I’ve been helping out Shelly Leer – aka ModHomeEc – with the design of her brand new upholstery workshop in Indianapolis. Shelly is a fantastic upholster and hosts classes to teach folks the ins and outs of fixing up and reupholstering their old forlorn stuff (a skill I can really appreciate).
With this open warehouse space, one big design issue Shelly needed help with was figuring out how to layout and define areas for various work and private “zones”. She needed areas for tools, areas for storage, an area for a personal office, a waiting area, an area to teach and work with students and so on and so forth. Functionally, this one big room had to be used for many many purposes and still be open, accessible and of course look awesome.
Since cost is always an issue (and this space is a rental), it wasn’t prudent to dump a bunch of cash into building traditional solid walls that would split up the space and make it feel smaller and darker. My solution was to build these vertical jute rope division walls that allowed for defined “zones” but still retained light and visibility throughout the entire space. A plus when using this type of jute rope is the added benefit of bringing in a chunky / graphic / warm texture to an otherwise cold and hard industrial room.
The construction process is pretty simple. Wood boxes were custom built with evenly spaced rope sized holes drilled through the top and bottom. Precut sections of rope were strung through the top and tied off at the bottom, allowing for the interior knot to hold the rope in place and taut. Just screw close the open side of the box and all those ugly knots are hidden away.
With this design the overall costs are kept pretty low for such a big impact. Rope is cheap, especially when bought in bulk, and wood boxes are very low cost to build. The true cost is going to be labor and time – it’s just a tedious and super repetitive process.
Come on. Hotness.
I think the outcome is pretty spectacular. Not that I’m bias or anything.
This roped off area is actually Shelly’s office!
I’m completely thrilled with how these rope walls came together and so happy I didn’t have to lift a finger and do any of the actual labor. There is another wall in the works that I’m pretty excited to see completed as well as other awesome ideas that came from designing Shelly’s new workspace to be affordable, functional and downright ‘effing stylish.