Thursday, February 23, 2012

Spreading my wings.

My main "studio" is housed in our basement. Most of the time, this works just dandy, but lately I've been craving a new work space. During the winter, I tend to gravitate up to the dining room table for computer work and photographs. Better light, better heat. My issue with the dining room table: distraction. It's the main hub of the house, so it's easy to notice some mundane task that must be done RIGHT NOW and wander off to take care of it.
The guest room has been the source of many conversations with my husband.  Our house is tiny, and we only have guests a few times a year. The other 340 or so days of the year,  it just sits there with no one using it. Thus, the idea was born to convert it into my studio annex. After all, I work from home every day, so it just seems like a smarter use of the space.
I gleefully cleared the room out and started getting set up. This cupboard houses reference books and a few props (It's previous life was as a pantry in our farm kitchen). I want to keep this room fairly sparse, but I can't live without a little color. The whiteness of this cupboard door was suddenly making me very sad.
So I gave it a quick and easy makeover. I grabbed a stack of coordinating wallpaper sample sheets, paint chips and fabric, then created a patchwork door. I didn't work with a plan or layout, preferring just to go with the flow and see where the patchwork led me. I also used double stick tape, knowing that I will need to repaint the door if I ever choose to remove the patchwork.
I'm so happy with the results. I squeal with delight (really) every time I look into my new room and spy the new colorful patchwork. In fact, the whole rooms makes me dizzy with delight. It's not quite done yet, but
here is a peek at the progress.
I picked these metal racks up at a junk sale. Topped with a $25 Ikea table top, they make a perfectly tall work and photo table.  You can see that they were not quite the same height-easily solved by sliding in a decorative box to fill the gap. The big bonus? Lots of supply and prop storage right at my fingertips! I'll pick up a few bins to slide onto the shelves. This will keep everything looking tidy, and allow me to move props and materials up and down from basement storage.
The height of the table and open racks below keep the room from feeling too cramped. I'm keeping things simple, using just a few key elements-a funky lampshade or two, colors and patterns-to spice up the neutral carpet and subdued wall color (Benjamin Moore-Aura/Croquet). I'm feeling more productive already!


  1. Looks so bright and sunny in there. The patchwork came out so beautiful and cheery. This room will surely inspire many great ideas!

  2. I've been reading your blog for quite some time now from the sidelines. I finally signed up so that I could comment and let people know how much I enjoy their site. Your new studio space looks great. The patchwork effect on the door is so beutifully bright and vibrant. It looks like you will have the perfect combination of light, heat, privacy, and convenience. It's obvious that you are loving your new work space already. I understand where you are coming from about the dining room/studio situation. For years I have used exactly one half of the dining room table for my painting and paperclay sculpting and other projects. I have three plastic 3- drawer bins (not too pretty) in the dining room also. They don't stand out too much, as they are in a corner. I love the way the light streams into my dining room/studio, but you are right, it is easy to be distracted when trying to work right in the hub of the house, and all of my supplies definitely make some kind of decorating statement, I'm just not sure what kind of statement. Keep enjoying your new studio space!

  3. Hi Andrea and Susie-welcome!

    Yes-cheery, indeed! It is always a challenge to work from home (although I really love it),
    and carving out your own space is very important, although not always easy. I can close the doors here, let the sun shine in, and get to work!

    You could even create just a little bit of bright patchwork on the cover of a's sure to make you smile:)

  4. This is so fun, Christine! It is a cheery and inspiring space! Love the lampshade!

  5. Yahooooooo for you my friend! I love it! Your little patchwork door is amazing. I have done something like that with wallpaper.
    Now I will be able to picture you in your sweet little space! Enjoy...I just know you will. xoxox

  6. Do we all inspire to have a special spot that we can create in. You are so lucky. I am so excited to find and follow new special places. I have no doubt I will enjoy engaging and supporting this wonderful space you have created. Thank you for sharing, I am so glad to meet you. I hope you will find some time to come visit me soon. Cheers SpecialK XoXo

  7. Koralee...yes-picture me doodling and toodling away here in my new sunny spot:)

    Nice to meet you Special K...I'll look you up and say hello!

    xo christine