June 23, 2011

room to think (studio makeover)

plumeria frangipani tropical flower silver necklace
plumeria necklace
I love garage sales (AKA yard sales). I love scoring a great deal on something I need or can use that otherwise I couldn't afford to buy.  A few weekends ago I saw a dining room table that just shouted "work table!" to me. As in, "I would feel like such a professional working at this table!" It's dark wood, one piece (no annoying opening for leaves), and has a bit of successful-CEO-desk vibe to it (at least compared to my other studio tables). It was unbelievably inexpensive, and inspired a whole rearrange of my studio. I have no "before" photos to share, but suffice it to say the room felt a bit crowded before, and now there is a big open space in the center. Which I've already found is great for spreading things out when needed. When my older son walked in and saw the result, he asked what was going to go in the middle of the room! (nothing!!)

Jennifer Kistler handmade jewelry studio makeover photo 1

above: New-to-me table in front of a large window, with stuff for assorted projects on it, this is where I make finished jewelry, write those never-ending to-do lists, and more.

below: My old work table, moved from the window to the opposite side of the room. This is where I create my jewelry pieces from metal clay. Behind it is a half-wall created from painted plywood which separates this room from the adjoining room where my piano and containers of my kids' toys live.

Jennifer Kistler handmade jewelry studio makeover photo 2

Wondering where I fit a studio space in my house? You don't need a huge home, or a separate studio, to give yourself some space to work. Using a guest room is a popular solution, but I did something different. We own a modest 1970s single-story house. Like many 1970s homes, it has a "family room" and a "living room". Not being a Martha Stewart type, I never understood the difference, or why I would need both. So one is our living room with couches, TV, fireplace, etc. and the other is my studio (and also our computer/home office area). The room behind the second work station is supposed to be an adjoining dining room, but it has been used as the play room when the boys were younger, and now it's basically toy storage and my piano lives there too. By the kitchen is an open space I think was called a "breakfast area", but it's much more pleasant than the intended dining room (on one side are French doors to our backyard), so that became our dining room. Of course the dining room switch wasn't necessary for the studio space, but it does explain the room with all the toys! And helps with our home's lack of storage.

Now I'm actually glad to be in my studio area. I love high ceilings, of which our house has none, but apparently horizontal open space can give almost the same effect. There's something, for me, about space in a room. Crowded and cluttered rooms disturb me. Space makes me feel like I can breathe, and think. Like there is room for ideas and possibilities.


Dawn DiGesare of DaVoria Jewelry said...

Jennifer, I love your studio. I really like your idea of using 2 separate areas to do your work.

ASTERrisk said...

Great studio, I love your new table!