Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Studio!

Yes! I finally have a room of my very own!

For the last 15 years I have done the bulk of my work in an ever increasingly crowded and small section of our bedroom. This last year I found that it had gotten to the point where I could no longer think clearly, or create freely in that space. I had simply outgrown it.

Now, at the end of spring when my eldest daughter graduated from college and was making arrangements to officially move out on her own, I decided that it was time to make the move, turning her old room into my new studio. I was practically chomping at the bit.

But much to my surprise, the emotional act of doing so was way more difficult for me then I had ever imagined. This was her room, and claiming it as my own was a bit bitter-sweet. However, the realization that fall was right around the corner kicked my melancholy butt into high gear and I am so happy with the results!

Here's a little tour...


My goal was to create a space that: utilized furnishings which we already had on hand, provided different work spaces for various projects, be organized, and contain some open spaces. This was a challenge as the room is only 12' x 12' 10", and one wall is taken up mostly by a pair of windows, while another wall has odd angles and is taken by a closet and a door.

The above photo shows the office space; computer, printer, books, files, etc. As well as a cutting table and sewing space. The chair from the computer can easily swing around and be the chair used to sit at the sewing machine. The walls were painted a happy and calming soft yellow-green. (On my monitor they look more yellow in these shots, but in reality are actually more on the green side.)


The closet provides nice storage space for a lot of the items that cluttered up my previous space. It's wonderful to have them handy when needed, but quickly put out of view when not! As I sew I can keep the one door open and have easy access to threads, needles, presser feet, and scissors, etc. without having them strewn all over my work space.


Here is a second sewing area... perfect for small projects, or when my youngest daughter feels like sewing. Bowls of thread on top, and boxes of thread underneath. Fabrics that I use most frequently are stored on some low shelving. (Ironically the furniture in this section was bought 30 years ago by my parents when I moved out on my own and they converted my old bedroom into there new office space!) To the left of the machine, (covered in red) is my small metal vintage Structo Artcraft table top loom, which can be moved to the center of the table that it sits on and worked when the mood strikes. This area also has some open floor space, along with a nice view of our maple tree out front!


Besides just having a whole room to myself, the thing that I am most excited about is having a large design wall, which I have never had before and am oh so anxious to use! This was the only item, (besides wall paint) that I spent any money on. I pretty much followed the instructions found here, on Oh, Fransson! and am delighted with the results!

The only thing that I did different was that I substituted 8 smaller sheets of extra thick foam board, (found at the craft store) for the 2 large sheets of insulation foam board found at the hardware store. I believe this cost me a little extra cash, but as it was raining buckets at the time I went in search of materials, I was happy to forgo some savings in order to avoid the struggle of fitting long and large items into the back of my small Saturn station wagon.

The board is secured to the wall, (and believe me when I say that with held breath and crossed fingers!) with multiple strips of 3M Command Damage-Free Picture and Frame hanging strips, and for an extra gravity resistance measure I also hammered a few nails (wherever there was a wall stud) right under and along the base of the board, so it is actually able to rest on something.


Here's that odd angle I mentioned, but the space behind the door was just right for hanging my rulers. The vintage birdseye maple dresser is a favorite piece of mine, once belonging to my grandparents and provided extra storage space.


And here is Ellie, sitting on top of a matching vintage birdseye maple chair Notice the wonderful worn leather seat that replaced a broken cane seat. My grandfather put that on way before I was ever born and I just love it.

Ellie approves of the new digs and has volunteered to be the official studio mascot. Thank you Ellie!

42 comments:

Angela said...

Victoria, your studio looks great, nice and neat. But Ellie..., Ellie is a gift. I can see the smile on that beautiful face!

Kit said...

lovely space- congratulations!!! And my - that Ellie is a well-loved girl - you can see it on her face.

(I like you even better for that!)

Brenda said...

congrats. it looks lovely -- except it is too neat! have fun messing it up.

MariQuilts said...

How wonderful to have your own space.....I spent many years sewing in different corners of the house, before having my own space. It's one of the perks of the kids leaving home, as hard as that can be. It looks great.

Jackie said...

I love your studio!! Nice and clean and neat. How funny that you posted a studio tour today, so did I!! But mine is not quite as neat as yours. Get in there and mess it up a little!!

Blue Is Bleu said...

Very nice! I used to sew in a corner of the guest room till I decided to take over an unused room... I could never go back! :) Enjoy your new space!!

Char said...

Love your new studio. I also have a strange angle in mine.
Is that a block of wood under your Berninas extension table? I ask because one of my teeth broke of and gluing doesn't really last too long. I might have to try that.

Victoria said...

Thanks to each of you, and never fear once I actually start working on a quilt the mess will be there!!

Char, it's actually just a sturdy box, but that is exactly why it's there. If you live near somewhere that services Berninas they should be able to easily repair it, as this one tab has broken off and been repaired many times in the past, (they somehow remove the stuck on part and fit in a new one). Last time I had my machine in for an oil they were suppose to fix it, but they forgot and I didn't notice until I got home. Didn't feel like making the 1/2 hour drive back, so the box will be my temporary support until I need to take her back in.

Kathleen said...

Having your own studio space is such a wonderful feeling -- congratulations! I agree with the other commenters that it does seem a little lonely without the mess. Please share photos when you've broken it in a bit more! Thanks for visiting my blog, btw -- you can come over and play any time!!!

Nifty Quilts said...

Congratulations on your new studio! I didn't know that you're also a master of organization. We'll look forward to seeing what comes out of this new space.

Jan said...

Congratulations on a room of your very own to create in!

Filamental said...

Victoria, This is extra wonderful for me to see, today! You always make such nice comments on my blog and I appreciate that very much.
The color of green you chose is so so calm and refreshing. I love it.
Your attitude toward your treasures and that you choose to use them tells a lot about you. Just love that!
Your little dog is precious and I am sure a great companion for you. I miss my dog, so much.
Your studio matches your work. I admire your sense of design and order. I wish I could be like that.
Congrats to you.

Bobbie

Mary Keasler said...

Yippee for you. Can't wait to see the fab creativity flowing from that new studio. Enjoy

Ann Champion said...

Your new studio is just beautiful! I love the color you've painted..kind of like a cool cucumber?
Ellie is a little doll. I'll bet she was wondering if there'd be a spot for her while all of the moving/organizing was going on?
Enjoy your new space!
PS..I can hardly recognize a sewing space without piles! LOL

aracne said...

How nice to have your own working space! I am using the dining room which is hardly used as a dining room, but when I have guests I have to move everything out of the way.
I love the maple dresser and chair, the honey colour of the wood is so warm, we don't have this kind of wood here.

Esch House Quilts said...

Congratulations on your new space! My older daughter is starting college this year and my mother keeps teasing her that I will take over her room for more fabric as soon as she's out the door! Not quite - but I may "borrow" the bed for a bit until she comes home again :)

Marty's Fiber Musings said...

Wonderful space....I can smell the fresh paint from her. Picture perfect!

Cheryl Arkison said...

Woohoo! Congratulations! That's just fantastic for you. I bet this does wonders for your creatively and as a family.

QuiltSwissy said...

ahhhh! beautiful!

I, too, took over my daughter's room after she left swearing she would never return. I am holding her to it because there is on way I could ever get all that stuff out again!

LOL.

glen: but you know I would if I really really really had to!

deemallon said...

oooh la la! can't wait to see what emerges as a result of this space... I know you've hung your work for ages, but I think having that design wall is going to change your process. I find looking/looking at WIPs from a distance helps me see things I wouldn't otherwise.

I understand the bittersweet. Will I want to make a shrine of my elder son's room when it's his turn next year?!!!

Pippa said...

Congratulations! Having proper space for your creativity is essential--it really does make a difference. And yours looks wonderful. Also, very cute puppy ;)

Diane J. Evans said...

What a perfect space in which to invite your muse and create! She'll love the peaceful wall color and vintage furniture, and, if she's a bit left-brained (as my muse is), she'll thoroughly love the organization. Enjoy your new digs!

Diane

XUE said...

What a great area you have there, Vic! It's isn't small but seems perfect as there moving space & even floor space. Love that little odd angle & the vintage dresser. Even Ellie fits so well with all the pieces. Really makes so much difference having a room of your own.

Jenny McH said...

It's so special to have a haven to be creative in. Love how you have kept the vintage furniture that holds such special memories for you.

Penny Berens said...

Well, I never...I went about things in the same way...Started in the corner of our bedroom and when oldest son left, moved into his room! Your new studio looks beautiful and so well thought out. May you have many years of continued creativity under the watchful eye of your cute studio mascot!

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

Great new digs and Ellis is just the most precious, she would get along well in my studio too(with the other 5 here at home). It is bittersweet to take over that beloved child's room, but life moves forward. xox Corrine

Pam Geisel - For Quilts Sake said...

So smart putting the sewing machine next to the closet so you can reach your thread and notions but then close the door! And sliding doors...another great idea!

Nancy said...

Great use of your space.. well thought out. Love the color, too. And Ellie clearly feels so welcome there. Good work, and enjoy.

patty a. said...

What a great room! Enjoy!

Elsa said...

Love your new space ~ it's nice to have a room all your own to mess up and not have to pick up right away. Oh, and Ellie is adorable! Love her little sweet face!

Colleen MacDonald said...

Ahhh.... Room to grow. I'm so happy for you. Your space looks so good, and with Ellie in there as your talisman, you'll be soaring in no time!

knitsteel said...

such a beautiful space!

Rachel Hauser said...

Congratulations! Looks like a very functional and special place that will be a blessing. Really like the spot for rulers! I can imagine how that must have felt actually transforming the room into yours. Another reminder to appreciate my here and now (I've already started thinking about what I'd do with her bedroom...)

Lari Washburn said...

WOW! You have a great space now! I would love to have one of those tables. And your assistant is adorable.

Stephie @ Narrative Self said...

I'm so jealous! What a fantastic space you've created - and I love your dresser, it's really beautiful. I work at the kitchen table, or on any floor space that isn't covered in my son's Lego! I hope your new space fills you with ideas - and the perfect place to fulfil them :)

Candied Fabrics said...

Woohoo! Congratulations! A clean, organized studio is such an inspiration...and having a door to close on a mess is a blessing! :-)

Lei Kaina said...

Wow, what a great space to work in. Magnificent natural lighting.
Gives me hope that one day I will have a house that I can have a room all to myself, for a studio.
Congrats.

Peppermint Pinwheels said...

Such a great new space! I've been working on re-designing my studio for the past two weeks and a design wall was on my "to-do" list for today. Thanks for the link to the how-to on Oh Fransson. Now I'm off to the hardware store!

kelly said...

This is fantastic, Victoria! Thanks for the tour and big congratulations!

meli B said...

A room of my own! There's a thought. I tried it once when my son moved away for 6 months but I missed the noise and chaos that came with the floor and kitchen table from where I usually work. I hate the constant packing and unpacking but my son's room was still his so I couldn't really make it my own and to be honest, it was too quiet. Good luck, once you start making things it will feel just right.

Kathryn said...

Congrats on the new space! It looks very productive in there! I was lucky to stay late cleaning up after a school auction last year and they happily gave me 20 sheets of foam core they had used for signage. I put that to good use and saved a pretty penny!

Deborah said...

Congratulations on getting your own space! It looks great!