Friday, April 27, 2007

Carol M Sock it to Me Rock Room Review

Carol M has sent me her photos for our Sock it to Me Rock Review process.....Don't you love these?

I see a LOT going on in this large space. You mention having most of it to do what you want with. Most people will envy that space you have. I see a lot of furnishings in the room. Lots of plastics. Here, there, under, over...this is the case of the organized--but overwhelming--furniture and plastics! I see at least 13 groupings of plastic organizers throughout the room. It looks like each type of item might have a good home in a drawer. And that is good and they are labeled--that is very good! But there are so many units of plastic drawers and bins that it is starting to look distracting.

I don't know the exact floorplan and I estimated some of it...but what I propose is a BIG change around!! (Do whatever parts appeal to you and as always what fits the room and WORKS for you.)Unify by function: You have two main areas in this very large room--we will call them the Family Room and the Scraproom/Workspace. You want each space to shine.


Be sure you divide the purposes of this big room so it is clear what functions where and for what purpose. Big spaces like yours can look like a hodgepodge if we are not careful about delineating purposes to specific areas. Let's make the family room special. Can we flip it over nearer the fireplace? Create a conversation and recreation space where the big TV, sofa, coffee table area and fireplace are all grouped together in one half or 1/3 of the room. I think you have already started to create a conversation area with the tv. Now let's include that fireplace in the triangle. That might mean moving the sofa to face the other direction at a 45% angle to the fireplace? You can play with the layout.

Perhaps get a smaller coffee table for easier trafic flow in that part of the room? If that is a working fireplace, turn the sofa at least part way to face the fireplace as a focal point and place the TV off to one side or in the other corner near the fireplace? Make it so the tv is a secondary focal point still also visible from the sofa. Be sure there is no clutter in that part of the room at all because you do have a lot of seashore themed items you are showcasing in the family room area.

Group the nautical items, try to cluster them togther more by type. 3 or 5 lighthouses together in a small group look like you inteneded it more as a design statement than having three of them spread across the room from each other. Better yet, if you can get rid of one thing in 5 of your sea-themed decor items, you will feel much more focused on the nicer pieces you keep. Then the room design will actually become more focused.

Keep the best, fling the rest to a good home. Same with your nautical artwork --can you choose the largest open wall (after re-arranging the furniture) and place 5 pieces of art- the ships wheel, navy picture, and big map or ship artwork on the SAME wall? It will look much more intentional. Remember that for art it is Big walls=Big statements or pieces, Small walls=Small groupings of peices.That keeps things coordinating yet in SCALE on the wall. Try to keep the nautical pictures and items on the walls in the conversational sofa/tv/fireplace area of the room. The narrow wall where the ship wheel is now at would be perfect for hanging that flag! (Do you mean to hang it stars down -symbol of international distress?) If you can, keep the walls open in your workspace for scrap-related items on some of your wooden small shelving.


This part of the large room will take up 1/2 to 2/3 of the room. I am not sure of the actual floorplan of your large room. And I am not sure if you like to turn to watch tv or face the wall when scrapping. I like to face the tv (and also the family if they are on the couch instead of the wall). Assuming you prefer looking at your family or the tv instead of the walls, we want to arrange the family room space accordingly. Is it possible to flip the workspace area to the opposite side of the room? That might allow the sofa to view the Fireplace at a right angle?

Either way, let's create a scrapspace if possible where you can have a large U shaped work area all around your swivel chair and still feel like you are part of the family room events. I do this in my family room by placing my a work table behind the sofa which faces the big tv. This camoflauges the 'bad' side of the sofa in the large room and the 'backside' of the wooden work desk at the same time! In your case let's place the smaller wooden desk (now by the flag in corner) and move it behind the sofa.

Give yourself a completely cleared-off spot to do a single project or layout kit and watch tv with the family. After you place the CLEARED OFF wooden desk behind the sofa, you can arrange the various worktables and desks around you in a basic U behind you --or even a circle-- along the walls. Make sure you have a good swivel chair. I am not sure if you can clear out a blue and white cabinet or blue and white hutch so you can put some of those paper storage tubs into it behind doors. I made a scale model of Carol's big room to see how I could visualise a change. I came up with a plan and sent her what I came up with for changes. She had so much furniture in a small space it was a challenge to visualise it and often making a scale model will help SOOOO much!

I seriously think Carol, you need to lose one desk or table. I vote or getting rid of the lesser quality table or desk in the room. You decide which one. That big blue and white open shelf hutch might still stay in the 'family room' part of the room but only if you need the knicknacks to stay where they are. If you can weed out one thing in 5, you could get by with showcasing items on coffee table, mantle and small shelving. If we can, let's re-purpose the open hutch by taking out all the nick knacks and moving the hutch to the 'workroom' part of the room for other uses. But I really think you can make it all fit without having a cluttery look if you redo some of your storage and drawers. Some of your plastic drawers are really only half full.

Make sure the items are stored by type and that you don't give them a bigger drawer than they really need. Start with the largest tools and items and put them in the largest spaces. Work your way down and you will see that you can maybe get rid of a few plastic drawer units too! You can also combine simular 'types' of items in one big drawer but no wasted "airspace" in those large drawers please!You should have an inspirational art piece or two of your own on the workroom side of the room too. That can also be seashore related-- but be sure it is something YOU love and not just 'in theme'. I suggest again grouping smaller pieices of art in a cluster for impact.

You need to set up a "cutting station" but NOT on your desk spaces. Try it on the tall white plastic cabinet with doors. Your sizzix and sizzlet and dies can all go on/in that space if the cabinet has a hard top and it looks like it does. Otherwise use that cabinet top for the sewing machine. Make sure your sewing maching is facing you and in usable space and plugged in and ready to go on pages as well as for fabric sewing. It deserves a desk or table space of some kind even if it is small.

Unify with color. I see a blue and white scheme and that is a good start. Work in future toward changing out the blue, black, grey and other plastic bins for WHITE to be more uniform. Each time the eye sees a color change it reads as BUSY in a room as full as this. But first see if you can 'downsize' your need for plastics and bins. Put all the paper into the hutches or cabinets or UNDER the table. Try to take out a 3 drawer plastic unit (the black one?) for good.Hope this helps!

For our readers, please do let me know what you think by commenting below :)

And thank you CAROL for being brave enough to share your room with us!


Rockester said...

Thanks Carol M for being a Sock it to Me Rock volunteer! --Rock

Displaced Heel said...

Maybe I didn't read carefully enough, Rock, but did you suggest using the desk (or whatever table Carol keeps) as a sofa table? I think that would work well, especially since (if she takes your advice) she will have a dedicated cutting area that isn't the desk. I had that before I got my dedicated space, and I really liked being able to watch the family in the family room.

Aeryn Kelly-Reitmeyer said...

I dunno how to email you Rock, but I'd love it if you'd give me some advice about my space. you can see the pics here:

any advice would help!