Studio Re-Do 2019

comments: 81


Look how cleeeeeean! I feel proud!



We repainted, got new curtains, new office chairs, more baskets, and labels. What do you think?



Pretty much all of the major pieces in here are exactly the same as they were in 2010 when we did a major overhaul of this room, and got new flooring (it had been concrete with carpet on it before) and new furniture. (All of the details about the furniture and that 2010 redo are in this post, FYI.) Almost everything about that original set-up still works pretty great, I have to say; either that or we're just so used it we don't know the difference. But we kept everything exactly where it was and just added a few more things, including the shelfy thing on my table (which, as I mentioned last time I found at Goodwill), and a lot more door inserts and more baskets for the Expedit shelf (the new version of which is called the Kallax — the baskets and inserts all still fit the Expedit). What didn't work great about the old set-up was trying to keep the open shelving that we used to have tidy when it's primary purpose was entirely functional. It got really messy, and I found I just started sticking things in there right and left, no matter what it looked like — if there was an empty space, I filled it with something. The shelves were not organized intuitively — you basically had to be me in order to find anything. And even I couldn't always find everything. So this time my only major functional change was that I wanted no open shelving in the Expedit wall.

For the paint color I finally settle on Benjamin Moore Touch of Gray and, although it's a bit lighter than colors I usually pick, I really like it. I really wanted something clean and pretty that would make all of the warm wood and golden basket colors pop. And I think this does that.


So I bought more baskets, more doors (I covered the old red doors with wallpaper and double-sided tape), and some boxy things (though my favorite ones, the white linen boxes with the built-in oval label holders are naturally discontinued). I also bought these label holders and attached them to the baskets with long brads. The color of the brads didn't exactly match the label holders, but I didn't care. It's working nicely. You wouldn't believe how much stuff is on that shelf in general. We store everything from all of our kits and embroidery stuff that we sell on the web site, to my labeling materials for lotion bars and apothecary stuff, to office supplies, to yarn and fabric and floss and all of the work and designs in progress. Receipts, binders of information, sample binders from suppliers, our scale, paper and shipping labels, I don't even know what else. It's a lot of stuff. Every inch of this wall of shelving is used. This is not only a creative studio but our "warehouse" and shipping station, as well. In the kitchen island we store paper, office supplies, ink cartridges, odds and ends. On the other side are jars of sewing notions and baskets for lotion bars. I got my logo printed on a board from here.


This computer is our shipping computer and it is where we print all of the labels for all of the shipping we do. It's attached to a laser printer and a little Bose stereo so it sounds really good. We listen to Pandora through it, and Amelia also sits here with all of her drawing and painting and paper-cutting supplies and watches her shows. I got this little gingham chair at Goodwill for $25 but it was originally from Ikea and seems like it has never been used. Amelia drew all over my last chair (and all over the desk [tip: got the marker off the desk with nail polish remover] and the wall) and she has promised that that was just baby stuff and she "doesn't really know how that happened" and won't do it again (even though apparently she didn't actually do it in the first place, etc.?) so fingers crossed about that. A few mom friends and I were talking the other day about some of the kid-things you think are behind you when suddenly they decide they're going to start doing them again, like the other day at the park when my friend's kid suddenly took off like a shot and started running straight down the hill (out of sight) because (we later found out) he "saw a dog down there." The park is on a hill pretty deep in the woods so there are very few cars and he stayed off of the road the whole time, but still it was like . . . seriously??? Mama went sprinting down the hill after him. You think with five-, six-, and seven-year-olds some of that stuff is in the past but then they surprise you. We have a LOT of permanent markers in our house, so . . . I remain on alert.

Anyway, above the computer is my "pretty" shelving — oh, and that's new, too (from Pottery Barn on sale; not sure what it was called or if they still have it). I wanted these shelves to be purely for display and they make me feel very happy and fancy. I also re-covered my bulletin board but haven't really put any stuff back up on it yet. The Posie sign on it is from fifteen years ago when I used to own my little shop on Burnside.


Across from that is my table, with my laptop and my sewing machine and my new little television. I got that little lamp at Monticello Antique Mall and it is so sweet — it also seemed like it had never been used! I got the curtains on eBay from here. All of these curtains are a bit fussy, I know, but for now I do like them. They warm up the light in here, and I struggle with the light in here.


By the way, beyond the French doors is Andy's office, which still basically looks like it did when we fancied it up a few years ago except that his desk is totally messy now. I store yarn and apothecary stuff in the brown cabinets, and fabric and art supplies and overstock products and shipping supplies in the white cabinets. And I moved all of my folded fabric scraps on top of those cabinets (not pictured).


It's kind of hard to take pictures in here because it's a small space and I don't have the right camera lens for shooting interiors. All of the lines look so distorted, even though I do try to fuss with them in Photoshop (do you know how to do that? Go to Filter/Lens Correction/Custom). I think you can get the general idea, though.



So . . . yeah! I think that's everything.


By the way, now that my office is all cleaned up I am working on my dolls and I will tell you about them soon. I was going to do that nursery-rhyme cross-stitch that I designed several weeks ago but I was literally making so many mistakes on it every time I worked on it I had to put it aside. I feel like I am starting to get my feet back under me, and it's kind of amazing how having a tidy space helps so much with that. I feel like this version of the studio fits me so well right now, both aesthetically and functionally. My life can be pretty chaotic, and I needed this space to be anything but that. I'm so grateful I have a place like this. I was just sitting there looking at it the other day and wondering what sixteen-year-old me would've thought of this room and I think she would've been completely amazed that this was in her future. Thank you for indulging me by checking it out and if you have any questions let me know and I will try to answer them!


Thank you so much for sharing this. I needed this little trip into your sweet, clean studio- a total escape from the minor chaos of my daily life right now. I'm on a diet that's not working, I have to pack for a trip and nothing's ready, I have headaches that won't go away (probably related to the diet). So to come on here and look at your pictures and read your words about the studio redo was completely cathartic, a much-needed break, a breath of fresh air! I always love reading your blog.

Marie Bailey says: June 27, 2019 at 12:06 PM

Beautiful room.

So inspiring. I need to tackle my crafty hole and I can tell from your photos that just lightening up the paint colour would do wonders.

It's beautiful! How do you always pick such perfect paint colors?! Best wishes to you for many happy, productive and day-dreamy days in there.

I actually GOL'd (Gasped Out Loud). It's beautiful, and the amazing work you do deserves such a special, functional and good-lookin' space. Well done!

this is salve for my chaotic soul. truly the best. It looks functional and beautiful. william Morris would be proud.

Hi! Love the new look but I think I will always associate blush and turquoise colors with you.

On another note, I used the portrait artist you recommended and I am thrilled with the piece. If you use Instagram, pop over a take a look. My handle is asiyah43.

Can’t wait to see what goodies you will have for purchase soon. I loved the woodland animals and ornaments from years ago.

Your studio looks amazing! Cute and organized.

Spike Selby says: June 27, 2019 at 01:58 PM

It looks so nice! Thanks for sharing.

Noooooooo! Oh I feel so sad. I'm delighted you like it and I hope you have many, many enjoyable and inspired hours working away in here.

I'm no longer jealous of your space. I've coveted many areas of your lovely home for years and years. I totally understand the need to refresh things. But what a snoooooze fest. Nothing pops, it's all neutral. Blah boring.... I would never create another thing, I'd just want to go take a nap.

I know some folks will beat me to a pulp for saying what I think. They will call me mean and negative and perhaps I am. Oh well. What I think won't change a thing but you sincerely asked what we think and I sincerely think this is the biggest downer I've seen in some time for a craft room. As an artist I just can't get behind this.

There's no LIFE. Just oatmeal. Even oatmeal could use some red strawberries or blueberries...

This room looks so inviting, charming and tidy. Lots of creative ideas to store your stuff, good use of all the baskets.
What I like most about this post is you wrote captions under your photos.
So many times the photos are lumped together and the words follow, it is hard to know what you are referring to when it is shown that way. This format is great, I do hope you will do this all the time.
Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer Norman says: June 27, 2019 at 02:53 PM

It is soooooooooooooo WONDERFUL!!!!! I absolutely love your decorating style and I have coveted your blog for years, whenever I'm in a low mood, I just come over here to look at pictures of your home and it makes me feel so warm and cozy and happy, and this room does the same. It does not disappoint!!! Enjoy many, many years in this dreamy room! I am so glad I found you years ago! :)

WOW, this room looks great, warm and cozy. Please come to my house and do my 'craft' room.

OMIGOLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Alright alright alrighhhhhhhht as Matthew McConaughey would say ha ha ha! I'm going to be referencing back to this for a LONG TIME until I get my act together! It's all so clean and organized and so soothing and serene. As per usual, you've knocked it out of the park! ADORE. Let me share my sad tale of woe: MY set up is on our dining room table that we never use - (we eat at our kitchen table in the kitchen) - so I've basically turned our giant dining room table (mega splurge item from Room & Board) into my box assembly line station. And even though I have some drawers and stuff upstairs in our guest room, my labels and tissue and boxes are all just sitting on the floor under this dining table. IF ONLY I had a dedicated room to doing my boxes!! BUT WAIT...I DO! And guess what - my CATS USE IT. As in, it's called The Cat Room, because that's the only place we have for our litter box and we have to lock the cats in the room at night because one of my cats will eat fabric if she wanders around at night. NO JOKE. So basically we have this totally awesome spare room with great light that I could use for photography, or for my boxes....AND IT'S THE CAT ROOM. And on that to vacuum the cat litter in there. AAAAAAAGH.

Alicia, it's just perfect. And who could ever have enough baskets or labels? I was just thinking about gingham curtains for my kitchen window. I's there something so classic and homey about them? Your room is more organized than mine could ever be and I'm sure having space for your eye to rest will cause your creativity to soar even more! Love it all!

Oh, I love these photos And being in that space- for real! Such a happy space to just be. And I love to think of you all in that space- working, creating, thinking, drawing, talking, just being there! It’s a magicical space for sure! Thank you for sharing 💜🌸💜🌸

I love it. :) And I should add that you were the inspiration for us to get gingham curtains when we moved into a house with aging blinds while expecting a little person just a few months younger (April 2013) than Amelia. :)

Now I think I have to copy the idea of having a few pretty skeins of yarn out on display instead of in ziploc bags in a Bolga basket or drawer. As always, thank you for the ideas!

I’m so excited for you and I can’t wait to see what you create now. I so want to clear out my clutter Now especially since I looked at your 2010 post, what a difference organizing the shelves to clear up the clutter makes.

What a fabulous tour - love, love, love it. Everything is so pretty and functional.
Thanks for sharing : )

It looks delightful. Also clean and finished, unlike mine... I am basically waiting for us to figure out the custom bookshelf that goes under the stairs to be made. Then I could move books there and free room for actual craft supplies!

Fantastic - I love it. My husband built a cutting table for me a few weeks ago but I still have to think about storage solutions for my yarns and fabrics. I think I got some great ideas from your room makeover.

I love your new room! I am working on my 'sewing' room also and It is in a spare bedroom with 70's paneling. I've finally decided to paint those walls and am waiting on the painter to come in July. I too, also went to IKEA for some storage cabinets and a table. Meanwhile I have an old table that was my Mom's I wanted to include and I got bed risers to raise it to a counter top height. Is that what you used for your island? Thank you for the inspiration!

Lynn Marie says: June 28, 2019 at 05:13 AM

I totally LOVE your new space. And the CLEAN is so inspiring isnt it? My sewing room is in constant disarray---all the projects in progress--no time to do any of them--stuff thrown in there to get it out of the way but when it is clean even my brain is uncluttered. ☺ And the neutral-ness (word?) of your color palette and furnishings keeps your mind calm and the project becomes the focus for your brain and your eye. Happy Studio-ing. I cannot wait to see what comes out of it! ☺

Your space looks so inviting! I also really loved when you did the room over in blue. I have burgundy gingham curtains in my kitchen & laundry room rather than using shades and I love the coziness and privacy they offer. I notice your cute corgi in a basket under your old desk. How is she and your cat these days? We don't see too much of them on your posts lately! Thx for sharing with us!

So gorgeous!! There are no words good enough to describe what I think of that wonderful new space!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.