My Studio Makeover

My "studio" aka painting area is a hallway at the bottom of the stairs in the cellar. A few weeks ago I posted my before picture of this spot. It's a 6 x 8 foot space that is a pathway to the laundry area. All of the things I was using for storage were leftovers from when we moved into this house 5 years ago. My painting table was a metal garage shelving unit with various crates and closet organizer shelves stacked on top of it. It wasn't working really well for me. So I decided to study what was working and what wasn't working and to fix it up as a reward for working really hard for several months on my Izannah Walker Workshop.

What was working:
  • Having a dedicated spot for painting that is separate from sewing.
  • Keeping items like paint, colored pencils, gesso, etc at hand near the table.
  • Plastic drawer units to organize pencils, markers, etc.

What was not working:
  • The tower of shelving units on top took up the working space on the table.
  • I was storing things in this area (quarts of paint) that did not need to be stored here.
  • I needed to make some decisions about what I was going to focus on art wise. You can't do everything (although I like to think I can).
  • Things were getting lost at the back of the shelves in the metal storage unit
  • I needed to throw some things away (packrat alert!)
My $75 plan was:
  • Hang two shelves above the shelving unit/painting table and get rid of the tower of make-do shelf units.
  • Clean off the metal shelving unit and only store there what I actually use.
  • Hang a shelf on the right wall to act as a painting easel for larger works.
  • Skirt the shelving unit
  • Get some boxes or baskets or bins to act kind of like "drawers" on the metal shelving unit. So if things were in the back of the unit I could get to them by pulling the bins out a bit.
Here's before and after together...

What I actually did:
  • Cleaned off the metal shelving unit and only stored there what I actually use.
  • Hung two shelves above the shelving unit/painting table and got rid of the tower of make-do shelf units.
  • Hung a shelf on the right wall to act as a painting easel for larger works.

Mission Creep:

Then came a moment of decision.

After I had hung the shelves I realized how much I hated that metal painting table. It did not inspire, truly. I was constantly catching my clothing and hands on the metal edges of it. It was wobbly, and I wasn't even sure it was going to survive moving back to the spot it had been. So I decided to replace it. This went beyond my $75 plan, but imagine how happy I was to go to Lowe's and see they had butcher block rolling carts at a deep clearance price of $79. The red cart below was also on clearance and I bought it for $35. So all told I spent about $280, which includes the three carts I purchased and the shelving and hardware. All the other storage items were ones I had on hand. And I found lots of rolls of tape! It is so much better and brighter!

My easel area below:
a shelf on the wall as an easel,
a rolling veggie bin as a painting cart.

It is so much more workable
I am a happy girl!

So now to get working!
Notice the closed door
in the picture below
at the end of the hallway?

That's my sewing area.
My mom told me
to show that
on the internet.

At 47 do I need to obey my mama still?

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden


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