Saturday, September 17, 2011

Don't Have Studio Space (yet)?

I know many of you craft at your kitchen or dining room table without a real home for all of your goodies. I thought this week I would simply offer up some suggestions for storage or even a work area that maybe you hadn't thought of. First of all let me tell you many of us have been in the same position at one time or another. I haven't always had a studio. Sometimes I think I got more done before I had my own space~lol. My first craft, if you can actually call it that, was sewing. Because I was a stay-at-home mom and not working to save money I sewed most of my babies' clothes up until they started school and I started working part-time. I had a sewing machine in the basement and would put everything away when company was expected. I kept my fabrics in a box that would sit under the sewing machine. It actually worked out fine. I did a little oil painting and would keep those supplies tucked away in a closet. My supplies amounted to a couple canvases, a portable easel and a wooden box containing my paints, brushes and solvents. I really didn't paint much. In fear of boring you too much I will move forward with my suggestions. I just wanted to make a point that it can be done and many of us started with no true studio.

Here are some thoughts on spaces you might take another look at for possible areas to lay claim to:

  1. An outside or detached shed - This could be made into a really private and rather cute studio. You may have to take it over and move any contents such as tools and lawn equipment into the garage. If you live where the climate gets cold during the winter, you may want to insulate it and/or add a space heater. Used windows can be found at salvage places if you want to add natural light. If the sidewalls are too short for most windows, put the windows in horizontally! Think outside the box and think of it in terms of a space with no rules. Add shelving and/or a worktable. Personalize it to make it feel like a creative space...your play house!

  2. A linen closet or any other closet - There are often already shelves in linen closets that would be perfect to hold your supplies. Find a fold out table that you can pull out to use as needed. If you use a different close-by table such as a dining room or kitchen table, keep your supplies in baskets or on trays as shown in some of my previous posts so that they can easily be carried to where you will be using them and returned when project is completed or between sessions. Group the supplies by category. Keep your stamps and inks together; scissors, glue and glitter; various papers and ephemera; needles, threads and scissors. You get the idea. Each of us works with different materials and in different ways, so you will need to determine what makes sense for you. The key is portability and grouping. Also, search online for ideas for an office in a closet and think about how that can be tweaked to suit your needs.

  3. A dresser or armoire - This is a great place to stash items out of sight, especially fabrics and papers.

  4. A kitchen built-in desk area - Many people use this area to pay bills, but a better use for the space may be as an art center. You have a ready made work surface and normally cabinets above the desk. The sink is also close for easy cleanup as needed. Find a drawer or bin for your bills and write them out at the table.

  5. Kitchen cabinet(s) - Can you consolidate or even eliminate some of your kitchen gadgets to free up space to store your bins of supplies or toolboxes containing supplies?

  6. Garage area - I there a corner or wall in your garage that you can dedicate to your art? Perhaps incorporate a fold-down table or built-in cabinets to make the area more 'craft friendly'.

  7. Guest room - Many studios are a combination office or studio and guest room. All most guests need is a place for some clothes and something to sleep on. Do you need that full size or queen size bed in that room? It depends how often you have company and how long they stay I suppose. Consider making more room for your art by replacing that bed with a fold-out sofa or even an air mattress that can be set up when needed. Again you can install built-ins so your area can be closed off while company is there. Better yet, what about a beautiful armoire positioned in the corner of that room that can serve your needs.

  8. Office or other shared room - Many of the previous ideas can be used if you need to share your studio space for other purposes. My sewing room is shared with our office space. My plans are to set up the computer and office supplies in the closet. First I need to get some sort of furniture or shelving (or both) to hold my fabrics and trims. I have it in my mind and I'm currently on the lookout for the right pieces. If you share space with your bedroom, consider a divider such as a screen, bookcase or curtains to partition off your area. Maybe even just a vanity that fits in with the other furniture in the room could be used. The drawers could store your supplies and the dresser top could be your workspace. When your things are put away no one would know!

  9. Sunroom or porch - This would be a nice area for working because there is normally great light shining through the windows. As with the shed you may have to make some provisions for heating the area and if it is to be a shared room you may want to use some of the aforementioned ideas.

  10. Laundry room - Personally, I have never had a laundry area large enough to contain more than the washer and dryer, but some homes do have room for cabinets and/or even a table.

  11. Other areas often forgotten - Don't forget spaces such as attics, basements or niches. Also there is normally space behind those walls or under the stairs that can accommodate shallow shelving or cabinets. We live in a tri-level and the office has attic space on the back side of one of the walls. I haven't totally ruled out incorporating some of that attic space into the room for storage. Oops, did I say that out loud?

These are just some thoughts to ponder for those of you desiring a space of your own to work. I wanted to point out that even if you don't have a 'room' you can turn into a studio there may be other possibilities. Open your mind and just look around!

1 comment:

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Great post once again! There's some good ideas here.