I was recently contacted by a staff member at Redfin.com. They asked me to contribute some tips on creating a dedicated soap making space inside your home. Redfin was putting together a blog post on the topic for their popular real estate website. Over the past 24 years my soap space has evolved. I’ve become an expert in utilizing every inch of space available to me.
Here was my practical tidbits of advise I submitted to Ryan, the blogs author. It can be applied to other handicrafts as well like jewelry making, sewing, painting, etc. Instead of trying to hide your supplies away recognize their beauty and display them in a tidy and organized way! [Read the full Redfin.com blog post]
If you don’t have a room in your home to dedicate to soap making, find an area that is currently being underutilized. Maybe you have a nook in your living room, a pantry filled with gadgets you don’t really use or a wall of an office that you can take over. Integrate your soap workshop into the design of the rest of your space.
Writing this blog post really got me reminiscing about my past soap making workshops. The first, my parents kitchen when I was 14. I stored my supplies in the basement and each time I made soap I would cover the counters with newspaper. When I moved out into my own apartment I continued to make soap in my new tiny kitchen through my first four years of college. Upon moving to Albany and attending graduate school I went through a string of different apartments and finally built myself a workbench that could be disassembled each time I moved. I soaped in basements, in a spare bedroom (that was so awesome to have an extra room!,) but mostly in my living room.
After settling down and buying my 840 sq ft condo in 2010, I had to get creative with where to place my soap making workshop. With an open loft layout I didn't have many options. My dining room is large and underutilized. It is also host to windows and doors with no blank walls to allow me to hang shelving or place my large workbench. Once again I decided my living room was the best option. My living room is a long rectangle with a cathedral ceiling. I opted to tuck the studio against the furthest wall. A series of folding Japanese screens obscured it from guests. This also took up extra valuable space and messed up the Feng Shui! It was the suggestion of my incredible therapist to take down the screens (hmmm, a metaphor perhaps?) and let my guests see my workshop. She suggested reorganizing the space to display and celebrate my soap making ingredients. Figure out a way to integrate them into the design of the rest of my home. She sent me photos from Pinterest and home and garden magazines as inspiration and I got to work
In 2019 Sweet Sprig finally outgrew my home. I moved into the Brouwer House Creative and was able to bring the method of organized beauty to my new space. The Brouwer House is an easy canvas to fill with its built in shelving, 300 year old wood beams and wide plank floors. 24 years of soap making has lead me from my childhood home to the oldest home in Schenectady and lots of interesting places in between