Planning Something Big in the Studio

Sometimes you just need to step away and take a break from a space and a project for everything to just click.

That is what happened with my studio.  My last update was back in March, and a few of you have checked in for a status report.  Up until this past weekend there really wasn't much of anything to share.  Small tweaks here and there but nothing too exciting overall.  If you recall, I decided there was far too much happening in the space and it needed to be toned back and addressed from scratch.

Then I also removed the busy bulletin board and simplified with frames.

And shared the organization and storage that was working well.

And then the studio went dark and nothing was heard of again.

The space has proven extremely difficult for me for a few reasons:
  • There are no windows or natural light, which means everything in the room reads differently based on the type of bulb in the ceiling.
  • The room is narrow.
  • I intend on spending A LOT of time in this space.  Like every working hour, so I put extra pressure on this space to be "exactly me".
  • I don't know what "exactly me" is!  I love all sorts of styles and colors.
  • We built in substantial storage {which we love btw}, and now we are essentially stuck with it unless we want to rip it out and start over.
  • So many hard lines, not enough softness.

I have tried a focal wall, a dark desk, a light desk, and everything in-between, and the room has been really picky about what works and what doesn't.  It just has not been as forgiving about my choices and therefore, I become more and more terrified to commit to anything.  Totally unlike me, which is what has left me so baffled.

So, I stepped away from the space and left it as is for awhile.  We needed time apart.  It was me, not the studio.

After we moved our DIY console from the studio to my son's closet {where it receives daily love}, I temporarily moved my vanity/desk from my dressing room to my studio.  It gave me the opportunity to play around with the space without having to commit to purchasing anything.  I found myself gravitating to the vanity on a daily basis to use as my desk, vs the built in desk.  This was for a few reasons, but mainly because when placing the desk out into the room, I was able to face our open living area and not a wall.   The other reason is because it was bigger and allowed me to spread out my daily notes and planner and just feel a bit more free while I work.

I fought it and fought it and fought it some more.  I didn't want to admit to myself that my built-in desk wasn't working for me.  In fact, the built-in part was working, and the storage it offered has been fantastic.  I love having access to everything while I work and utilizing the open and concealed storage for daily office supplies.  But the workspace was the problem.  So, we decided to try out a new layout.

I pushed hard for this layout, but after taping things off and measuring and even placing a stand-in desk coming out from our built-in, there just was not enough space between the chair and the craft counter in the back of the room.  Everything felt so busy and tight and heavy in the back of the room, that we would either have to move the entire built-in forward or just say no to the idea all together, which is what we did.

So, back to what was working which was the desk coming out of the opposite wall.  Time to find something that could replace the vanity.  I liked the flow of the room and the flexibility to use the desk either up against the wall or coming out of the wall.  But this time, I wanted to make it even bigger so that multiple people could use it at the same time {friends, hubby, kids, craft parties, etc...}  and so that I could really spread out.  So this plan was born.

I have always loved the beautiful office and desk that the super talented Emily Clark created within her home, so I am aiming to add a similar type of workspace.


And because once we have an oversized workspace that can be used by many, the other will not be necessary anymore, leaving me room to do something like this in-between the built-in storage.


The bench will take the place of the previous too-small workspace and will add that softness and texture that the room has been lacking and give me a place to unwind and browse through my favorite catalog or magazine. 

We taped everything off and measured about 8 different times and lived with the idea for quite a long while before committing.  This was especially challenging for me, as I usually love impulsively running with my visions right off the bat.

Up until recently, there was not a lot of urgency to get it done.  In fact, I had taken up residence at the kitchen table most days while the boys were at school, because I was able to spread out and enjoy the bright area.  Now, the table is full of craft supplies, multiple meals per day, and mama has no where to escape to for a few hours of blogging and quiet time.  Suddenly, getting a new desk built moved up on the list.  So that is what we did this past weekend in-between multiple gatherings with friends and families to celebrate the holiday; we built a beautiful new table/desk.  It is quite big measuring in at 56" wide by 38" deep and it is fabulous.  Like I really love it.  And I adore even more that we designed it to fit over the top of our rolling filing cabinet as well.  That thing needed a place to hide.

We still have to settle on a finish/stain for the desk and toss down a cozy floor rug and make another surprise update, but I will give you a sneak peek at my new true love in its current state.

So that is the story of where the studio is at.  Essentially exactly the same as three months ago, but with a beautiful new desk/workspace and a plan to bring in more color and softness.  It feels good to be back at it with a plan I am confident in.  Tomorrow I will share more details on the table and the step by step tutorial for creating the awesome piece and if you have any stain suggestions that you really love {aiming for sweet and rustic}, I would love to hear them!

Have you ever had to break up with a project to completely gain a new perspective? 

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