Emily Roberts has always been creative and dreamed of a space where she could experiment with all types of craft, so when she moved to her new home in Little Chalfont, Bucks, in 2014, she was thrilled with a little room at the side of the house. ‘It had been used previously as a workshop and store room so was really basic with no furniture, flooring or décor – it was a bit of a mess but I could see huge potential.’ Although lacking style, the room had a sink which would mean she could wash brushes without splashing paint in the kitchen, and lots of light. ‘I do lots of sewing, crafts and also customising furniture, upcycling and DIY too, but have always had to work on the kitchen table. I needed a multi-functional space with masses of storage, a good-sized work area, tool organisation and clear floor space to customise pieces of furniture – it was a lot to ask but a wonderful challenge!’ she smiles.
STEP ONE Emily chose to paint the walls white to keep the room as bright as possible and chose an acrylic eggshell product to be able to clean paint splashes without damaging the surface. The flooring decision however was trickier. ‘Initially I thought ceramic tiles would be good as they’re hard-wearing and easy to clean but decided against it for fear that if I drop anything heavy like my hammer I could crack a tile.’ Emily then discovered Castello Oak from QuickStep – a honeytoned oak engineered flooring. ‘I loved it it was beautiful to look at, warmer to walk on and would just look like old floorboards if they got dents and marks over the years.’ Once laid, the room felt fresh and clean and ready for the next stage. The room already had a sink on a white unit that was in good condition and Emily started looking for some additional storage to match. ‘I went to Ikea and looked around and realised that kitchen units and worktop would be ideal, and I was thrilled when I found a range with a door almost identical to the sink unit. I chose a tall cupboard for power tools and paint rollers as these are practical but not beautiful, and a smaller drawer unit with oak worktop in between. The oak gives a huge space to spread out and leave painted things to dry, and any damage it might get as I work won’t matter because it’s solid wood – I could even drill a hole in it and it wouldn’t harm it in the way that it would laminate!’ she laughs. She fitted the same handles on both old and new units to tie them together and the room was taking shape.
STEP TWO For wall protection and a touch of pretty vintage style, Emily turned her hand to tiling and fitted a splashback. ‘Although the room had to be practical I didn’t want it to feel like I was working in a garage, so I chose gorgeous patterned tiles from Fired Earth to go behind the sink. The cobalt blue is stunning and the pattern disguises splashes so they’re perfect,’ she explains. Next, Emily started to organise the things she uses often so they would be close at hand, and began with her tools. ‘They’ve always been in a muddled box and I could never find anything,’ she laughs, ‘so I bought a metal peg board rack from eBay to hang everything up and sprayed it white. I also made my own screwdriver rack by drilling holes through a piece of timber so all my screwdrivers are lined up and I can grab whatever I need. It’s such a simple solution but I love it!’
STEP THREE The final touches were lots of fun for Emily. ‘I wanted an eclectic vintage feel,’ she explains. ‘I collected vintage tins from car boot sales and used these teamed with old fashionedstyle Kilner jars to store furniture handles, threads and buttons. I keep craft paints in crates and I painted a charity shop stool blue then distressed and waxed it, and made a red ticking curtain to dress the glass door. I loved doing it all myself, creating my perfect space.’ With the room almost complete, Emily treated herself to a statement bin to help her keep tidy. ‘I wanted my room to have character and style and so I bought a gorgeous big red pedal bin that reminds me of a post box,’ she laughs. Finally, Emily framed and hung pages from an old DIY annual she bought for 50p in a car boot sale to brighten the walls. ‘To me, this room is heaven. I have everything right at hand, space to paint furniture that doesn’t affect anyone else and I can leave things out mid-project which is such a treat. It really is wonderful.’
Originally posted 2016-05-16 13:22:16.