Mess vs minimalism (Room Makeover in Progress)

The "Cwtch" is one of the smallest rooms in our house and was originally intended to be my husband's edit suite (he's a TV/film editor). Fortunately, it turned out to be much too light (it's the only double-aspect room in the house), and too noisy (downstairs amid the hustle and bustle of family life).  He took a spare bedroom instead and this little room was left without a purpose until I started crafting, when it became a mini 'sitting' room I could peacefully knit in. It contained just a sofa and a few pieces of furniture we didn't want elsewhere.

Back in 2013 I rescued a vintage cocktail cabinet which was sufficient to house my tiny stash. A little while later, when I needed more storage for craft books and yarn, I took part in a £50 room makeover challenge which improved things - I bought a shelf unit with cupboard space. More recently I found a vintage desk that included further book storage. As my requirements have changed I have put a further mish-mash of unsuitable storage in here - but it's never enough as it's not really 'fit for purpose'. What I need is not a sitting room but a small 'studio' space. Space without vintage teak which seems to disperse light - to take clear photos I've had to adapt the end of my desk with a piece of white MDF. It's been driving me crazy and only a constant supply of fresh flowers has kept me going through the winter months.


When yet another box of yarn arrived for design commissions, and there was nowhere to put it, I finally took the plunge and made the 3.5 hour round-trip to IKEA. It turns out that for a couple of hundred pounds it's possible to get a new desk and enough storage to go across one small wall.  A bit more will cover professional assembly.


So I spent most of today removing everything but the sofa, the (almost empty) desk and the dog. With the furniture gone I was able to give the room a proper spring clean and tomorrow someone is coming to put the new things together. Then my real work can begin.

I'm hoping to minimise what comes back, and to make the space feel less cluttered by arranging things more effectively. Tonight - for one night only - I'm trying 'minimalism'*. It's not really my style, but I'm enjoying it for it's novelty value, and if you've read 'A Squash and a Squeeze' you'll know what I mean when I tell you the room is ENORMOUS now!

*Of course, you must understand this only extends to the Cwtch. The rest of the ground floor is covered in flat-packed furniture, boxes of books and yarn, random cupboards and projects in various states of completion. I'm not quite sure how it all fitted in, but I think the room must certainly be bigger on the inside!

13 comments

  1. YOu should have had me to stay for the weekend! I love putting ikea furniture together and do it for the price of a G&T!
    Looking forward to seeing your after pictures.

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    1. Oh man!!!! That would have been way more fun and we could have played "stash the yarn" together. Next time....

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  2. What an interesting read. I'm still drooling over the mere thought of bespoke yarn stash, Sarah. However, to be fair, my total office dedicated to scrapbooking, card making, knitting, crochet and writing (which should not be last on the list).
    The £50 makeover was a fab achievement and I think you'll enjoy it. But I also think a tiny piece of you might miss the vintage items. Maybe? Shirl (aka @sdcrafter on IG)

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    1. Hi Shirley, Hahaha - great list, you're office sounds perfect! I think you are right that I might miss my vintage bits, but I really need more space and my favourite (the cocktail cabinet) is being 'Annie Sloaned' and put in my daughter's room as she loves it too. :)

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  3. What an interesting read. I'm still drooling over the mere thought of bespoke yarn stash, Sarah. However, to be fair, my total office dedicated to scrapbooking, card making, knitting, crochet and writing (which should not be last on the list).
    The £50 makeover was a fab achievement and I think you'll enjoy it. But I also think a tiny piece of you might miss the vintage items. Maybe? Shirl (aka @sdcrafter on IG)

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  4. PS I reviewed A Squash and a Squeeze when I was a children's book reviewer. It's all synchronicity in the small world of the Internet.

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    1. And how about this ... my (knitting) Nanna was called Shirley and my maiden name was Davies - with the 'e'.

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  6. I'm excited for you and can't wait to see what your studio looks like after it's all put together! After my kids both left home, I was able to take the small bedroom and turn it into my craft room (I sew, quilt, crochet, and paint). As most of my sewing and quilting materials are sourced from recycled vintage sheets and curtains and linen and cotton clothing, I need a LOT of storage! I'm so cramped in my workroom that it's not funny! We built a larger shop for my husband who does woodworking a while back. The old 12 foot by 20 foot shop ended up becoming a storage area. Well, we decided to declutter and get rid of all the excess and turn it into a proper workspace for me in the Fall. I can't wait! And, like you, I will invest in some proper storage pieces instead of the makeshift arrangement I am currently using.

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    1. Oh Kim, I hear you - I'm trying to keep to yarn crafts so I don't need to store lots of other things. You must be counting the days!

      The furniture is all in now and I've started the mammoth task of finding a home for everything - I think it may take a few days though!

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  8. Hi everyone - for some reason all the comments are coming through twice - I'm not sure why! If they do, don't worry, I'll delete one and reply to the other. Sarah x

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  9. I may be too late but if not, keep all those sheets of paper that come between every blessed bit in those ikea boxes, I wrapped all our Christmas present in it last year - saved a fortune and felt virtuous at the same time! I'm interested to see your finished results.

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