Friday, October 15, 2010

Weekend Inspiration

I finally decided this week that it's time to tackle..... the office. The art studio. The office/art studio.
Remember this photo? Yeah I know... It's a kitchen, not an office, but still.

Last night I started the painting process. I'm pretty excited!

I spent some time yesterday looking online for inspirational photos of great craft/art rooms and found this site via the Etsy forums:!/CraftRoomInspiration

Be sure to check it out if you've got an art studio or craft room you're in the mood to reorganize! There are so many great ideas here. I've never had a real craft/art room before, so I really didn't know where to begin.  
How do I store/display all my paints in a useful and practical way? 
How do I keep my paper cutter, mat cutter, and self-healing-cutting-mat out in the open enough to access them easily when I need them, but keep them out of the way so as not to clutter up valuable desk space?
Since I have no right to be completely selfish about this whole thing, how do I integrate my husband's desk and super-awesome awards he's gotten from work into the office/studio without making him feel like he's in 'my' room, but instead in our office?

When we first started the house-hunting process I had visions of a little room off the back of the house with a separate entrance where I could paint, make a big ol' mess, and invite clients to view my work in a private studio setting. That's a pretty specific requirement when you're under a time crunch and looking for houses in the DC area (where they move pretty fast). I decided to drop that from the priority list and focus on other things instead- things more important to family life (the kids being furbabies for now).

We ended up in this perfect not-so-typical split-level with 4 floors. I love it. We've talked about the possibilities of adding on a garage (with a sun-room on top?), and/or small sun-room/art studio in the back. It might happen one day.

For now our office/studio is a room in the back of the house among the other bedrooms. It's got one regular window and then one GIANT window.

As of about 9:00pm last night, the office looked like the mother of all disarray went in there and threw up after eating a hearty meal of boxes, art supplies, and shelves. All the random extra shelves and furniture were put back there with the thought that I'd find something crafty with which to fill them. Then add in all the paintings and computer accessories and the cat's litterbox and this desk I've had since I was 10 years old. Yes, 10. The poor 20-year-old-particle-board desk sags terribly from the weight of my old CRT monitor circa 2000 (which just got replaced this year with a lightweight LCD). Pieces of it are falling off. I knew it was time to replace it.

Well now.... this is embarrassing.
The horrific cell-phone-photo seems appropriate for something that's already such a mess, n'est-ce-pas? So there's the old desk, and yes, the litterbox, and the state of the office as of last night.

Sadly, that's an improvement from what it's looked like for the past 3 weeks.

Before I started the painting process, I begged my husband to take the door off the hinges (he thought I couldn't do it myself?). Why? Because I had plans for it. Ohhhh yes.
The doors in this house are super old and super gross and dingy and have holes in them and we want to replace them with nice 6 panel doors since that's a pretty cheap and very nice way to improve a house. I decided that one of those ugly doors was going to become MY NEW DESK. Economical, eco-friendly, practical, my husband said it looks like crap but it's for arty stuff so crap = ok! Then who cares if you get paint or ink all over it!? Happy Birthday to ME!

The very first class I attended at my college was Drawing 101 and in that studio the teacher's desk was a door with two file cabinets underneath it. I thought that was the greatest idea ever and it stuck with me. The doorknob was still on that desk, but we took the doorknob off last night so I can run wires from various electronics through the premade hole.

I'll eventually add actual legs to it (ok, sawed off 2x4's), but I had some little shelving units that I thought would be perfect to put under the desk to hold it up. Also you can see my old desk under there, since where else was I going to put it? Eventually I dismantled it and piled the pieces up on the other side of the room. I also took the hutch off the top of it- no need for that any more, and it makes the workspace feel so... closed.

I'm so in love with the door-desk that I'm going to add another one on the wall to the left to make a wonderful L shaped desk. That one will run under the GIANT window and provide a great space for drawing or other crafty things :)
There is room for my husband's desk on either two of the other walls, so I don't feel toooooooo guilty for taking up so much space.

Now everything's in a huge state of disarray once more since I had to move EVERYTHING so I could start painting, but I really hope to have it almost done by the end of the weekend or early next week.
I'll be sure to post more pictures of the process!
What a great way to have a fantastic HUGE new desk without having to buy anything!

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