Florida Craft Room Makeover Plan

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As far as craft rooms go, I do realize I kinda hit the jackpot with our new Florida home. But is it really a jackpot if it’s not a surprise?

I mean, the FROG/CROG was one of our prime motivators in buying this house. No other houses we looked at had a space so perfectly suited for my craft room than the one in which I currently sit.

And it’s big!

I won’t shy away from it’s size or try to be coy about it. It’s long and it’s wide and it’s green. I don’t think “craft room” does it justice. I’ll need a new term for it – something more…grand.

The Mod Podge Mahal perhaps?

The Grand Manyon? o_0

I don’t know. I guess I’ll need to think on it a bit more.

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Florida Craft Room Makeover Plan

But the beauty is in its simplicity. It’s just a long corridor with a window on one end…

frog room

…and a crapatorium powder room on the other.

new craft room

Two things jump out immediately: that green and that black.

The Walls (aka The Green)

The Green is easy to fix. I never met a wall a little white paint couldn’t transform from drab to brilliant. And one thing I will say about Those Who Came Before – they actually discovered and used an absolutely brilliant white in the other half of the house that they didn’t tarnish with this perplexing green. If you’re looking for a universal white that is pure (but not ultra-pure white), soft and neutral, look no further than…Valspar.

Yep, Valspar. My sworn enemy in paint since their ceiling paint almost chocked the life out of me in Suwanee. Though I’ve never touched a can since (and likely never will), I must admit those would-be wizards of wall coverings over at Valspar Research and Development have hit upon the formula for perhaps the best all-around white we’ve ever seen.

And believe you me, madam, my babes and I have snatched every white and off-white paint chip by every paint manufacturer in North America and pored over them like scholars scrutinizing the Dead Sea Scrolls in a desperate search for the One White.

As it turns out, we never found the One White. The best we could come up with was a favorite white for southern exposure (Bohemian Lace by Sherwin-Williams) and a favorite for northern exposure (Greek Villa by Sherwin-Williams). And we were all ready to slather those two concoctions all over the walls of our new Florida home. We even painted a big patch of Bohemian Lace over one of the existing white walls.

We waited breathlessly while our beloved Bohemian dried…

And then we looked to see how much better our color was than theirs.

Except it wasn’t.

Not by a long shot!

Their white was clean and noble, while in comparison, ours looked like a smoker’s white curtains after 30 years of Lucky Strikes.

When we found the responsible can in the garage we were even more shocked.

Valspar!

The budget brand we overlooked in our search for the best and most durable paint. Because we never considered their paint, we also neglected their palette!

Swiss Coffee was the name of that white, and if that’s the color of coffee in Switzerland, somebody better phone Ignazio Cassis and let him know his country is doing it wrong.

But man, that color! I’d show you one of those digital color splotches, but really, the digital reproduction looks nothing like the color does in real life. If you’re looking for a white that could very well serve as your Jack-of-all-trades, go to Lowe’s and ask for Swiss Coffee.

That said, I’m still not going to be getting Valspar paint. Try to kill me once with your noxious odors, shame on your chemical engineers. Try to kill me twice with your noxious odors, shame on me.

Nope, since Valspar and Sherwin-Williams colors come squirting out of the same computerized coloring machine at Lowe’s, I’ll just ask them to whip me up a batch of Sherwin-Williams Infinity paint using the Valspar color code. Hehehe, the perfect plan.

This is not so say that we’ve abandoned our prior sweetheart, Bohemian Lace. To the contrary, we’re still going to use that paint in sun-drenched, light-filled southern-exposed rooms. But for rooms like the craft room with one northern-facing window, Swiss Coffee is the perfect color to bring in the maximum amount of light. And it’s especially perfect for my craft room, as I need the light to be absolutely clean in there – either from sunlight or my photography bulbs – with no weirdly-colored reflected light from weirdly-colored walls. After all, it’s not just a craft room, it’s a photography studio, a movie studio, and the world headquarters of The Blabber Navage Patch!

Now, about that black floor…

The Floor (aka The Black)

You know, at one point this was a perfectly beautiful bamboo floor in what looks to have been a tried and true provincial color. But somewhere along the way, someone thought, “you know what would really make this beautiful floor pop? BLACK GEL STAIN! Yeah, black stain…that’s the ticket!”

And then that someone proceeded to glop the stuff all willy-nilly on the floor, ultra back and goopy here…not-quite-enough there…oh, bathroom floor tiles? Yeah, let’s just get a little sloppy and get some on there, too!

And then they marveled at their work.

But something was missing.

Something just wasn’t quite…perfect.

“GLOSS!” the stain applier cried into the cavernous room, “it needs more GLOSS!”

Whereupon a hard shell of glassy, reflective gloss was applied to complete…”the look.”

Yeah, so we inquired about ripping it out or just planking right over it. The former would be so much work (assuming it’s nailed in) that the labor costs would sink us. The other would yield a sub-par result, as the floor (like 99% of floors in the world) is not level. To make it level would again require absurd amounts of labor and leveling concrete.

(it’s a craft room, fer cryin’ out loud!)

Conclusion: live with it and throw some area rugs over it. At the end of the day, it’s a work room. If we had gone through all the time, effort and expense of re-flooring only to have Captain Clumsington here spill paint or something caustic all over it, well, we’d be two unhappy campers in Craftown. But anything spilled on ol’ black-n-shiny…well…it can’t get any uglier, amirite?

We haven’t decided what rugs we’ll be using, but you can be sure they’ll be cheap and printed, like the rug we used in our Suwanee kitchen remodel.

Kitchen Remodel Reveal – TheNavagePatch.com

Now, speaking of cheap printed rugs (which we absolutely love, just so you understand – don’t let the word “cheap” throw you), be sure to check out our Beautiful & Affordable Area Rugs post for some great-looking rugs at prices you won’t mind walking on!

Storage and Cabinetry

Okay, so overall, my new Florida craft room is going to have a similar look and feel to my Suwanee craft room and my Jacksonville craft room. Namely, they are all built with IKEA Havsta cabinets. If you recall, this was my Suwanee craft room:

New Craft Room - TheNavagePatch.com

You’ll notice 4 Havsta base cabinets topped with two uppers.

Never one to do anything by half measures, and in this case not even double measures, my babes asked me to buy and build 5 more Havstas while in Jacksonville. Hey, the IKEA store was only a couple of miles away from our Jax apartment – can you blame her?

Fun fact: that Jacksonville IKEA is still the closest IKEA to us. But instead of three miles away from our house, it’s now three hundred miles away!

Anyway, we’ll be moving 9 cabinets and two upper cabinets up there. You’d think that would be enough craft storage space wouldn’t you?

Madam, I laugh in your general direction if you’re nodding your head in the affirmative right now!

Crafting Table

This will be the same crafting table I built in Suwanee, and it’s the one pictured above behind the rustic console table I built in Connecticut. It’s a modified IKEA Alex drawer unit table, and it makes a fantastic crafting table. I’ll give a little more information on it in a future craft room update for those interested in making one of their own.

Above the crafting table will be my photography rig – a suspended platform from which I hang photography lights, a 35mm camera for still photos, and my iPhone for videos and stills.

Writing Area

Unlike Suwanee, this craft room is big enough to hold my writing desk and associated furniture as well. I sold the executive desk we bought in Georgia before moving, and I’ve since taken over Baris’s old Suwanee computer/gaming desk – two IKEA Alex drawer units with a butcher block countertop between them.

DIY Wall-to-Wall Desk with computer on it

I keep my files and camera gear in the two West Elm inspired bookcase towers I built in Connecticut. We thought about selling these when we moved here, but they really look so nice, and they’d be much more expensive to build again with today’s prices!

Home Office Makeover - TheNavagePatch.com

I’m getting old, and doing any one thing for too long creates pain – including sleeping! So keeping in the tradition of pilfering Baris’s old stuff and using it myself, I commandeered his desktop sit/stand unit. It’s real life-saver when I’m putting in a lot of grueling hours writing blog posts on my middle-aged ass!

Lighting

Right now, the room is lit with three boob lights on the ceiling. They give decent light, but the boob lights are gonna get the heave-ho in favor of two flush-mount ceiling lights like the ones below.

The middle boob light will be replaced with a flush-mount ceiling fan. That room above the garage gets hot hot hot, so a little breeze will be much appreciated while I’m toiling away in the dog days of summer!

Connectivity

Based on where we have our Wi-Fi router, my CROG is a dead zone. I tested the speed up here, and though we’re supposed to have 1 gigabit speed, I only clocked 1 megabit speed. That’s one tenth of one percent of maximum and entirely unacceptable for running an online business. As Cox is the only provider out here in the boonies, we had to go with their range extenders, and to be fair, they’ve boosted me from 1 megabit per second up to about 150 megabits per second. Not quite the 500-900 megabits per second downstairs, but vastly better than one measly megabit. Might as well blog by smoke signal at those speeds – I’d get more done!

For those with dead zones, a Wi-Fi mesh system may be something to look into. Google makes a great one that you can check out on Amazon. There’s nothing like having a strong Wi-Fi signal no matter where in your house you go!

Okay, we’ve got the plan, now it’s time to execute. We’re going to get this craft room ready as soon as possible so I can start making some crafts for our new house and for the blog. Stay tuned for more updates!

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31 Comments

  1. Hi Greg,
    Have you ever aged plastic Terra Cotta pots? I’d appreciate any post you from your archives. I’m going for the “calcified” look. 😁
    Thank you for sharing your new journey!
    I’m looking for for new outdoor rugs so I appreciated your resources!

    1. Hi Jan, our technique wouldn’t work on plastic terra cotta because it needs a porous surface. I’m not sure how you’d do it on plastic.

  2. You truly brighten my day with your informational and humorous writings. I also have a single boy who is away from home in his first year of college so that’s an added bonus to hear about the wonderful stuff you do for him as well as the stories about stuff you pretty from his room in his absence.

  3. Can’t wait to see how this all comes together! BTW – I LOVE the ceiling fan/light in your previous (Suwanee) craft area – can you tell me where you got that? We are in desperate need of an updated fan/light fixture!!

    1. Ooooh, those fans, Susie. The ones we used throughout the house (the smaller ones) we bought for about $200. They now go for $700. The one in the living room we bought for $400 now sells for $800. Times are changing and not for the better! Anyway, they’re made by Kichler. We’re on the hunt for new fans here, and you can rest assured we would never pay the prices being asked today. We’ll find something just as beautiful for 2019 prices…it just may take some time!

  4. OMGosh, glad to read we aren’t the only people who think of those ceiling lights as “boob lights” 😂 We replaced all of ours with the same style you guys will be using. We lucked out and they were on sale at Costco. They made a big difference!

    We found these fans that look awesome with the new lights:
    lowes.com/pd/Fanaway-Evo1-48-in-Brushed-Chrome-LED-Indoor-Ceiling-Fan-with-Light-Kit-and-Remote-4-Blade/1001863594
    They can be a pill to install, but are well worth the effort! We were looking for ceiling fans that didn’t look like ceiling fans when shut off and these popped up.

    Can’t wait to see what you guys end up doing!

    1. LOL, yep, I think it’s a universal term at this point! Wow, that fan is dope, but yeesh, it’s a little too hoity toity at that price for my lowly craft room! 😀

      1. We got the fans on sale, but they were still pricey. For us it was worth the splurge, they make us happy 😊 Sooooo much better than what they replaced which were ceiling fans that resembled actual airplane propellers!

  5. You could always just wear dark glasses to eliminate glare…. Anyway, I wanted to mention a wonderful product dh and I have discovered. modern recessed retrofit lights. They are designed to fit into a hole you drill in the ceiling where another (boob) fixture was. No need to try to get to it from above. They are very thin and sleek and dimmable, if you pick the right ones. We now have a houseful and they are wonderful. Of course in our house most of the lights were fluorescent, over the windows covered by a large and heavy wooden cornice featureing a large cove molding at the top and scallops at the bottom. Imagine this over a 12 ft bay window. All of the cornices informed (deformed) the decor. The also collected bugs that were attracted to the greenish light etc.etc. etc. Anyway have fun.

    1. Oh yes, we installed those in our Georgia kitchen! They’re great! But for here, just looking for the quick, cheap and simple flush mount. But when we do the dining room and kitchen, those lights will be everywhere! 🙂

  6. While you have, literally, moved up your space does deserve a moniker that is worthy. I think you danced around it in some of your post. What you have now is a STUDIO. Space for all of the component parts of your craft – writing, photography, artistic endeavors, etc. The Navage Patch Studio sounds just right to my ears. Enjoy!

  7. Regarding your black floor, can it be sanded to take that horrible color out so you can restain it something more to your liking? BTW, I am on your side about Valspar paint. We used it and I had to leave the house because I have asthma and it really bothered me.

    1. That was going to be my suggestion also. Using a floor sander get that gunk off then repaint with a nice soothing color.

      For light how about those solar tubes so you have natural light.

      And regarding the heat. You may need an actual air conditioner up there. Not sure if this terminology is correct, mini-split.

      That is an awesome room.

      1. Too much effort to sand, Carla. Once my lights are in there, it will be brilliant. As for the AC, there are 8 registers. But when it’s hot, in order to keep it comfortable, the downstairs will become an icebox, so I’d rather just put up with a few degrees more and fam myself into a semblance of comfort, lol!

    2. Sanding is too much work, Barbara. It’s an out of the way work space, so we’re not looking to break the bank (and our backs) making it beautiful!

  8. This is going to be fantastic! I can’t wait to see it! My craft room is ummm…quite different. lol Two six foot tables, two walmart storage carts, a bookshelf and totes, lots of totes! lol I love it! Can’t find anything in it but it’s my happy place!

  9. You’re going to sit up there with black floor, rugs, and JUST a ceiling fan? Bro, dude, my man, brother, buddy, pal…you’re gonna be one well roasted gentleman. Invest in a cheap reverse cycle just to do that room and get it mounted on the side wall where you won’t see it outside. They’ll drill a big hole and they’re expensive to run 24/7 but as it’s only for when you’re up there, it should be fine. I’d also be investing in a bar fridge to hold cold drinks and snacks 😁 Getting dehydrated and then heat stroke in your own house is really embarrassing, ask me how I know! I like that whoever was there before decided to put in the bathroom, so it’s not always a race to the finish down a set of stairs and across the house 🤣 You really gotta start watching those stairs, yknow 😉

    I do just love how big the room is. If only I had so much room! Mom might say we should move the kitchen and lounge/dining, but I’m sorry, it’d be craft and project room all the way!

    1. Oh, Jay! There are already 8 (EIGHT!) heating and cooling registers up there! 4 are run by one AC unit and 4 by the other. The problem is that to keep it nice and cool up there in the hot months means the downstairs will be like Antarctica on a cold day. SO I compromise by keeping it a little warmer than my normal with a fan to move the air around. I know you’re from a ridiculously hot climate, so it’d probably be just fine up there for you, but I’m still (after the Middle East, Vietnam and India) getting used to hot and humid! As for the fridge – Handan offered, but I declined. I may have to reconsider that offer though. Why not have it all, right? 😀

      1. I forgot you American lot have those vent things! We don’t have those. The closest we have is what we call ducted aircon which has big panels in the ceiling instead to let the air flow in either hot or cold depending on how it’s set. But it’s very expensive to put in after the fact, so most people go with the reverse cycle/split system option. Most of our houses are all double bricked which acts as insulation against the heat, though we haven’t quite gotten into the benefits of double glazing over here! (Many people have their house windows tinted to block out some of the rays, but it doesn’t look the nicest, does it?)

        I think an ideal house over here would be double bricked, double glazed windows that reflect UV out, insulated walls and ceiling, ducted aircon, in floor hot water heating, ceiling fans, with an array of solar panels on the roof. Lots of windows to let the winter light in, and either gas or a wood stove to keep things toasty. And nice big doors you can roll open when the sun goes down in summer to let in the wonderful breeze (always with secondary doors that are mesh covered – no bugs wanted inside!) Open plan living with high ceilings and big windows, positioned correctly on the block to ensure best seasonal sun. It’s a shame that these things still all cost a small fortune and are far beyond most people’s budgets, considering that buying a house is already far beyond most people’s budgets. Our housing market is a mess.

        1. I know, I’ve read about the market over there. Whenever I think it’s getting too crazy here, I just look at you guys and Canada and I cheer right up, lol! So what happens without screens over there. We always hear that you lot have more deadly critters than anywhere else on earth. How often do you see them? Do they ever sneak inside?

  10. What an unusual (long and narrow-ish,) and amazing space! I think it was a good idea (duh) to leave the floor as is. If it was another room (again, duh!) I’d think differently. IMHO other spaces have higher needs of cleanliness, or the appearance there of. From experience I know how depressing it is to have to live with a floor that never looks clean no matter what you do to clean it. Boo. From the photos, I don’t really get that feeling for the floor in your craft room. I’ve been a long time fan of area rugs over hardwood floors, though. I digress. The entire room is just fantastic, with the very attractive storage (yes, though not ever enough) and the various work spaces. Is it as huge as it appears!!??? Love the lighting but will it be enough, or will you also have task lighting at the various work spaces? I know you will bring us more at a later date. I just had to gush over what you’ve accomplished. Great post.

    1. Thanks, Michelle! Yep, area rugs are the way to go. The room really is as big as it looks, but it’s funny how quickly that space fills up with stuff, lol! There is great lighting in there now that I’ve installed new lights, but I’ll also have task lighting around the craft table. 🙂