By Katie Moosbrugger

The TMoM team and friends recently gathered around worktables filled with nail guns, hammers, wood stain and paint brushes – as well as wine glasses and hors d’oeuvres – to enjoy an evening we won’t soon forget!

If you haven’t heard of AR Workshop, you need to learn more about this latest DIY workshop studio that helps you create some of the latest designs in décor! AR Workshop (named after its two Charlotte-based co-founders Maureen Anders and Adria Ruff) is a boutique-style painted wood and canvas workshop that hosts get-togethers for Girls Night Out, birthday parties, mom-daughter activities, church group outings, couples date nights, or for just about any occasion that brings people together for fun, camaraderie and creativity.

All of the projects – from personalized plank wood signs and pillows to lazy susans and other decor – are styled in today’s trend of farmhouse chic, and you feel this vibe as soon as you enter the charming boutique’s door. The Charlotte Observer described the atmosphere perfectly: “If it feels like HGTV’s Joanna Gaines (from “Fixer Upper” fame) designed it, that’s on purpose. Heavy canvas artist drop cloths serve as curtains. Canvas aprons hang on hooks that are upside-down hammers painted the muted teal that is the workshop’s signature color.”

The Greensboro location opened its doors last February at 1801 Pembroke Road in Greensboro – the first in the Triad – thanks to owner Melissa Steele Martin, who has a background in construction and a career in interior design.

Once our team decided to host a night at AR Workshop, the entire process – from the initial RSVP to the end of the night – came together seamlessly. We first had to decide on the type of project we wanted to create, then we selected a date and Melissa emailed all of our attendees a form to fill out. The form asks for specific information so that Melissa and her team can create a personalized project for you.

When we arrived, our work area was already set up with our personalized art. The only other decisions we had to make were between stain or paint, as well as coordinating colors, and then we were ready to get down and dirty. We did everything from sanding wood, to staining and painting, to nailing wood planks and hangers, to transferring letters and design (through a really cool process) to our projects. It takes a few steps, but our work was immediately ready for display when we finished.

While it’s a DIY workshop, there is no need to have a fear of messing up. Melissa and her team are on hand to constantly check behind you, and miraculously (if needed), do any last minute fixes to your project.

Private workshops last from 2-3 hours (or longer if needed) depending on the project, and children’s parties are typically 2 hours long. You can set up a private workshop (there is a minimum of participants required) any day of the week or grab a chair in a public workshop that is already scheduled. Click HERE to get started.

Most adult projects range from $40-$70 and children’s projects range from $30-$45. You can also order personalized decor from their website HERE (but then you miss all the fun of designing a project yourself!)

You can also bring your own beverage (such as the adult kind) and appetizers to share with your friends. Melissa is also finishing up a bar area and working on obtaining an alcohol license – yet another reason why you should host a private party at AR Workshop!

We seriously cannot say enough good things about AR Worshop and I’m already looking at dates to return to create holiday gifts!

*Sponsored by AR Workshop