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!


Your office space is wonderful and I love the wall color and the gingham curtains. You've inspired me to start work TODAY on my sewing/laundry space. I don't want to sew in there because it is too messy right now. Enjoy your summer!

Looks so lovely! I'm glad to see you put the island on "risers" . . . those risers are a lifesaver/backsaver!

Michelle says: June 28, 2019 at 06:23 AM

Your space looks lovely and warm and inviting. It must be a real pleasure to just be there. You have a great decorating/organizing touch. It's in the details - who would have thought to hang a potted plant from the curtain rod? Not me . . . so, I am appreciating it so very much. I am in the process of turning my son's vacated room into my space. I've purchased a desk, bookcase, and credenza type "thing" Wayfair (I think), am waiting for carpeting to be installed before moving my sewing machine, quilting fabrics, crafting type stuff, yarn, & books there. But I am in love with your details, which really takes a spot to a special place and warm it all up. Plus being in my son's room - even though it's being redone - will make me think of his younger years spent in his room while growing up (he's only been married & gone for 2 1/2 yrs and was away at college prior to that, but I miss his presence in our home). Thank you for such lovely inspiration. Enjoy your wonderfully re-organized and renewed space!

This is wonderful, and exactly the inspiration I need to get my ass in gear and get my craft room organized so I can actually USE it. Thank you!

It looks beautiful! Having a pretty and tidy space to work makes everything so much better!

Beautiful AND functional - a win-win combination! May your days in there be fun and inspiring. xoxo

Janette Thompson says: June 28, 2019 at 06:57 AM

So lovely! I love your esthetic sense – ordered and peaceful. But I also chuckle, and feel a bit relieved, when I see some chaos in your home (Amelia's "stuff" in the previous post and your tales of (gulp) permanent markers). I have this vision that lovely homes of others are always in order and it warms my heart to see that I'm not alone in the "OMG – how did this explosion of child things (and me just plopping thing here and there) happen in what seems like a moment?!?" The best kind of mess and it's good to know we're not alone. Thanks for showing the best of your material life and also for including the out of control moments. Enjoy your "fresh" space. Whenever I (finally) tidy/regroup an area – especially my pantry, which seems to get out of control so easily – I keep sneaking visits to it – just to look and enjoy. Love your thrifted buys too – some of the nicest things in my home were thrifted. It makes me happy to give them a new, valued life.

It's tidy and organized....and it's not really YOU. I'm not a fan of the paint color. I agree with Cynthia - it's boring. I've read every single post of your blog but if I saw this picture somewhere else I wouldn't believe it if someone said this was your room. Sorry for the negative comment. It's your room, so if you are happy, then that's all that really matters.

Janette Thompson says: June 28, 2019 at 08:37 AM

I just have to respond to the couple negative comments. I truly think your room is lovely and is in no way bland – any neutrality is a great backdrop to the designs you work on and will work on. The depth of light and shadows and of the baskets, yarn displayed, etc are enhanced by the beautiful, neutral background you have chosen. It is to me a wonderfully welcoming spot – a fresh, neutral space to let your creativity soar. ❤️ Enjoy every moment in your special space.

Carline Anthony says: June 28, 2019 at 08:42 AM

I am so inspired! Your studio is amazing. As I sit here in my messy one wondering what I could do to make it better. Thanks so much for sharing.

Your newly refreshed room is lovely and perfect for you, but it would not be for me! I like things a little more eclectic and having many pops of color in my sewing/crafts/dreaming room. But that is what is great. We all have different ways of being inspired. I remind my family that I only have to please myself in my own special room.

Lori Daly says: June 28, 2019 at 10:53 AM

Thoughts on the new Ravelry policy that bans all support for our president and further states that "Support of the Trump administration undeniably supports for white supremacy." Is it fair for a site to say if you support our president than you are undeniably supporting white supremacy? That's a pretty bold assumption about a lot of people who just want to craft. You were one of the first people I thought of when I read this new policy. Not sure why. I don't assume you are a Trump supporter and I don't care either way, but I was curious what you thought about such a big company/site making such a general sweeping assumption about their users.

I love the idea of a house “growing up”. That’s what I say ours just did as we have been remodeling all year. Growing with the needs of the people within it to make more sense for the way we live. We take care of the house and the house takes care of us. Lovely, I think.
I was astounded when you redecorated last time; how could you think of changing such a darling room? But I get it now. It’s just growing up. Like a child from babyhood to preschool and then high school. Each phase is wonderful but no matter how much we loved the beauty of the prior phase, we can’t keep it that way forever. And we shouldn’t try.
So, all this to say, I love your space. I’ve enjoyed watching it grow, and I appreciate the little window into your world. I feel like we’re old friends, and I can remember the passing of my years by the stages of your projects, house, and family. I hope you get what I mean. Thank you for it all.
And rest all you like for now. But I really do like that nursery room cross stitch design. I hope I’ll see it again. But if not, there will be something else to appreciate.

I love this! I love seeing pictures of others' creative spaces. makes me want to clean out and freshen up my sewing room!

I love it! I so appreciate what you said about your life being pretty chaotic at times and needing a calm, tidy space because that is exactly where I am in my life right now. Normally a color junkie, I am finding myself craving calmer spaces and have been on a mission to reorganize. Last weekend I tackled our master bedroom and it feels infinitely better. Now I just need to paint! I’m in the middle of cleaning out and hosing down our extra bedroom, which has suffered from having too many purposes all at one time: guest room, office, sewing room, my closet, etc. It’s also quite small. Your office redo has given me some wonderful ideas. For one thing, the lighter, more neutral paint color paired with gingham curtains— so inviting and the colors don’t gobble up the space. Very clean yet cozy. Your cute little lamp and those great thrift chair finds - love it when that happens! I also love what you said about function and purpose with regard to shelving. I have “piling” tendencies so I already know I need to limit open shelving to the pretty stuff as you have. Anyway, I hope you have many, many happy hours in your new office. It’s a winner in my book, thank you for sharing the pictures and specifics. Happy weekend!'s certainly tidy!

Holy cow. That was 9 years ago that you re-did that room? Are you kidding me? No wonder I feel like we're old friends. We ARE!

Sandra Bernard says: June 28, 2019 at 03:04 PM

Beautiful, lovely space. This is inspiring me to clean up my sewing room!

Alicia, I can’t thank you enough for sharing your wonderful room re-do with us. I am absolutely the least crafty person on the planet, yet I can’t get enough of the storage and the inspirational spaces you have created. If it were my room, I would just sit in there and basque in the glory of the space and maybe, just maybe, I would find that I did have the courage to make something.

In one word, WOW!
So thoughtfully organized and down right stunning!
Any maker from here to beyond would love to create in your studio.
Well done you!

Valicia Linn says: June 28, 2019 at 08:54 PM

We are our own worse critics !!! The whole thing is absolutely gorgeous and outstanding. Great job.. Always love your posts

It's beautiful. I love the colours, the serenity, the gingham. There is *one* small detail I'm not keen on (not that you're asking or care, just from my over-developed eye for "jarr"! and that's those black boots on the legs of the table. I don't know if they're fixed, or if you have to have them for a practical reason but if it were me, those black boots would have to be spray painted (ivory or pale gold or beige), covered (patterned sticky back plastic or glued fabric) or gone :-) Black functionality looks harsh in such an otherwise peaceful palette. It looks a wonderful practical space to work in though and I can see that you would have a place for everything and everything to hand. I hope you have many happy hours crafting, creating, dreaming and planning in your beautiful new room! XO

Sooo glad you shared this wonderful craft/office room! It's gorgeous and I love the soft, restful colors and how you organized it! A space for everything and everything in it's space! I love the idea that fabric etc. is put in cabinets so they don't get dusty. I need to organize my sewing room, but I have no idea where to begin or where to put things. Can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve with your dolls!

Love it! Absolutely love it! The colors are perfect! there is organization and the light looks great. Wonder where you got such a cute calendar. Look forward to hear more about the dolls. Thank you for sharing and Many blessings!

Kathleen says: June 29, 2019 at 12:15 PM

When I was poor poor poor I found a beautiful soft grey/ pink sofa and loveseat at a garage sale. I got it home and was so proud. I had a visitor. My young child picked up a pointed scissors and stabbed a cushion and cut in one single second.

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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.