This guest room closet had nothing in it so I claimed it. Now an unused closet provides a creative space for writing, journaling, crafting, or whatever artistic endeavor strikes my fancy. And while the spot is small, small is ideal for my needs.
- The room itself is quiet with no distractions.
- If I have a houseguest, I can pull the curtain shut and hide the clutter. Not that craft projects could ever be clutter-y. (But they can.)
- I haven’t done anything permanent. If I need to convert my creative space back to a closet, that’s an easy project, too.
I took a “before” picture, but I can’t find it. You’ll have to use your imagination which is pretty easy considering it really had nothing in it—a rod for hanging clothes and a shelf above, both which are still there. And FYI, my “before” happened way back in September. That’s when I first thought about doing this, moved the desk in, and then didn’t do anything else until last weekend.
Creative Space: Things I Included…
We already had a perfectly sized writing table, so all we had to do was rearrange a bit of furniture. If you plan to buy a desk or table, be sure to measure the space and take the door facing into consideration.
The closet doors in our guest bedroom had already been removed and replaced with curtains. Having curtains instead of doors on my creative space allows me to really access every inch. But I say, use what you have. Doors, curtains, or completely open space. Whatever works.
A wire bulletin board for displaying cards and notes. I bought this at The Junk Ranch a while back and until now, never had a place for it. How perfect is the pig shape? Arkansas Razorbacks and all.
The closet has an overhead light, but I added a fun lamp (which we already had) to provide up close task lighting.
Personal items bring back memories. Like the small terra cotta pot my son made in elementary school. This has been my sentimental pen holder ever since. (He also made the American flag which once upon a time was in my office at the bank.)
I bought this wall mounted file storage system at Office Depot. The brand is See Jane Work. Non-boring office paraphernalia. What a concept. See Jane Work has a blog, and you can order whatever you need online, too. The interesting thing about this particular system is the way the units link together. The top piece is file folder sized for, yes, file folders or other similarly sized items. I added a smaller divided unit for holding pens, cards, scissors, etc. If you had the space, you could link together an entire floor to ceiling system.
Cork Board Squares for pinning things (or taping things). A package of four (6×6) was $5.50 at Office Depot. These come with removable adhesive stickers and won’t harm the walls. I lined mine along the bottom which in my mind provides a decorative border.
Since we didn’t have a mirror in the bedroom, I thought a mirror would be a good idea for overnight guests. Plus, the mirror doubles as a slick board.
The funky vintage suitcase (above) holds my scrapbook paper and other assorted supplies. I’ve had it for years and bought it for pennies on Ebay.
Since I love old photos, I taped some of my favorites all around. Using washi tape won’t add holes to the wall. (As you can see, I can’t be bothered with lining things up or measuring.)
And speaking of washi tape, I strung mine up with a length of ribbon. I can easily access what I need, yet it stays out of the way when real estate is at a premium.
Since last year was a year of book promotion for me, lots of friends and readers gave me cards and artwork and all sorts of mementos which I’ve added to my creative space (or plan to). This is still a work in progress.
I have a surge protector for my Mac, and a comfortable chair for sitting hours on end.
Random craft supplies are hidden away in storage bins underneath the table and up high on the shelf. I’ll probably use the hanging rod eventually in some creative way, but I haven’t yet.
If you have mad carpentry skills, you could add shelving, but like I said, I didn’t want to do anything permanent. (And I don’t have mad carpentry skills.) Painting the interior a fun color or adding a chalkboard painted wall would be cool, too. Maybe later. But for now, this works in a powerful way. Yesterday, I sat down for a few minutes, and the next thing I knew, four hours had passed.
A word (or two) about being creative…
You may be wondering what exactly I plan to “craft” in this space. I don’t make items to sell, and I rarely blog about concrete things I create. Mostly I just write.
A few years ago a writer guy I know told me, “All that blogging you’re doing is a waste of time because you aren’t making money.” Heaven forbid I should doodle or draw or cut and paste, color, journal, do anything that doesn’t make me money. Because money equals success.
Creativity is the root of everything I write. Tapping into my creative brain allows me to sink into a different place while everything else melts away.
These crayons? Take a whiff.
A simple box of crayons can be the key to a flood of memories.
While I’m journaling and doodling and lost with my colored pencils, my mind is churning away, working out the details of my “real writing”—resolving plot line problems, rearranging timelines, putting together the story I want to tell. Dreaming while I’m awake.
And you know those most favorite crayons—the ones that get worn to a nub so short that you eventually unravel the paper and sharpen it, because Momma won’t buy a new box just because blue is nearly used up? Your creativity is never used up. The more you use, the more you have. And the more you have the more you crave.
So what do you think? There’s a whole little world just waiting behind the curtain.
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
– Albert Einstein
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
[tweetthis]How to turn an unused closet into a creative space @seejanework @officedepot #diy #create #craft[/tweetthis]
Alana Davis, Create
Talya Tate Boerner says
Thank you! I think it will be great!
Martha Orlando says
Love, love, love this space you’ve created for your creative muse, Talya! As I read and admired the photos, I kept thinking – Is there a space in my home to make a retreat like this? Not until my son (who moved back in with us this past August) really gets on his feet again and can have a place of his own. In the meantime, though, you have given me some splendid ideas as to how to spruce up the space I do have in our home.
Oh, and the crayons smell great! 🙂
Talya Tate Boerner says
I’m glad I provided you with some inspiration! It was a fun project and I look forward to seeing your space in time.
Love it so much! I would LOVE to do something like this in our guest room. First, would need a bull dozer to clean it out. (BTW…if I turn up missing I’ll try to let you know which nursing home I’m in. (RN has to come and check out the house to set up the dialysis equipment. I’ll prolly be UP till she comes and goes (Friday) just trying to pass muster, so?). Love your creative space! Esp the cute lamp and Hog!
Talya Tate Boerner says
Thank you! Hang in there and maybe get a bulldozer? LOL
Dorothy Johnson says
I love it! Perfect use for that closet. I just might sit at that desk and journal a bit the next time I stay in your guest room!
Talya Tate Boerner says
You can!!! And I hope you do:)