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Solutions: Craft room lets friends enjoy hobbies

Jeanine Matlow
Special to The Detroit News

Having a designated space to get creative is a definite perk. Just ask Nancy Weightman, who created the ultimate craft room in the basement of her Clarkston home that recently sold.

Weightman, who is organized by nature, started out with two long tables in the space that was previously two rooms. Then her sister gave her a pair of bar-height workstations that had been custom made by Trio Lumber Co. in Taylor. Although her sister opted not to keep the workstations when moving out of state, Weightman plans to reuse them in her next residence.

Since each area can seat up to four people, as many as eight can work on craft projects together. The countertops, which Weightman says are like Formica, are extremely durable, while bar-height tables suit this type of space. “We often end up standing,” she says.

She often held scrapbooking parties in her Clarkston home. “I had frequent get-togethers with my sisters and nieces,” she says. “We called them ‘Weightman’s Weekenders.’”

Energizing green walls and comfy carpet underfoot make the space feel welcoming. Track lighting appears throughout along with individual spotlights near the cutting stations.

In addition to the workstations that were made for craft activities and supplies, other pieces were added to the mix, like a small wicker dresser from a bedroom set. Most of the storage came from places like Michael’s.

The fact that the space in the basement used to be two rooms left Weightman with a door that’s no longer needed for access, so she gave the upper portion a new purpose with wrapping paper on tension rods secured on the door jambs. “I had seen that idea somewhere and borrowed it,” she says.

There are plenty of ideas to be borrowed from her well-arranged craft room. “Don’t overbuy, which is what I did,” says Weightman. She says you should start with being organized when creating this type of space. For instance, she separates solid papers from prints and stores them together in one spot, while scrapbook letters are kept in another area. “Have a plan of what you have and how you can best organize it,” she says.

Different zones are arranged by activity. “We like to do multiple things like stamping, cardmaking and scrapbooking, so I organized them into three different sections,” says Weightman.

A combination of open and closed storage suits this type of setting, while personal touches like the decorative letters on the wall that spell “FUN” make it an inviting place to stay. “I wanted the space to be cozy and comfortable and reflect us,” she says. “I wanted to make it kind of whimsical and a comfortable place to be creative.”

Perhaps her best advice is to share your hobby room with others. “We had so many happy memories of time spent there,” says Weightman. “We had so much fun doing it together.”

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at jeaninematlow@earthlink.net.