Monday, August 31, 2015

Hypothetical Studio Reno

Y'all might remember that I've mentioned wanting to rework my studio space at home. While I'm not willing to invest lots of money in the project, there are certainly a few things I can afford to do to improve the space. Want to help me with my hypothetical reno? Just consider the following and weigh in with your opinions.

 Problem #1 - I hate the color.
The easy fix it to paint it. Right now, it's the color that my 9 year old chose when we redid her 'big girl' room. Obviously, deep turquoise isn't my personal favorite. It's bright and stimulating in the daytime, dark and shadowy at night. I'm going for a serene, spa like feel. My instincts say a pearly gray or a creamy white. Your thoughts? (Specific colors/brands are welcome.)

Problem #2 - It's visually chaotic with too much product on display.
There was a time when I wanted all of my supplies on display. I needed to see my supplies in order to use them. Now, it's too much going on and is distracting rather than inspiring. I either need to put things away out of sight, or I need to limit the color scheme of what I do display. Since I don't want to buy a lot of new storage or new furniture, I'm not sure how I'll accomplish this. Right now, I have two sizes of small silver buckets, a hodgepodge of different styles and sizes of glass jars, and white shoebox style storage available to me. How would you address this without spending a lot?

Problem #3 - There's too much furniture and the wrong kind.
I'm already pretty sure that I'll stop using a folding table that I have set up currently. That'll free up some space for sure. I have a chest that I don't love but would be too expensive to replace. I have open cubby storage that holds a lot but adds to the visual clutter. I have four paper drawers, a 3 drawer cube of similar construction, and a 12 hole shoe cubby as well. At least I still like my work table even though it needs a new coat of paint.

Problem #4 - I need to purge, ruthlessly.
Too much stuff. Too much stuff. Too much stuff. Too much of what I don't use. Too much of things I only use rarely. I either need to reorganize to begin using it more consistently, or I need to get rid of it altogether. Would you put the purged items into secondary storage temporarily or just purge and be done with it? Would you purge item by item or by current storage area or by new organizational zones? Why?

Problem #5 - I'm overwhelmed about how're start and proceed with the project. 
So, how would you begin? Would you start by painting? Or purging? Or re-organizing? In what order would you work and why? Keep in mind that I want to do this as quickly as possible. I really would like your input on how long you think this will realistically take me? I'm thinking I'll have to do 2-3 coats of paint since I'll be covering a dark color with a light one. Plus, I'll have to work on some of the trim. I conservatively estimate that'll take me 4 days if I only work in the evenings after school. Purging - who know how long that'll take? Re-organizing - idk how long that will take either. Rearranging furniture and hanging decor can probably be done in a single night or two.  Of course, coming home exhausted from work might be a problem. I haven't totally ruled out hiring a kid to paint for me. What would you pay for something like that - the room is roughly 9 x 11?


  1. My two cents - Don't go with white walls. The furniture pieces you have are white and if the whites don't match t'll drive you crazy! Plus a light grey would be serene but add just enough contrast. Now, I love organizing (I actually took a professional organizer class once!!) so I would start with 1 piece of furniture at a time and go through what is in it. Create piles of "like with like" and then once all the furniture is emptied out start with the rearranging. Can you line a bunch of pieces up along a wall and add a piece of mdf painted white on top of it to crate a counter? Then once you have the furniture in place start by sitting in your chair and putting things back in a way that the things you use most often are closest to the spot you are sitting. Once everything has a home you may realize you need an additional piece or two. Once this is done - then decorate and personalize. Good luck and post photos as you go! I'd love to see the process in action.

  2. I agree with Angela. If your shelves/furniture stay white then you will probably want color on the walls. As the color choosing process for my own space almost required therapy and medication, that's all I'm going to say about that. I think how people function in their space is not the same for everyone. This is where I ended up after much trial and error.......and too much spent on storage. It was my husband's idea to take everything out of the room while he painted. He suggested I touch everything and sort it into keep, trash/recycle and donate. That was a tedious, messy but very useful task. Originally, he built shelves for me in the closet and I sorted everything by color to be stored in there. I quickly realized out of sight was out of mind for me. I ended up getting two shelving units and matching baskets. I still have stuff in the closet but it's mostly supporting players like card stock. My patterned papers are now upright in one tall basket (I now limit myself to no more than this basket can hold which is more than enough), Thickers/alphas in another, embellishments in another, etc. I also have a bowl addiction so there are three large pottery bowls with things in them. Pens in metal buckets. Once I got the main players out of the closet, I was amazed how much more productive I was. I think have matching baskets makes it look less chaotic. I'm not very good with decorating or domestic anything. For me, the most beneficial step of the whole process was touching everything I owned and making a decision. I haven't missed a single thing I purged and I discovered all kinds of fun stuff to use. I used Jen Schow's and another podcaster's advice of mixing old with new to make up page kits. Good luck. Enjoy the process!

  3. "I have a chest that I don't love but would be too expensive to replace."
    I read this in a whole different context. I am still giggling.

  4. I would find an area rug or curtains that I love. Empty the room, paint the walls a light color, maybe abenjamin Moore Revere Pewter. As I move stuff back in, go thru everything and purge, sort and organize. Keep end mind how you want the room to feel and funtction. I did this with my craft room in January. I love it, it is lime green and teal with splashes of pink. It makes me happy. I wanted fun for my room... It took awhile, but it Is awesome to have a space that is just me.

  5. Here's what I would do.

    1. Do a tidy up in preparation. Like things together, purge the obvious stuff that you know you don't want and put everything else away. Maybe start at 12 o'clock and work clockwise around the room.
    2. Because you want to paint the room, I would get everything out of there. Everything. (You mentioned a kid to paint the room for you - a kid or two to come and move your stuff out?)
    3. Paint.
    4. While the paint's drying, work out what you want to go back in the room. What furniture? What stuff in and on the furniture?
    5. The trickiest thing is the actual scrapbooking supplies and when to officially go through all of them. You could do that in the beginning during the tidy up, or when it's all out of your room. Personally I would do a quick tidy up, get everything out and go through it all in my living room. For me, having the supplies out of the space they inhabit helps me to organise them. I also need a clean slate - a newly painted room - "Okay, let's start from scratch, what am I actually going to put in here?"
    6. Put what you want back in. Make the best decisions you can at the time and move on, rather than being paralysed by trying to make sure you make the right decision the first time. "Let's see if that works here." "Okay (after scrapping in situ), that's not working, I'll just move it here."
    7. Another tip for you, Tiffany? Don't let your teacher self - the planner, the one who has to see the whole process from beginning to end before they implement it - stop you from just getting in there and doing something. I'm a former teacher and good teachers plan and know their objectives and how the whole lesson/day/week/year is going to go down (on paper anyway) and it can trip us up in other areas because our teacher brain turns on.
    Why not just walk in the room and say, "Right! Time to organise!" Set the timer for 30 mins then look around for the thing that's been annoying you the most and start there. Let the process happen organically from there and see what happens?

    All just thoughts!

    SPACE by Julie Morgenstern - Sort, Purge, Assign, Containerise, Equalise. Truly - this method is amazing and I've done it many times on my own scrapbooking space as well as at least three others (all family and friends). Sort (put like items together), <---- Purge as you go. Then deep purge each pile of like items. Assign a space for all your kept stuff to live. At this point you'll know what pieces of furniture to keep and which ones to get rid of. Buy any new containers now - you'll know exactly what you need to buy. You may even have some now-empty containers you can use. Equalise - I just say this is keeping it tidy. This is also the tweaking phase - that's not working, let's try all this in this drawer and all that in that drawer instead.

    When purging - re: secondary storage - there are always those things that we're unsure of - I would designate a box for those and specifically put that box away for about 6 months. When I find it again, the emotional attachment will be gone and I'll know what to do with it. Keep or throw out or donate or whatever.

    Yes, I would pay for someone. We always pay in time or money - maybe with this project it will be a bit of both.

    :) :) :)

  6. Tiffany - I could have written this post ! I've lived in my house for 9 months and realized I can upgrade from my free, garage sale furniture.

    If you can afford it - pay to have your room painted! It will be worth it.

    I agree with Debra - if you can move everything out- only put back what you love. And please give us updates on the blog!