Designing and furnishing your new crafts studio

The arts and crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th century is experiencing its own minor renaissance in the digital age. What more than a century ago stood to represent the aesthetic and traditional values of simple, elegant design in arts and crafts - led by artists like William Morris - was also an argument against the industrial age. In our era of mass production, websites like Etsy and the growing popularity of artisan marketplaces are waging that same war. If you're looking for a hobby this winter, why not embark on a few new creative exercises?

Whether you're interested in jewelry, woodworking, sewing or other crafty pursuits, you'll need an excellent workspace. The key to creativity? Location, location, location. Check out a few of these great ideas for designing and furnishing your new craft studio.

The first thing you'll want to think about is your room's aesthetic. While it doesn't have to be a reflection of the art you intend to create, that may not be a bad idea. Surrounding yourself with a particular ambiance can give you an impetus, or get you going on days when you'd rather lounge around and watch TV. Your aesthetic choices should include staples like wall color and drapery, but also remember that the kind of art you display is also a great source of inspiration. Discover art, architectural and design movements you admire and find a few favorite prints. Perhaps hang some of your own work or display a completed piece, especially clothing or jewelry.

No matter how stylish or inspiring your studio is, you won't ever get anything done if you're not suitably comfortable. The first step you'll want to take - especially in anticipation of cold weather - is installing some effective heating. Rather than going the forced-air route, why not consider radiant floor heating? Where central heat uses dusty ducts to push around hot air, radiant heat relies on natural convection currents to spread warmth through a room, vastly improving air quality and keeping you cozy. Best of all, it's energy efficient. Pair it with a cushy work chair!

Just remember, as comfortably as your work chair may be, you'll want a space to lounge as well. A studio should serve multiple purposes, and one of those is relaxation. Creative energy can't be squeezed out like water from a stone. Instead, designate a spot where you can lounge and read, or even have space for a yoga mat if you'd prefer to meditate. Who knows when your next idea will strike!