Saturday, August 31, 2013

My art studio - finally complete!

So the room is done, and I'm going to show you before and after pictures!  (and by the way, the wall color is NOT accurate in the photo above, but I can't seem to get it right in this photo, so..)

What room?  I guess I should explain.  My son will be 25 this winter.  He is 2 years out of college, and lives and works in Boston.  Unfortunately, he doesn't get home too often.  Meanwhile, being retired, I wanted to a place to do some artwork and assorted crafty projects.  I used to use my large classroom tables for a space when I was working on a project.  But I haven't had studio space in my own home since I got married almost 26 years ago.  Other than the kitchen, every single room in our home had wall-to-wall carpeting.  And I really didn't think I could afford  (or even want to) rent studio space outside of my home.

So I had an idea:  I asked my son if I could transform his old bedroom.  He said sure, as long as the bed was still there, and a drawer for some spare clothing. Hurray!  Then hubby, a retired architect, drew up a floor plan of the room.  It has slanty ceilings and he suggested putting in dormer windows for more light and headroom.  But the cost was prohibitive.  Plus I'm more than a foot shorter than him  so the headroom wasn't as much of an issue.  But I moved around little cutouts of the furniture and came up with a plan.

One day, I said "I'm going to Lowe's to get paint samples and flooring samples".  My husband was stunned.  He didn't think I planned to start the renovation immediately.  But I did.  I came home with cans of paint, cans of spray paint for the storage units, and dragged him back with me to look at the flooring and place the order.  His jaw practically hit the floor.  Now?!!?  Anyhow, less than a month later, it is all done!!

Actually, I don't have great before pictures, because by the time I remembered to document the process, I'd already taken down the heavy room-darkening dark brown and black patterned curtains, and my son's pictures were off the walls, the giant Phish poster was off the slanted ceiling, and my stuff was all over the place in boxes.  But at that point half the room looked like this.
 And now it looks like this:
It's hard to tell the colors from these photos, but when we started the work, the room had a beige rug, old tan comforter, light coffee walls, dark brown moldings, and darker brown modular storage units (which I have kept) - the colors were chosen by my son when he was in middle school - mostly browns, tans, and black accents, curtains always closed; very dark; the colors, especially with the slanty ceilings, made the room feel small.Here's the other half of the room.

So the first step (after emptying the room of everything but the bed, an old desk chair, and the cat) was removing the carpet, because you can't have an art studio that is carpeted!
Really?  I have to move?
 We have a helper.
 Padding is removed, and we are down to the plywood sub-floor. 
 Bored with the process.
 Kitty loved the tarp on the bed, whether she was playing under it, or laying on it watching us paint.  I painted all the moldings and the walls, and hubby did the ceiling.  I'm short, he's tall.
After we painted the moldings, and started painting the corners, the new light colors made the former color look like it was salmony-pink!  It was quite bizarre.
Newly painted walls! Moldings, a pale blue, I think called 'lagoon'.  Walls, 'fresh linen'.  My goal was to make the room fresh, light and airy, kind of like an ocean breeze.  I planned to also paint the door, but my husband had another (better) plan.  The door was painted with multiple layers of lumpy paint.  It looked awful.  He removed the door, and removed all the paint, and sanded and oiled it.  You'll see it later.
Then it was time to put in the new floor.  I selected a vinyl plank flooring that we could easily install ourselves.  Or that my husband could.  I really wanted to do the work, but he put on his best macho act and told me he would be doing it himself.  Who am I to argue?  So I went to a movie matinee (The Butler) and lunch with friends to stay away and not be too annoying, and also sewed new curtains and made a little cushion for kitty, and I primed and painted the terrific particle board table I had purchased.   
 Note: my husband did not like the fabric I picked; he thought the tab fabric should have been the whole curtain.  He did not like the molding color I picked; he thought is was too light.  And he didn't agree on my floor selection.  But it was going to be MY room, and I was paying for it, so my choices stuck.  But, when the painting was done, he loved the color of both the walls and the moldings.  (See?  I knew it would work!)  And he agrees the floor is simply fabulous.  But I doubt he's changed his mind about the curtains.  By the way, that's kitty's cushion on my old ch air.  It is two-sided, knotted together around a foam cushion, no sewing at all!  Cool, huh?
And when the floor was done, we carried the storage modules out to the backyard, and I spray-primed and painted them in 4 different colors - pale blue, pale sage, cream, and a soft yellow-gold.  Again, hubby was skeptical, but they turned out just as I had envisioned.  The room was put back together, he reinstalled all the light fixtures (the room has track lighting), the door, and anything else that needed screwing, wiring, or nailing in place.  I bought a new quilt for the bed, some throw rugs, some storage baskets, an loaded everything in.  Here are some views of the completed room, starting with some of the storage modules.  I still have stuff to organize and put away, but I've made a good start.  The two drawers belong to my son's spare clothes!
 The cat-patterned cloth on the bed is a coverlet for kitty, so she doesn't shed all over the nice new stuff.  It will only work if she sleeps on it.   Which of course she won't.
 The gorilla doesn't have a name.  Can you help?
 Here's a good view that shows my beautiful (and waterproof!) floor, and a fun textured (and quite comfy) rug I found in the clearance department of  TJ Maxx.  I bought all the storage basket-y things there too. 
 Yes, there's a little old TV in the corner, on top of a couple more storage modules.  It might come in handy for 'company' from time to time.  The red cart I've had for a while - I use it for my painting supplies and palette when I'm at the easel.  I can't show you the other side of what's on the easel.  It's a monumental mess, sort of a failed textural experiment.  I'm going to try to save it.
 And a poster of a sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle, that I just adore.  And oh - there's the wonderfully antique looking door that my husband spent two days sanding, and more time still oiling it, and refinishing all the hardware.  Thank you, hubs!!
 Above is a view looking straight into the room, and below is my cute table, and a view of one of the tracks of the track lighting. 
 And a better look at the door.

 The shelf under the window is actually an old bookshelf that was vertical in my son's room.  Hubby sliced off the bottom and installed it for me so I can put stuff on it, in it, and under it.  And here's a cat's eye view of the table. 
 And speaking of cat's eye views, here's the cat on the other side of the closed door, looking for a game.  I willingly obliged. 
I don't know why this last pic posted sideways.  Maybe because the other photos were all shot with my Nikon, and this wasn't?  The pic of me, hubs and son was shot on a vacation trip to Alaska, summer of 2005.  Fabulous time there!!
Anyhow, it's done, and now I have an art studio, my son still has a place to sleep, and it will also function as a guest bedroom in the event of a visitor.  The room feels bigger, lighter, fresher, just like I hoped.  Hopefully in the future I'll be posting what I create in here!  By the way, feel free to ask questions about the strange things on the shelves.  Thanks for sharing the tour of my renovation project!

24 comments:

  1. One month!!! You are a dynamo!! Everything looks great and ready to go (just like a first day of school:)) That non-carpeted floor is going to be wonderful for a studio (I say that because my classroom has carpet pretty much everywhere except the sink area -- ugh). Tell your hubby I LOVE the door!!!

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    1. Yes, the door was an unexpected bonus!

      Question- why in the role does a school put a carpeted floor in an art room? We always spilled stuff in my art classroom and I was completely unfazed by it. Plus it was easy to sweep up scraps. It seems to me that carpet in classrooms can get really dirty and are much harder to keep clean.

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    2. Well, when I started teaching at my school in 1970, none of the rooms were carpeted and primary rooms had area carpets for sitting on the floor. Then they remodeled the school and carpeted all the primary classrooms. The room that I now have, I share with a primary reading teacher and an after school kindergarten day-care class. The after-school class is new this year. I sense that the teacher is extremely neat. She moved in an additional rug, one of those that is divided into 20 squares so that kids have their own "spot" to sit. I shudder to think of the reaction when one of my kids spills paint on it -- because we DO spill paint!!!!! I thought I would go out this week-end and buy a can of Woolite Extra Duty Carpet spray to try to mitigate any future damage. I think that is the best I can do under the circumstances!!

      Oh, I meant to write, it looks like your cat LOVED the renovation project!

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    3. Wow, 1970?! I thought I'd taught a long time (I started in 1976) but it looks like you have me beat!

      And yes, our Isis loved participating - she is a typical silly cat! Luckily she stayed away from wet paint. But she loves going 'shopping' in boxes of 'stuff'. We never know what we will suddenly find in the middle of the living room floor.

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  2. This makes me so stinkin' happy for you!! I LOVE your new space, it's so open, clean and inviting. The floor, new wall color and CURTAINS (don't listen to your hubs, they just don't get it, do they?!) are all amazing! I can't wait to see what you create in this beautiful space. I'm currently in the process of just decluttering my sewing room...and I gave myself a month...and I'm totally NOT gonna make my deadline. You are awesome!

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    1. Thanks, Cassie. We did get it done fast, with kind of a single-minded focus. We took out very little time for the lake, and my payback is that the Labor Day weekend weather stinks.

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  3. Looks great - I know you are excited to start making things in there. What's your first project going to be?

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    1. I suppose I have to tackle that thing on the easel! There's an upcoming show locally that happens to have the theme of texture and pattern, so if I can find a way to revive the painting, I'd be able to enter the show. But so far I don't want anyone to see it.

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  4. Ooooooooooh, I love it! My favorite part is the lighting. I may have to borrow that idea. Jan

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    1. Jan, the track lighting isn't new, but it's great. The only problem is that even with the AC it gets hot in there. I'm hoping it will feel good for the wintertime.

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  5. Wow how fun! It looks amazing! What are you going to make?

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    1. Marcia, I have so many plans, but I'll start with the monstrosity on the easel. Plus it's likely I'll be building another 'golden latke' trophy again this year. And I want to get out my 'real' batik stuff this winter, hopefully! (Instead of toothpaste batik!). And of course I want to try so many things on my Pinterest boards.

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  6. LOVE it! We're in a rented two bedroom with the second, bigger room, functioning as the music/ art/ library/ office/ guest room. It is such a process to set up the easel, throw down the drop cloth and unpack the supplies. You're room is the perfect solution (just close the door). I am seriously jealous! Can't wait to see what you create!

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    1. Thanks, Sarah. It's been a long time coming!

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  7. Phyl,

    LOVE, Love, love it. Congrats on your own space. I'm counting the days until I can have the same in my own home. (If 25 years is the magical time, I only have 5 more years!)

    Kim

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    1. Thank you! I don't know about that magical # though. I taught for 36 years, just was married for the 25. Before I got married I lived in apartments alone, and always had a spare room that was a combo art studio / home for kitty litter messy sort of space. Funny to lose that space when you move from a little apartment into a house, but that's life I guess!

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  8. Great work Phyl! A Room of Ones Own. You are going to have a fabulous winter making art in there.

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  9. Phyl it is wonderful. I can't wait to see what amazing things you create in this space. I would think the bed would also be a great place for a "creativity inducing nap." Enjoy it!

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    1. Ha ha! I couldn't sleep at all last night. Wy didn't I think of going in here to get some sleep? The change of environment (and no snoring husband) would have probably been just what I needed!

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  10. Your studio space looks great! And just so ya know...I DID NOT DELETE PAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I saw her blog pop up to the top of my roll yesterday...opened it up...and saw her trashin' me?!? :) ha ha I knew life had been rough lately..and gave her much grace. I knew she'd get back to blogging soon enough!

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    1. Hahah I didn't really think you'd just delete her!
      Glad you like my studio

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  11. Hey Phyl...I need you on speed dial!! ha ha Who is that artist that does the fun colorful cats?!?! I've tried to google it...bing it...NOTHIN'! HELP!

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    1. No problem! You are referring, I'm sure, to the 'fantastic felines' of the amazing Laurel Burch! I left a comment with the same info on your blog, so hopefully this is almost as good as speed dial!

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