After working in my new ARTHaven for a few weeks, I have discovered various drawbacks in the layout, mostly the light – I usually work in there in the afternoons, when the sun is very bright on that side of the house, and it shines right in my eyes. Also, the shelf above the table casts a shadow over the work, which made it even more difficult to see what I was doing. Here is how it was:
Another problem was that there were several “dead spaces” which wasted space because I couldn’t get at them. It was also impossible to reach the window, so I had to lean over and open and close it with a crutch! On the left, the tables were up against the big shelves, which meant that some of them were inaccessible unless I pulled the tables out (they are all on castors so it wasn’t a big deal, just a bit inconvenient). Finally, although it was nice to have the video camera set up over the table, the tripod did get in the way a bit.
So the other night I mentioned it to my hubby and said I was thinking of changing it round, and he said, “Oh no…” I reassured him it wouldn’t be as bad as last time, just a question of swapping the two big tables around. It involved me in a great deal of work yesterday, because before, I’d never sorted the bookcases, and there was a heap of clutter in the corner, which had been there long before I set up my ARTHaven in the first place, making the washbasin not only inaccessible, but invisible!
I asked my hubby to swap around 2 of the bookcases, so the big one is now by the door, and the smaller one is now beside its twin, making a more uniform surface, and useful space above. I had to take ALL the books out, and this gave me the opportunity to sort them out in a way I’ve never done before, and I am getting rid of quite a few, and all the music is now in a box on a shelf, and the result of this is that I have now freed up an entire small bookcase which can be used for storing creative stuff – an unexpected bonus!
Then I needed to empty the filing cabinet so that it could be moved – otherwise the big table would not be put in place because the windowsill sticks out. I cleared the entire surface of both tables in readiness for the transfer, and as before, I did this late at night on Thursday evening after returning from a meal at my parents’, because Wonderwoman, my home help, comes on Friday mornings, and I needed her and my hubby to move the tables – she was also able to clean all round in the places that are normally inaccessible.
This afternoon I managed to put most of the stuff back. The most difficult was setting up the desktop computer again as the cables are always a nightmare and it involves crawling under the table! Still, it’s all done now, and this is what the room looks like now.
This is the new arrangement with the book shelves. I’ve put my paper racks up on top which has cleared some floor space. The washbasin is on the right, beyond this picture.
The next picture shows the big black table with its shelf, moved back to where it was originally, before the room was my ARTHaven. The wooden table is now under the window, and is going to be used for my computers – there’s room on the left for my big laptop, which I use for all my graphics work, and which I also connect to Jiminy Cricut, as it has SCAL 2 installed on it. Actually, with this arrangement, the cables reach a lot better, and I’ve got all the technology together.
Above the black table is a lovely blank wall, which I will be able to use to fix my Ikea rails to hang my punches on, and maybe put some small shelves up to hold other crafting equipment. I think I will be able to make the video camera reach over the work table, but that needs a bit of trial and error.
Moving on round, you can see that I’ve pulled the small black table and low filing cabinet away from the big shelves, which means that I can reach the window, and all the shelves. On these surfaces I’ve got the laser printer, Jiminy, my scanner and my Cuttlebug. The pink and black containers hooked over the top of the cardboard box will eventually hang from rails over my work table.
Finally, moving on round, I’ve still got my old computer table against the shelves, still with my rubber stamps and distress inks, and all my painting stuff, with glues and a big box of stuff to be altered underneath. Eventually I want to rearrange all this stuff, and may get rid of this table altogether, but I’m not making any hasty decisions on that one! The shelves look a tip, I know, but it’s organised chaos, and one day I hope to get it all tidied up.
Since starting my ARTHaven, my office has suffered! It’s been quite difficult to make it work, and I’ve had a pile of folders and bits and pieces on the floor. A couple of days ago I found a real bargain on Ebay – an ex-catalogue kitchen trolley which folds flat when not in use – it is solid hardwood and has 3 shelves, so I am intending to use this for my office stuff, and it can be pushed out of the way when not in use. Photos to follow! I am expecting it to arrive early next week.
I am really glad I’ve done this revamp. Sometimes you have to live with a setup for a while to see whether it works, and I’ve had time to think about how it might be improved. Lots still to do, but it’s much more workable now!
It’s now payback time as far as my health is concerned, because I’ve seriously overdone it these past couple of days.