Sunday, August 22, 2010

Planning Stages For Your Studio and Helpful Links

This week I just wanted to share a couple of ideas with you on planning your studio, whether you are changing your studio around, moving into a new studio, considering buying something new for your studio or thinking about redecorating.

Inspiration Photos: A great way to think about how you want your studio to look is to go through magazines and the Internet and pull photos of rooms you really are drawn to. It may be the color scheme you really like, the overall theme, or just the ambiance, style or details. You don't have to find only photos of art/craft spaces. Whether it's an outdoor space, a kitchen, living room, bedroom or bath, if it is a room you really like for whatever reason, you can draw inspiration from it. Tear out or copy the photos. You can even collect images from catalogs or elsewhere of furniture, light fixtures, window treatments, vignettes or accessories you like.

After you have several photos, look them over collectively. Do you see a common denominator in the grouping? Have you found that all of your pictures are in blues and browns, are they pastels or bright colors, loaded with pattern or monochromatic with lots of textures? Are they all in a similar style? Is the look comfortable and cozy or bright and cheery? Think about what you felt inspired by in each of the photos and in the group as a whole. What attracted you to each photo? Perhaps they are in a style in which you have decorated the rest of your home or maybe it is something totally different from what you normally would choose.

This is a great exercise to help you pinpoint your preferences. It's not that you don't know what you like, but rather it's realizing why you like what you do. I constantly pull pages from magazines of rooms or furniture I just love. When I looked through them I realized I am really drawn to a certain style, color and pattern. When I looked at what I had gathered, an obvious look began to emerge. It gave me an idea of the kind of studio I could be happy in. Simple as that. I don't want you to choose something to copy, but rather something to inspire and to guide you through decisions you make for your own studio. After all, you want this to be YOUR studio and to reflect YOUR personality and taste - not a reflection of someone else. Have fun with this room. You are the one that has to live with it and the only one that really has to like it. Own it!

I kept a select few (favorites of the favorites) of the photos to place on my story board and later into a decorating notebook. I would refer to the image(s) often as I selected such things as paint colors, including accent colors, and fabrics for my studio. (I would love to share the image of my inspiration room with you, but I don't have permission to use the image and I didn't keep a record of where it came from...sorry.) As an example, the photo above may be someone's inspiration photo because of the style or color or even just the chair or dark wood. I can tell you the walls in my inspiration photo were a warm creamy color and the room had a French feel with a bit of glitz and glam, but not over the top. Even though I knew in my mind what I wanted, having a reference helped me stay on track and focussed. It also helped me choose certain elements to achieve the look I was after.

Use the photo as inspiration but make the studio show the uniqueness of who you are, just as your artwork is a reflection of you!

The Floor Plan: Another important step in planning I feel is preparing a floor plan of the space. Below is a very basic example of my floor plan drawn on the computer. Graph paper can also be used to draw out your floor plan. I use a 1" (one inch) scale for my drawing. In other words, one foot is drawn as one inch; so a 8' by 10' room would be drawn as a scaled down version 8" x 10".

Next, using the same scale, draw the basic shapes and proportions of your key furniture pieces and any large equipment that will take significant space such as a quilt machine or kiln - overhead view. Note the name of the piece and measurements on the drawing. It is also a good idea to make a note of what would be the 'front' of the item just as a reminder. After you have them drawn, cut them out. These templates will be used to help you determine the best placement of your furniture in the room rather than moving the furniture itself around.

This may seem very tedious to you and it may not make sense to go to the trouble but I find it well worth the time. First of all, you can make your rendering as simple or as complex as you wish. I have a more detailed version that I use, but for illustrative purposes I chose to share the simpler version. You will want to include the locations of windows and doorways on your drawing along with any permanent elements in the room. You will note I have blocked out an area in the corner where my furnace/air conditioning unit is located because I have to work around it when furnishing my room. I did not show that the door swings into the room, but you may want to do that as a reminder to allow for that space.

You can add such elements as outlets, permanent shelving, and lighting in your drawing as well. Whatever helps you in deciding placement or just to have as a reference.

This floor plan is not only helpful for arranging your studio in the first place, but is also a great reference to keep for future use. You can take it with you when you are picking out paint or flooring. Because it has measurements on it the clerk can use it to figure how much paint or flooring you will need. Take it when shopping for lighting so the experts will have a visual to help you select appropriate lighting for areas of the studio. If you are considering buying a different piece of furniture or having custom cabinets built, this will help you choose what will fit well into the room.
In addition to drawing a top view of the room and furniture, you may also choose to do side views of walls to have even better view point. It will help you take advantage of a nice view or keep you from closing in an area with furniture too tall or wide for an area. It is entirely up to you.

Be sure to let me know if any of this is unclear or if I can help you in any way. Just remember there are no right or wrong ideas. You only need to please yourself with this project.


Alissa at Quiltish has posted an organizing tip for her best selling items on her site. Follow the link.

I just had to share this blog with you all. It is such a fun one. Another reason is that Traci is in the process of redoing her studio and walks you through her steps. Tell her Connie from CEOStudioSolutions says hi.

For scrapbookers who use mists, Samantha at More Papers Please found a clever way to create samples for reference to quickly identify which mist she wants to use.

For those of you that quilt, I am posting a link below to a site which talks about organizing a quilt room. These are ideas from a serious quilter!
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:

Following is a site many of you may already be aware of. If you don’t want to repurpose items to use for storage, this site carries many storage solution items for ribbons, papers and other items mostly geared toward those of you with a passion for scrapbooking. Even if you don’t scrapbook, check it out. You may find something that will help you control your supplies. You will also find other related blog links there.

Remember...I love comments and I love hearing from all of you!!! Have a great week. Connie

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