panel, as well as the curtain panels we used to hide all of the storage we packed beneath the cutting tables.  I kept her pretty busy with all of the sewing that we needed, but it all turned out really well.  I just know that if I would have been on the sewing machine myself, you would not be too impressed by what you saw.

Like I mentioned before, I wanted the space to have LOTS of storage, so I found as many ways as I could to bring in storage options.  We used a combination of baskets, boxes, dishes, bins, and sorters throughout the space so that my mom would have plenty of places to stash her sewing and office supplies.

I've named the paintings that you see on the top shelf, The Lazy Paintings because I painted them just a few nights before the final reveal, but I was kicked back in a recliner using a lap tray as my work surface.  I had newspaper covering myself and the sofa to catch any drips, and I'm sure that I looked absolutely ridiculous, but I was too darn tired to care.  If it weren't for my makeup-less face, I'm sure there would have been a photo to accompany this description--but for now, I guess you'll just have to imagine a tired girl painting pictures so that the two extra frames she bought would not be wasted.  Ha!


I told you there would be more of those mason jar succulents showing up later in this post.  I just loved how the vibrant green of the succulents looked against the deep blue of this pitcher, especially when you add in the stems of the baby's breath!  My mom was a bit nervous about having live plants in the room, since many plants that enter her home never make it out alive...but I reassured her when I let her know that succulents required very little water...and that the flower arrangement was silk!

These boxes actually came in a wood finish, but we used Mod Podge to add a decorative paper that fit in with our scheme.  We were a bit rushed while working on these, so they came out a bit more bubbly than I would have liked, but I still thought they were a nice touch against the white surfaces.

You might have noticed that this paper was also used on the tray that is holding the flower arrangement.  That tray was actually a $.99 Savers find



Right by the door I hung a few pieces of art.  The first was a framed print of different sewing maching stitches, and the second was a reformatted version of the Now That I'm Grown Up print I made for my mom's birthday earlier this year.  I figured there wouldn't be a better place in the house to put that print than right here in the sewing room that we worked on together.  The only down-side was that I learned that the mats in the Ikea frames were actually 7.5x9.5 instead of the 8x10 size I had printed the images at, which means I've got to get the images re-printed to the right size someday.

Oh well, for now, they're just a little off...but I still think they look pretty good.

It wasn't my first choice to line the cutting tables with these curtains, but it all came down to needing as much storage space as possible.  With the curtains up, we gained additional storage space beneath the tables.  We packed a shelf-unit, stackable drawers, stackable bins, and my mom's sewing cart (which she can roll out into the room whenever she wants to sew) all beneath the cutting surface.

Speaking of the cutting surface, it was also my original plan to cut 4" of height off of the table legs so that my mom could use those tables for both sewing and cutting...but, the tables were 36" tall, which my mom loved as a height for laying out, measuring, and cutting the fabric for her quilts, so we left the tables 36" high.  She plans to test out the room to see how she likes the function of everything, and they may wind up cutting down the table legs later on pulling out the sewing machine each time starts to become a burden.  If anything changes to the design I will certainly keep you posted.

This artwork was actually inspired by this quilt that I found through the Google search, starburst quilt.  Because my mom loves quilts I just knew that I wanted to use quilt-themed art within the space.  The bulletin board was one way that I incorporated this tie, and this artwork "quilt" was another.

As I toyed with the idea, I tried to think of the best way to mimick the design of the inspiration quilt for the art piece.  I thought about cutting hundreds of chevron shapes out of various types of scrapbooking paper, then piecing it together.  Then I thought about sketching it out and painting each individual chevron into the pattern that I wanted.  You might think that I'm completely bonkers, but I'm no stranger to long, tedious work that brings big results.  Remember the wax paper strands for my chandelier project?  

Yeah...I'm crazy like that!  But not this time.  This time I got the brilliant (and time saving) idea to create the artwork in Google SketchUp, then have the images printed at Kinkos.  Worked like a charm!

At first I wanted to print nine separate segments to create a very large-scale piece that looked like an actual quilt...but then I found out that the price tag for that would be over $200!  Needless to say, that idea got nixed and we went with four segments instead.  

Originally I planned to use more open shelving in this corner, along with a fold-out table for an additional work surface, but instead we decided to use some open-cube storage that my mom already had on hand.  In the long run, I think she will wind up with more usuable storage this way, so it worked out to our advantage. 

The only down-side were the cube-inserts themselves.  Believe-it-or-not, these cubes are actually labeled as "gray" on the packaging...but is it just me, or do they look a little on the brown side?  Oh well, they're functional and close enough!

My favorite part about this side of the room is, of course, the vintage chair that I found on Etsy.  Doesn't it look perfect?  I still believe that it was just meant to be.


Whew!  This is a really long post!  It's hard to summarize something that you've been working on for so long, so I hope that I covered the details you were looking for.  If I missed anything, please leave me a comment with your questions and I'll be happy to elaborate further.  In the upcomming days I'll also be posting additional details about some of the projects we covered throughout the transformation, so be sure to check back in to catch all of the details!

I hope you enjoyed seeing this room transform!  Is anyone else working on a makeover project?  Let's hear about it!  



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Reader Comments (4)

WOW! What an amazing transformation! I really can't believe how much storage is in that room, it just kept coming! This is such a sweet gift that you gave your mother. And I think it's lovely that you were able to work in it with your mom and sister (and other helpers).
I'm looking forward to the post about how you made the bulletin board. Also, where exactly does she store her sewing machine?
The storage is so impressive, but I think I love the little touches the most. Succulents, quilt art, Martha inspired cards, dipped push pins...wonderful!

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNichole

Thanks Nicole!

I hope it was worth the wait. I've never been so worried about getting a post "right" as I was with this one! Haha! I love the little touches too. I think they are what makes the room more than just a room.

In answer to your question, the sewing machine is actually tucked underneath the cutting table on the side by the vintage chair. The original plan was to cut down the tables from 36" to 32" tall so that they could be used for both sewing and cutting, but my mom had already purchased a sewing table/cart thingy (you can see part of it in the bottom right-hand corner of the before pics in the Start-to-Finish slide show...it's the white table looking thing with the measurement grid lines on it), so I didn't want her to be out the money with that. Plus, my mom really liked the 36" height for cutting, so we went back-and-forth a bit when I told her I wanted to cut down the tables. Obviously, she won that one, haha!

To sew, she basically will roll the cart out into the area in front of the cubby shelves. She said she would try it out and see how it works, and if it's too much of a bother they will wind up cutting the tables down to the 32" height so she can sew there instead. We'll see what she winds up doing, huh?

Thanks for checking in!

xo, Kelli

August 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterAHPCH


You did a great job! And so did everyone else that helped. I would so love a space like this for myself but until we remodel it ain't gonna happen, ya know?


August 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

Thanks Maureen!

I'm with you on that. By the end of the week I was actually jealous that the room wasn't mine...but now I'm fired up to get busy with some spaces in my own place. My budget means that I'll be moving at a much slower pace though. Ha!

xo, Kelli

August 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterAHPCH

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