Starting to plot my corner of the basement

Thanks for all the lovely comments on our new house! We are super busy unpacking and figuring out all the stuff we need to do or buy, but it’s been awesome. ♥

One of the things I’m daydreaming about now that we’ve moved is my sewing and craft space! In our condo, my sewing “area” (and I use the term loosely) was the dining table. Not a very useful setup and annoying when we actually wanted to dine at the dining table.

Now that we have a house, holy crap! I get to have my own real sewing space! This thrills me to no end and is worthy of excessive use of exclamation points!!

It’ll be roughly one-third of the finished part of our basement, which is all open. The other two-thirds? Mel will get art studio space, and we’ll also have a lounge area. This part of the basement is more like partially finished… it’s not very well insulated and is a wee bit rough around the edges, but at least there’s peel and stick tile flooring, finished walls, and a bathroom. And it’s totally not creepy at all (unlike a couple of what we dubbed serial killer basements that we saw during house hunting—egads).

Here’s my corner of the basement. Pardon the dark Instagram pic, but the computer I use to work on photos isn’t unpacked yet…actually it has nowhere to go because it’s supposed to go in this space, ha ha:

You can see my sewing machine (in its carrier), dress form (wrapped in plastic bags without its base), rigid heddle loom (behind the boxes) and yarn bins have already made an appearance. 😉

Part of that space will be Mel’s, but what I have to work with will be roughly 10.5 feet x 8 feet. I’m going to take the corner, so that I have two walls to hang up plenty of things (thread organizer, etc). The bright spot on the right-hand wall is a glass block window that does let in some natural light. To the left of the pole will be the lounge (about as big as the what you see above), which will be tiki-themed.

Now I’ll admit this right now: while we’re going to try and stay as mid-century and mid-century-inspired as we can throughout the rest of the house, the sewing and art areas…not really. If I let myself only go vintage with furniture, it will be years before I get it all together and make my mind up. To compromise, I’m going to try and accessorize with vintage seating and items, and incorporate vintage fabrics where I can. In my heart of hearts mid-century design is the ultimate, but I do think it’ll be nice to just freestyle it in my basement nook and let my crafty geek flag fly.

What areas will I need?
  1. Cutting fabric. I’m thinking possibly an island or kind of a dining table of sorts. I’m short and prefer table-height to counter-height.
  2. Sewing. Doesn’t need to be a big table, but maybe something long enough in case I one day get a serger (woo!), so I can have two work stations.
  3. Working on the computer. I’ll setup our older iMac down there for blogging.
  4. Working on my loom. I may get a stand for it, or set it up on a table.
  5. Fabric storage. I used an organizer from Target (Circo 9 cubes) in a closet in our condo, but the cubbies were not really suitable for larger lengths of fabric. I think drawers would be better.
  6. Sewing pattern and crafty doodad storage. Not including yarn, which will remain in plastic storage bins in the storage area of our basement (not in the finished area). Space for my sewing patterns, buttons, ribbon, blocking pins, etc.
  7. Book shelves. I’ll keep all of my sewing, knitting and craft books in this area.
  8. Seating. I’m thinking a chair and a stool so I can alternate, depending on where I’m sitting.

What are my obstacles to work around?

  1. Fluorescent lighting. Not going to change anytime soon, so I’ll need to accessorize with really good lighting. Fortunately unlike the rest of the house, there are lots of outlets in that area. I’m thinking at least a couple of full spectrum lights, and one or two vintage lights with fun shades for a mix of cozy as well as functionally bright lighting.
  2. It’s not really a room, so there are only two walls. I can float furniture to make it more of a square space, but will have to think about how. And then we have to think about how we can visually separate it a bit from the future lounge area.
  3. It’s not that warm. I’ll need a (safe) space heater, for sure.
  4. The floor covering is on cement. I’ll need some kind of rug or maybe a big carpet remnant. And a dog bed for Pia to hang out, of course!

So what would you do if you were building a crafty space in a basement corner? Is there anything I’m forgetting about? Do tell!

Next time, I’ll share some of the crafty spaces that are inspiring me, and talk more about ideas for furniture, storage and decorating!

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Golly, 20 Comments!

  • Good for you! this sounds like a wonderful plan and i cant wait to see how it turns out! just remember to have fun and just do it your own special way!


  • oh my goodness how exciting!!! I think your plans are great and you have it all covered. I agree we would all love perfect mid century furniture everywhere but you’d need to win the lottery or spend a long time sourcing. Have fun and then when pieces come up, you can use them down there. Can’t wait to see the end result!


  • Lots of people love Ikea’s Expedit shelving units – and there are several different non-Ikea options for baskets/bins that fit the unit.


    • Oh yes, I’m pretty sure Expedit will be involved!


    • CONGRATS on the new house! I missed saying that on the last post. 🙂

      I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Expedit workstation. I’ve got the desk that clamps onto the shelving, and it’s great for sewing, nice and roomy. Mine is up against the wall, but in your space you could have it freestanding and have a workstation on both sides, cause the desk is really deep – I think you might be able to fit a sewing machine on one side and computer on the other.

      I’ve got a cutting table from Jo-anns, which is taller than you want, but I like that it folds down very small. If I cant put it away in between patternmaking/cutting projects, it just collects junk.

      I leave up the ironing board 24/7, and that gets a dedicated spot right next to my machine.


    • @Beth, that’s great to know! And you just reminded me… I’ll actually be able to not only have a full-sized ironing board, but I can leave it up 24/7. Is it sad that excites me? 😉


  • Ooooh, how exciting! I’ve been storing up ideas to incorporate in my sewing room here:

    Feel free to have a look. There may be some ideas you can incorporate too 🙂

    Happy planning!



  • Congrats on getting a dedicated space! My sewing room is part of a finished basement, so besides some wall-to-wall carpet, I’ve been there. You mention lighting, and I think this is the most important thing when dealing with basement spaces. I originally invested in some Ottlites. Within the first 6 months, both either fell apart or stopped working. They are not worth the money. Most hardware/home stores (Home Depot/Lowes) have greenhouse lightbulbs that fit regular lamps. This is a cheaper way to get full spectrum light. I also went with a cheery yellow for the walls and a cheery landscape poster. I normally don’t go for landscapes, but it helps to lessen the dungeon feeling of the basement.


    • Thanks for the tip on the lights! Mel had a small Ott light but it hasn’t gotten enough use for us to know about it’s quality. I’d definitely prefer a different style lamp anyway, so I’ll look into full spectrum bulbs.


  • That’s great! It’s always nice to have your own working space. You can leave things out without having to worry about having to clean off the table and misplace some piece. My husband and I are sharing the spare bedroom as our Hobby Room. He has his HAM radios and scanners on one side. I have my sewing and crafting items on the other side. Things do spill into my side but that’s because we’re still unpacking things. I used a book shelf to store all of my fabric. That way I can see what I have and how much.
    Congrats on the new sewing area!


  • I have a basement sewing area and it is cold so I understand the need for a safe space heater. Be sure your basement is dry before you set up too much summer flooding may hold some surprises (this happened to us) also most pipes are overhead some pipes may sweat in the summer and drip just something to look out for I have a spot that I don’t like to put anything in my space in the summer because of drips. I also lost a large box of sewing supplies to cracked plumbing in a ice maker in a refrigerator one floor up so beware of where you problems can come from.


    • Awesome tips, I will keep them in mind! I was also thinking to try and have most things elevated, just in case of water (coming up), too. Actually it’s another reason I didn’t want to get any too-nice/expensive pieces down there, just in case. And I will definitely keep an eye open as it gets warmer for drips from up above. The drop ceiling tiles don’t show and signs of water damage, but of course they could have been swapped out by the previous owner. Thanks for the basement-as-living-space reminders!


    • I second this! We had just finished putting in a new floor in our basement (also my sewing room) when I woke up one morning after heavy rains to find about a half inch of water on the floor. The only thing that saved my stuff was that we had put those little plastic feet on everything to protect the floor and it raised all the wood furniture just enough to keep them from getting water damage. Even the plastic fabric storage containers had the feet and it saved all my fabric from disaster.


  • That is so exciting! I can’t wait to see what you do with it. I’m still in the process of tidying my study up so I *might* have a craft space. I can’t really think of any suggestions as I’ve just started fantasising about having a basement for my doll collection. Oh dear…
    -Andi x


  • Looking forward to seeing your room all done up, I’m sure we would all love to have a sewing room or basement like that! XxxX


  • Congrats on the new house and sewing space. My sewing room is an extra bedroom-small but it works. I bought an L-shaped desk. The short leg holds 1 sewing machine and the longer leg holds another plus my serger. Works good. I have a tall dresser my dad made years ago. It’s deeper than usual which is wonderful and has 4 drawers-2 are very deep. I store my fabric in there. I also have a bookcase, 6-cube cubby for misc stuff and wire shelving units (2) in the closet that hold things. It’s amazing how much stuff I have in that small closet. Have fun setting up your sewing space!


  • One of the things I am most excited about when we move is the fact that I will have my own craft room, as at the moment I too, work off the kitchen table. Seeing you starting to plan out your creative space makes me hanker after mine even more! Can’t wait to see what you do with it 🙂


  • you may need a dehumidifier for you basement in the summer just to keep the humidity down. A cheep work type table is also the resin/plastic kind you find at SAM’s club they make great work spaces they come in different sizes too


  • […] to add: I completely forgot I did a post when we moved in about my plans for the space. Bwahahaha! The good news is that now, finally, everything I mentioned and more is accomplished in […]


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