Guest Post | Creative Room Conversions for Crafters and Creatives

Delighted to be able to bring you more guest posts! Since I am just getting home from a wonderful babymoon in Southeast Asia while in the midst of making our new home work for us,  the timing couldn't be better for an article by Jay Harris. I will be converting a bonus room behind the garage into my studio/office, and he has some awesome ideas and suggestions. Enjoy - *amyCreative Room Conversions for Crafters and Creatives | Amy TangerineOne of the greatest gifts in a home is a bonus room. After all, whoever heard of complaining because you have too much space?All too often, however, bonus rooms turn from a blessing into a curse because the logistics of converting a huge, open room into smaller, distinct spaces can quickly become overwhelming. And when you're a creative by nature or a crafter by design, working out the way your room works together is a must! Fortunately, there are ways to make the whole thing cohesive and comprehensive! All you need are a few general guidelines and you're on your way. Without further ado, here are two fundamental design solutions for getting the most out of your bonus room.

Separate Stations: Work the Perimeters Jay Harris | Creative Room Conversions for Crafters and CreativesOne quick way to separate a room is to simply designate certain things to various corners. Typically you'll have four corners in a room and by operating in the outskirts, you have more numerical options than if you simply divided the room down the middle. This type of room design works well if you are multi-talented or involved in crafts utilizing different mediums. For example, you may create content for your blog based on the quilts you construct from the fabric that you hand-dye! Since creatives are usually not exclusive to one skill, this type of room arrangement is not outside the realm of possibility. But for those who need to work inside the room's framework, consider the next category of creative room division: bookcases!

Bookcases: Staying inside the Lines These are ideal when you want to maintain a flow in between the spaces because the individual compartments are open, which allows light to pass through. Perfect for smaller rooms, you can break up the room without polarizing it.jay3Plus, you also have access to the shelf's items no matter which side of the room you are in at any given moment so if you need to work equally in both sides, your items are centrally located and handy.

Back-to-Back Place two bookcases back to back with their flat sides together to double your storage space and keep the rooms completely separated – in the same way that open shelving allows the room to flow together, having two distinct bookcases keeps the rooms exclusive to themselves.jay4The back-to-back set-up works great if you have two distinct skills or hobbies – like scrapbooking and knitting or quilting and painting or whatever! – that you need to keep disentangled from each other.

Convertible Perhaps the way to obtain the best of both worlds is to use each side of the bookcase exclusively. In other words, the dividing bookcase has one open side facing one portion of the room that is used "normally" and the flat backside to the bookcase facing the other room becomes something else entirely! One great use for that flat surface is as a pin board! Convert the entire back into a huge pin board for your designs or inspiration or hang smaller, individual boards in a cool arrangement that facilitates your needs and imagination at the same time.

*Bonus Usage: Avoid Compromising Positions jay5As any work-at-home mom knows, it's hard to get work done when the kids are in your face and when your "bonus" room doubles as a playroom, it can be nigh impossible! But rather than compromising the quality of your work or your level of childcare, compromise on the room layout instead. Implement the "back-to-back" bookcase scenario above and devote one side to them for storing their toys, games and books, etc. Or work with the "convertible" idea and use the open side for you with the solid side facing their playroom. Paint it with chalkboard paint and stock up on colored pieces of chalk! Now you've got smart storage that provides you with uninterrupted (relatively speaking) work time and them with hours of safe, solitary entertainment. What other creative ways have you seen bonus rooms utilized that maximize the entire thing and highlight the positives while downplaying the drawbacks?

Jay Harris is a Home Depot store associate in the Chicago area, where he has been helping customers since 2005. Jay is also a contributor to Home Depot's Home Decorators website. He enjoys providing home decor advice for those who work from home, on topics such as bookcases, room dividers and furniture.