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Bead Heaven!

bead heaven

Bead Heaven is my husband’s nickname for my bead studio. Once upon a time, the space was used as my home office when I worked from home full time. When I changed jobs and started working in an office, my space was transformed from an office to a den/ family room, but I kept a desk for me to use for crafts and one for my husband to use for building model airplanes. As by bead hobby developed, my beads began to take over the room little by little. Bead storage drawers were added, shelves for decorative items became shelves for beading books, patterns and jewelry displays. The room began to get overcrowded. We rearranged the furniture a few times but it was still quite crowded.

When Covid-19 hit New York, I was forced to use this space as a home office again. My architectural work requires a large desk and large computer monitor to use for large format drawings, so it was challenging to try to fit the work from home space into this room and still maintain room for my beadwork and Zoom classes. We managed by putting up a 6′ folding table in front of the large shelving unit you see in the photo above. It was a very awkward and crowded work environment for those three months.

Then came the flood….one morning in September, we woke up to find that our hot water heater had leaked and my bead studio was covered in about 2″ of water! Yes, those are my sneakers floating under the coffee table.

Thankfully, all of my beadwork was saved and we were covered by insurance to replace the carpeting, wood furniture and other damaged items. It took weeks to dry out the space, replace the water heater and plan the new space. I still needed to teach my classes and have my beadwork accessible, so we relocated my bead studio to my dining room until the new room was ready.

I began thinking about my ever changing needs and how to best layout the new room to allow me to work from home, have lots of bead storage, and still have a nice comfy place to watch TV while beading. I created some drawings of what my dream space might look like and then I went shopping to find an affordable way to achieve it.

I really love the clear Sterlite bead storage drawers that I’ve been using, so maintaining a place where I could keep them readily accessible to me was important. My drawers are labelled by bead type and size, and depending upon how many I have of a certain type, I separate them out by colors as well. I use the smaller drawers for smaller quantities and types of beads and findings, and the larger drawers for those that need more space. I typically store the beads in their original containers and labels – some are in tubes, some in little zip lock bags, and others are kept on strands until I am ready to use them.

When shopping for storage, I came across the Alex cabinets by Ikea. They have very shallow drawers that are perfect for craft supplies! I purchased two of them – one wide, low cabinet that slides under my desk, and one tall thin unit that sits at the end of my desk area. They are filled with beady goodies such as cabachons, crystals, stones, and my collection of Miyuki delica beads. I’ll give you a peak into a few:

Not all of my supplies are small enough to fit into the small drawers, so I needed some larger size drawers to store things like jewelry boxes, spools of cords and chain, beading boards, kit supplies, unfinished projects, and anything else that needed to be hidden away. I found an office that was moving and selling all of their “like new” steel file cabinets and desktops so I purchased a few cubicles worth of them and was able to create a perfect U shaped desk area with a credenza type set up across from it. The steel drawers are sturdy enough to hold my heavier items such as clasps, wire, and pliers.

We added some track lighting that can be aimed down toward my desk and also aimed at my shelving of jewelry displays. My husband is very handy and built me a little custom cabinet on wheels to keep the desktop computer below the desk. He also deserves credit for hauling and assembling all of the furniture, painting the room, adding moldings, shelving, etc. There are still some finishing touches to do but he is now working on fixing up his model airplane area in a different room (yes, we had to make some sacrifices)!

There is still room for our sofa, loveseat, coffee table and TV so this room can still function as a den. My husband can hang out with me and watch TV while I sit at the desk and bead. I have plenty of space to work my day job from home when needed. I am so happy that all is now organized and I really do have my “Bead Heaven” room!