Friday, January 22, 2016

Organized Artist: Finished studio!

Creating an inviting, inspiring studio space was a lot of work. A lot more than I expected. But it was TOTALLY worth it. I've been heads down buying furniture (all second-hand), painting it to unify the pieces, finding storage items, and organizing everything. And now I'm head over heels in love with my studio. I love being in this space. I'm ready to work.  

When I moved to Hong Kong, I hadn't planned on moving back to the US. I sold everything I owned. If I knew I was going to come back I would have stored my furniture. I have some pieces I really miss and would have loved to have in my home here in Florida. When I returned to the US, I didn't have enough energy to collect furniture organically the way I like to do it. So, I just bought everything from Pottery Barn. Then I went through another phase where I downsized again (sold the majority of the furniture I had just bought) and moved into a 5th wheel camper. Until I tired of that and moved back into a house. 

Now I'm renting a 2,300 square foot town home. I love this space. It's a beautiful home. Since I spend 80% of my time here, it's nice to have a little more space for rattling around in. I struggled to find my new style here in Florida. I missed the southwestern style I had collected over 9 years in Texas. I haven't been able to find pieces here in Florida that match that style. So, I just started collecting pieces I really liked. Craig's list, antique shops, flea markets, architectural salvage shops, thrift shops, cast-offs from family. 

I had a lot of pieces, but the theme wasn't unified yet. Living in Florida, so near the Atlantic and beautiful pieces, I wanted a coastal theme, but without all the beach motifs. So, I elected to create this through color. I have my own fabric collection printed through Spoonflower and this provided the jumping off point for developing the theme. I started painting furniture and it wasn't until I bought a dark turquoise dresser off Craig's list that the theme really started to emerge. The coastal theme I wanted to pull off emerged through using blues in all different hues and tints, just like the water. I add splashes of green to break it up and crisp whites to offset it, as well as contrasting browns. 


A vintage window as decoration on top of my hutch. I just finished painting this hutch an Annie Sloan duck egg blue and old white. I love how this turned out. The primitive hutch was a perfect match for the paint. The paint highlights the beautiful texture of the old wood. The hutch actually has doors on it, but I liked the hutch better right now with the doors off. 



I still have some tweaking to do with how the supplies are organized, but the organization items are from Hobby Lobby. I have been eyeing up these different small storage bins and they are perfect for craft supplies. They recently had all of these bins for 50% off so I snagged several different ones. I like that every piece is different which adds character to the storage. I'm not really a matchy matchy type of person. I found some pieces from antique shops like the vintage yellow tool drawer in the bottom left below. I also really love the wire bins for visibility from Magnolia Market (Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper's online shop), although the bins I liked the most are apparently sold out. These will be great if I start doing shows or have a little booth somewhere.

From an organization perspective, I used the KonMari method (wow! I wrote that post six months ago!!! that's how long this process has been going on) for organizing my supplies. I need to get my label maker and then everything will be super organized and findable. I've been trying to keep negative space between the different organizing bins. I find it easier and more pleasant on the eyes when it's not all crammed together and on top of each other. Which means I still have some editing and reducing to do.



I found a punched tin mirror, which is one of the items I missed from my Texas style. The bistro set is from an antique shop in Kansas. I recovered the chairs with my own fabric and spray painted. The kiln is on a rusted out typing table that I found at the flea market for $10. The locker basket below the kiln is another Magnolia Market find. The Island Time sign is a $10 find from the flea market.



The table below is an English pub table. While I love the dark wood, it was really weighing down the space. So I painted the bottom a pale green (hard to see in this photo). I recovered the six chairs that came with it with my own fabric and painted them white. I put two chairs up in one of the guest rooms and then balanced this table with an eclectic inclusion of Spanish style leather chairs that I found at an architectural salvage company. I'd really like a bigger table for this space, but for now, this is perfect.



The cream couch is a $75 find at the thrift store. It was in excellent condition and makes a nice space for contemplation and relaxation. The side table was a beautiful piece from an antique store in Florence, SC. I painted it this bright turquoise and now the multiple shades of blue make more sense in this space.




The bright green dresser was another Craig's list find. It houses all of my shipping materials.


And now I have a studio space that is conducive for creating!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Organized Artist: Setting up the studio

I went dark again! I switched roles at my day job and that has been consuming a lot of my time and energy. I also decided I wasn't motivated the way my studio was currently set up. Everything in this space is tan/beige. At night it feels dark and closed in. So, I decided I needed my studio bright and inviting. So, I dove into painting all the furniture into light and bright and motivating (to me) colors. Blues, whites, and greens. 

The dark furniture was really heavy. 


Vintage white and Charleston blue. 


Work in progress and starting to stock the shelves. I'm in the process of sorting out what I can still do as a renter in my current studio and what I need to put away until I move into a house I own.



More work in progress. Found some fabulous leather Spanish style chairs at a cool architectural salvage place up in Jacksonville.


Significant progress! Table is almost done. I just wiped down the top with mineral spirits. Will need to varnish it tomorrow.

I really love the chairs! I reupholstered these with my own fabric. It's a fun bohemian look with different patterns in the same color way.

I'm also trying to make the storage on the shelves attractive and practical. I've been obsessing over Fixer Upper and the farmhouse, industrial, shabby chic vibe. So, I've been checking out the cool architectural salvage, antique shops, flea markets, and the craft stores for items for storage and it's all coming together.


I need to take pictures during the day so the colors show up better, but in a way, I like the evening pictures... this is the light I spend doing my art, so now you see why I needed a brighter, lighter environment. I have more plans for painting and organizing and it's coming along! Yay!