Creative Studio Tour

Today I’m giving a behind-the-scenes look at where I spend my creative time.  It’s where I craft, design my patterns and printables, photograph small projects, write instructions, and everything else my work day (or night!) encompasses. And, I cleaned it for you!

Carla Schauer Designs' Creative StudioMy studio (aka Craft Cave, Work Room, or Disaster Area, depending on who’s describing it), is in the finished basement.  It’s an average size room, 12×12 feet, but I’ve managed to make it function to fit my needs.  The biggest downside to the room is its location in the basement, since the natural light is nearly non-existent, and if the sump pump and backup battery both fail, I end up with the mess below.

Flooded creative studio before redesign.-Carla Schauer Designs

Luckily the walls stayed dry, but the carpet and everything laying on it was a loss.  My rotator cuff surgery the month before, postponed anything more than the carpet replacement for nearly 5 months.  Once I could work again, I decided on a room facelift.  This is a photo of the room from the computer desk, taken with my wide-angle lens to get the whole room in the shot.

Cabinet Wall Storage Solution--Carla Schauer Designs Studio

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To combat the bad combo of basement lighting and the previous wall color, I chose a cool-toned white for both the walls and the old laminate computer and printer desks.  It really helped eliminate the yellow cast the room used to have.

I put the cabinets in years ago.  The tall one holds supplies for beading, needlefelting, metalwork, wire, small wood pieces, clear stamps, punches, technique books and my portfolios.  The base cabinets hold tools like my die-cutter and dies, handheld jigsaw and wood cutters, and supplies like wet and dry adhesives, brushes, glitter, crystals, ink sticks and pastels, etc.

Wall of Shelves for Embellishment Storage-Carla Schauer Designs Studio

The wall on the right-hand side is the short wall next to the door to the room.  I’ve used narrow Ikea shelves to give me space to store lots of bits and pieces without sticking too far into the room. From top to bottom, they hold:

  • Loose ribbon jars
  • metal pails containing ribbon still on spools.
  • Odds & ends on tiered shelves, a bin of seashells and a box of flat embellishments
  • Resin, putty, and my Clearsnap Design Adhesives & foils.
  • Foil mini-pans each with a specific type of embellishment, pail of decorative scissors (the kids love these!), and velcro

Under these shelves is where I usually have the stuff that needs to be put away.

   plastic containers filled with scrapbook paper and paper flowers on counter.

Above the cabinets I store my patterned paper (cardstock is in a vertical file under my work desk) and my “flower tower”. To the left is my photography setup for small/medium sized projects.  I’ve only had it a couple months, but it seems to be working well so far.

Button Jar Storage Solution--Carla Schauer Designs Studio

Above are shelves that hold my button jars, repurposed from the flowers that are now in the tower.  No lids, because I like things to be easy to reach. Also on these shelves are my pens/markers & ink spritzes/accent bottles.  The top shelves hold my Ikea Muck buckets, with bakers’ twine spools, bulk chipboard, acrylic pieces and other larger items.

Computer Design Space--Carla Schauer Designs Studio

This side of the room is the tech side, where I do all my surface design.  While I’ve done my best to disguise the hardware, this is where the monitors, printers, cables, router, scanner, and other parts live.  All my to-do lists get taped to the shelf above the main monitor so they are staring me in the face.  I’m high-tech that way.

There’s also always a sketchbook here, I have them scattered throughout the house so they’re handy.   I spend a lot of time here at the desk, and I also wheel over to the craft table when I need to, so the big ugly chair stays because it doesn’t hurt my back.

Acrylic Paint Storage Shelves Using Ikea Ledges. | Carla Schauer Studio

One of my favorite storage areas is my acrylic paint shelves.  They take advantage of vertical space, and only stick out a couple inches into the room. You can find more details in this post:  Acrylic Paint Shelves


Ikea Raskog cart used for Art Supplies. Tools, paints, and sketch/art paper all in their own spaces! From Carla Schauer Designs studio.

I’ve also added an Ikea Raskog cart as a small art station that I can keep next to my art table to keep all my most used painting supplies close at hand.  Tools and most used colors on top, papers on the bottom, and markers, collage bits, and stamp carving supplies in the middle.  On the side, you can see where I clip finished collage papers waiting to be used.  It’s super-convenient, and one of my favorite stations.

It’s definitely a work-in-progress.  Sure, some things could be cuter.  I’d like to put up some banners instead of curtains at the window to let the available light in, the chair could be covered, and I may someday convince my husband to let me paint the file cabinet.  But right now, I’m pretty happy with the function of my space.  Now if only I can keep it this clean!


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    1. Angie, I’ve realized over the years that I have to have a spot for everything, even the tiniest bits. I tend toward chaos otherwise. I’m convinced it all breeds while I’m sleeping!

  1. All I can say is Wow! I,m so impressed-but I want to know how long it stays looking like that, Lol

    1. Sandy, the countertop on the back wall is where I die-cut, hammer, or use whatever tools I need for a project, then I can swivel around and use the table for putting together whatever I’m working on. So almost never. 😀 If it were this clean all the time, that would mean I’m not using it. That’s no fun at all!

  2. I LOVE it. You are so organized. I spied a sliver of Mini Laura photo bombing in one of the pics. 🙂

    1. That’s Mini Carla! She hangs out there against the cabinet, guarding the paper stash. 😀

      1. Duh, That is what I meant…LITTLE CARLA, not me. I shared your post on Me and My Peeps over on Facebook and pinned that pic. <3

  3. I really LOVE your paint storage! I’m going to have to borrow that idea! My mom has a huge basement but has never turned it into a studio because of the flooding you mentioned. I can’t imagine what a headache that was!

  4. trudy pope says:

    Fabulous room. Love the organization and variety of storage methods.

  5. Gwen Henderson says:

    I know this is a really old post, but do you by chance know where and what is ysed for the clear flower tower? I love it and can’t find anything like them.

    1. Hi Gwen,

      Each of the flower colors is in a separate clear box. I just stacked them on top of each other.