Before we turned our basement into a studio space, we were always looking for storage solutions to house all of our art supplies. Someone in my family is constantly drawing or gluing or sewing something, so we desperately needed a place to stash everything.
I was thrilled when I found this piece of furniture for $5 at a garage sale. The man I bought it from honestly begged me to haul it away. (Sidenote: I saw one just like this for free on KSL Classifieds this weekend!) I looked past the honey oak, dated hardware and rose frosted mirror to see a solid piece of furniture with great bones.
Updating this piece wasn't hard, just took some elbow grease. First I removed all the hardware and filled the holes with wood putty. I also removed the mirror. I sanded it down and used an antiquing kit to get the finish I liked (it was actually my test piece to see if I liked it enough to refinish my kitchen cupboards with it. I loved it, but decided to go with ivory for my kitchen in the end). When sanding, you don't need to take the color off, just rough up the wood (this piece took me about 15 minutes of sanding).
I followed the instructions on the box for the antiquing kit, which turned out great, but I have to admit, wasn't any better than the classic coats of paint and topcoat you'd typically put on. If you're not a big painter, the kit isn't a bad option and includes everything you need for the project.
I ordered the hardware from ebay--a great resource for discount high end hardware. I chose to go with 2 different styles for variety. I also cut down a corkboard to fit the back and covered it with one of my favorite fabrics for a quick place to post notes. The cubby is the perfect size for a laptop and folds down to a desk.
I was really happy with the results and the massive amount of space it provided, while still fitting in with the rest of the furniture in the room.
Sometimes adding another piece of furniture isn't even an option, and then you have to get really creative. One solution that has worked great for me is to use my kitchen pantry (the one that holds fruit snacks and jello boxes) as a storage space. It's in a fantastic location so close to your kitchen table, and lets you work and put things away so easily.
I shifted some of our food to other cupboards and put some of it on a shelf in glass containers. This left the space for things we use all the time like my sewing machine or the kids colored pencils. Of course, I don't keep everything in here, but for me it has been a lifesaver for the tools and supplies we use on a daily basis.
I'd love to hear your storage solutions--please comment to share how you use your workspace and how you've managed to carve some from a small living space!