My New Room

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Welcome, finally, to the new and improved Posie craft studio! Won't you please come in?

Looking north

Looking south

Looking east

Looking west

There is a lot to see here. I'll try to take it slow and show you around. But basically, this is it! This is my new room!

We began working on this room about a month ago now, I guess. The redecoration was a long time coming, since although we had cleaned and painted a few times over the past ten years (here is what it most recently looked like), it had long housed a jumbled collection of mismatched furniture, jerry-rigged shelving, utility tables and chairs that were the wrong working heights, carpet (blech), and just, in general, too much stuff for one room.

My inspiration for this new space was the work and homes of Swedish artists Carl and Karin Larsson, whose aesthetic I love and whose rooms have influenced me so much over the years. For such a long time I've had this dream of grayish-blue walls, red gingham curtains, and a red geranium in a terra-cotta pot. I really don't know what's taken me so long to make it happen. But I swear, when I put that pot on the windowsill, my very soul sighed with contentment.


It really did.

We started by painting the room Buxton Blue by Benjamin Moore which we got at the awesomely wonderful Pearl Hardware. I can't tell you how much I love this color. It is a deep grayish-blue, and changes like crazy with the light. You will see in the photos that this color looks different in almost every shot. That is because it looks different constantly and throughout the day (and also because I change my white balance a lot, depending on how I feel). Next we had the old yucky carpet ripped out and pretty, blond laminate flooring installed (by The Floor Store) in a color called Montgomery Maple.


Then we started going to IKEA. Constantly.


If your decorating inspiration is "Swedish country" and your budget is small (whose isn't) and your town, like ours, actually has an IKEA, life is good. IKEA came to Portland a couple of years ago now. It's arrival brought much-needed shelving to our dining room and bedroom several years ago and pretty much changed our entire house (I would say life) for the better. This time, for the studio, we got every single piece of furniture there. It was, I just have to say, an excellent experience. Andy built all of the furniture for me and he did such a great job. I'm sure we lucked out, but everything fits, everything is functional, everything is beautiful, everything went together. We only got in one small fight (again about a chair!!!) and I only had one IKEA freak-out during the negotiations about the chair when a) the music speaker was right over my head and playing way too loud, b) there were four teenagers zooming around in office chairs and crashing into each other immediately next to where we were having a very tense (i.e.: mostly silent) discussion about office chairs ourselves, and c) we were in the "as is" area, and thus, if we did purchase the exponentially cheaper chair and it turned out to be wrong, we could not return it. Suddenly I saw that Andy had the "I love this chair and only this chair" crazy-man glint in his eye (I'd seen it before). Unfortunately, his beloved chair was not the chair that I wanted, but my resolve (not to mention my legs) was getting wobbly; as this was my seventh trip to IKEA in two weeks, the commitment to a non-returnable chair turned out to be too much for me to handle at that moment. I (involuntarily) made a noise that sounded like, "Ay-eeeeeeeeeee!" [dolphin] and staggered out of As-Is back toward the warehouse, where I went and sat in the Poang display chair with my feet up and my eyes half-closed (while Andy did the rest of the shopping for track lighting [aren't I clever???] ). I think it was about forty-five minutes before I could move.  I don't know if I was actually allowed to sit in that chair, since it was on one of those platform things that I think are supposed to be for display and not customer resuscitation, but none of the workers said anything to me about it. It was obvious I'd hit the proverbial IKEA wall. I was not a big fan of the Poang chair before, but now I am. It was lovely. (The next morning, I woke up feeling strong and healthy and said immediately, "Dang it! I need my chair!" [It was the red one.] Andy's mania had left him [and he'd discovered he needed four more track-lighting adapters]: IKEA trip #8, first thing Saturday morning, which included Swedish pancakes and thrills and giggles because the red chair was still there — yay!)

But let me back up. To figure out what I needed, first I measured the room and the width of each of the doorways (including the trim) and the windows. Then I got a piece of graph paper and made a floor plan, with each 1/4" square equaling 6". Then I went to IKEA (that was trip #1) with my little floor plan and a notebook and just, very slowly, walked through the whole store, thinking about what I might need. I took notes on lots of different pieces of furniture, figuring out dimensions and prices. I noted the names of everything that I liked and kept a list of Needs and Wants. Then I made little paper pieces that fit the footprint of each fixture and moved them around the floor plan until everything fit. I started with the thing that I knew I was definitely going to Need: SHELVES.


These are the Expedit shelving units in birch. They come in different configurations; I wound up with two 4 x 4s and two 4 x 2s on top of them. I also got three white door inserts, three red door inserts, and three Branas baskets to hide the stuff I didn't want to look at, like bills and mail and copy paper and plastic boxes of embroidery floss, etc. That gave me just enough room to slide in the Jonas desk to the left of the shelves; it holds my computer, printer, telephone, and stereo.


Anyway, so . . .




where was I.


Oh yeah. For my sewing machine, I knew I would need a sewing table that had leaves. The Leksvik dining table has two that extend it out another three feet, maybe. But I think this rectangular table is discontinued, because ours was on sale and I don't see it on the web site. It's a really nice color, though — kind of a grayish brown. I really like this color. For my fabric, I wanted a cabinet with glass doors on it — doors so I could shut them, glass so that I could still kind of see all the pretty fabrics. So, the Liatorp cabinet (which also matches our bedroom shelves and dining-room china cabinet). That just squeezed into one of the small walls. I didn't want anything to go in front of the windows. Lastly, the Varde kitchen island was a no-brainer, really. Mine is just like the one in the big photo (click the link), made up of two separate pieces: four big drawers on one, two shelves on the other, all topped by one big, beautiful wooden top. Which I have to oil every other day for a month (and which I do). This configuration was also shown as a sample on the showroom floor, so I had to get a sales associate to help me order exactly what was there, as it was totally confusing, and even the sales associate messed up the first time (so definitely get someone to help you, and then ask them to have another associate look it over, because you do not want to get this behemoth home and discover it's wrong). I don't see these exact pieces on the web site. My old table had no storage underneath it, so this thing is totally incredible to me. I only wish my kitchen was big enough to have one.


All of the lighting came from IKEA, as well. The Basisk pendants hang over the sewing machine. The Leran pendant hangs over the kitchen island. The table lamps are Januari bases with wicker shades that I can't find on the site, but they're in the stores right next to those bases. I have those all over my house right now. The French door curtains are here. The red gingham curtains came from Country Curtains. I guess I could've made those but I have made so many curtains for the windows of this house that if I never have to make another one it'll be too soon. I am done with making curtains. I took my screens out (we don't really need them in Oregon) and so the view through the windows is lovely and clear. Yum.

Directly behind the camera in the shot above is the sliding door to outside.

The view from my studio looking south, into the back yard. The pendant lamp is fake wicker and rated for outdoors. Love it.

It is glorious to be practically in the back yard while I work.


Clover Meadow absolutely loves the new studio. I really think she loves it as much as I do. I know Audrey would have loved it, too.


It's close to their favorite rock, and the back yard, and the dogs next door. Clover comes and goes all day long.


Doesn't she look like she loves it? :-)

We took these photos over the course of an hour or two. They don't show up chronologically here because I wasn't very organized in how I took them, and I am not very organized in how I'm showing them (I will put enlargements of all of these images up on Flickr when I have some time). But all this golden light started happening after about six p.m.


It is so beautiful just after six p.m.


Jeesh. That's nice. Love love love. Never want to leave.


Oh, I really, really love my new room. I love that Andy and Clover and the Avetts and I did it together. I love how it feels and how it makes the house feel. I love how it makes me feel. I am going to keep it soooooo clean you're not even gonna believe it. I swear I swear I swear. xoxo


Margaret Krueger says: September 28, 2011 at 08:55 PM

What a beautiful friend also has the Varde cabinet/island..she cut down the legs some and added some heavy duty industrial casters so she can move it around.

im sick at my stomach. aching for this very space. lucky you. really, this is the studio of my dreams. ahhhhhhh...........

Gorgeous! I love how open and how you have so much of the outdoors in. The space appears large. I have a loft I would like to do something similar with. Thanks for sharing I saw your pics on Pinterest!

I love your room sooooo very much. It is totally my cup of tea, I would never want to leave it. You are a lucky lady. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous

Hi Alicia!

I was gushing about your style sense to my mom and finding her this post (she's a seamstress and looking to organize her crafting space). She wants to get blog updates, but when I click on 'subscribe to this blog's feed' goes straight to html code :(

We use Google Chrome, in case you need to know (my software architect hubs said it might be a browser issue). I thought I would tell you about it in case you have other readers with the same problem.

Can you email me a different way to do it? Thanks so much.

HA! Love it. If it wasn't for the Avett Brother's obsession we share, I wouldn't have realized I was on your blog before for a brownie recipe. :)

I so appreciate this post!! We've had a large swatch of Buxton Blue on our living room wall for a few weeks, and I was afraid it would be too light and baby-boy blue. Seeing the variety of shades in your photos is incredible, and definitely helps me commit to the color! We have a dark living room, so seeing your photos convinces me we don't need to go darker.

Thank you again, and beautiful home! I heart IKEA.

Oh I love your crafts room! Is the white chair at your Jonas desk also from Ikea or did you "improve" it yourself? - I hate those black office chairs and would love to make a white bright one from an old chair...

I love it when there is so much light in a room.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.