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Thread: Living room as studio

  1. #26
    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnnieSue View Post
    DH and I have decided to arrange our house the way we use our house. That means moving the sewing and quilting machines from the lower level to the living room where all the space and light are. We were only using the living room furniture 4-5 times a year, so we moved our 'gathering space' to the lower level and we'll make it cozy for gathering. We'll see how this goes for a while. Has this worked for anyone else?
    We inherited our house. When we moved into our house, it had a formal living room/dining room area (almost as large as our master) and I was in one of the bedrooms that was set up as a TV room (no door and a 1/2 wall). However, we don't entertain in a formal manner and I wanted a LA, so we decided it made sense to move me into that area and DH took over my old space. We do have an eating area off the kitchen that has space for a large dining room table (which my MIL brought when she moved in) and a Nevada room that we use as our living room.

    In the former LR/DR, I have my desk with computer, a sewing area (used our old dining room table), cutting table (bought a clearance dining table and added wood risers to get the proper height), a CD cabinet with sliding doors that I use for thread storage, 2 cubby cabinets, my ironing board, my LA with 12 foot table, and of course, my stash. I would love to put in cabinets, but they would cost. My only regret is that the area is wide open to the rest of the house with no way to shut it off. Otherwise, it's a great space, especially since there are a lot of windows.

    Go forward and enjoy!

  2. #27
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    I have a sewing room set up with ironing and cutting tables. The closet has drawers for fabric and I hang my rulers and templates on the all behind the closet door. My sewing machine is in there too, except when I am actually sewing. Then it is in the living room. I have a specially made sewing table for my machine. It is great and was made by my DH. I keep it on sliders for moving furniture so I can easily slide it from room to room. At first, I was the one who didn't want to "mess up" the living room with "my stuff." My DH told me is our house ad we can use it any way we want to use it. I no longer worry about it. I enjoy being in a bigger room when I spend hours sewing. So, it is your house. Use it any way you want to use it.

  3. #28
    Super Member annieshane's Avatar
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    I am really trying to decide to move my things around. We have a formal dining which is actually the former living room. Our den is huge and would make a wonderful studio. It has concrete floor with beautiful laminate/vinyl flooring and lots of natural light and fireplace. All my sewing and long arm is in the single garage. All electrical outlets on one wall so extension cords are a nightmare. I do love my dining room but use it mostly for holidays and occasionally for birthday. Then I go back to the garage/sewing room and look at all the things along the wall and cringe at thought of moving all that mess. I have been thinking of doing away with formal dining and moving the den into the now dining room. Your comments of relocating just the long arm are also very interesting. I have so many wonderful memories in my large rooms of times when my expanded family was very large. We had room for everyone in den and dining room. Yet when just my husband and i are here we live in half the den and pass through the dining room to the coat closet. My DH says whatever I want to do is ok with him. He is wonderful!!!



    E former
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  4. #29
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    we were not using our front room so I turned it into an awesome quilt studio. Love it! We have a family room also. All on same level. I try to keep the quilt studio cleaned up but you all know what a challenge that is.

  5. #30
    Super Member CookyIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kris P View Post
    I can see the convenience of having all your stuff on one level, just be sure you're not going to completely stop using the stairs. My dad, age 71, intentionally uses the restroom in the basement to be sure that he continues to get the exercise from using the stairs several times a day. His father retired at age 70, and quickly stopped doing much beyond moving from the bed, to the recliner, to the kitchen table, and so on. Soon enough, he couldn't do much more than that without being exhausted from the effort. I remember him coming to the basement once in his mid 90's to watch the grand-kids play ping pong. We all about fell over because we were so worried that he would... fall over, from the exertion.
    Your dad's a smart cooky! What a simple way to keep his legs in shape, and frankly, I'm not sure I ever would have thought to do that in the same situation.

  6. #31
    Senior Member mary705's Avatar
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    I sew at my dining room table, have my cutting table in the LR, ironing board behind my computer desk. Fabric is stored in some cabinets and plastic bins in my DH computer room and a closet in LR. I also have another cutting table in what was my sons room (he moved up north and my dog took over the bed). If we have company for a meal my machine is easy to just move off of the table.

  7. #32
    Super Member wraez's Avatar
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    Yes, do what works for YOU!

    I'm a messy quilter and have a messy sewing room, a very large room where I have a 4ftx8ft sewing table, love it BUT I hate not being downstairs with hubby in evenings when he relaxes and watches tv. So, I watch tv with him and do not sew. My sewing machine is very heavy and it sits in my sewing table, removing it, carry it down and up the stairs is no fun. Wish I had a featherweight so that I could sew at the dining table that looks into the family room ... I would get so much more quilting done AND spend time 'near' hubby.
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  8. #33
    Senior Member chaskaquilter's Avatar
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    I am fortunate that my condo has a spare bedroom that is my quilting studio. But if I had to use my living room for quilting, I sure would. And if it is messy if someone comes over, that's OK too. Quilting has gotten me through some tragic times in my life and it will fit into my life any way I want it to. I grew up in a home where everything had to be in it's proper place and had to be properly used. I can't tell how many times I heard "what will the neighbors think". Well, it's my house, my life, my way. Oh, it so wonderful to be old, tee hee.

  9. #34
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    Sounds like you've thought it about long enough to make a good decision about relocating your sewing area to a more suitable spot for your lifestyle. I think all of us see our sewing room as always evolving, never stationary--or at least we're always tweaking, rearranging, reorganizing for more efficiency and enjoyment.

    As nice as it is to change things up, isn't it exhausting? I always feel I deserve dinner out after a day or two of moving things around! LOL
    Last edited by zozee; 03-22-2014 at 05:12 PM. Reason: typo

  10. #35
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    About 5 years ago, after all my kids left home, my daughters room became the guest room/sewing room. A 10x11 room with a double bed in it, didn't leave much room for a sewing machine, cutting table, and all the other paraphernalia I used. But since I had always just had a corner in a room, or worse, the dining room table, I was thrilled to be in my own room. The problem was when company came I always had stuff to put away, a lot of stuff!! I have family come visit often enough that I do need a guest room and I want it to be inviting. Our house has a "formal" living room just off the front entry, and a family room with fireplace and tv, where we live. The computer is in the formal living room and that is the only thing we go in there for. Soooo we are now in the process of moving my sewing room into the living room, the computer into the back bedroom that is for the grand kids when they stay with us and the guest room will be just a guest room. I am putting French doors at the opening of my new sewing room since it is right at the front door. I am planning for it to be pretty and inviting, not strictly utilitarian, but when I'm in the creative process things can get messy!! I can hardly wait!!

  11. #36
    Super Member IrishgalfromNJ's Avatar
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    Thank you for posting about moving your sewing room where you wanted it, Annie Sue. After reading this thread, I took the plunge and moved my sewing machine table and cutting table into the living room. The light is 100% better and I get to watch T.V. while I sew. I live alone so I can do whatever I want, whenever I want which is kind of fun. This is the second time I moved my sewing stuff and I think I found the perfect spot. All I have to do is get rid of that old sofa and I will have a great room to sew in.

  12. #37
    Super Member RugosaB's Avatar
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    We bought a house 34 years ago that was built in 1918, so it had a formal 'dining room.'
    We kept it like that for a few years until the kids came along, and then it was a 'toy room.'
    Then we added on and during the process, it became the 'catch all room.'
    For 10 years, it then became the dog maternity ward, the room where the moms had their puppies.
    After my accident, when I decided I could no longer be the kind of breeder I wanted to be, my husband turned it into the most wonderful, awesome, near-perfect- for-me sewing room.
    Through all these changes, it has always been a room where things are eaten!
    You know that feeling when you've finished all your quilting projects and your studio is perfectly clean???? Me neither.

    It's not how fast you sew, it's how well you sew fast! Wait, I think that's supposed to be MOW!

  13. #38
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    It is nice to see so many people have husbands that are so compliant! I used to be jealous of single people who could make their own decisions, but now I have just given up and am training my husband. Slowly, we will change...

  14. #39
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    Make your house for you and use it for you instead for company. I use to have just chairs with out foot rest. when you turn about 45 or 50 you need a recliner.
    Suzanne
    Asking a seamstress to mend is like asking Picasso to paint your garage.

  15. #40
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    This has been a fun read for me - I'm in the progress of making this move myself!

    With us, I was the one that was hesitant to make such a "messy" room the first thing people see. But my DH convinced me that nobody that we would invite into our house would ever care. And he's right!

    We need to get some painting done and some cables re-wired - the room has been my DH's movie-watching room (he's taking over the never-used family room) but now it is going to be my super awesome sewing room. I can't wait!!

    Benefits in my case (besides more space in general) will be that I can have all both my quilting and embroidery machines set up and on the same floor, laundry on the same floor, and everything in one room rather than bits in 3 different shared rooms. Plus I'll have a much larger design wall, woohoo!

  16. #41
    Super Member janetter's Avatar
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    Congrats on the move looking forward to seeing pics when you are done
    It all about the Journey!! Enjoy It

  17. #42
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    We have a small house. My sewing room is the living room, along with all the other uses for a living room. I keep extra fabric in the third bedroom and try to keep things somewhat neat in the living room while I'm working. We currently have 3 vintage machines in cabinets in there. I sew at one and use the top of one of the others as a cutting table. The third machine is used when I want a zigzag or decorative stitch. If I need an extra or larger work surface I have a fold-up table I can use.
    Use your space how you live. I think I do more sewing because the machines are visible and convenient.
    Rodney
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  18. #43
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    This makes perfect sense. Your house should be YOUR house.
    Quote Originally Posted by AnnieSue View Post
    DH and I have decided to arrange our house the way we use our house. That means moving the sewing and quilting machines from the lower level to the living room where all the space and light are. We were only using the living room furniture 4-5 times a year, so we moved our 'gathering space' to the lower level and we'll make it cozy for gathering. We'll see how this goes for a while. Has this worked for anyone else?

  19. #44
    Super Member KSue's Avatar
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    I use one of my bedrooms for my sewing room (years ago the dining room table was my sewing area). My kiddos have all moved out and I took over one bedroom. I do have a small quilting frame set up in the living room and was thinking about setting up another frame in the dining room as well. I need to clear out a desk in the sewing room so I can make a design wall. I usually have more than one project going at one time. Silly me.
    KSue

  20. #45
    Super Member craftiladi's Avatar
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    Good for you! My hubby works out of state during the week and we have almost no company. I was happy to be in a spare rm when we first bought our house but within a yr I outgrew the bedrm. it was my husband who suggested i use the unused front living rm. We have a side door in our carport but I also can still answer the door in the front of the house. I love having all the room.
    the 1st pic is what used to be my sewing rm
    2nd pic is what used to be the living rm
    3th pic is a yr or so ago but a peek at the new revised sewing rm

    I am grew up in a house where we had looky pretty rm, use your house!!! I say.
    Attached Images Attached Images


    Dee Lowe
    Las Vegas Nv.

  21. #46
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    Oh my goodness look at all those colors! What a cheerful space to work in, how fun.
    Although I like your livingroom "before" pictures too. I adore elephants and have quite the collection of little elephant figurines (all packed away right now, though).

    You just have excellent taste all the way around!

    That lamp....that's made out of 2 planter pots, isn't it?? What a cute and clever idea, did you make it yourself?

  22. #47
    Senior Member 4dogs's Avatar
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    I have a bedroom for mine...has 4 sewing machines, 3 chairs, my roll top desk, 2 very large cabinets of fabric, my computer desk, and it is a tight fit but it all does fit......would love a larger room, but this is a pretty good size one, really...think I have too much "stuff" - no, of course not........
    Judy, retired RN, alias 4 dogs and in the mountains of western North Carolina.

    Someday you will be a memory - try to make it a good one .

  23. #48
    Super Member craftiladi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sewnoma View Post
    Oh my goodness look at all those colors! What a cheerful space to work in, how fun.
    Although I like your livingroom "before" pictures too. I adore elephants and have quite the collection of little elephant figurines (all packed away right now, though).

    You just have excellent taste all the way around!

    That lamp....that's made out of 2 planter pots, isn't it?? What a cute and clever idea, did you make it yourself?
    Thanks so much for all the nice comments. Yes the lamp is 2 terra cotta pots.
    Here are a couple more pics.
    Attached Images Attached Images


    Dee Lowe
    Las Vegas Nv.

  24. #49
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    Nice!!

    I am tired of waiting for painters (or too impatient) so last night we took the quart of paint we'd bought to test the color and painted the area that will be behind my new cabinets and started putting those up. I painted out enough around them that the real painters should be able to easily finish up the job without getting paint on my new cabinets. We got all 5 frames built but they still need to be attached to each other and bolted to the wall before I can install the doors and start seriously moving into them. The electrician came and worked his magic on Saturday so my DH has moved his TV & stuff out, and we managed to get rid of one of the two "extra" couches. Progress is being made! (But still too slowly for my taste!)

    My cabinets are so nice, I can't wait to move all my fabric in. They're Billy bookshelves from IKEA, and the amount of cardboard piled up in my dining room right now is really impressive! That's good though, I need some of that to protect against paint spatters when I get started on turning a little plain white drop-leaf table (also from IKEA) into my new large ironing board with cute turquoise legs.

    My sewing room won't be VERY stylish, but I can at least pop a little color here and there.

  25. #50
    Super Member craftiladi's Avatar
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    Sewnoma...sounds like you are making great process, you will share pics , right?
    Dee Lowe
    Las Vegas Nv.

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