3 WORKSPACES IN 110 SQ FT Reveal: viewing wall space as square footage
After living in a teeny tiny apartment while our second house sold that allowed us to clean the whole place in 30min, actually enjoy our weekends and keep an eye on what the boys were doing at all times, we came to the realization that maybe bigger wasn't better. It was a crazy thought... Our family was growing and we both worked from home. The thought of going 'bigger' was what made the most sense but there was something about that tiny living situation that made life simpler. Made us more relaxed and more intentional not only with each other but with how each space was used.
So 7 months into living tiny in a temporary apartment, we made the decision. We wanted to be more intentional with our time and space so the tiniest house we could find it would be! We started looking and after just a couple of weeks we found it! The smallest house in the neighborhood consisting of 1400 sq ft., 3 bedrooms, 2 baths & a big yard and it was perfect.
We knew one room would be for all of the boys to share, one for Ray & I, and one for work. The smallest room of the house was the one we picked for work, so we knew we'd have to be super creative with the space.
Our needs were B I G for such a small space. We essentially needed 3 workspaces in one room. Our list went as followed:
1. A desk workspace- big enough for 2 people to work out of.
2. A shipping workstation that allowed all of our textile orders to be filled, boxes to be stored and supplies kept.
3. A Sewing worktable big enough to hold at least two sewing machines and comfortably work out of.
4. Storage for current inventory of products & apparel.
5. Garment Racks to hang garments on as well as take to shows & events.
6. Enough room to store furniture used for events.
7. Crazy amount of storage for all of our boxes, fabrics, photo props, shipping supplies, office supplies.
8. Enough room leftover to move and work efficiently- ha!
& ALL IN AN 11X12 ROOM.
Being that it was such a small space, we realized the only way we would be able to meet our needs was to view wall space as actual square footage. If we designed the entire space around the idea that a wall was functional and usable space, our long list of needs could actually be met.
We chose white walls to make the room appear brighter, and decided to stay away from dark colors within color palette to give the sensation it was a bigger space.
Light wood tones + white + copper + silver were the final choices for this space.
Once colors were decided, we moved unto the sewing worktable.
For the worktable we did a DIY one (well, Ray did! ha!) with the following priorities-
1. It would allow fabric to be cut in 1 yd increments.
2. It would be of counter height to allow me to work standing up as well as keep good posture when sewing or
using the serger (goodbye neck aches!).
3. Would provide storage underneath for me to store fabric bolts allowing me to use closet space for other supplies.
He got to work and built me this one:
It provided the counter height I needed as well as underneath storage for fabric bolts-
It gave me enough space to place machines-
And top gave me enough room to cut fabric in 1 yard increments-
We placed it in the very center of the room to allow all sides of table to be used at all times-
& then we were off to the desk.
2 PERSON DESK:
Once worktable was built, we measured the wall that had the window & found a thin, white two person desk that fit ever so perfectly within that nook from IKEA-
& opted for ghost chairs to continue the non cluttered feel-
Priority for desk was that two people would fit comfortably and Ray would be able to come in at any time to get any office work done while I sewed with no problem. He was easy, peasy in his lists of needs and this set up worked out perfectly.
DOCUMENTS & VISUALS:
Then for above the desk, I wanted to have a space that would allow us to place documents and any visuals. We decided on repurposed rebar (literally found at the side of the road!) to help us maximize wall space above desk-
and 8 feet by 4 feet of wall space was now our go-to for our lists, goals, responsibilities and resources.
Inventory forms, fabric samples, To-Do lists & documents to have at hand would go here:
Wooden clothespins held all articles together and helped us continue the flow of natural wood within the space.
& having space above the desk to pin documents & lists up allowed the desk area to stay available for whatever we needed to do at the moment-
Work table and desk were done, so it was time to move unto the shipping station. Shipping has always been our achilles heel as it requires sooooo much stuff & available space, so this design and set up was one we had been dreaming up for years.
Goal here was to work efficiently. We didn't want things tucked away in a closet where we would have to spend time getting it out and putting it back in.
Instead, we wanted to have things available so if an order came in, we could organize it, fill it and package it all within the same place.
Continuing with this "utilizing floor-to-ceiling wall space" idea, we decided the only way we could have a functional shipping station was to design a DIY shelving unit that mostly went UP instead of out. Wall space was key and wall space going up would be very functional for this need.
We made this shelving unit ourselves using shelving boards from our home improvement store and electrical pipe. Make your own here.
The best thing about this shelving is that it only occupied one foot from the wall out, but gave us 9 feet of floor-to-ceiling space to work with.
This is where all shipping supplies would be stocked-
packing slips for orders be placed-
orders be filled-
and boxes packaged, and all without using the worktable or the two person desk space (YAYYYY!).
We wanted each shelf within unit to have individual usable purposes to allow
other work areas to stay clear of all things shipping.
We placed a little wire basket at the end of the shelving unit so that as orders are ready to go out, they can be placed in basket & be taken to the post office-
And designated one shelf of the unit for thread storage and sewing supplies to have at hand-
So shipping station was done, which meant we could move unto extra storage and building portable furniture for events.
GARMENT RACKS / PHOTOGRAPHY DISPLAYS / FURNITURE FOR EVENTS:
Being that we participate in a lot of events that require us to display pieces, take tons of photographs and have additional space to hang products in, Ray built me 2 very thin portable garment racks that would occupy the entire space of the third wall.
The racks would need to be portable so they weren't exactly maximizing wall space as the other pieces attached to the wall did, but what they lacked in being part of wall itself they made up in dimension. They occupied only 9 inches of floor space from the wall out, but gave us 6 feet in height of extra storage to hang pieces, take pictures and maximize the use of that wall.
We used copper pipes from our home improvement store-
& reclaimed wood for the bottom. We placed casters to make them portable, and locked them into place while we had them in this space-
Now three of the four walls were completely usable for very different purposes-
which left us with just one wall left to utilize.
PHOTO PROPS / PRODUCT INVENTORY / EXTRA FABRIC STORAGE:
The fourth wall was our closet wall/main door wall.
Being that most of the wall was taken up by doors, not leaving us with a lot of free wall space, we didn't do a crazy ton with the small bit of that wall. We knew the closet would provide tons of storage so we mainly focused on utilizing the closet space. We did however, manage to maximize a bit of the free space between doors to store photo props from companies we often collaborate with-
and store all props we would need to have at hand.
Then for the inside of the closet, we found these awesome storage bins from IKEA to store all current product inventory and apparel-
Our favorite part about them was how they slid out, which made sorting and filling inventory super easy. Our old bins stacked and it was a pain to unstack all ten just to pull one pair of pants out of one bin.
And that wraps up the fourth and last wall! Hope you enjoyed this little tour of our small work space and maybe become inspired to see your walls as usable space as well! Thank you so much for reading!
Bins for Inventory- IKEA
2 Person Desk- IKEA
Ghost Chairs- Amazon
Wire Basket- Target
Copper Light- Old Target purchase for $80, no longer available :( but find similar in 2Modern
Sewing Desk - DIY Project
Shipping Station Shelving- DIY Project. Make yours here.
Copper Garment Racks- DIY Project Make yours here.