14 Tips For Teaching On-site Workshops

January 22, 2013

Are you interested in teaching on-site workshops? I’m frequently asked how to do this so I thought I’d answer everyone in a single post – please share this post to further spread the word since teaching workshops is a trend in the making for bloggers. I think if you can teach and have something to share of value then consider running workshops because I LOVE TEACHING and I don’t plan to ever stop – they fuel me and make me so, so happy.

14 Tips For Teaching On-site Workshops

(Above: This is a view of my home-based workshop. I have two rooms connected by pocket doors so both become my teaching space when I have events at home, but I primarily work out of this room below (photography by Debi Treloar). This is a photo from my book, Decorate Workshop.)

Let me get started by stating the obvious: teaching online and teaching on-site are two very different things. Online teaching is just that – teaching an e-course using mainly your computer. Teaching on-site is all about gathering together a group and teaching face-to-face which creates a whole different dynamic with completely different points to consideration. Also, teaching on-site in your own home or in your separate work studio is much different than teaching for a day out of a studio that you rent exclusively for your event. This post will only cover how to teach on-site in primarily your home because that is what most of you have been emailing me about lately. (Lots of these tips can be applied to teaching off-site too.)

But first, a little background. I’ve been teaching online for four years with my own e-course, Blogging Your Way, but my experience as a teacher came long before e-courses. I first started planning and teaching workshops as a project manager 15 years ago in the corporate world – so when it came time to teach workshops for my own company, decor8, I had a ton of experience to tap into. For some of you with little to no experience teaching, you may feel completely lost. I can relate – I once had no clue how to plan workshops either. We all begin somewhere so consider this your beginning!

This space makes me happy. If the place where you work inspires you then those good feelings flow directly into your work so it’s vital to consider this early on while in the planning stages.

14 Workshop-at-home Tips:
Okay, so you want to teach at home, you have your curriculum crafted and well, you’re ready to go, right? Not quite. Here are some tips from a girl who has been there, done that. :)

1  Identify the space

What room in your home could be a great space for you to use as your office + workshop? Consider how far it is from your bathroom and front door. Maybe a formal dining room could be your office +workshop AND formal dining room (like mine?).  We tend to eat in the kitchen and use the dining room only for parties and special occasions so it made no sense for us to reserve an entire room in our home for only dining.

Will you teach there often? Will you work there daily? Will you work alone or with others? What will you teach and do you have room for your supplies? How many people do you plan to teach? Perhaps you work as a consultant. How many can the room comfortably accommodate for a consultancy? If you are a wedding photographer, you may need to sit with your clients and show them their photos – can you accommodate a couple and other family members if they plan to bring children or parents?

2  Envision the space

Create a board to collect your inspirations on Pinterest or a file folder for magazine tears. This helps to define your personal style and vision.

3  Materials, storage and equipment: Think about what you use and where you intend to store it.

What do you need for teaching and how and where do you intend to store your stuff?  (i.e. cabinets, boxes, desk drawers, etc.) Imagine all of the ways you could organize and where. The things that you use should be close to where you use them. Store paper and office supplies directly near your printer and desk, for instance. Don’t put your craft cabinet in your guest bedroom if you plan to teach crafting in your new workspace.

Also, have a back up plan. If you teach sewing lessons, you may require all of your students to bring their own machine. It’s been my experience to always keep a spare machine as a loaner in case one breaks.

14 Tips For Teaching On-site Workshops

(During a workshop in my office.)

3 Floor plan: Putting the puzzle together.

Decide where you will perform each function – working on your computer, printing, teaching, sewing, whatever it is that you do. I needed a large work table for my students and a very long space for my desk area so I could fit a printer, my computer, and stack work. I also required hidden storage because I have lots to store and since the room is also a dining room for my family – I wanted to reduce visual “office” clutter so that I could easily throw a dinner party in the space without having to hide stuff or redecorate the entire room!

Sketch out a few floor plan scenarios by hand. Consider flow – can people easily walk around? Once you feel good about the arrangement, take accurate measurements of everything – the room, windows, doorways, current furniture, pieces you’d like to purchase… And see if everything still works. If not, modify accordingly.

4  Consider your furnishings.

Shop around in your own home first and then make a wish list for other items and buy only what you need at first – you can “fill in” later. Then think of what you need for the space – do you have enough seating? Should you store some folding chairs too? How about the furniture itself – is it precious or antique? If so, you may want to move it to another spot in the home and put furniture in the space that you don’t mind seeing it get beat around a little. Wear and tear WILL occur!

14 Tips For Teaching On-site Workshops

5  Lighting is key.

Make sure the lighting is really good. You need to see what you are doing! People tend to think of lighting last but it’s a important to think about it right away. If you are teaching something that requires you to take photographs in the space, lighting is even more important. If you expect your students to take photos of your workshop for their blog, it’s also important to ensure the lighting is great so that students look their best and your workshop photographs well. I know, a little detail but pretty photos makes people want to share your workshop with others and since so many are blogging and sharing online, you can bet someone is going to be using Instagram or bringing their DSLR with them!

Now I’m going to cover some things that go beyond storage, floor plans and aesthetics.

6  Theft, privacy, safety and accidents are constant issue that you need to really consider! Not everyone online can be trusted though a majority can. I’ve never had a problem with my students but I’ve heard stories so here is some advice:

* Place valuables in specific rooms and lock those doors when your home is in use for a work session with clients/students, etc.

* Make sure the things in your workspace can all be replaced and are not that “special” to you. For instance, if someone broke or ran off with your wooden stapler you may not care but if your precious vase from your grandmother disappeared or came crashing to the floor, you may be equally shattered.

* Consider too, your privacy and that of other family members. Ask your family how they feel about your idea to teach or work from home with clients.

* Bathroom use is something else to consider. Do you have a second bathroom or half bath that is close to your studio space? If not, are you comfortable with guests using your private bathroom and is that bathroom nearby to the space or does it mean guests going to another part of the house or to a separate floor to use the bathroom – if so, are you comfortable with that? Some things we may not think about in advance can really bug us later on so consider what you may want to keep “private” in advance and ensure that you can do so.

* For the sake of safety, screen your applicants. Ask them WHY they are taking the class, you may want to talk to them on the phone, make sure you look through their blog or website, google them, and most of all – trust your gut. Another way to protect yourself is to make sure you ONLY accept payment BEFORE the event (NOT same day in cash) and that all money is handled either through a bank transfer (wire) or Paypal so you know the person’s true identify before they arrive for your workshop.

* Make sure your pets are not part of your event. Unless you are teaching a dog training class, your pets should be kept away from your classroom. Some people have allergies (please ask about allergies to food and pets before students arrive) but animals are funny little creatures sometimes. Some animals aren’t used to lots of noise and “traffic” in the home and can get a bit weird-ed out by it – they may pee or bite or freak out.

* Consider also local laws and guidelines when it comes to teaching workshops from home – particularly insurance and what is covered in case someone falls on your property.

14 Tips For Teaching On-site Workshops

7  Consider storage for your guest

Where will they place their handbags, coats and shoots – is their space for that? When I teach, I use a rolling coat rack and I put it in my hallway since I don’t want coats laying on my sofa or bed and with 15-20 students in my home per workshop – that’s a lot of coats.

I also tell students to keep their handbags and equipment with them at all times because I am not held accountable for lost or stolen goods. They shouldn’t be laying their handbag in the entryway with their shoes or putting a wallet on a random table with their keys. These items need to stay with them, on them, at all times.

Theft can happen so easily without a single bad intention since a lens cap, charger, even Macbooks and other computers all look the same so it’s easy to pick up things as you are packing up that don’t belong to you. And to leave with them. So it’s a good idea if you have a bunch of students all using MacBooks for instance, to label them with a post it note or sticker with their name to avoid an accidental swap.

8  Charging Up

Where are your outlets? Consider if your guests will be able to locate them easily to charge their devices during class. You don’t want students interrupting you to ask where outlets are of if you have a charger. Have some extension cords on hand and point out before class where those are located.

If outlets are hidden behind furniture, it’s important to identify a charging station in a few spots with an outlet strip so students can easily plug in.

14 Tips For Teaching On-site Workshops

9  Shoes off!

I ask all of students to remove their shoes before entering my home but I also email them in advance mentioning that they need to bring slippers or socks because I don’t allow bare feet either. I keep a few pairs of new socks (with tags on so people know they’re new) and give them to those who forgot or missed my email. You can get inexpensive socks anywhere so it’s worth having them in stock. I always let students keep them after use, too.

10  Refreshments

Think about food and drink. How will you handle feeding people? Is there a kitchen near to the room or will you put a small kitchen area in the room – mini fridge, coffee maker, etc.? Will you provide a catered lunch? Will you ask people to bring their own lunch? If so, will you have back up for those who forgot lunch? You may want to make a few sandwiches or salads just in case because you’ll always have ONE student who forgets and this can really disrupt your teaching schedule if they need to go out to pick something up.

Keep plenty of bottled water and juice on hand and in the room during class with paper cups. Let students know that during class, they are free to help themselves at any time. I would avoid placing the bottles on the table (spills, laptops, you see where I’m going with this?), so create a mini drinks table or corner. It’s a good idea midday, especially if you are teaching a full day, to serve complementary coffee and tea.

11  Supplies you should add to your list

Do you have aspirin, band-aids, tampons/sanitary napkins, enough toilet paper/paper towels, pens, paper, and other “stuff” that a student could potentially need? It’s smart to have these miscellaneous things on hand so that students (or you!) don’t have to leave your workshop to get what is needed. You really want to keep everyone together so that you can teach according to the schedule you have set.

12  Directions & expectations

Make sure everyone has directions and a clear idea of what they can expect from your workshop and what time is begins. end them everything they need in a single PDF two weeks in advance and then again 3 days before the event in case they missed the first one. Send a 3rd email the day before as a reminder and encourage everyone to show up on time – I ask students to arrive between 8-9 am so the arrival time is flexible but the start time is definite – 9:00 sharp. If they are late, they have lost time that they paid for to be there, and I think most people know that so they are usually on time. I also throw in that the early bird gets to select their goody bag (usually goody bags are not the same on the outside – different patterns and colors) and they can select the best seating first or something else to sort of nicely encourage an early arrival. Plus, an hour gives everyone time to arrive, get settled in and chat with one another. I usually serve a light breakfast during this time as well – bagels, fruit, coffee… And in emails I indicate that if they want to eat, to also arrive between 8-9 for best selection.

13 Photography

My home is still my home. Students are told at the beginning of class that they are only allowed to shoot in both of the workshop rooms, the entryway and wherever we end up serving food. It is your home, so it’s your choice ultimately, but my husband requested this and though I honestly don’t mind – my husband really does. Remember when I spoke about privacy earlier and talking to your family members first about where they draw the line?

14  Taxes

If you are collecting fees for teaching (you should be!), then you have to check out local tax laws and pay your taxes accordingly. Also, your students may require you to provide them with a formal business receipt for their taxes so they can write off the workshop, so make sure you have a template together and can provide those receipts upon request.

If you’d like to see my most recent workshop at home, click here for a really sweet video where you can see a full view of my teaching rooms and workspace.

SO! Those are my 14 tips for teaching on-site workshops (mostly from home). I’m planning another workshop in my space in June – can’t wait! If I don’t cover a point you’d like more information on, PLEASE ask it in the comments section so others can help you, including me.

(image: debi treloar, 7thingsfor7days, alittlebirdlove)


  • Reply Amanda January 22, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Holly, I LOVE these tips. Running workshops is one of my ultimate medium term goals, and while I’m not certain yet where I’d run them, this is a brilliant list of things to think about when considering running them from home. Thanks so much for a great post- lots to think about.

  • Reply Juliette January 22, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    One more idea regarding floor plan/spacing:

    *Try ‘being a student’ in the space provided; is there enough table space for your materials (laptop, notebook, etc)? If somebody sat next to you, would you still be able to comfortably write and perform your tasks?*

    This was a problem that I recently experienced at a craft workshop. I think the organizer thought the # of chairs she uses for a dinner party would work for the craft evening around her dining room table, but our project required more space than a table setting. Our evening ended up running late into the night because people literally had to take turns working on their project. So a space problem also ended up being a time problem!

  • Reply All things nice... January 22, 2013 at 8:16 pm


    You are so organised, you have thought of everything. Your workspace/ dining room looks like a great space to work, so bright, refreshing and the light colours makes it a good inspirational space to work I bet.

    All things nice…

  • Reply Dani January 22, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Great tips Holly, your workshop was superbly planned and executed! I adore your place and the way you decor8ed it :) Hopefully one day I will teach a class in such a beautiful space as well!

  • Reply Geraldine January 22, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Fantastic and constructive tips Holly. The Hannover workshop you ran was amazing, seamless and smooth. Now I can see why. You’ve put in so much effort and thought into it .We were truly treated like VIPs, so thank you for creating such a lovely experience. xx

  • Reply Marloes January 22, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Hi Holly, What a perfect list of advice. Although I’m far from considering giving workshops I can really see how someone who does consider will really appreciate every single tip. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Tazim January 22, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Fantastic tips and ideas! I hadn’t thought about doing this before because the planning etc. just seemed too daunting. This might be something to think about for later this year or next.

  • Reply Yvonne January 22, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Hi Holly!

    I really love your posts about your tips & tricks – really informative and inspiring. And I’m looking forward to visit one of your workshops in your beautiful home.

    xo Yvonne

  • Reply Holly of Love, Thomas January 22, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    These are all wonderful tips that you carefully executed in your own workshop in December. All of us felt happy and relaxed in your space. I think these tips will go a long way with a lot of creatives out there itching to get their own workshops off the ground!

  • Reply Katrin January 22, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Oh, I still remember when I tried to establish the shoes off rule. English people didn’t seem to understand.

    Maybe parking and unloading/loading is another point that needs to be considered.

    I’m up for running more workshops after reading this post. :)

  • Reply l o v e l y t h i n g s January 22, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Oh I loved the video…set to the perfect music and it was snowing outside your window! how did you get that to happen on cue?! I want to come in June!!

    Back to your 14 rules…you think of everything…right down to the no shoes, but bring socks. Brilliant!


  • Reply spreston January 22, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    What a lovely room to work in! I love it.

  • Reply Hanna January 23, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Great ideas! I’ve started teaching art lessons at home and this gave me some things to think about as I get more students :)

  • Reply Laura Gaskill January 23, 2013 at 1:56 am

    I love the trend (mini for now, but I think definitely growing) of bloggers opening up house to hold workshops, teach in-person classes, host pop-up shops, and other fun events. Anything that brings the blog to life, so to speak, sounds good to me! I’m bookmarking this for future reference…you never know, maybe someday I’ll host a workshop too! xo Laura

  • Reply Ann Nordquist January 23, 2013 at 2:29 am

    A fabulous article with excellent tips!!!
    One of your workshops would be AWESOME to attend.
    Thank you for all that you do Holly!
    You inspire myself & so many others!

  • Reply Marjory January 23, 2013 at 4:11 am

    Thanks for the wonderful recommendations for a home based workshop Holly. Love the thoughtful, lovely way you set it up.

  • Reply Chrystina January 23, 2013 at 5:53 am

    I was thinking about having people over for a Valentine’s Day card making session, something a little less formal with only people I know – but these are some great tips for a place to start. For instance, where people should put their stuff – such simple questions that if you forget to think about ahead of time you could end up with chaos. Thanks for sharing!! I hope to one day make it out to one of these classes… first I have to hop over an ocean…

  • Reply Laurence W January 23, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Very interesting, even if I don’t intend to organize a workshop ! The video is great. You have a wonderful place where to live and work !

  • Reply Lottie :: Oyster & Pearl January 23, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Great tips! Would love to come and attend one of your workshops.

  • Reply Ricky January 23, 2013 at 10:28 am

    It looks hard :P

  • Reply Pippa Jameson January 23, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Great post Holly. You have a beautiful home, which is always key to a happy teaching environment! Thank you for sharing your tips with us, some really useful advice there. x

  • Reply Sarah - Art of Decor Blog January 23, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Hi Holly, it is so wonderful to see that you wrote a post on this and so elaborately…because I believe that it will not only help the teachers but the students as well who go to such workshops and courses.

    My father and I have been teaching Reiki in our home for about eight years now, so I’ve been “practicing” all these things already. We teach in our formal living room and serve the food in the same room, but the students have to pass through the family living room if they want to use the bathroom. We also haven’t faced any problems over the years but yes, you’re right that necessary precautions should be taken.

    Right now, the only problem that we face is that many people do not come on time…no matter how many times you tell them, and then, if they are not coming for some reason, they don’t bother to notify.

  • Reply Tracy A. January 23, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Love the video – how I wish I could join you!

  • Reply Jenny Depa-Karl January 23, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Hello! Excellent tips! I would add ONE additional ‘tip’. Perhaps it’s obvious, but, I live on a farm-ette…and have learned from experience. Sometimes, ‘students’ bring their children along…to ‘play’ while they attend class! Just a kind note perhaps, age appropriate class or something similar which states – no child care provided – leave the kiddies at home!

    Thanks for sharing! Jenny

  • Reply lulu January 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    holly many thanks being so kind and sharing this information unselfishly – i do appreciate it

  • Reply Dee January 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Wow good for you for teaching your workshops from home! It looks like a beautiful space and you shared some great tips with us!

    Hopefully one day you teach a course in Toronto!

  • Reply Louisa Blackmore January 23, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Fantastic advice as ever! It’s true as Geraldine says in her comment, we truly felt like VIPs at your workshop and you’d clearly spent a lot of time and effort thinking about how it was all going to work. Thank you so much!

    One other really useful thing is name tags – you made those amazing name tags for us! It really helps students feel comfortable and at ease when they don’t instantly have to remember lots of names. I run furniture painting workshops for max 6 people so it is not to hard for me as I’m used to it, but it’s nice for the students to feel relaxed and be able to chat without feeling embarrassed they forgot someone’s name.

    Also, dietary requirements is a good checking point when booking as so many people have different requirements these days – I don’t eat any dairy products so I know how cringy it can be to say, uh oh I can’t have that etc.


  • Reply Jocelyn Casey January 23, 2013 at 5:14 pm


    These are great tips! You really have so much to teach and I love the way you have thought this through. I learn so much through you and your work. You truly inspire me to do great things with my blog as well as my business.
    Thank you for being you.

    p.s. my favorite tip? Your rule of no shoes-socks.slippers only. I thought i was the only one outside of Japan to implement this rule in my house. :)

  • Reply Cloud9 Design Studio January 23, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Wonderful post Holly! Chocked full of great advice. I love your workspace.

    Hoping to teach workshops for creative entrepreneurs and art classes soon. Thanks for the info! :)

  • Reply clairmandy January 23, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Love your workspace! I’m so envious.

  • Reply Sarah January 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Hi Holly,

    I like teaching too. I’ve taught psychology courses in the past which I know is completely different than what you’ve discussed here. Nonetheless, I find that teaching helps me connect to the material in a more intimate way and I feel like I’m learning too. You know? I’m a new blogger, and seeing you excited about teaching workshops makes me think of the cool possibilities this new role has to offer. Great stuff!

  • Reply Linda Leyble January 23, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Hi – great ideas Holly. I think that you covered this very well – thought about everything (as usual). I just have to work out 1) my lighting issue – the best place for my workshop would be in my current office space. It’s north facing – and we don’t have any windows but I have 3 large skylights and I have a large project table that I use under one of them and it’s pretty bright. I could have another long table for my students under the other two skylights. I would add some extra lighting in the space also. 2) I am thinking that I would do decorative painting classes – and for furniture classes, I would have give the students moldings and a cabinet face to work on to illustrate how to do the different techniques instead of them bringing furniture – which would take up too much room.

    Got any ideas on theflooring (it’s currently porcelain tile) or a rug I could put on the floor for this? Should I just use the tile alone? Just a little afraid of mishaps with the paint!!


  • Reply Lisa January 24, 2013 at 1:33 am

    Hi, this IS something I am hoping to do (teaching various art/ craft workshops ) I get to practise this some of the time within my job any way but want it to be more of my week and to be my own boss. Your clear and concise, tried and trusted methods have been truly inspiring. I had always thought I would have to hire a venue but now I plan on re-organising and try your method.
    Thank you,
    Lisa : ))

  • Reply Stine :: January 24, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Wow, Holly!
    Great tips for setting up a workshop – something I am currently considering which made this post invaluable for me.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge so generously.

  • Reply Tina Ramchandani January 25, 2013 at 5:30 am

    Thank you for the tips, Holly. I hadn’t even thought of some of these things (charging stations!). They are so important but we take them for granted…

  • Reply mark January 25, 2013 at 6:58 am

    I just found this excellent site. its got some great ideas, especially as we are moving house this very weekend.
    Well done on your shoes off rule. I live in the UK and plenty of people expect shoes to come off at the door. This is what we do and wear slippers ad we do prefer our guests to do the same.

  • Reply Purdygirlpeg January 27, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    No shoes and no bare feet. Has anyone ever called you controlling? Just sayin’>

    • Reply decor8 January 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      @Purdygirlpeg – Nope, because it’s my home – If I ask my guests to remove their shoes and put on socks or slippers or house shoes that they brought, that is a perfectly fine request to make. Just as a shop says you must wear shoes to enter, I say you cannot wear shoes to enter my home. It’s not about control, it’s about cleanliness and about setting up rules around your business that work!

  • Reply Tara January 28, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Great article Holly! Lots of little things I would never have thought of.

    One thing you don’t mention – and I’m sure the rules vary from country to country – is insurance.

    To run workshops from home in Australia you need to make sure your insurers know you run a business from home – otherwise your home contents, if damaged or stolen, are not covered.

    You also need to have public liability insurance incase participants are injured in your home (fall down the stairs, cut themselves with scissors, trip over the back step etc) and handing out pharmaceutical drugs, even panadol, to workshop participants is a big no-no without a signed consent form.

    • Reply decor8 January 28, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      @Tara – Yes it was mentioned above but thank you for bringing it up again – very important!

  • Reply Gretchen January 29, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Thanks for all these wonderful tips Holly! Natalie and I will be teaching our first class at Anthropologie this week, and we are planning on hosting a workshop in May. This post came at a perfect time! XO

  • Reply mark January 30, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Its perfectly reasonable to ask guests to remove their shoes.

  • Reply Trix & Trumpet January 30, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this post and the straightforward and practical information is so helpful. I was even more inspired by the design of your own office space and it has prompted me to completely re-do my home office. The light, warm and inspiring design is something that I’m working to achieve. What a joy it must be to work in your environment each day. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Reply Lisbeth February 8, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Interesting read. Like you I’ve done this a lot and can only agree with everything you say. With groups larger than 6 persons, I tend to prefer to work outside my home/studio. Especially if the workshop runs over several days, Ip refer to work away from home. I have the best students, engaged and interested, and they tend to linger for a personal chat after a days work. And since I’m terribly bad at “sending people off”, arranging daytime workshops at home may continue into the evening… Another think to think of and plan for.

  • Reply Lisbeth February 8, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    PS: sorry for all the typos…..

  • Reply Lisbeth February 8, 2013 at 2:46 pm


    Took the time to read some of the comments – and want to add about shoes on or off: Here in Sweden it’s the rule if you visit someones home to take the shoes off. Here you have to point out to a visitor if it’s not important: “you need not take your shoes off”. Usually they do, anyway!

    We often take our shoes of in more “public” spaces: like kindergarten.

    I have a Brit teacher friend, who went back to her London students showing photos from her Stockholm visit. The students were puzzled… Is Sweden really such a poor country, that the children have no shoes???!!!

    Different countries – different cultures – different ways of handling every day life…

  • Reply diyetisyen arama February 10, 2013 at 10:58 am

    realy great tips :)
    Its perfectly reasonable to ask guests to remove their shoes.

  • Reply Gabriela February 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm


    I would love to participate in one of your workshops. Coming to Toronto sometime?


  • Reply Gabriela February 18, 2013 at 6:31 pm


    Here in Canada, we all take our shoes off when we visit people’s homes.
    In the Winter for obvious reasons but also in the warm months.


  • Reply Andrea March 7, 2013 at 2:26 am

    Just wondering where you got your light from? The white with gold insides?

  • Reply Julie March 26, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    I am playing with the idea of offering some classes from my home and found your article inspiring and informative! One thing you didn’t touch on is parking. For many this will not be an issue, but better to think about it ahead of time for those who don’t have ample parking right outside their door.

    BTW – I live in Minnesota and almost everyone I know has a ‘no shoes in the house’ rule too! I love your tip about supplying socks just in case :)

  • Reply GS&F September 23, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Great list of tips here! I love that you added refreshments, it seems small, but thats pretty important especially if you really get into the project you don’t want to take the time to leave and go eat so if you have something there that’s easy to get to it works perfectly.

  • Reply Kelcie April 6, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    i came across a picture of your workspace on pinterest and fell in love with the wall color. it looks like more of a creamy warm white. do you remember what the color is called?

    • Reply decor8 April 7, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      It is elephants breath by farrow & ball

  • Reply Emma burt May 15, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Wow just stumbled across your amazing blog re advice on home workshops… I have taught many lovely students to shabby chic for a number of years starting originally on my local village hall, then a rented workshop but location of this and parking were creating issues so my amazing husband build me a log cabin home studio in our garden and students love this personalised feel plus I can show off my work whilst leading them through my home to the garden…my only problem now are a few of my neighbours due to cars parking outside my house… I am apparently becoming a nightmare and they are asking me if I am I fact allowed to teach from home… Please could you advise me if I’m doing anything wrong.. I do tell students to park away from property a little and not to obstruct driveways and it’s not that often… Please help me so I can relax again whilst teaching my passion to others.

  • Reply Mariko September 17, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I’m so thrilled to find this article, especially to find out my atrium space will be perfect since its also our entry, has two nearby bathrooms, and is right next to the coffee bar and buffet space- perfect for a meal! Now my big question is, how do you find the right price point? And do you advertise only on social media or elsewhere? I’d love any tips on these questions!

  • Reply Celyse April 17, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Hi! I love this post! I have recently decided to begin teaching crafts from my home. I have a huge room that would be the perfect space for this class, the only problem I’m having is that my city zoning will not allow me to teach a class of 8-10 students from my home! Is there any way around this? I was completely taken by surprise when they informed me that I can only teach one maybe 2 students in my home at one time! I was also very disappointed considering I had planned to redo my entire room to accommodate a craft class business!

  • Reply Angela Jakits November 10, 2015 at 11:11 pm


    I am thinking of doing craft classes for children in my home, small class, maybe 2-6 children, maybe 6 or 10 or 11 years old. Are there any suggestions you can offer on this, mostly about the liability issues, especially when dealing with chidlren.

    Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

  • Reply julius zigama April 7, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    hi Holly,
    how about, i have a shop that works as my gallery, a studio and i want to start art classes too.

  • Reply Amy Graham April 13, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    What about extra insurance? Do you need to purchase insurance it the case someone falls for in injured while on your property?

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