By Shana Benhayoun
A behind-the-scenes tour of where the magic happens!
If you have been following me on Instagram stories, you should know by now that my family & I were forced to move homes in the height of the COVID-19 quarantine…SO NOT IDEAL! But, with everything negative, comes a positive!
In 2017, Abraham & I moved into our old house right before we got engaged! We basically built our life there together! While living in our old house we got engaged & married, Abraham started his own law firm, I (officially) started SBT Stitches, we brought home Biggi & Amram to that house & so many other amazing memories during our three years there. Needless to say, it was very sad to be forced out on short notice. But here we are…onto BIGGER & BETTER!
When I found out that we would have an extra bedroom in our new house, it wasn’t even a thought about what this room would be used for. It was clearly going to become my SBT Stitches HQ! There have been endless hours of google searches for “craft room ideas” to figure out my perfect layout. Here is the breakdown of my thinking process: I knew that I needed a space for me to design all my canvases, answer emails, & teach my classes. I also knew that I needed a PERFECT painting space with all my paints out in the open and space to spread out my canvases. I knew that I needed a space to do binding & shipping! It was also extremely important for me to have a space to hang my painted canvases where they wouldn’t get ruined. The hardest part was figuring out how it could come together in the most space efficient way! Therefore, the breakdown of my room is my Painting Space, my Designing Space, my Sewing Space & my Closet. This room is definitely still a work-in-progress but I am so happy with how it is turning out so far that I had to share! (I will post updated photos once the room is finalized)
MY PAINTING SPACE
My most precious space of my HQ is my painting space! This is definitely where I spend the most time so it had to be done perfectly! Before the COVID quarantine, I was working out of my “home office” at my parents house (in my old bedroom). I was working on a normal desk and had some craft carts for my paints and a side table to put all my extra stuff. I didn’t realize how badly I needed more space until I got it! When I decided to move all my supplies to my house during quarantine, I was working from my dining table. Although, it was the least ideal set up, I got to utilize a bigger table & noticed the difference! Therefore, I knew a traditional desk would not suffice! After a few hours (& days) of research and I came across the Saunder – The Craft Pro Series Collection! It had my name written all over it! I was between two different crafting tables – the one I got & a taller one that had more bin storage underneath. I ultimately went with the shorter one because I wanted it to be more level with my other 2 desks in the room!
The other important aspect of my painting space was being able to have all my paints visible and easily accessible. It took about half a second for me to realize I needed my version of a nail polish wall. I jumped on amazon and found these amazing acrylic shelves. It was a labor of love to get them up on the wall and level, but three hours later and my paints looked better than ever!
MY DESIGNING SPACE
My next most used space is my designing space. I call it this because this is what happens at this desk majority of the time, but it is also used as my classroom for my Beginners Technique Class & my Decorative Stitches Class. After making my painting table the main focus of this space, I knew the other two desks had to balance out the room, so I went for simple white desks. I felt with all the color I would be bringing into the room with paints and canvases, I ought to keep the rest simple & white! The white desks are also really important for my classes because they have the deep counter space I need without being too bulky & the plain white background to make my camera clear. I decided these desks could be budget friendly so I went with the Ikea Linnmon/Alex tables. What I also love about these desks is that the drawer unit is not permanetly attached, making it easy to change from one side to the other. Additionally, I was able to pull out my old monitor from graduate school, plug in my laptop with an HDMI cord and now I have a real design space! I can’t even begin to explain to you guys how much of a difference it is to design canvases on a big screen!
Clickable links for this space:
Below is an example of a needlepoint canvas painted in the HQ taken from my instagram page @sbtstitches.
MY SEWING SPACE
One of my biggest annoyances in my previous working spaces was where to put my sewing machine. It is something I am constantly using to bind my canvases but it was always in my way. It is bulky so I never wanted to keep it on the desk because that was precious real estate lost. It is heavy so it would drive me crazy to put on the desk and then have to put it away. Due to how difficult it is to take out and put away, I would wait until I had multiple canvases painted to bind, which delayed my shipping process. Therefore, I made sure that my sewing machine had a forever home in my new space! Now all I have to do is pull it forward to use it and then push it back! It is 100% accessible! This space is also used for shipping so having my shipping label printer permanently set up makes it so easy to just plug it into my computer and print away! It really makes my packing process so much easier!
The part of the room that I am most proud of in my HQ are my bulletin boards! You could never imagine how difficult it is to pick a bulletin board but mine had to be absolutely perfect! And clearly one was not enough! I always hated having painted canvases laying around because you never know when something could spill next to it or squish it. It is just too risky! Hence, the boards! I love filling them up with custom orders I have painted that are awaiting binding, photos or shipping, and also putting up canvases from other designers that I want to stitch. I also wanted to hang up a calendar with my upcoming classes so I am always organized, as well as my thread color charts & just other fun space fillers! I can’t even begin to explain to you the happiness these boards bring me! Some upcoming projects that I have up there for myself to stitch are from some of my favorite needlepoint designers including Morgan Julia Designs (@morganjuliadesigns), Alice & Blue (@alice.and.blue), The Needlepoint Novelist (@the_needlepoint_novelist), Silverstitch Needlepoint (@silverstitchneedlepoint) & the Crude Canvases/Faison Anne collab (@crudecanvases)! Click below for their websites! I obviously had to put Ellie the Elephant up there too! (If you have been following for a while you will understand the reference!) These boards were also specifically placed behind my design space instead of on top so that I would have a nice backdrop when doing my classes!
Clickable links for this space:
Fellow Designer Websites:
MY CLOSET SPACE
Last, but definitely not least, is my closet area! Having an entire closet to hide all the background stuff is EPIC! I bought these amazing #onbrand plastic bins from The Container Store, along with the freestanding Elfa shelves, and I had myself a perfect set up! The closet contains the broken down parts of my class kits, my canvases I hold in inventory, shipping supplies, extra threads, note cards, tissue paper and lots of other stuff! I used to spend hours every other week putting together the kits for my classes because I didn’t have the space to leave already made kits. I now have an assembly line of pre-kitted thread bags, canvases, needle tubes, scissors and acrylic tote bags that take a hell of a lot less time to put together! Additionally, I have the space to hide all my shipping boxes which used to live ALL OVER MY HOUSE!
Clickable links for this space:
(make sure to include the height of the feet when measuring your closet)