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The Workshop Plans

There was no back wall demolition this weekend, only a text from our contractor confirming that the door and transom are officially on back order – which is especially confusing, because wasn’t that the case last week and the week before then? We have a lot of questions, like, how does a standard size in the most popular model become a back order? I’m glossing over this quite a bit, but, just, UGH.

We could dwell (we’ve been dwelling), but for the sake of positivity and moving forward – always a good thing! – let’s just skip ahead. Let’s talk about the workshop!


The workshop is the DIY heart of this home, and it is a mess. A mess!


When we first bought our home and shared how everything in our home connects, there was a time when we weren’t sure what this room would be. Maybe we it would become part of the kitchen? Maybe it would be a huge pantry? It’s obvious that didn’t happen, but what has made the most sense for us over these last couple of years is utilizing the space as an indoor garage – a workshop of sorts.

It’s no secret that Chicago winters are notoriously cold, and as our garden/basement unit is now a rental, we needed this storage for non-freeze supplies such as paints, glues and caulks. At the same time, a rotating to-do of home projects had us wishing for a dedicated space to get fussed up, a space where, in the midst of January, we can have everything at our fingertips to complete a project without pulling on our coat (and hat and gloves and boots).


The walls were navy blue upon move in, and slowly, we’ve been wading through our mess to spackle here and there – because, why not? The blue tape was never stripped from the ceiling by the previous owners, and add that to our pocket door installation, we had a lot of repair work on our hands.


Despite its title of a workshop, we still want it to be a room that we love. We will, after all, spend a lot of time in here – whether it’s picking out sandpaper or making cuts on the miter saw. I’ve been holding up paint swatches for the last few weeks, asking Scott his thoughts on this versus that, and we’ve finally landed on a really pretty gray-green-blue, Stratton Blue, by Ben Moore.


We’ve only painted test patches around the room, because first, we have to prep! After emptying the space (all of our stuff is living in the garage and guest room for now), Scott and I spent the weekend finishing up the drywall mudding, sanding (and sanding and sanding) and pulling up the previous baseboards. We installed and continued our 6.5″ baseboards throughout this room, giving it the same attention we would as the main areas of our home. The window got its very own sill, and the ceiling received coat after coat of fresh paint, too.


The workshop goals are to have a place for everything and everything in its place, with the garage being the home for oversized tools, outdoor equipment and much larger project-ing. We see it as the space where we make quick cuts and lay out smaller painting projects, a space where we can access the sandpaper and wood glue without sacrificing kitchen drawers. It’s a smaller room – coming in at 6′ wide by 10′ long – but its pint size build is truly like a little gem, tucked away.

The prep is often times (okay, all the times) the most tedious and least fun, but what a difference it makes! I still need to caulk and spackle the trim, but the groundwork has been laid. When you walk in and turn right, you’ll see our flea-find work bench. We imagine a long shelf above the table and art above that (because, pretty!), with ample room to spread out and, you know, tinker:


To the left, we’ll have wall to wall, floor to ceiling shelving! The shelves will be loaded up with large and small bins, with everything contained, wrangled and beautifully, gorgeously in order:


It will be a simple room, but a room that I think will quickly become a favorite. I’ve been dreaming of the day I can walk in and find the wood glue without cursing, and because the kitchen sludge is in full effect, we just might get there sooner than I would’ve thought.

There’s always a bright side.

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  • susan4.7.15 - 7:30 AM

    what a great space; i would have been hard pressed not to make it a walk in pantry… heaven! it’s going to be a great workshop with such quick and easy access, and it can’t be said enough, Love.That.Door!ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design4.7.15 - 8:41 AM

    You guys are just DIY machines!ReplyCancel

  • Laura @ RatherSquare.com4.7.15 - 8:50 AM

    How nice to have a dedicated space in your home that’s easily accessible for DIY projects! It’s just begging to be used, can’t wait to see the shelving/bins you set up in there.ReplyCancel

  • Carrie4.7.15 - 9:14 AM

    I can’t wait to see this come together!!!! I am infinitely jealous of this space, btw. Here’s hoping we come across a similar bonus room in our next house!ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.7.15 - 10:32 AM

      “Bonus Room” was 10000% on our list – preferably a space for the home office/studio. We lucked out big time that this house is full of little nooks! Gotta love old house charm for that, at the very least!ReplyCancel

  • Amy4.7.15 - 9:14 AM

    You guys are impressive — working on your work room! I guess it has to be done. I can’t wait to see this. Our basement is the perfect spot for a work room because it’s unfinished — we have only a few shelving units, no work surface, and zero organization. In fact, we have negative organization (that’s my new way of saying it’s a mess). It’s tough to work on the upstairs rooms when you can’t find the caulk. When you’re finished I plan to show my boyfriend and maybe he’ll finally understand my desire to organize tools!ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.7.15 - 10:33 AM

      Who knew? A boyfriend who doesn’t want organized tools?! He’s a unicorn, apparently.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda4.7.15 - 9:49 AM

    I love that color, how does it look next to your minty door? Is it like a darker version of that color? Can’t wait to see it come together!ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.10.15 - 9:19 PM

      Oops, how did I miss this question? It’s about 3 shades darker than the minty door. A good contrast!ReplyCancel

  • The Kentucky Gent4.7.15 - 9:49 AM

    I would love an indoor workshop, anytime I have to work on a project It involves moving this, that + the other thing to make room for a project, then my room/house/whatever is in various degrees of shambles until I’m able to finish project + put the space back together again.

    Can’t wait to see how you finish off the space!

    Josh – The Kentucky Gent

    • Kim4.7.15 - 10:34 AM

      You are most definitely NOT alone, I can promise you that! We still have secret rooms full of shambles in this home. It’ll get there… one day.ReplyCancel

  • Kris4.7.15 - 12:15 PM

    I love the expression on your dog’s face! LOL He’s either thinking “really, another picture?” or “really, this is quite messy in here” LOL

    We have tools in our laundry room, garage and basement. We’ve been here 11 years and I’ve given up on all of them being in one spot. I can never find what I need.ReplyCancel

  • YAY for moving toward “having a space for everything.” I want that SO bad. I don’t think our workshop will be as pretty as yours, but if I can walk in and find a hammer (or anything for that matter) without rifling through boxes and cursing then I’ll be a happy camper. Our plans got a little setback (water in the basement – insert “WHY?!?” emoji – that needs a professional fix. In the grand scheme it’s only a few weeks and less $ than we expected, but ugh. Clearly a blog post will be forthcoming) so I’m just going to live vicariously through you ;)ReplyCancel

  • Kat4.16.15 - 10:38 AM

    Enjoy your new workshop!ReplyCancel

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