Monday, January 13, 2014

Studio. New beginning.

All pictures shown in this post are just a partial showing of the studio. 
The following posts go into greater details with more photos of each area of the space.

Like many of us,  I've done the 'creative side' for as long as I can remember.
I have journals dating back to 1975. I embellished t shirts, hand painted kid's clothes, made pillows, polymer art, jewelry, angels, soldered, faux finished, did art shows, did craft shows, taught classes, worked with clay and kilns, painted murals… oh gosh! I could continue!
Through everything, I never stopped to realized how much of a life time commitment this is.
 My whole life I've spent working in art!
So, when our son decided it was time to move out, it left a giant space in my heart and in our home.
The room he HAD occupied for many years was our upstairs loft. Originally this was our master bedroom. Later it became a guest room, and eventually it was Alex's bedroom. It isn't private. It has an 'open railing' that overlooks the living room. It's a large space, shaped like an L. 
It was not easy to take over this space after Alex moved out. 
Guilt. Why was there guilt? 
I didn't feel deserving of  a real space. I never had my own art place. Isn't that odd? Something I've devoted my entire life to (to some degree or another) was making stuff. Now, a wonderful space comes available and I feel too guilty (?) to take advantage of it. 
I had a small table in the guest bedroom once. I tried to work in this space but I always ended up in the family room on the couch, in front of the TV with my stuff EVERYWHERE. Chuck was great with it but eventually he would make a comment about my mess. Who could blame him?
I also found out I wouldn't take advantage of my supplies. My stuff is hidden all over the house and when I work, I don't want to start hunting for materials.
It was a long battle, weighing in whether or not I could justify this hair brain decision. My husband didn't want to spend any money on the project. After all, we are getting close to retirement and count our pennies closely.  However, the one thing that was necessary (whether or not we made the art studio) was new flooring. The carpet was almost 35 years old. It had gone through a house renovation where all the downstairs tile was ripped up. This filled the house with dust and dirt, all which settled into the carpeting upstairs because of our inability to close off the space. Plus all the years of kids, kids parties, girls… huh? It was awful.  We finally agreed to go with white pine laminate flooring from Sam's Club. We used Angie's List for our installer. Both were amazing.
The floor is light, bright and reflective. It immediately transformed the area from dirty to sparkly.
Now was my time to roll up my sleeves and go gorilla. I repainted all available walls, 7 pieces of furniture, 4 or 5 lamps, multiple accessories and a rabbit. Anything got repainted. I used Home Depot's Gliddon white paint called "White Linen". It's a beautiful soft white and I recommend it. I used eggshell on the walls and satin on the furniture. I also made a slip cover for the couch in white denim and recovered the pillows in a washed beige linen. 

Below is a photo of our old carpet. This section is not bad looking, not too badly stained.  Most of it had turned a  gray-cream color. Originally it was a creamy white. What was I thinking??

The room (like the rest of the house) was very masculine. With a house full of men, I wanted our home to be comfortable. All our sofas are leather or dark patterns. Our floors are tile. Everything was purchased for easy cleaning. The decor is also masculine. We have a lot of Native American influence. Indian rugs, suede pillows and antlers decorate most of the house. 
When I finally came to the decision I was going to take over this space, 
I knew I wanted to do a white room.  
A feminine white room. 

I needed to make the dingy/dirty feeling I had there, go away. Also, I figured that white would
be easy. Everything is shades of white, gray, linen, palest of green, and cream. 

To save money, I bought almost nothing. I purchased two hanging chandelier type lamps. Total for the two 'crystal type' chandeliers was $69.00 and $49.00. (both on sale at Lowes) Ikea has great prices on white duvets and white linen curtains. I bought a large bookshelf from Walmart ($29.97)  fabrics for the couch coverup, stuff for an inspiration board, and lots of paint.
And the cost of the flooring.
Everything else was a lot of sweat.

Below you can see the wood wall I'm working with and the black dresser (free dumpster dive piece) 
that was missing drawers.  I use the baskets to hold my fabrics. 
Now it is white.

This is the "BEFORE" photo...

 Below:   This is the "AFTER" photo

 This is the bedroom stripped down. See what I mean by dingy?

Below is the "After" photo.
The "sewing area" in on the left.

This is the area that is to become the painting and mixed media area.

The NEW painting and mixed media area is shown below.

Now the space is about 75% done. I'm really liking it and more importantly, I love to go up there and just look around, sit on the sofa and drink a cup of coffee, wander over to the painting table and sketch.  
I'm still struggling with "allowing" myself to do this. The guilt is easing and it's being replaced with a focus to make stuff. I'm not going to question if it's something I deserve. 
It's here, it's available and I'm taking over, even if it's just for a while. 

Check out the following posts for more photos and more ideas.

1 comment:

  1. From the photos Your Brand New Studio looks wonderful, peaceful yet extremely Creative!!!
    I always tell you that I love your style! And I will say it again: I Love Your Style!!! I want to live in your house lol
    I love you, I can't wait to meet your space in person!!!