I write this tonight with a finished brand spanking new sewing room and home office ready to move into! Woooooo! Amazing. But, where were we? Bench tops, yes bench tops…
Our plan was to put a built in desk around basically two whole walls of the room, one end up under the new window and in the corner for my sewing and creative zone, the other end under the existing window to be Matt’s office and work from home area. But what to use as the bench tops? We contemplated lots of different options (Ikea, Bunnings etc) but it basically all came back to the fact that we wanted to have a deeper than usual desk, most pre-made timber bench tops came at 600mm wide and we wanted more like 750mm. Kitchen island benches are 900mm wide usually, so that was an option, but it seemed expensive and wasteful to slice some off. A custom build was on the cards. We trundled up the road and over the hills to a local bloke in nearby Mirboo North who does timber work. He had some slabs of elm in suitable sizes for what we wanted. Matt spent a weekend and a few nights after work in old mate’s workshop helping create our beautiful elm bench tops, through the thicknesser, sanding, shaping and more sanding. He took me with him to pick them up once they were oiled and ready.
They were beyond beautiful, and far beyond what I had envisaged for our lowly workspace at the back of our carport! I immediately wanted to build a kitchen around them. But home they came and we installed them along our two walls, supported with battens on the walls, a fair bit of elbow grease to get them to sit down flush and a few filing cabinets we already had in our old office inside the house to sit under them.
At the end of my section of the desk, near the door, Matt built a little bookshelf to put all my crafty books (and assorted other books as we recently had to eliminate a bookshelf from the lounge room to make way for new furniture).
Matt’s dad also swung by to install our new light fitting which had arrived – quite modern and industrial for my usual style, but I thought I’d go out on that limb out here in a somewhat separate space to the house. I also wanted to introduce a touch of more masculine black in a home office space, like the cabinetry handles. Our sloping ceiling is quite low though so 6’4″ Matt’s hair just brushes this light!
With the bench tops now installed, cabinetry in, flooring down and God-forsaken paint all done, Matt turned his attention to the big empty wall behind our desk – a custom built shelving unit to go along the wall to house all my crafty bits and bobs, fabric and a ingenius fold up/down cutting table at bench height. Behold…
This of course required a lot more painting (sigh…) of all the timber before and after construction, a lot of different cuts, measurements and contemplation about shelving heights. Easier said than done. The table itself was originally going to be bigger but I scaled it down in order to potentially fit a sofa bed couch on the other wall one day (jury is still out on that one). The table legs simply fold away easily, we thought we might have to secure them somehow, but they just tuck behind the table whilst not in use. The table itself is brilliant, I’ve long dreamed of a 900 height cutting table! Matt positioned the power point where it is so I can plug in my iron, hot glue gun and music/radio on that first shelf. Clever.
The finishing touch was some peg board along my desk area, to hang all manner of scissors, rotary cutters, cotton reels and bits and bobs. Matt glued and screwed timber battens to the wall first to secure the peg board too, and so the hooks could push through and not hit the wall.
After months of a heck of a lot of sweat, hard work, too many hours to count and maybe a few tears – our new sewing room/home office, which we have had in the back of our minds for literally years for this space, is finally complete! Can’t quite believe it. And to think of what it used to be…
Now all shiny and new and ready to move all of the stuff into…and get started on Eleanor’s new big girl bedroom in the house (our old sewing room/home office). Just a small issue of building a built-in wardrobe, painting the room, replacing cornice and picture rail, carpeting and decorating sometime in the next 6 weeks hopefully. No rest for the wicked!