09 January 2020

Studio Makeover!



New video up on YouTube about my studio refresh! 

My sister's study

My study

When I moved into this house, I knew I would use this room as my studio and office/study. I wanted shelves on the wall like the ones my sister had in her little office. 

Like my sister's shelves, I put lights underneath mine and bulletin boards on the wall. I'm not quite as neat and minimalist as my sister, but I love this layout! The lights can dim as well as switch from cool to neutral to warm and they give me a lot of light, which my aging eyes really appreciate! I adapted the shelf spacing so that I could put my printer over the desk since I didn't have room for a printer stand. 

Inspiration for studio decor came from my CQJP 2015 project. When I stitched it, the colors were far outside of my comfort zone, yet it ended up being some of the best work I'd ever done! Upon moving in, I thought it might be the perfect inspiration piece to decorate my studio around. So I found a rug that repeated some of the colors and searched through my fabric for pieces that would coordinate for a curtain valence.

At first I loved it! It was bold and different. I used a lot of my pink colored items to decorate the space, from little bits I had stitched, to items gifted to me. With the multi color rug, I also decided to let other multi-color items take precedence, like the jars of colorful buttons and the tray of bead containers. 

As the year progressed, I realized I wasn't spending much time in this space. I preferred to paint in the kitchen, due in part to better light. I was stitching at the kitchen table as well. And even for computer work, I was either avoiding it or bringing my laptop out to the living room. The bright colors and the chaos of the multi-color rug were just too much for me. The room had become a catch-all for everything I wanted out of the rest of the house. This little house has no storage space and teeny tiny closets, so the studio/study space became more of a storage room and I was increasingly frustrated with how difficult it was to find the supplies I needed. Time for a refresh! 

 I started thinking about what would make my studio/office space a place where I wanted to spend time, and what would make it easier to find the supplies I wanted. I also knew I needed a better, simpler space for filming my YouTube videos.  Bright pink is notoriously difficult to photograph and in videos, all the bright pink meant I spent hours editing, trying to come up with some semblance of real colors.  I knew I wanted this small room (11"-0" x11'-0" square)to feel more open - so that meant lighter colors. The space desperately needed a calmer rug. As fun as I found the multi-color rug at first, it felt like it was always cluttered to me, I hated filming against it, and the pink/red colors reflected onto everything I was working on, making it hard to see the real colors. 
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I also wanted to cut the glare from the window for when I was filming, and yet I needed to let the light through in this otherwise dim room.

That turned out to be an easy fix as I had a pair of shorter linen curtains that I hadn't used and I had a vintage lace curtain panel which I have loved for years and it fit perfectly between the two linen panels. The window also has an easy to operate blind for nighttime privacy. 

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While I enjoyed this display for a while, the clutter of all the little bits of decor made the space seem smaller as well, so I knew I wanted to simplify things in that realm.  My tastes are definitely evolving towards a more minimalist style! 

First step was to find a new rug.  With the multi-color rug, I had been lucky to find one that was nearly square and filled the open space well.  Most rugs are rectangular or round and square rugs are hard to come by, but on Wayfair, I found a rug I liked that also came in large square sizes (the one I purchased is 10'-0" square!) and was also within my small budget!  It's modeled here by Thomas, who seems pretty happy with the new decor as well! 

It took about 2 weeks to get the room re-organized and change out all the decor.  All the little bric-a-brac has been put away, but accessible if I want to look at it.  On the wall I hung my Cream and White crazy quilt, the first big project that I stitched when I started crazy quilting.  I hung a simple wreath of faux fern fronds and hung a strand of ivy over the curtain rod.  Instead of lots of little art, I propped up an old mirror on top of the shelves.  It is all so much simpler and calmer now!  

The new rug reflects lots of light and makes this dim room seem so much brighter!  I made a new curtain cover for my art shelf where all the canvases, paints, sketchbooks, mediums, etc are stored.  Even when neat and organized, it always looks cluttered and a mess.  I was able to use fabric I already had and some antique crocheted lace for an extra touch.  

All the threads and ribbons have been newly re-organized as well and all the bits from all over have been consolidated into labeled boxes and baskets.  Finding things is so much easier now and I don't have to go through umpteen different containers before finding what I'm looking for!  

The little radiator heater keeps this room a couple of degrees warmer than the rest of the house, so I can work comfortably during these cooler months and I don't have to heat the entire house to my working temp!  It is Thomas' favorite spot as well, and most days he can be found with his paws tucked underneath it! 

The old cabinet I have from one of my "adopted" grandmas has been utilized as my sewing cabinet and holds all the little sewing bits from needles and pins to interfacing, scissors, bias tape, etc.  I love having this bit of "history" that is filled with memories for me! 

The stack of frames I've been accumulating, waiting to be filled with paintings is now hung on the high wall over the door rather that stacked in a pile in front of the closet door.  

I spent some time re-organizing the shelves above my desk as well.  While I strive towards minimalism, I never will really be a minimalist.  I have too much instinct to "save" things and somehow I also become the keeper of the family history, so I have boxes and boxes of extended family history/genealogy in storage and somehow, more bits to add to it continues to come my way.  All those boxes on the upper shelf contain bits for that plus the necessary office stuff like pads of paper, and other useful items.  Then there are things like the basket of notecards to send out, envelopes, stamps, and notepads.  In my ideal world, I'd find a way to get rid of most of this!  But I'm not there yet! 


I re-did the bulletin boards and filled them with postcards of some of the favorite art pieces that I've had the opportunity to see in the past couple of years.  Lots of Monet!  Also some Van Gogh, Berthe Morrisot, Cezanne, Andrew Wyeth, and Jamie Wyeth as well a couple of things painted by friends that I love.  Sprinkled about here and there are Bible verses I find inspiring and other bits that I enjoy seeing.  

Behind the door, there is space enough for a vintage cubby hole cabinet.  The little shelves are just the perfect size for storing my favorite fat quarters of fabric!  These are mostly batik and some Japanese Taupe fabrics that I've gathered over the years.  (I'm not showing you the 8 drawers of additional fabric I have stored in the closet! ). Above the shelf I have hooks to hang the rings of pearl cotton embroidery threads and also the ribbon trims I use.  There are also a two items here done by my Mom; a crewel work embroidery she did in the late 1960's and the plaque with my name that she painted for me when I was a little girl.  It used to grace the front of my toy shelf and I had a little painted table to match, now long gone.  The bunny print is by Tasha Tudor, one of my favorite illustrators.  

So, that is my newly re-furbished studio/office space!  I love how open and light it feels, and I find myself spending most of the day in here working on projects!   

5 comments:

Carlie said...

I love your craft room's new look! I feel inspired to give my a new organizing clean!! I have a whole lot of buttons also that I need to organize by color like you have. I will put my granddaughters to work helping me with that soon. Thanks for all the inspiration and Happy New Year!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Wow, I love what you have done with your craft space! Have a great 2020 ~ FlowerLady

Sweet Sue said...

love every inch of your new space, very fresh and inviting!

Suzie in Idaho said...

Oh so lovely. It's like when that sweet fresh breeze kisses your skin.
Love the inspiration. Suzie in Idaho

K. Roper said...

This is such a relaxing space now! And very inspiring for my own office/studio. ~Karen