When working in a studio or office space, it can be a bit of a challenge to create a soft look. Things like desks, shelving units, drafting tables and light fixtures are the norm for these rooms, and the unifying factor is a hard, solid surface. Thankfully there are a few options available to us when working to soften our offices, like upholstered seating, curtains and rugs, but it is definitely a challenge to achieve balance.
Luckily for me, I was able to combine a guest room with my studio/office space, which helped tremendously in adding a casual layer of texture. But thus far, the twin bed, leather stool and upholstered desk chair were the only sections adding any kind of softness. I wanted more.
One particular area of the room was anything BUT soft, yet it suddenly hit me that it could easily be changed to suit. The massive shelving unit that you see below is actually a TV stand that my father built several years ago (back when bubble TVs were still cool). After they upgraded to a flat screen, dad added shelves to the inside area making it a perfect place for me to store my art papers and drawings. Although it was functional, my cluttered artwork was really distracting the eye from the beautiful design of the unit itself. It was time for a change.
My idea was to make a curtain to cover the mess, using the same technique that I used on our cafe curtains in the kitchen – A little fabric, some iron on hem tape and a package of clip on curtain rings. Not only would it hide the mess, it would add a nice soft layer to the room as well – Win, win.
I had actually picked up several yards of gray chevron some time last year with the intention of making curtains for the studio, but ended up finding panels at Target that I liked better. So the chevron lay in waiting in the closet for months and months. That is, until I stumbled upon it while rifling through my fabric inventory for this particular DIY curtain project. It was the perfect color combo and added a little pattern to the solid wood unit.
After cutting a piece to size, I simply unrolled a length of the hem tape, folded the edge overtop and ran my hot iron along the fabric to activate the adhesive. Iron on tape is the best. The BEST.
Once my hems were complete and the entire piece got an ironing to get rid of the wrinkles, I simply attached the ring clips every 5 inches or so and strung them on a matching tension rod that I picked up at Target for $6. All in all, this project cost me about $10 – The added color, fun pattern and hidden clutter are all WELL worth the price.
Beyond the aesthetic advantages, the curtain works really well too. It hardly needs explaining, but it’s a cinch to “shink” back the curtain to access the paper and supplies behind the fabric. I get an unusual sense of satisfaction when I pull the curtain aside to get something and then pull it back to cover everything again. No one is the wiser that it’s still a big mess back there – Well, except for you guys…Shhhh, don’t tell.
How do YOU guys soften your office spaces?
P.S. Were you sad to have Valentine’s Day come and go? Well the fun isn’t over quite yet. Click over to Burlap+Blue this morning, where I’m sharing a tutorial for simple DIY heart cake toppers – It’s all in the name of love. And sugar…