Sparking Creativity With a Studio Refresh | Beverly Gurganus Fine Art
I decided the studio could use a little refresh, and my creative space is feeling brighter and more inspiring.
My older two girls shared the large bedroom over the garage, and when they flew the coop (one married and moved away, and the other moved in with a friend) I claimed that space for my new studio. The plan was to turn half the room into a workspace, and the other half would sleep guests. I sectioned the room into 3 zones…desk area, painting area, and sleeping area. I was so excited to get my own space that I didn’t even care that it had purple-ish gray walls (Eww!).
It didn’t take long for me to realize that I needed to rearrange the room to make it more functional. For example, I swapped the couch and the desk so I could enjoy looking out the window when working rather than staring at the purple-ish gray wall. The studio was far from my dream studio, but it served its purpose.
I have worked in this studio space for over two years, and it wasn’t working anymore. The walls were affecting my photographing of my art and mood, the aesthetics left me uninspired, and the organization wasn’t as functional as I knew it could be. Sooo…I decided to do a refresh.
At the top of my list was to paint the walls. My studio has three windows, but they face the north so not much light filters through the windows. I did some research and found that Swiss Coffee (Valspar) was highly recommended as a good contender for being a “true white” plus it has a high RLV (reflected light value).
The next project was the stairs leading down into the room. I don’t know about you, but I loathe vacuuming stairs not to mention the fact that beautiful wood stairs makes my heart skip a beat or two. I ripped the carpet off (hubby was a little scared) and cleaned them. I tried to match the stain by using dark walnut, but it didn’t quite match the existing stain like I hoped. I cut and finished the carpet at the top of the stairs before tackling the dreaded sanding and re- staining. The finished results consist of dark walnut stain with white risers (swiss coffee). It was more work than I expected, but the results are so beautiful. Hey, I don’t even mind the imperfect dents, scratches and staple holes because it gives them personality and makes them feel like an old historical home.
Creating a way to display my current paintings on the wall without creating new nail holes every time I rearranged paintings was a must. I had swiss cheese walls and filling them before painting was no joke so I did what every creator does…went to Pinterest. I found an artist (wish I remembered who it was) that turned her garage into a studio. She had created a display unit that was comprised of wood slats and pegs (made from dowel rods). As soon as I saw it I knew that was what I was looking for. Now, every time I change out my work, all I have to do is move the pegs to accommodate the size of canvases. I think this is my favorite part of the refresh due to its functionality.
Shelving and Storage
The rest of the space was all about organization to help with function. I added two stunning chunky shelves with black brackets on one side of the window where my desk lives, and it holds a few sketchbooks, a couple art biz resource books, a pretty potted plant, and some pretty décor because function can be beautiful too.
Then I Marie Kondo’ed all the existing storage including the semi large closet with two upper shelves. I donated craft supplies, threw out items that couldn’t be donated, and organized each area with intention. I have a admin station, printing station, painting station, packing station, and heating my coffee station (what can I say…I need hot coffee in one hand while painting with the other).
I still have a couple projects before my studio is officially complete like getting a real couch cover instead of the sheets that are currently covering it and resurfacing the top of my desk with pretty stained wood, but those are minor projects that I’ll get too eventually.
I can’t believe how much a fresh new-ish space has given me the oomph I needed to get my creative juices flowing, and it only cost me the price of paint, four slats of wood, two shelves, and one small plant. The inspiration and motivation that covid took from me is back and each morning I can’t wait to grab a hot cup of coffee and head to my studio for a day of creativity. If your creativity is getting stale like mine was, try rearranging and organizing your workspace as a means of creating a fresh atmosphere. You will be surprised how much better it will make you feel, too.