Thursday, March 7, 2013

Favourite Creative Spaces...

You might remember a few weeks back that I wrote about the frustrations of outgrowing my creative workspace and that the time had maybe come to think about doing something about it. Well this is one issue I didn't procrastinate over for too long and earlier this week I took a deep breathe and hired a contractor to do the work for me. All being well it will start on April 15th and I'll be in by May 1st.

This is a very rough plan ( not very techy and a bit off scale) I did when I was getting my head around the idea but it's changed a little now, mainly because I tried very hard to focus on the practical aspects and this will lead to a slightly smaller studio design (now in the hands of the builder) which allows for my ridiculously small, dog leg shaped kitchen to be squared off and enlarged a little.

I will lose the area at the back indicated by the freezer but although the studio will be a little smaller I won't have to have appliances in there so that's a bonus and, I have to think of the resale value of the house since it's unlikely that any future buyer will be a bead freak who'll prefer studio space over kitchen space...unless I sold it through here of course!

For me the most exciting thing is the simple prospect of a sink with running water, a workbench long enough to have several activities on the go at once and a design desk with natural light from a big window. And then of course there is the fun of fitting it all out. As it links to the kitchen and both areas need to be functional, the plan is to refit both spaces to match so needless to say I have been pouring over designer kitchen websites looking at cabinets work tops, sinks (I so want a butlers/Belfast sink), flooring etc. The layout will pretty much be determined by the space itself but the style could be anything and I have no idea which way to go yet.

It's inevitable then that I've also been surfing the web for other studio ideas and there are some fantastic spaces out there, all-be-it that many of them are totally beyond anything I could do. It seems some of my AJE team mates are also avid collectors of 'studio porn' ( I hope that doesn't have connotations I'm unaware off...) so I thought for today's post we'd take a leisurely stroll through some favourite creative spaces and ideas...just click on the photos to find out more.

Linda has a Pinterest board dedicate to this subject with some pretty aspirational finds - who wouldn't want to work in surroundings like this and how cool is that light shade...?

This is one of my favourite finds and I just love the utilitarian, urban feel it has with a pinch of shabby chic thrown in for good measure. Great colours too.

Jo's favourites included some great ideas for small spaces. This muffin tin idea is such an ingenious and practical way of storing all those bits and bobs you need close at hand but (in my case) can never find when you need them.

 And how about this for maximising space in a small area...?

Another one from Linda here that's much closer to what most of us are probably used to and the little things that catch my eye here are the fabric swatches wrapped around the table legs and that huge rack for pliers...I NEED one of those!

This next one is from Jenny and I love it for two reasons. I really like storage that keeps your work surface clear of clutter but has everything close at hand and I want to make use of the wall above my new workbench in this way. But also, this really reminds me of my Grandfathers shed where he took pride in keeping all his cabinet making tools in pristine condition and with a place for everything and everything in it's place.

Here's another one for those who are very short on space - a omplete creative nook in a closet!

Some more great utilitarian storage here from Linda's collection...This appeals to me for storing small items because I hate having to move things around to get to the item I want...just far too disruptive to the creative flow!

My final selection comes from Jenny and is my favourite because this is where I see myself in my daydreams - in a proper jewellers workshop surrounded by amazing tools for every conceivable need that are worn and polished from years of dedicated creativity...good lord just look at those bench blocks! Ah well, what would life be without dreams...

Will my new studio have any of these concepts in them? I don't know yet but I will be posting a daily blog throughout the development over at the 'The Gossiping Goddess' and I'll be sure to keep you updated here to.

In the meantime - happy creating.



  1. Wow way too much excite for me at 4am!! Love it all, could look at this stuff all day. They are all so fantastic in their own way, something about that last one with all the work benches and tools has me drooling!! I have a studio inspiration board too.

  2. The last one is really killer but they all have something great in them. I love the fabric wrapped table legs - I'm not quilting much now so I think I will use some of my fabric stash to do that.

  3. My grandfather repaired antique clocks, made watches and was a jeweler. The last picture looks like his old workshop. Thanks for such a wonderful memory! I'm with Kristi, I could look at these pictures for hours. Thanks Lesley, I can't wait for more blog entries.

  4. Those are some fantastic spaces...thanks for sharing! Makes me want to look around my house again!

  5. How every exciting for you! I have a studio space that is really quite nice size and filled with so much that I can barely walk through. If there were a show called Bead Hoarders, I would be it's poster child! I have to start pulling things out and just reworking it. It is not useful as it is. Too much clutter. I am wondering if I, too, need professional help, but that would be more in the form of a professional organizer. Or my sister with compulsive OCD for organizing. Maybe I can pay her in jewelry ;-) Can't wait to see how it evolves! Enjoy the day. Erin

  6. OMG! That last photo is just amazing! All those hammers! I really really need that studio!

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  8. OMG! I'm with Jo ... that last one is to die for! What an amazing space that would be!! How exciting to be re-inventing your work space - enjoy! and do post so the rest of us can live vicariously through you :)

  9. That last studio nearly caused me to faint with joy and envy! On the practical side, I'm thinking I could rig up a pliers holder like the one in the studio that has the table legs covered in fabric. I desperately need to get all the crap, uh beads and tools, up off my table surface. It will be so fun to watch your studio's progress!

  10. I am with everyone above...that last studio is a shoe stopper! Both of my Grandfather's worked in trades that required TONS of tools and their garage space was their haven. I remember their walls COVERED with every tool in the world....and no one was allowed near them! Great memories....Best of luck to you in your new space!

  11. Ohhhh, I'm green with envy! Your studio plan looks amazing, as do all the inspiration photos. My 'studio' is our dining room, which doubles as a catch-all and our recycling center. It has not been used as a dining room for years.

  12. Now I am totally wanting a studio!!!!!!

  13. oh, my... I'm just drooling! The idea of having a space dedicated to jewelry-making! Right now, I've got small kids. Maybe one day when space isn't at such a high premium. 'Til then I shall drool and dream. =)


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