I’ve always felt that the shop should be a welcoming place. In most cases, we woodworkers can’t control the physical space our shop takes up. Many home shops have been stuffed into the basement or shunted out into a garage, but that doesn’t mean that they have to feel like a dungeon.
No matter the shop I’ve been in, I’ve always liked to do some form of decorating. All of this non-woodworking stuff adds to the space and makes me want to spend even more time there. Woodworking is highly creative and it can be tough to design and create whilst staring at a grey cinder block wall – unless you are into cubist brutalism, in which case you’re golden.
In this latest shop of mine, we took the time to spruce things up a bit. The walls and ceilings were not taped or mudded so my buddy Kyle (aka the Super Carpenter) helped me out. Then a couple coats of white paint to the ceiling, some not-quite-white on the walls, and the space was instantly transformed from blah to va va voom! Then Andrea cleaned up the floor and laid a coat of grey epoxy paint that took things to the next level.
With this transformed space ready to go, in came the tools and shop furniture. Once the layout was done and all the tools stored, it was time to add some personal touches with art, posters, and various other gifts and tchotchkes that make the shop feel like home. I’ve had some of these non-woodworking items for years that have moved shop with me, and I have a few new items! Some of them are pictured here and while there is no accounting for taste, these items make the shop feel like my space – a space that inspires me and I enjoy working in.
We’ve all seen the Pinterest shops on the internet. The ones that look out to picturesque settings with gorgeous hardwood floors and tongue and groove walls and ceilings. You know the ones. The ones with floor to ceiling windows that would make any woodworker drool. The rest of us, however, have what we have…but taking the time to liven it up makes all the difference. Try adding some plants if you have windows. Put up a few posters that you like to look at. Fill your space with small boxes and other woodworks that you or perhaps a woodworking friend has made.
I think the more comfortable you make your shop space, the more time you’ll want to spend in there. It’s easy to be inspired when you’re surrounded by photos and objects that you love. That’s the kind of space that gets my creative juices flowing. So if you have a drab sort of space, do yourself a favour and kick it up a notch or two. It will make all the difference in the world and you’ll be happier and more creative for it.
Follow along with the journey of Vic’s new shop here
Getting a bit cranky
On your feet
Sign up for eletters today and get the latest techniques and how-to from Fine Woodworking, plus special offers.