Bird by Bird: The Studio "Before"

At the moment, we call this room either the den, the office or the guest room. It truly is our multi-purpose, über-useful extra room. When we have overnight guests, that loveseat pulls right out into the most comfy full-sized bed you've ever experienced. I'm not joking, this baby is seriously awesome. The other 359 nights a year, it stays tucked away and the sofa is perfect for relaxing with the Sunday Times and a cup of coffee. (Who am I kidding, the last time I relaxed with the Sunday times was...wait, when was the little guy born again? Yeah, December of 2009.) Regardless, it's a great sofa, it's a great room, and it's going to be perfect as a studio. But that last part's going to take a bit of doing.

Now, while the "guest room" function of the den is pretty solid and needs just a few tweaks, the "studio" function needs a whole lot of work. The first step to creating a space that works and looks good is to decide what it needs to do, so I went ahead and made a wish list. (SHOCKER, I'm a compulsive list-maker.)

  • A workspace large enough to accommodate at least three 16x20 canvases + extra space for others
  • A place to safely store finished artwork
  • An out-of-the-way place to keep the printer that's still accessible for daily use
  • Small shelf/space for receipts, files, other paperwork
  • An inspiration pinboard
  • A place to keep my supplies
  • Decent task lighting
  • An area for laptop to be plugged in, phone to be charged, pictures to be transferred
The bookshelf in the pics and the big stacks of books are going to have to find another home, and I'm sure that I'll need to add a few things to this list, but those are the absolute must-haves for that little corner of the den.
Oh, and what you see under the desk is about 1/10 of my  magazine collection. (There's another whole row of full caddies behind the one you see in the photo, plus a closet-full going back at least 5 years.) In addition to being a compulsive list-maker, I'm a compulsive magazine hoarder. I have a problem. I need an intervention. And I am eternally grateful for the invention of online magazines.

In the spirit of going bird by bird, I don't have all the answers yet. But I've taken the first step of figuring out what the space needs to do and I already have some ideas about what could be done with it. And now that you've seen the space and know what it's gotta do, I'd love to hear your suggestions too.

(The wall color is Benjamin Moore's Bella Blue.)