Our DIY skills might not be as superb as we’d like, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate a great craft room when we see one. Taking aesthetically soothing storage solutions and color-coded glitter to an unparalleled level, interior designer Gina Gutierrez took us inside her latest project: a dual office/craft room that’ll inspire just about any carefree litterbug to beckon their inner Marie Kondo.
“It’s so funny. I always try to think of where I get my organization ‘OCD’ from,” laughs Gutierrez. “I think I get a little bit from my mom—just watching her ways.”
While her label maker is never far, this head-to-toe office makeover entailed more than properly classified bins. Gutierrez’s clients, William and Tricia Page, needed the room to function as both a two-person office and a craft space for Tricia’s side hobby creating cards.
“We needed it to serve both purposes,” says the designer. “Both Tricia and William have room where they can pull out their laptops or read and write, but to hone in more on her craft, we put a table in the center of the room that can expand. That’s where she can really dive in.”
After nailing down the desk (which is actually a walnut countertop from Ikea placed on filing cabinets), Gutierrez moved onto the fun stuff—like color-coding the bookshelves, installing a craft-approved closet system, and creating a custom bulletin board.
We caught up with the designer and seasoned organizer to learn more about how this perfectly tidy space came together and to snag her tips for bringing creativity back to the workspace.
We could look at this craft nook all day. Did this space use to be a closet?
Yes! It originally had sliding doors. We were toying around with the idea of putting in new custom doors that were bifold so we could close it off and open it, but then after a while, we just figured everything is organized and in its place. It kind of has its own personality, so we took the doors off completely. Now it makes for easy access, which is the most important thing.
Was the shelving unit a custom project?
The whole closet is designed by the office system at the Container Store. They’re really great. We went in with an initial sketch and they pieced it together. It’s not intimidating at all. There are a couple of things from Ikea to house all her paper. From there, it’s all her crafts, and she just had to fill it up.
It looks like you took a few different approaches to organize books. Why?
I definitely love styling books by color. If my client has enough books, we immediately start to group and see what we can work with. That’s my go-to. Here, we also flipped some of the books because we wanted to try something new but also because some of the books were textbooks from college or big legal books (the bindings weren’t the prettiest). I also like stacking the books in different positions. Having a nice mix of heights is really important.
Is there a go-to shelving unit you swear by?
These CB2 shelves that go from floor to ceiling are one of our favorites. We’ve used them in quite a few projects because we deal with a lot of small spaces in San Francisco, so we’ve learned to utilized height. The more storage you can get the better.
Bulletin boards can easily look cluttered. How do you decide what goes on and what gets left out?
It always goes back to function and beauty. I like putting things up there that are functional—a calendar for when I need to know what date it is or any piece of paper you frequent, like a description for your business. It makes your day-to-day life easier to have those things. Then it always helps if there’s a little beauty so it looks thoughtful and not random. Feel free to pull things out of magazines or newspaper clippings that inspire you. I also like bringing in texture through flowers. Something that gives a little bit of life and dimension.
Where did you snag this beautiful board?
We worked with a company called Cork Board to create a custom piece. This one is specifically sized to line up with the filing cabinet. You can actually choose the fabric you want, so we picked this warm linen. The buttons are actually magnets so you’re not actually utilizing push pins.
What’s the best piece of organization advice you’ve ever received?
Sort things by category. That helps me stay really organized: having paper goods in one place, pens and pencils in one place, and electronics in a bin. Once I know what I have, I’m able to find a space for them. From there, I love labeling. I use this old-school label maker I got on eBay, which gives it a little beauty and twist. That’s helpful when you have a lot of bins.
For finishing details, Gutierrez likes to pepper in small decorative finds from lesser-known artisans and online ships. Here’s a quick list of the makers she’s loving right now:
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