Studio Update: Too Much of a Good Thing is not Always a Good Thing

Let's chat about my studio/office for a moment shall we?

As I sit here gazing at the screen, unsure where to start, I am just going to dive right in and spew the first things that come to mind.

I am sort of bummed out about my workspace.

Imagine me banging my head repeatedly against the wall... only let's just imagine it because wow, that would hurt if I were to do it for real.

WHY oh why am I having such a hard time with this space?  This coming from the girl who is seriously obsessed with office and craft spaces.  Playrooms and office spaces are by my favorite to organize and decorate, yet I have been hitting road block after road block with my own. 

The room has been evolving for over two years now!  Do you know how long that is in Jen time?  Maybe that is part of my frustration.  After so much time plucking away at it, I still haven't gotten it right.

When I sit and dissect the office, my heart races for so many of the details.

My built in workspace is fantastic!  I adore the storage it provides and the Instagram happiness showing through the plexi top.

My kids and hubby have basically taken over this area for working on their homework and projects and even playing games, but that is why I ultimately wanted multiple work zones.  Although I am the primary user of the space, this studio is ultimately for all of us to utilize and enjoy.

I have taken over the opposite wall, which faces my inspiration board.

The chair is fab, the memo board really does make me smile while I work and my office accessories are used daily.

However, I think sharing our recent thrift store chair update, was the post I that really did it in for me.  More on that in a moment.

The grey elephant in the room is the focal wall that I just had to have.

Isn't the color phenomenal?  It is Behr's Intellectual and I have a major crush on it.  Especially in the photo above.  I really thought I had something going.

But when you put it all together....

Just no.

My eyes can't take it.  And I can't work in it.  I can't focus.  I don't feel calm.  I don't feel organized {although storage definitely is not an issue}.  I just don't love it.  Which would explain that bummed out feeling in my gut.

So what happened and where did I go wrong?  I have a few ideas:

  • I am in denial that I am aging.  I think that I am designing this space for my inner still-a-kid-at-heart persona.  It is time to wake up and smell the 30 something roses.  After I saw the photo of the colorful backed chair with the memo board and the yellow task lamp, I was reminded of my dream desk at the age of 16.  It was really eye opening to me that the room needs some sophistication.
  • I need to put my hands up and step away from the inspiration.  Blogs, Pinterest and magazines are my own worst enemies.  I see so many new ideas and think, "I love that, I should totally do that!"  
  • Just because I love to taste the rainbow {really, Skittles are one of my favorite candies}, it doesn't mean that every color of the rainbow needs to be present in my creative space.  Time to scale back a bit.
  • Everywhere I look, there are elements that I love, but when placed all together, they start competing with one another.   Too much of a good thing is not a good thing.
  • The room is lacking in proper layering and textiles.  This room does not have any windows or plush seating other than the desk chairs.  However, A nice warm plush rug to keep my feet warm, a curtain instead of a door and throw pillows on the chairs could really warm things up.  As could some more natural elements and a mixture of hardware finishes.
The only thing this room is not lacking is storage.  The back wall of cabinets and counter space is fantastic for printing, Silhouette projects and frequently used craft supplies.  The built-in desk offers cubbies for our files, magazines, books and office supplies.  We added oodles of storage under our stairs for our gift wrap items, home accessories, in-process projects and additional crafting supplies. 

So although there is a lot that is not working, there is also a lot that is.  That means I have the challenge of scaling some of it back, while keeping the function.

Along with the fact that the room has turned into a bit of a visual disaster, a closer look at the cabinets would reveal a painting disaster.

The wood stain was coming through the paint and yellowing portions of our cabinets.  And they have only been getting worse and worse as months have gone by.

I just couldn't take it anymore.  I needed a reset button.  So that is exactly what I gave myself thanks to my friend Kilz.  

The cabinets received a good sanding and priming.  And while I was at it, I let out some sobs and said goodbye to the grey wall.  I had to continuously remind myself, less is more.  Not every room needs a focal wall.  My heart really wanted the grey to work, however, it really was just another distraction in the scheme of the space.  I really can't stress how hard of a decision this was for me. 

Once the primer dried, I gave my cabinets two coats of Pure White by Sherwin Williams.  I used their premium paint with hopes that I would have no more yellowing moving forward.

Aside from going on a painting frenzy, I also removed every last item from the space, with the exception of the bulletin board.  Everything is currently living in a giant pile in our family room.  Brace yourselves.

Now, I have a completely blank slate to screw up.  I kid, I kid!  Of course what I really meant to type is that I now have a completely blank slate to transform into a place where I can work happy.

Wow, I feel better already.  I am not gonna lie, this post wasn't easy to write.  It is hard to admit that I have made a few mistakes along the way {a.k.a embarrassing}.  But what I do know is that our house has evolved over the years into a place we heart to call home.  And that when I don't get things right the first time {or second or third}, I edit and try again.  And then I share it all here. 

This weekend I plan on sorting and restyling my blank slate.  I have asked Bryan to help me out with some small DIY's, like fixing the cabinet gap on the back wall, adding molding around the base cabinets and installing a new desktop between the Expedits.  Fingers crossed I will have some sweet updates to share next week.

Can anyone out there sympathize with me?  Who else has had to hit the reset button on a room?  I would love to hear how it turned out!

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