Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pulling Together A New Office

I was asked to help pull together a small medical office. This was for a Chiropractor that will see patients in a Pediatrician's office once a week as both doctors are working toward integrating standard medicine with fields that focus first on wellness, which as a parent I love the idea of. I feel odd mentioning names but if you are in Central Florida and are interested in this type of partnership between doctors, email me as I'd love to recommend them to you!
He has a waiting room and a room next to it for his adjusting area that was not private nor defined from the other. He brought his green table into an office with baby blue walls and red chairs and I must say, I was a little perplexed how I would make this space feel cohesive when I first walked in!

The Challenge:
Make a curtain that could provide privacy for the adjusting room. Warm up the space. Provide something for kids and siblings to do while waiting. If possible, try to make the curtain tie into the green table and blue walls and red chairs. (Um, okay!)

Before: waiting room area

After: waiting room area

Before: adjusting room.

(This also clearly shows the colors that I was working with)

After: adjusting room

Once I saw the small window, I had to complete a valance for that as well!

Here is a closer look at the fabric I found! You can't see the red well in the pictures but it does stand on its own in the space. It softens the room up and ties the colors together!

Fabric really is amazing isn't it?

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Make Your Own Window Seat

I do encourage doing everything on your own but you may need a little bit of help on this unless you know how to use a saw! It only takes a short amount of time to do the construction part and it isn't that difficult! The fabric is all you!

1. Determine where you want your seat and the size. Lay out large paper if it has a unique shape which is what I did here. I free handed the curve. Or, determine the exact dimensions if it has straight lines.
2. Cut the seat shape out of two pieces of MDF. Yes, TWO.

3. Take one piece of MDF to your local upholstery shop and choose your foam. The thicker the better. You need to do this first, or at least know your plan, before you build your seat so you know exactly how high the base seat needs to be built. They will cut it for you to match your top exactly. To give you an idea of cost, mine is 4" thick and was around $70.

4. Use 2x4s to support one piece of your MDF seat at your predetermined height. Use studs to support the seat on the wall as well as legs and then make legs every 8"-12" where it isn't attached to the wall. If you plan to use this as storage, make sure your legs are spaced correctly for function. You won't see it so just make it strong and you are set! Construction is done!

5. Buy your fabrics!

6. Determine the bottom skirt measurement. You will need to leave 3" inches to staple on the top. The length should be adjusted based on how much gathering you want. 1.5 times your actual length gives you a decent amount but play a bit before you cut! Hem the sides and bottom. Start gathering and pinning until you get the piece the right length with gathers. Do one run on the sewing machine to hold the fabric in place and remove the pins. If you need to tweak it, just loosen or gather more as you go, especially around the corners but doing this first makes it easier. Staple it to the built in bench. You should use an upholstery stapler to get through the MDF which you can get at any craft store.

7. Set your seat fabric face down on a flat surface. Set your cushion and then your MDF, also upside down. Ensure you have enough room surrounding every side to cover before you start to staple! The TRICK with upholstering is to take it slow and to maintain your fabric lines as you go. Do not start at one point and stay in a straight line. Put a few staples in the center of the left side, a few on the right, a few in the front, a few in the back, always ensuring that your fabric is staying taunt, not pulled too tight and remaining straight. Do the corners last by gathering each piece carefully so you don't have any areas with a large amount of fabric. Staying balanced is key. Curves are tough! You must use fabric with some give. Email me if you need some hints but most likely, you won't have to worry with that!
8. Viola! You have a window seat and it's gorgeous and custom! Now sew some pillows from coordinating fabric to go with it or buy some! Mine has some scrapbook storage under it and if I'm in the middle of a sewing project, I slide the storage box and other stuff under until I'm done with that project! It's a great hiding place too, the kids love it!
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Friday, June 13, 2008

"Make Me Pretty" said the desk . . .

Can you tell these clients have a BIG house? They don't even NEED this area! Surrounding this area by their garage entry are 3 bedrooms and a bathroom and one room is a large office. So this area did not need to be used at all as an office but it did need something!

The Challenge:
Move the collectibles to another area. Create a space that looks good!

What Worked:
Decor: Clean Slate
Organization: Lots of space!

What Didn't Work:
Decor: This became a space where things collected. I didn't take a picture before I moved a few things but it basically housed extra wine and collectibles.
Organization: There are drawers but they weren't organized. It was an easy catch-all. However, there was no home for anything so her purse and his keys ended up in the kitchen or laundry room or sometimes here. The goal was to find places where all these things belonged! They own 2 businesses and had lots of paperwork, flyers, marketing they wanted to read, pending decisions, industry magazines, etc. that ended up in other areas as well and I wanted to find a place for them to sort these things too.

I organized this space along with several closets all at once in order to zone everything. Batteries are now in one place and not in 4 different areas, for example. The desk holds everyday office type supplies like tape, pens and thank you cards! No more screwdrivers and light bulbs here!

The basket holds things like sunglasses, the hooks hold keys and her purse and the tower sorts all their pending business materials until they are ready to take action or toss them. The bulletin board holds pictures, invitations and upcoming items. The clips can be used by anyone for whatever their 'thing' is that always seems to be sitting around. Maybe it's paperwork to take with you or forms to send to school or banking if you run a business from home. For this family, they always had coupons as well as gift cards sitting around so the clips are labeled and now they have a home for them!

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Can you do anything with this space?

I enjoy a unique challenge and this was certainly a tough one! This bathroom is the employee bathroom in a medical office. Their office is very busy and every inch of space is used for their patients, except for a narrow area for the only private office and this bathroom. So, it has become storage along with being their bathroom. As you walk in on either side, there are two LARGE metal units that house all their office supplies. It was so narrow I couldn't even photograph inside them. Past them as you start to see the actual bathroom area housed cleaning supplies and you can't see it in the picture but in between the right cabinet and the toilet was a small tower of the paint cans they needed for future touch ups.

The Challenge:
Organize the space, help us find space, make it look better and Nothing can leave! That's right, even the paint cans need to stay! There really was no other room in their large office for these things.
What Worked:
Decor: The wall color ties into the office and I am pleased I can unify this neglected space with the rest of their office that has been set up quite nicely.
Organization: They have done a good job of keeping things up with their space challenge. Their supplies were in order and everything they had they did need.
What Didn't Work:
Decor: Definition between storage and bathroom had been completely lost. I had to take back the bathroom area as tight as it was!
Organization: Zones were desperately needed. A few storage items were needed to maximize their storage space within the cabinets.

It's tough to see but on the sides of this picture, you can see the tan 6' tall storage cabinets that take up pretty much this entire space.

Sorting through every shelf, bin and box and determining specific zones made a huge difference. Parts for medical equipment were clearly labeled and given their own zone which had no place of its own before. They now have a system set up with a reference at each cabinet along with labels on everything so they can quickly locate anything from a paperclip to marketing for future holidays. Zoning items helped free up enough space to move everything off the floor--even all the paint!
Here is the after. I made the sink skirt from a shower curtain and the basket to the left of the sink on the wall was in the CD section at Target that was not made for hanging at all. Altering items and using them in another manner than what they were intended can save money while solving problems! I hung the cleaning supplies and the mop bucket is under the sink. Everything that had been in the plastic drawer system is now in the cabinets.

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