It took us two weekends, but we finished up the art studio at our old farmhouse last weekend. We’ve been just starting to enjoy the space even more, and if it was warmer, we’d be in there a lot more! But right now, we’re having a little REAL winter blast of very cold temps and we’ve been using the kerosene heaters in the living room and offices most of the weekend. It’s okay, we’ll have all spring, summer and fall to really break it in and hopefully by next winter, we’ll have a better central heating source and the chill won’t be a problem!
Anyway… this used to be the formal parlor of our house. It was a sort of odd space, the very first room up front, like a big square, about 13 x 13 in size, with two wings off of it. They were about 8 x 12 in size. It’s a large room but it’s also cut up a little funny because of our front entry foyer. I suppose we could always remove that and make the parlor huge, but we like the foyer or the “dog lock” as we call it. Since we worry about our busy road, we like having two front doors, essentially. We can enter through one, make sure we have no dogs in the lock and then open the outer door. Works great! I especially like that I can answer the door without having canine inspection of any visitor or delivery person!
After a lot of surfing and planning, we decided that most of the shelving and furniture would be best white. Since the room has wood everywhere and we didn’t want to paint over the nice old old wood paneling, we decided to bring all the found furniture pieces together by painting them white. Chairs, tables, shelves and sewing machine cabinet. That was a chore, but it really did help a lot. I wanted to paint the entertainment center that we had gotten for free off Craig’s List, but I did a test patch and the finish is SO tough on it, it would not accept the paint. It just peeled right off. Since we are thinking that it is going to go into our future guest/game room, we just left it alone for now. It’s a temporary storage unit for the studio. I really would like the Expedit shelves from Ikea and will get those in white, when we get the existing entertainment unit into the guest room… but that’s a while off! The cube shelves will work great for all our scrapbook stuff. Paper products and such. Maybe in a few months…
Kitty supervision… a must for any Windhaven project, you know.
Actually, it was fun to spend the whole weekend working with the girls. We cranked up the radio and got to work. Everything needed at least 3 or 4 coats of tough white enamel to make it nice. It felt a little funny to cover up some of the wood furniture, but everything was either garage sale, or mostly found on the side of the road! One shelf came from a moving friend and a chest of drawers came from Miss Julia’s daughter in laws after they moved and it needed a new home. Since all the woods were different and most where not in the best of shape, the white paint really gave them a breath of fresh air. I know some of it will get scuffed or nicked, but hey, we can just touch it up if need be. It was really cool to see that we made the right decision afterwards when everything seemed to match up so much nicer.
We painted and got everything nearly done that first Saturday evening… and snuck out to dinner at the Chinese buffet near to the Hobby Lobby in Adrian. We were on a mission. We needed some fabric to cover all the seats and also wanted to get a bit more paint. We wanted something fun and fresh, but not too crazy, something that might last a while. I think we found it. We really like this striped material, with the creamy light brown as a common color, it works nice with all the wood in the room!
Pretty keen, eh?
You know, it’s things like this that I like doing with the girls. At first, they were very skeptical and worried about painting things, like the chairs. But then I pointed out… we got the chairs and table for $30. That made each chair less than $4. A meal at burger biggie costs more. If we absolutely messed them up and didn’t like it, we could either get more, or strip them and start over. It was worth the chance. And in the end, they look fantastic! The paint covered up all the dull knicks and dings and where someone’s puppy had made quite a mess on the legs! With $8 in fabric, we covered all the chairs and they look awesome! So much more fresher then the sorry yucky worn old blue they were. We’ll get a lot of use out of them. And we won’t be terrified to drip on them or get hot glue near them. If they get looking a little worn, then we’ll freshen them up with a little paint and new seat fabric! Poof!
On Sunday, we started to find all the crafts and creative things that needed to go into the studio. And we dove into the storage room, that someday will be our guest/game room. After we had unloaded the storage unit in town, this room was absolutely jammed full. You could not walk in there. After we were done, we had made it at least half empty, maybe even only 1/3 full. It was a huge accomplishment! We trashed some stuff, and set aside stuff for our spring garage sale we’re planning. Also, some of the stuff went to our rooms, or the kitchen, etc. We sorted and condensed some of the boxes. A lot went into to the studio, we do have a lot of craft materials. We like doing things, arts, projects and all. We’re planning to go back into this room in a few weeks, before spring and try and get it as empty as we can. The girls would really like to have a tv/game room and then I would be able to get my Ikea shelves for the scrapbook stuff!!! It’s a plan… we’ll see how it goes.
One of the things we really like is the bulletin boards in each alcove area. Well, one is in the sewing area, the other near to Maggie’s woodworking nook. There is a surplus store in a nearby community and they have an abundance of these nice fabric covered cubicle bulletin boards. And only $1.95 each! Now, one thing I did not want to do is to hang up a bunch of stuff and mess up the paneling. It just seemed like the wrong thing to do. It’s near to 100 years old and very nice solid old wood. So, by hanging up just these two sections with push pin boards, we can have lots of pictures, creative references and such on the walls, without a bunch of nail holes. We just have the couple to hold up the boards. And they lighten the space a bit too! Anything else we plan to use those cool 3M sticky hook things that work pretty well.
The next weekend, we managed to score a lovely 13 x 14 piece of carpet for the middle section. It’s actually a plastic fiber indoor outdoor carpeting, but it looks like a short Berber or something. It is perfect. Super easy to clean up if there is a paint or messy spill, and yet, it looks nice. We got it for only $40. Brand new, just a remnant. Got a nice good sized soft rug for the sewing area on sale for $18. It’s really amazing how nice that makes the room look, flooring… Good stuff.
We bought a piece of white wall board for the table top. The original top was this fake wood laminate look and it had seen some way better days. The wall board is like the material they use for wipe off boards, nice and clean, smooth white. It was $11 for a piece and we had them cut it to size for us. The cool thing is that we got a nice big extra piece after cutting and will use it for message boards out in the barns or maybe the office. We just glued it on top and if that piece just gets nasty after a while, we’ll just glue a new one on top. Jessy thought it was funny, it would end up like the rings of a tree… the layers of the table top!
We got a couple lamps at the Goodwill thrift store, $3 each! We’d like to keep our eyes out for a nice hanging light for the middle of the room, but the 3 lamps we bought are doing a really nice job of bringing light to the various work areas. It’s a really nice feeling room and already we’ve enjoyed it greatly. And it’s nice to finally have the first room of our home looking a little more, well, focused! It’s phase one… phase two will probably happen in a few months.
I like the fact that we did the whole thing for really pretty cheap! Here’s the breakdown as we remember it all.
Table and Chairs $30
Drop leaf table Free
Tall shelf Free
Low shelf Free
Entertainment center Free
Bulletin Boards $16
Fun colored pushpins $5
2 quarts enamel paint $20
Main carpet rem $40
Sewing nook rug $18
Fabric for chairs $8
Maggie’s desk center $3
(yeah, I won it at an auction!!! Only $3 for the whole desk unit!)
3 lamps $9
White top for table $11
We love it! Hope to start doing some serious crafting and creating in our new studio! It’s so neat to have the house keep evolving and becoming our favorite little place to be. It’s fun to go outside the rules a little bit and make your spaces suit your needs and desires. We really didn’t need two living rooms… we hardly spent any time in the one we have! We spend more time outside, or in the offices, or our rooms… the living room and dining room are really just pass through areas. We really don’t watch much TV at all, and in fact, I don’t think the living room tv has been on for the last two weeks. When we want to watch something, we prefer to use our laptops and dvds in our rooms. Just weird I guess. And we’re not big sit down to dinner folks. We often eat at our office desks! It’s nice to say, we’d like this sort of room instead and then make it happen! It’s just delightful!
We just adore this new space and hope to have many wonderful things get created and memories come to us through it’s cheerful and welcoming space! We’ve got years and years of stuff to do!!!Pin It