Good, Glam + Tech Studio

Good, Glam + Tech Studio

Gregory Han
Jul 9, 2010

Here's our second try-out post from Unplggd candidate, Michelle Hoyland. She's presented her own home office/studio as a tour and to illustrate how you can create your own dedicated workspace for a modest budget. Tell us what you think of her post below:

Name: Michelle Hoyland
Location: Boynton Beach, Florida
Size: 150 square feet

Michelle's in-home design studio was once a spare bedroom/catch-all room (a.k.a. the junk room). When her design business Good + Glam began to grow, so did her need for a dedicated workspace. So she whipped up a design plan to convert the space and set a modest budget of $500.00. She searched for sturdy cabinetry that would be functional and stylish, to no avail. Most cabinet options from the home improvement store were unimpressive as they were made of vanilla melamine pressed board and they didn't fit into her budget.

Her husband suggested she check out the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore (a construction material thrift store). With measurements in hand she set out to the ReStore in hopes of discovering a treasure. Low and behold she found the perfect cabinets, made of dark wood by Downsview. They were out-of-the-box – no assembly required and in perfect condition. The store clerk indicated that they were installed into a home and were the wrong color, so the contractor recycled them to the ReStore. The deep drawers and cabinet doors feature hi-tech "soft close" shock absorbing slides. The best feature of all was the price…the entire set only cost $250.00!

Michelle painted the walls light-french gray, and with some help from her husband they installed the cabinets and their homemade countertops. The cabinets were a perfect fit for her space and budget. She came in way under budget allowing her to invest in organizational accessories from Ikea. She also had enough money to splurge on a crafty task chair and have a remnant piece of carpet made into an area rug.

She accomplished her remodel by thinking outside the box, literally.

AT Survey:

My/our style: Function and organization meets modern traditional

The inspiration for my home office/home theater: My designs for other people were the fuel for my fire in designing my studio. I wanted to have a space that would be my blank canvas for future designing to take place.

Favorite element in your space: The first thing I show-off when I'm giving a tour of my design studio is the "soft closing" drawers and cabinet drawers. I love that they can't be slammed shut. My other favorite element is the cord "cutouts" in the desk, they make plugging in my sewing machine, laptop and other techi stuff a cinch and it keeps the cords out of sight.

Biggest challenge in designing my space: Staying on budget, I wanted to buy so much STUFF for the studio. Instead, I incorporated a lot more DIY projects, such as the baby food carousel that got a new lease on life as a office supply holder for scissors, pens and tape; and, the Ikea curtain wire that I've used to hold important notes and client orders.

What friends say about my space: When are you coming to my house?"

Area where there is room for improvement/future projects: I've yet to incorporate music into my space. I am hoping to purchase this Creative GigaWorks HD50i docking station and speaker set for my Creative Zen mp3 player in the near future.

Proudest DIY (do it yourself) project: Finding the perfect fit and budget friendly cabinetry, seriously…it was as if the cabinets were made custom for my space.

Biggest indulgence with respect to my space: My task chair. It is super comfy, but it cost a pretty penny.

Best advice about organizing or incorporating tech into the home: Be creative. I tend to look at typical household items, including tech items, like an empty breadcrumb canister: "how can I reinvent this". Also, set a conservative budget. I believe if your budget is set up in "phases" you can invest a little at a time and the outcome will be very rewarding. Shop sales and resale stores, they are a good place to start when working with a budget.

Dream source for stuff: The Habitat for Humanity ReStore and Ikea.


  • Toshiba Satellite Notebook
  • Vintage Singer Sewing Machine
  • HTC HD2 Windows Phone
  • White Samsung LCD Television

Photos by Michelle Hoyland

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