By Christina VanGinkel
The longer I scrapbook, the more I realize that every new house built should have a room dedicated to this hobby. Yes, I know this is unrealistic, and that some people do not even scrapbook, yet any good homebuilder should think ahead to the day when they might sell that house they are building and realize that the next owner might be a scrapbook aficionado and really relish that room set aside just for that purpose!
How about everybody else though, everyone who is already living in a house that was not obviously built around this way of thinking? They will need to be a bit more creative and look for a spot to claim as their very own craft / scrapbook room. The first rule they need to learn is that the space they find may not even be a room, but more likely, a spot carved out of a bigger area. I was fortunate enough to be able to carve just such a spot out of a room that we call 'the spare room'. It is the room that we put everything in, that does not really have any other place to call home. This ranges from books, to toys, to baby clothes that my daughter had no room at her home to store, so it ended up at my house. Overcrowded with not an inch to spare, I cleaned, and tossed, and rearranged until I had the room I needed to place a large table with room for me to spread out my layouts while I create, and be able to walk away from whatever my current project is, shutting the door to hide my disarray from any visitors.
Whenever I think of other spaces that would make ideal scrapbook areas, I always recall the landing at the top of the staircase in the house where I grew up. My parents had a large armoire situated there, that they used to store my father's suits. The armoire itself, situated with a few extra interior organizational aids, along with some additional shelving would have been an ideal spot to use for scrapping, especially with the view overlooking the spiral staircase and the large stained glass window that lighted the area!
Closets are another place that can sometimes be the perfect conversion for a crafting / scrapping spot. Of course, this would mean taking stock of what the closet's current use is, and clearing it out to other closets and storage spots. The nice thing about converting a closet though, if you can spare it from its original use, is that it is truly found space. If the closet in an out of the way spot, in a spare bedroom for example, you could even consider removing the doors, allowing the area to spill out just a bit into the room it is situated in. If you are using a hall closet though, be as innovative as you can be as far as storage inside the closet goes. Be sure that you will have room for your chair when the door is shut, or consider one that is both comfortable and decorative enough for you to place it in the hallway for a decorative touch when you are not actually putting it to use.
An entryway may not seem like a good spot for a craft / scrapbook room, but if that is the only area that you can find, it can work. Be sure to use a desk or other type of storage that will allow you to stow away everything when you are finished though. Because an entryway has another purpose, this means other people will frequent the space and you will want to be sure that whatever you are currently working on will have no chance of being damaged. You will also not want to leave clutter about if this is the first spot moist people will see upon entering your home. While not an ideal spot to set up your supplies, it can be done.
Carving out a bit of room, to dedicate to a hobby that you love so much can be done in just about any sized house if you want to claim the space bad enough. Consider every possibility, no matter how unconventional, and before you know it, you will be happily scrapping away in your very own space.