Why I Hate Open Concept

Sally H, this one’s for you.

I posted here about my intense dislike of having my sewing space in an open concept home.  Granted, most homes these days are of the open concept variety especially out in the ‘burbs.  So be it.

When we first saw what is now our humble little abode, Himself and I knew we’d found The House and after we’d exorcised the spirit of Elvis (the previous owner looooved The King and no room was spared his presence), we set about making it our own.  At the time, I was not a quilter so who cared if the living room flowed to the dining room and then flowed to the kitchen?

Fast forward a few years and one kid later (and another bun in the oven) and I’d discovered quilting.  My dining room, heck, my house has never been the same.

This is  what greets you when you walk in.  Mind you, I’ve cleaned it up a tad.


One big space with a nice view of the pigpen that is my sewing area.  I’m an extremely messy quilter.  There’re threads all over the hunter green carpet.  I pick up only when I can’t find a tool I’m after…or when the dog’s gone missing.  Things would be so much better if I had a closed off space.  A quiet space of my own…ahh!  No reruns of James Bond flicks or marathon sessions of Barrett Jackson car auctions.  Just me and Sirius XM.

There’s my stash and the ironing board crammed in behind the sofa.  Don’t even think of opening those cabinet doors!


There’s my Granmommie’s dining room table that may see folks sitting down to a meal at Thanksgiving and Christmas…unless my mama’s cooking those meals.  Yay for mama!


There’s the stove that has to be unearthed if we want a hot meal.  Any other time, the design ‘wall’ takes up space in my closet.  The books I cram in there resent its intrusion.


So, Sally H, what would I change about my home to make my sewing space better.  I’d add one of these.


And if I were to dream, I’d add a deadbolt, soundproofing, a designated phone line, a potty and a small kitchen.

They’d never see me again.


  1. Lol…. the grass is always greener. Someday you will have what you desire but you may change your mind then.

    My home has a greAt room, too. Before this house I always sewed on the kitchen table and I sewed a lot. Here I dutifully set up first in my bedroom and after kids started leaving I got a sewing room.

    Makes me sew less. I hate being closed in. Currently I have a small mat on a wooden tv tray setting in the LR with 300 hst to trim. Mostly my sewing room is a storage closet.
    But I am kind of weird. I don’t want to see my fabric and stuff. I want everything I am not working on put away. In your set up I would have all that fabric and stuff in totes in closets, the basement or garage.

      • Like I said, I am weird. I can’t shop in some stores because there is too much stuff piled up. But I am claustrophobic. I still have my fabric in totes (by color) & stored through out the house. Some day I plan to move to the biggest bedroom and put my fabric on shelves behind doors. I also want next to nothing on the walls. Some days I tell my husband we are remodeling and removing all overhead cabinets. He won’t agree to that!
        I no longer have any kids technically living at home but one still occupies the room I covet. It is twice the size of my current room and has two Windows plus southern exposure.

  2. Hang in there! You will get your private sewing space some day. If you “encourage” him enough, Seth will be heading out into the world to seek his fortune in a few years and you can take over his room before the door has completely closed behind him. Trust me, it’s worth the wait and the hassle. You will appreciate your sanctuary more for having had to make do for years.

    • I had to disappoint The Diva because she thought she’d get his room when he flies the coop. That room used to be my craft room and I want it back!!

  3. I am _completely_ flattered by the attention. And I get it. At present, and for the first time, I have a sewing room. And, although it is labeled “guest” on the plans , I’ll have one in our new house too. Before then I sewed mostly in halls — upstairs hallway in the first place, converted front hall closet in the second, basement family room in the third, shared “office” with husband in this house until oldest child finished college.

    One of the perks of an actual space is getting to co-opt unwanted furniture for my exclusive use, so now I have a desk customized to hold my machine. Mostly it’s the stash that finally has a home. I like to look at my stash, so it is now on the wall on closet-type metal shelves with clear shower curtains hung in front (because I couldn’t afford glass doors and have many cats.) Until now it has all been in containers. It would drive Mary crazy, but I love it — I can see it all, any time. Having the family TV in the room would slow me down because I get distracted (moving pictures! squirrel!) but having company would be nice.

    Thanks for explaining. Someday, I hope you get that door.

    • I know what you mean about the TV…I like noise so a radio would be fine but moving pictures AND sound?! Forget it!! I like to see my stash…I am by turns thrilled at all the prospects and horrified I may one day end up on an episode of Hoarders.

      The last house I lived in that had actual designated rooms with doors was the house I grew up in. I like doors, preferably with locks and maybe a pass-through for a meal tray.

      • Oh….now that is another thing I am the odd man out about. I love the tv to play while I sew. I don’t watch. Just listen. May be part of why I go back to the main part of the house. That and it is so much easier to cook AND sew if I am doing it in the same space. And no, I can’t have a tv in my sewing room. No space and a long standing rule about no tvs in the bedrooms.

        As a side note, I oddly like to see baskets of precuts and keep buying them for that purpose but have no room!

  4. I went back and read the last post. I understand your frustration. I raised three boys. I have never SEEN Fight Club or any of the F&F but I have heard them all multiple times. This too will pass quickly.

    Since I cook a lot (far more than I sew now days) the open concept is great. It kept the kids with me. Our previous house had rooms and I was constantly being hollered for. Changing your name to S#!+ so the kids can’t say it doesn’t work when they figure out you are still Mom!

    I promise you that it will be the blink of an eye before you get your room back. He will then respectfully come visit it and admire your efforts. And, thinking about how things were teen years ago, I admit I did go to my bedroom to sew during marathons like the one you described. Our bedroom had sewing machines set up permanently for the first ten years we lived there. I often carried them out but that is where they lived.

    Hang in there, kiddo. Your day will be here before you know it

    • I must sound awful if I’m coming across like I can’t wait for them to leave. Of course, I DO want them to leave at some point but he’s only 14! All I want is a quiet space. It’s pretty sad when the only true quiet I get is in the bathroom. Sure, they still come in, but I’ve learned if I say ‘Pooping!’ I can finagle a good 30 minutes of peace and read a book. Make sure you spell my name right when you nominate me for Mom of the Year!!

  5. This made me laugh ! you all are funny ! I am in my 50’s and have sewing things all over the house . There are 2 areas that have high concentrations of items . And why , oh why , do we keep buying fabric ? I will never use all I have . I wish I lived by some of the sewing folks I have met online ; Stephanie is one of them !! ; so we could get together and make project quilts and stuff . The few people I know around here that sew don’t do charity quilting . Enjoy where you are in life ; It’s right where God wants you to be ! Now let’s go clean our sewing areas ; or , maybe we can do it tomorrow ……

    • To hell with cleaning and quilt like the devil’s on your tail! Mama and I went to an end of year sale at a retreat center we frequent. I feel quite virtuous in reporting I spent ‘only’ $35. I wish everyone lived closer, too so we could get together. One day, some day…

  6. I personally think when guests come in and see part of your sewing room, they immediately turn green with envy!
    The talent that glows from that space is amazing! We quilters are a proud bunch! What’s wrong with thread on the carpet?
    You enjoy and don’t apologize!!!

    • Thanks Bonny! I think people either see a hoarder or something approaching creative talent…or maybe that’s insanity. Whatever! I didn’t pick the carpet, but if we ever replace it, I’m getting something where all the threads blend in!

  7. Part of an addition to our small ranch was a laundry room big enough to be a craft/sewing room too. Works great. It’s off the master bedroom. The laundry was formerly in a basement basement.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s