Thrifty Sewing Space Makeover

November 26, 2019 1 Comment

Thrifty Sewing Space Makeover

November 26, 2019 1 Comment

My sewing/workspace has gotten a little glow-up lately, mostly for ergonomic reasons, but also because I wanted a little refresh to make it more pleasing to the eye.

My sewing space in another apartment, almost 15 years ago.
Another iteration of my sewing corner in my current apartment.

I’ve had the same Ikea table and office chair for two decades in my sewing spaces. The chair was super broken, so I literally had it cobbled together using tape, plumbing tools and fabric, yes such a winning combo, lol! The table was fine though, but since I also do a lot of computer work I was in dire need of a standing desk, since my body cannot handle sitting down when working in front of a computer.

Now I’m very uncomfortable with the idea of buying new furniture when I have something that still kinda works, hence why I sat in my broken chair for years. But then I realised that I didn’t have to buy new things and tax even more of our planet’s resources. Instead, I began looking into used office furniture.

The stuff in professional offices are usually of great quality, but that furniture also costs much more than what we would pay in places like Ikea. Luckily there are companies specialising in refurbishing and reselling office furniture, so I started to look into what was available locally since I didn’t want to order an office chair online because I’m so small that most chairs don’t fit my body at all. Even at my day jobs, I’ve never had a chair that felt right for me.

My new furniture. The cabinet desk on wheels is also used office furniture. And the dress dummy is from a vintage store.

After a little searching, I found a place with a huge selection of used office furniture and I was able to find both a fantastic chair plus an electric standing desk. Now the prices were higher in that shop compared to what I would have paid If I hade prowled the Swedish equivalent of Craig’s list. But I was more concerned with getting things that actually fit my specific needs, rather than just buying any used chair or table. Plus, I still got them for less than half price compared to what they cost if bought new,

And that turned out to be a great decision since I was even able to pick both the tabletop and legs myself from their huge warehouse, and then they assembled them together for me. And I tested like 15 chairs before I found the one that was perfect for me. And both the desk and the chair are in awesome condition!

And the furniture is not the only thing that has gotten a make-over. Last month, my dad and I finally changed the flooring in the living/sewing room. Previously it had the ugliest grey, speckled worn-down linoleum mat from the 60’s. Since we rent, I didn’t want to invest too much into the apartment, so I decided on “oak-look-alike” laminate flooring, which is very budget-friendly, durable and also looks pretty great.

This was the second floor I did with my dad, and of the two of us, he is definitely the one with the solid skills. But it was still very much a team effort, and it was a super fun project to together with my dad. At this age, one doesn’t get many parent-child bonding experiences. Plus we live on opposite coasts, so this was very rewarding in that sense too.

It took us about two days in total, and we didn’t stress the process and also took some nice breaks in between to hang out. I think having this kind of flooring in a sewing space is a pretty great choice, laminate is way more durable than wood, so it handles things like dropped scissors and such much better. Also, it’s very easy to clean, removing threads and lint and picking up needles is a very quick task on this floor.

My Ikea hack cutting table.

Plus the wood colour really warms up the room and gives it better light. In fact, the combo of new floors and a white desk has substantially improved the light situation in my sewing corner, which was a nice bonus that I hadn’t even considered beforehand.

The pegboard system is also from Ikea, which I’ve done a video about.

So this is the current state of my sewing space. As with most things, I suspect I will keep on tweaking here and there, it’s usually the storage that needs consistent attention, I don’t think I will ever be able to have that 100% figured out, at least as long as keep adding stuff, since it’s hard to keep sewing a minimalistic pursuit, right?

Johanna Lundström

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1 Comment

  • Nancy Karpen November 27, 2019 at 2:04 am

    Nice upgrade! I went to a used office furniture store for my new to me chair. I love the desk. My dd has a desk like that at her new job. She loves it.

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