Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Snapshots-The Playroom/Creative Space/My Studio

I don't really have a "studio" per se, but what I do have is an enclosed front porch which over the past year has made the jump from disgusting, leaky roofed, unused space, to second living room/playroom/studio for the arts(the crafts are better contained indoors^.^) which has become my family's favorite hangout spot. I thought I'd share a few photos just in case any of my friends/clients were curious as to where some of the inspiration for my work comes from.

I wish I had "before" photos to show you, but somewhere along the line they've all been lost. I can describe the space for you, though. When I first bought the house, the front door was so warped and rotted that there was a ONE INCH gap between the floor and the door, so all manner of small rodents and critters could come in. That was the first thing to go. The new door is red on the outside, but we have not decided on a color for the inside. You'll also notice that there is still, as of yet, some unpainted trim on the ceiling and even some missing trim around the door. Work in progress...The walls were panelled in dark yellow faux wood panelling that we painted mint green, the floors were also scraped and scratched yellow and brown wood which we coated in a nice, thick dark brown floor paint. The ceiling was THE WORST. It was some weird, gross, goldenrod colored tile that was so warped and had so much old water damage from the leaky roof(which we didn't even realize was actually STILL slowly leaking until a few years after I bought the house when the tile started to become soggy.) that I could hardly stand to even walk through it to check the mail. The wood trim around the windows was previously all painted a dark, dull brown. It is now grape snow cone colored.

So, to sum up, gross, ugly, 1970's yellows, golds and browns. Yeah, it was BAD.

I have viewed many photographs of studios through etsy blog pieces, and I am always sort of amazed by how many people have stark white, minimalist styled studios. I CANNOT work or think or create in stark white spaces. I cannot work or think or create in spaces that feel like a hotel room or a furniture store. I need spaces that feel lived in. Spaces that invite you to examine and explore their contents, not silently scream at you for leaving your shoes in a spot which upsets their picture perfection. There is no part of my house which is "decorated"(do people still use this term?) or styled, as I simply don't have time(I wish I did have more time...) to worry about whether things go together or not. I fill my house and workspace with things I love, because ultimately they always make me happy. I need to have color and movement and things that inspire me, which is why my studio is basically a big, constantly changing playroom. Because not only does The Kid inspire me, but I want her to have a space that inspires her to just ignore all the "rules" of the house and just play and imagine and create.

Yesterday I caught her painting with a cork(from a bottle of wine) that she had found who knows where. We like to save our corks, so I'm sure she found a stash of them somewhere, selected one, and decided it would make a good painting tool. I was pretty impressed and delighted. I'd say the lack of decor "rules" is doing the job I intend it to.

Truthfully, the house isn't nearly as "wild" as I would like it to be, but since this isn't our forever house, and we are actually planning on selling and moving in a year or two to build an Earthship or passive barn house, I can't really do all the things I'd like to do to it to make it more fitting of our lifestyle and tastes, since the average Midwestern buyer wants beige, tan, gray or white walls when they buy a house, and not murals and multicolor and solar panels and such. I am worried that the creamsicle, blush pink, butter yellow, chocolate milkshake, mint and grape that we have going on now is probably going to end up being painted over...*sigh*

Ok, so enough talk, here's the photos. Be forewarned, "Better Homes and Garden" or "Dwell" material this is not. But, knowing me, would you expect it to be?

The rocker with the horrid red velvet was the first gift The Husband bought me while we were dating. We have always had plans to reupholster it. The Lego table was seven bucks at a SalArmy, and the plastic tub for corralling toys is American made plastic. The paintings were made by The Husband during college, the little red chair and wicker were freebies from family, the dressmaker's dummy was a yard sale find and the magazine holder next to the red chair was actually purchased at an antique store for an exorbitant price. I think the milk can was too, but I can't remember for makes a wonderful seat for The Kid or a side table for a drink. It is destined for a paint job too...

Yes, we have an indoor tent. It's a great place to just lay down and clear your head. The clock was painted by me, the painting above is by The Kid, the print below was made by The Husband. I am not a big fan of the blackout curtains, but they keep the temperature in the porch(which has no heating or cooling) at a very reasonable point for a very nice portion of the year. I have been able to reduce how long the central air runs in the house just by adding the curtains to the porch. One bad thing about the curtains, they are extremely meltable, which is why there is a hole in one of them. It came into contact with a light bulb and burned up...and yes, that was totally my fault. I admit it. Replacements are coming this weekend! Haha.

So what do you think about the door color? The outside is vibrant and energetic red, should we paint the inside to match? Or go with a cool and comfy creamsicle like the kitchen? Or a nice sunny and happy bright yellow? Hmmm...

Big easel and little easel, so we can paint together whenever we feel like it. Which is, you know, all the time!

Really, that red velvet is almost too tacky to trade. It matches the regal claw feet on the front legs so well...

This is my corner, where I paint and sometimes sketch or draw.

Do you like the purple mail slot? We actually have a mail box, because the postal people don't like mail slots, but I love the idea and look of mail slots so I kept mine, hidden behind the box. The Kid likes to shove things down into it for safe keeping.

So there you have it. My undecorated, tacky, brightly colored studio that I adore as much I can adore a place that I can't really paint or alter the way I would like to for practical reselling reasons.

The longing to get out of this place and have that final settling place to fully express ourselves and do exactly what we want to it, is great motivation to save money though...

The thing I love most about the world is the variety of thoughts, ideas, creativity and people that inhabit it. Looking at my house, you'd probably never guess that we are avid readers of "Dwell", "Better Homes and Gardens" AND "Mother Earth News" and "The New Pioneer". Our forever home will have elements inspired by each of these publications(amongst others), because we appreciate high end and modern designs(if they are made with responsibility in mind-earthship, emeco and loll come to mind) but we also adore traditional styles(Victorian and Craftsman style homes are our favorites) and thrifting and upcycling. Most importantly we are obsessed with making a more earth friendly home which relies little or not at all on the government or corporate energy companies to provide our necessities of water and electricity. We are working hard to make our dreams of a Passive house or farm a reality within the next few years.

Still, though I could not function in a place of extreme minimalism and stark and boring(to me) colors, I am glad that there are people who can. Those people probably couldn't function in a place so lacking in "style" or aesthetic direction as mine(and would probably die of assaults on their eyes if they ever viewed our dream house). I find that wonderful and comforting. The differences in others makes me appreciate my own more. I just wish the rest of the world would stop holding those difference AGAINST each other. Why should we all desire to look and dress and act and live the same? Why can't we be ourselves while also enjoying the different ways that others look and dress and live and act? It seems like such a simple concept...

And that's why I spend my days painting and embroidering in a playroom...

1 comment:

  1. I think you should do a mural on the door of your family.... just a thought! Love ya!