Sunday, March 13, 2011

Simple Changes to Freshen the Studio

I want to begin this post with a HUGE thank you those of you who leave comments and email me. The feedback truly means so much to me. It not only lets me get to know you each better, but it helps me also to know whether I am sharing information you can use - whether I am offering you anything of value. A new comment from Karoda actually inspired this post when she mentioned she gets tired of looking at the same old arrangement. Since this was a no reply comment, I couldn't respond to Karoda personally, so I hope she sees this. Thank you.

Yesterday I received in the mail an ad for Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I don't normally pay much attention to these, but I do open them and shred anything with personal information. What caught my eye was an insert setting out 10 design ideas that don't cost a fortune but can freshen up a room. It reminded me that sometimes simple changes can give your studio that needed change and it doesn't always have to be a major re-do. Remember that the same basic decorating theories apply to your studio that apply to any room in your home. I thought I would share these simple changes with you today and add my own suggestions on how to apply them specifically to your studio.

  1. Rearrange Your Furniture. This can be a major change or a simple change. Often just moving your work table or the easy chair you work in for instance can make an impact. In my studio you will see the location of my sewing machine was less than desirable. Simply moving it to a location where I could leave it open during a project helped end some frustration. In my closet, moving the drawer sets to a lower shelf made it much easier to search through them for what I needed. Is there something in your studio that could be turned a different direction for a fresh view, placed at an angle, moved to a more attainable location or even removed to open up the space? Also, don't be afraid to give your studio a whole new look by moving everything around!
  2. Paint Your Front Door. I know. How does this have anything to do with my studio? It may if you have a separate entry to your studio, but another way I would look at this is whether there is anything in the studio that could use a bit of freshening up. Maybe a chair in the corner is drab and uninviting. Try painting it to give a revitalized look. Try adding new pillows or a slipcover. Replace your old inspiration board with something new and different or simply recover it. You get the idea.
  3. Ungroup Matched Sets. Do you have things too matchy-matchy? It used to be that the trend was to have everything perfectly coordinated (back in the day), such as all French Provincial furniture or Early American and, in the bedroom, perfectly matched curtains, bedspread and pillow cases. Even clothing, accessories and makeup such as your lipstick and eye shadow needed to match. This soon became boring and uninteresting. Mixing things up, whether it be styles, patterns or accessories can add a bit of pizazz. As is often suggested in decorating - add the unexpected.
  4. Add a Folding Screen. This is a great way to hide an unsightly stash or add privacy. The folding screen can also function as added storage by including hooks and/or shelving to it. Your folding screen could serve as your inspiration board or paint it with chalk paint and use it for reminders, schedules or other fun things. Almost anything can be used as a screen. The cost doesn't have to be high. In my bead studio I hung a bookcase and an old screen door to hide my unsightly furnace. The screen door is hinged onto the wall so it will swing out of the way should the filter need changed or the furnace worked on. It also serves as a place for more storage. Do you have anything around the house such as an old bookcase, window, curtain panel or anything else that could be used maybe to separate two areas in your studio? Salvage places sometimes have great deals on old entry doors or shutters that could be hinged together to serve as a folding screen. A few years ago a friend and I owned a gift shop. If you look closely behind the counter in the photo at the top of this post you will see how we used three vintage folding screens (with lace panels added using simple rods) to separate our showroom from our backroom work area. Perhaps your screen could be that element of the unexpected mentioned in the previous paragraph.
  5. Dress Up Your Drawers. As BH&G suggested, replace cabinet pulls with colorful artsy knobs. Glass knobs could add sparkle to the room. Be creative and rather than purchasing cabinet pulls, maybe securely glue old jewelry to them or micro-beads. Paint them. Decoupage them and/or the cabinet perhaps. Remember, you can decoupage with fabric as well as with paper! Make unique pulls with clay, metal, glass or other medium yourself or hire an artist friend to create something that will be truly one-of-a-kind. It's the little things that bring it all together.
  6. Warm Up Your Walls. Are your walls too stark white? Is your room too dark. A fresh coat of paint does wonders and is pretty inexpensive. It doesn't have to be a dramatic change. It is amazing how walls with just a hint of color can be so much more charming than stark white. Stenciling is another way to change up the look of your walls. If you have a wall you want to draw attention to, consider using a bold contrasting color. Tape off and paint sections or 'panels' to frame an area to give it focus. Use your imagination and an inexpensive can of paint to breath new life onto your walls.

  7. Rethink Your Accessories. If you have neutral walls, flooring and maybe furniture, simply changing the accessories can give your studio a fresh look. Bringing in brighter colored accessories, or pastel accessories, or neutrals with lots of texture and/or shine can have a huge impact with little effort. Consider eliminating accessories for a cleaner look, or displaying artwork you or an artist you admire created for an inspirational look, or even showcasing your supplies in open or transparent glass jars. Yes, your supplies can be decorative and inspiring! Remember items hanging on the walls can also be considered accessories as can area rugs, pillows and lamps. In fact, adding a lamp or two in strategic spots can have a significant impact. I like the feeling of lamps and the mood they can create.
  8. Use a Big Basket. BH&G suggests a big basket for storing magazines. I know a lot of us accumulate magazines. A perfect way to store them or files to hold the tear sheets would be in a large basket. A great idea would be a basket in which you could have hanging files and maybe even a cushioned lid so it could also serve as seating, a side table or a footstool. Hmm, I think I have a mission to find something like this! I am sure I have seen something similar before. I would like to add to this that baskets in general (in any size) are a great way to store, display and hide items.
  9. Get a Big Look from Small Pieces. This is a great tip! Rather than spreading your collection throughout the room, make an impact by grouping them together. If you have handmade gifts from various friends and fellow artists/crafters, showcase them as a grouping. As stated previously, they don't have to be matchy-matchy. Group together some of your own creations either hanging on the wall as a collage or together on a shelf. Group together supplies. Many creative people are drawn to vintage tools relating to their particular interest. For instance, sewers or quilters may collect buttons, small scissors or needle cases; writers often collect ink wells/bottles or vintage pens, blotters, etc.; paper artists might collect old photographs and ephemera. Show off your stash. It not only can impact an area, it can also personalize your studio.
  10. Fall for Pricey Fabric - Guilt Free. BH&G makes a great suggestion here. Even just a yard of fabric you absolutely love can go a long way. In the studio you can use it for a pillow, chair cover, basket liners, table skirt or to cover a bulletin/inspiration board. Incorporate less expensive coordinating prints or solids to expand the look and compliment the more expensive fabric. This can be done by using the less expensive fabric on the back side or edges of pillows and cushions. Use the two together for window treatments, either accenting with the expensive fabric as trim or tie backs or vice versa. Have the less expensive fabric as the inside liner of baskets and the apron that hangs over the edges and is more visible can be the more expensive one.

These are all ideas that don't cost a lot and many will just take a little time and effort. I would love to hear other ideas or see photos of how these ideas have worked for you.

LINKS: I only have a couple of links this week. If any of you wish to share your studio makeover or ideas, let me know and I will be happy to add your link for others to see.

Over at Creatology is a post on clearing the clutter ideas…

Meli over at Domestiquet has some ideas to share on ridding yourself of accumulating paper.

All my best!



Sassy Marsha said...

Hello there!

WOnderful post!!! I'm having a friend visiting for a few days week after next so I have been sprucing up the guest room and this post really hits home! I didn't add anything new to the room but rearranged things on the wall, moved some accessories around and I did put up some sheers that used to be in our bedroom before we redid it and I was so amazed at how "new" the room looked!!!

Nothing like shopping in your own home, LOL

I hope you have a wonderful Sunday!


Magpie's Mumblings said...

Another great post Connie! I always am excited when I see you've done another one because I can be pretty sure I'm going to discover another great idea (or two!!).

Createology said...

How wonderful to be able to follow your blogs now. Thank you for visiting and commenting as I so enjoy reading feedback. I certainly do not mind you linking me for organizing my studio. It has taken me decades to learn how to organize and actually do it. I am forever looking for inspiration and better ways of organizing. Now I shall read some of your past posts and see what I can learn. Happy Spring and Birds Who Sing...

PeaceMama said...

these are great! feel free to share my post.