Having my own art studio has been a dream since I was a little girl. Below is a picture of the formal dining room when we first bought our house; the space I knew could be a studio.
And here is the space now, 8 years later:
Creating an art studio
I ordered the cabinets from Barker Cabinets and would highly recommend them. My cabinets came unfinished, which I preferred since I wanted to paint them a custom color.
Assembling the cabinets
Below you can see the cabinets being assembled. I built the shelving between the top cabinets. For the carpentry nerds, I routed a groove in two pieces of plywood, attached them to the sides of the upper cabinets, then slid the shelves in. I made the shelves out of solid boards and added a piece of 1×1 along the sides and back for extra support.
I made this custom sewing machine cabinet to accommodate the floor vent. The boys had other ideas for the shelves…
Painting the cabinets
Based on the recommendation of some handy friends, I used Benjamin Moore Advanced satin paint in Collingwood for my doors. The amazing drawer pulls were purchased here. Note: The color of these pulls is inaccurate on the website, they look like this in real life…
Here you can see the cabinet color with the countertop:
To paint the doors I set up a paint station in the garage. I sprayed them one at a time with a professional Graco sprayer, then set them out to dry in my studio/office. You can see that I masked off the shelves and sprayed them in place.
I was going to spray the doors inside the house. Thankfully my husband convinced me this was a terrible idea; thereby saving us from a death cloud of fumes.
Benjamin Moore Advance has a 16 hour dry time before re-coating so this was a long process. I would paint front of the door, then at the end of the day turn it over and paint the back. The next morning I could turn the door again and re-coat the front. I did two coats on each door; the results were worth the extra effort.
While the doors were drying I hand painted the front edges of the face frames. I let the doors cure for 3 days before installing. I was excited to move my supplies back in!
Art studio: finishing touches
The countertops were installed shortly after the cabinet doors were in place. You can see a sink was added to the space as well. Adding the plumbing was made easier by the fact that there is a powder bathroom directly behind this wall.
The sink in this room was an important feature because I wanted to be able to clean out my brushes where I was working, and not where I was preparing food. Next to the sink you can see a special soap for getting paint off your hands, as well as some brush conditioner. The little tray serves as a place to put jewelry.
Below you can see my sewing machine enjoying it’s new home.
I spend a lot less time looking for things now that everything is organized in drawers. I also have a place to put my speaker (for screencasts), which has kept it safe from the four year old. The same four year old also smashed a Wacom tablet stylus. Now all my electronics live in the upper cabinet.
I had planned on making my own built in for my pads of paper and light box, then realized that the narrow cabinets people store baking sheets in was a perfect solution:
Art studio complete
My goal is to do more art and illustration in the coming year. Finding time to paint and draw has been a challenge while raising two small children.
Maybe I’ll even finish this painting that I’ve been working on for over 6 years…
I’m sure the little girl me would be thrilled to see this space. I feel happiest when creating and look forward to using this space for decades to come.