A Magical Space

I’ve been slowly putting my studio space together. Some might call it a garage, but I am calling it my studio space. And now that I have it set up and running, I think it needs a more magical, mystical name. Why? Because while I’m out there, I can really feel the creative juices flow.

Take a look at the before. And brace yourselves.

IMG_3778Just beyond that kooky, sweet, scrunched up face is all manner of junk. Like top to bottom, front to back, full of crap. So when I say I crapshifted, it was of epic proportions.

Once the boys took off for our summer home in Malibu, I got to work.  After clearing everything out (and I do mean everything-help me!) I painted the walls a pale gray. Then I used an epoxy coating (designed especially for garage floors) in white. Before you pass judgement for choosing white for the floor, I wanted to really brighten up the space and it sure did do the trick. And after dragging and scooting all sorts of furniture, tools, and lumber all over it, there is nary a scuff. This stuff is serious. And only $20 per gallon. I used two. It could have used one more coat, but I was hot and tired, and decided perfection was overrated at that point.

Once everything was clean and had a new coat of paint, I was ready to plan my space. I knew that I needed a good amount of desk space, a sewing center, and all my tools. I also decided that I needed to use what I had, so I challenged myself to purchase as little as possible. I did buy paint and three white cabinets (I wanted everything to be put away-clutter hampers my creative process-‘ya feelin’ me?), and a few things from Ikea to organize the small stuff. Other than that, I used scrap lumber and stuff I had hidden in closets to put the space together.

IMG_3935As you walk out the door into the space, the first thing you see on the left is the laundry area, which I for years have called “the happy place.” Sometimes a girl just has to try to amuse herself with goofy names, especially when it comes to laundry. The large canvas above the washer and dryer is a photo I snapped this summer at the Musee D’Orsay. Just a little more happy in the happy place. The “light fixture” was an act of desperation-I was tired of looking at the bare lightbulb, so I turned a lampshade upside down and stuck it on there. BAM! No more bare bulb and I didn’t have to install a new fixture.

IMG_3936Just next to the happy place is one of the cabinets I bought. It holds a ridiculous amount of stuff. Ahhhhh. And with a little Van Gogh up top, it’s even better. My glass whiteboard on the door to the closet keeps me on task with my to-do lists.

IMG_3937This corner is the real work horse of my space. Tools, cords, and all manner of stuff that helps me git ‘er done. The workbench and pegboard have been there for several years and works well, so I left them right where they were. My pegboard isn’t nearly as pretty and organized as those I’ve seen on Pinterest, but it sure does work for me. I found the giant toolbox at a garage sale and got after it with a can of bright green spray paint. I love all the little drawers for all of my smaller tools. The big pinboard has been recycled and recovered in several different places (including my classroom) and now has a happy home in the corner. I love having a giant pinboard to stay organized.

IMG_3938Here is my desk space. The wall organizers are from Ikea, and the shelf came from scrap lumber I crapshifted out of the garage and the brackets are recycled pieces from our dining room table . The fabric on the window and for the desk skirt came from my stash, so I didn’t have to spend a penny on it.

IMG_3939Here is my little sewing space. The cords, pedal, and all my accoutrements are all hiding under the skirt. I love that I can’t see any of it. Here’s a little post about the sweet chair. She is just right for this spot.


Here’s a little “mudroom” space I created from my childhood toy box and a couple of cabinets from Lowe’s. The shelf is from scrap lumber, and the baskets emerged from a closet as I was cleaning things out. This is where all of our sports equipment lives and is conveniently located just as you come and go from the garage door.

IMG_3943IMG_3944Finally, here is the island I created from an old cabinet and a chunk of MDF I found in our scrap pile. I did buy the legs, but the rest was stuff I already had. I love love LOVE this spot. I can really spread out and create here. In fact, I would like to apologize for the random window treatment on the island. I was in the midst of working on it for a client and decided there was no better time to shoot the studio space than when it was in full swing, so here it is in action, projects and all.

For years I have dreamed of having a space like this and I absolutely LOVE being out here, even with no air conditioning and bikes in the corner. It is a magical spot. And not just because it is a place of creativity and action, but because while I’m out here working and singing at the top of my lungs, I sound just like Sara Bareilles. And have moves like Jagger. Now that is magical.









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