A Pretty Sewing Room Makeover

Margaret Sindelar's family room was in desperate need of a makeover. The once-friendly space had been taken over by bolts of fabric and scads of sewing notions. See how designer Pamela Porter turned the room into a creative oasis.


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Overall of sewing room
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A Place to Sew

    Margaret Sindelar's sewing nook, at one end of her family room, is complete with a large work surface and plenty of storage-savvy cabinets and containers, which are key to keeping a hardworking room clutter-free. Margaret's chair is on casters, making it easy for her to move around her space.

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Homeowner and Crafter Margaret Sindelar

    Margaret Sindelar, a professional seamstress, was in desperate need of a sewing room makeover, but she didn't know where to start. Designer Pamela Porter stepped in to help.

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Sewing Room, Before

    Fourteen years ago, Margaret had converted her family room into a sewing workroom, selling the sofa and chairs and sending the television (along with husband Gary) to the basement. Mounds of sewing supplies soon overpowered the room.

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Sewing Room, Before

    Margaret's dreary sewing room lacked proper storage and work space before Pam got a hold of it.

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Pegboard Storage

    For one of Margaret's cabinets, Pam had a pegboard sheet cut to fit, painted with a durable oil-base paint, and mounted on 3/4x1-inch furring strips. A tension rod holds ribbon in place just in front of the pegboard.

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Magnetic Memo Board

    A bank of 7-inch-deep cabinets allows for creative storage ideas, such as this magnetic memo board. Pam had galvanized metal cut to fit, dressed with wallpaper, and screwed to the cabinet back. Small containers with magnets on the back hold beads and buttons.

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See-Through Storage

    Margaret stores her extensive collection of buttons in large jars displayed on shelves.

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Tilt-Open Storage

    Because the desktop was cut out to accommodate a sewing machine, a clever tilt drawer replaced the center desk drawer.

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Organize, Recycle or Toss

    Pam had a petite garbage-can insert retrofitted into a small cabinet. The divided bins allow Margaret to sort scraps according to save for another project or discard.

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Fabric Storage

    Shelves between frosted-glass doors allow Margaret to sort and label stacks of pretty quilting fabric by color. The 18 drawers below house notions and other supplies. The drawer pulls with labels ensure that Margaret can easily find everything.

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Appliance Storage

    A phone jack and an electrical outlet installed inside a cabinet allow the room to function smartly without unsightly cords. There's also an electrical outlet in the floor under the desk.

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Hidden Ironing Board

    Pam Porter suggested retrofitting a convenient and compact ironing board kit into a cabinet drawer. An electrical outlet was placed in the toe-kick of the cabinet below.

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Pincushion Collection

    Margaret's collection of pincushions sits nicely within reach on this pretty pedestal.

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Business Storage

    This rich cherry sideboard has a shelf that slides out to create an instant writing desk. In place of an unsightly metal filing cabinet, blue fabric-covered file boxes keep invoices tidy.

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Magazine Storage

    Margaret keeps magazines organized in metal bins with labels cut from magnetic ink-jet paper.

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Sewing Nook Sitting Area

    Pam gave this settee a quick makeover with a folded quilt on the seat and a floral cushion added to the back. She hung a balanced composition over the settee to make it a focal point.

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Fabric Art

    Pam rolled lengths of fabric and placed them in a shadow box to create this sewing-theme artwork in Margaret's sewing nook.

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Family Room

    To finish off the room, Pam Porter had the carpet, wallpaper, and wood paneling removed. Now Margaret's family can relax in cheery surroundings while she sews in her nook at one end.

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Adding the Details

    Pam gave the fireplace a quick makeover with off-white latex paint in a gloss finish. Fun colors and accessories make the family room end of the space welcoming.

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Handmade Artwork

    Buttons in a range of sizes and pink hues spell out the room's purpose.

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How the Artwork Was Made

    To reproduce this artwork, spell a word or saying using computer-generated letters or those from a typography book. Enlarge it to the desired size, cut out, and use a fabric pencil to trace it onto fabric. Attach buttons over the traced lines using fabric glue. Frame when dry.

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Let in the Light

    Knowing light is essential for any crafter, Pam had a bay window added to the family room and dressed sparingly to usher in natural light. Nine recessed lights highlight the room's charm after sunset.

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