Family Craft Room Makeover

Back of girl¿s head at computer desk with handprint canvas on wall
An Oregon architectural designer transforms a formal dining room into a place-for-everything project center for his family.

Craft Space on Wheels

Jerry Conduff, an architectural designer, drew plans to transform a 10x13-foot formal dining room into a family art studio when his wife's crafts and daughters' artwork began creeping into his office space. He took advantage of the room's perimeter, designing three workstations and a computer lab.

The open shelves above the kids' desk space were attached to the wall and ceiling for stability. "This is the only fixed element in the entire room," Jerry Conduff says. "The rest are on wheels and can be moved out. The room can take its life back as a dining room if we want it to."

The Details for Project Center

To withstand the wear-and-tear of a busy craft room, durability and organization were top priorities for the Conduff family as they reworked their dining room into a studio:

Tabletops: Made from 32-inch-wide birch veneer hollow-core interior doors, they were brushed with a marine grade sealer for durability.

Workstations: For better organization, Jerry built four storage caddies that fit under the tables. Each holds five shoebox-size plastic storage bins.

Flooring: Three-quarter-inch medium-density fiberboard (MDF) sheets were screwed into the existing subfloor. The MDF then received two coats of polyacrylic sealer to create a smooth, washable floor.

Everything Has Its Place

The top storage unit features a large cabinet and three flat file drawers. Finger holes in the doors and drawers keep the design simple. Deep storage slots for rolled paper and poster boards have adjustable dividers.

Six-inch-deep plastic bins are shown, but 12- or 18-inch-deep containers also fit. Storage bins glide on a simple "slider" system: 1/2-inch-deep grooves allow the bins to be removed for easy access.

Design Consistency

Portable art boxes made from the same MDF as the cabinets and drawers provide consistency in material, giving an overall clean look to the whole design. The boxes also have finger-hole detailing.

Narrow the Search

Shallow drawers provide easy access to art supplies and prevent having to dig deeply to find items.

Family Project

Renee Conduff, Jerry's wife, already had a computer desk. "We weren't ready to replace it, so I designed around it," Jerry says. "Now the room that sits empty most often is the family room!" The Conduffs created a colorful canvas showcasing their handprints for the new crafts room.

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