The making of a studio

August 08, 2017 2 Comments

Somebody pinch me. We are finally creating a separate studio space for VOL.25. It's been a looong time coming. Next January will be VOL.25's 10 year Anniversary. We will be celebrating a decade of sending canvas art all over the country. How awesome is that!?

VOL.25 been a wonderful dream come true, but if you've ever worked from home you understand the importance of being able to actually feel like your home and work space are not one in the same. I've powered through over the years and really made the absolute best of what we've had. Our last house was a 2 bedroom 1,000 sq ft victorian and this one is just under 1,600 and 2 bedroom as well. We also have two girls, so carving out a work space has always been a bit like tetris! ;) After recognizing the need to de-stress my life a bit, I realized just how suffocated I was beginning to feel in my own home. I needed a breath of fresh air, and my bedroom needed to feel like a place I laid my head to rest. Priorities were acknowledged and the future studio project became a very real thing. The S.O.S. Studio project began, it's my cry for help and just the prospect of having this space has helped me so much already.


Side note for those wondering about the outbuilding we started a couple years ago: After we bought ducks, we started a small building here on the property as a duck/tool shed and later decided to finish it out as my studio space. But because the building had a different purpose in the beginning, it just wasn't ideal to actually insulate and finish it out, and the size was a little smaller than I would have preferred. Everything just took longer, because it wasn't created with that intention from the start. The biggest problem with finishing that building out- we started using it as a storage shed when we put the house on the market! I do not want to bring half of that stuff back into the house, so a yard sale will be in order. But, the long Winter season is creeping up on us, and ideally I would need to be settled into this new space before the Holiday rush begins in October. That's just 2 months... keep your fingers (and toes) crossed for us! ;) The solution: build me a new (slightly bigger) studio, and eventually turn the first studio into a workout room. Yay for getting dumbbells out of the living room!! :)

Fortunately, I married a very handy man. He drew up a set of custom plans for the building, trying to take into account measurements that would result in the least amount of possible waste in materials. Board lengths, and all that good stuff. While this took longer, it is saving us money! He's always been very thorough when he sets his mind to do something. This doesn't always result in the fastest job, but it's always the best when he's done! My patience level has increased since marrying him almost 14 years ago. I admit though- it's still not at the level it needs to be at! ;)

-future home of VOL.25, right next to my garden-

So, the first priority was to make a list of needs for the Studio:

1 / Natural light, and an entirely white space- The whole front of the building will have several windows to capture the most light. Getting a good white balance in the cabin, has been impossible with all the light bouncing off the wood lined ceilings! I have wasted soo many hours re-shooting product shots at different times of the day, hoping for the least amount of interference... only to still be disappointed with what I got.

2 / Tall ceiling height to utilize vertical wall space- The building needs to be under 200 sq feet, so going vertical really makes the best use of the space.

3 / A small corner that can be staged and styled with amazing lighting- For years I had a heavy wood backdrop set-up on my living room wall. There was an antique white table below it and I could always just snap a quick photo of a new wall hanging on the fly. While this was convenient, we eventually needed that wall space for our piano. Replicating a set-up like this in the studio was very important.

4 / A fully functional shipping station to make quick work of such a time consuming task- Several items needed to be at hand and plenty of surface area available for spreading out.

5 / A well thought out storage system that would allow for a fairly big stock of ready to ship wall hangings- This makes wholesale orders 10 times easier to take on and ship efficiently.

6 / Several surface areas big enough to accommodate the future packaging of wallpaper sized rolls, while still allowing room for more than one person to comfortably move around the area.

7 / The ability to transition from working from a standing desk to sitting on the floor- Trying to minimize the time I spend sitting, requires different work stations. Ex: Blogging from a laptop on the floor, to standing while working in photoshop, filling orders etc. Productivity and health the motivating factor!

8 / It needed to be well insulated with an excellent heating and air system- Canvas paper can be very finicky to print on if the climate isn't well regulated.

Things that didn't make the final list:

Include a small bathroom

In the beginning this was pretty important. I could do just fine during the Summer months walking back and forth to the house, but Winter is when I knew I would be grateful for not having to make that trek in the snow. However, the more I thought about it- the less I wanted to give up any amount of space for a bathroom. I'm a big fan of Katy Bowman, and my cousin (who bought property next to us- yay and is also a big fan of Katy!!) reminded me that walking back and forth would be a way to sneak more movement into my day. Plus not getting all bundled up would give me an opportunity to utilize a little Thermogenic cold therapy! So, I decided she was right. I'm a little worried I may regret it, but we are framing in a small closet with intentions later to add a bathroom. If I decide I HATE trekking back and forth and if budget allows at a later date we can turn that closet into a bathroom. :)

 Small Kitchen sink for washing out paintbrushes

This would have come in handy for washing out paintbrushes, and maybe eventually we can make it happen. But it comes down to lack of space and budget again. Not adding in a kitchen sink allows room for a bigger printer. The bigger printer will allow me to print wallpaper.- something that has has been requested over the years by a few very patient customers!

It ended up being a really long list... but I think we have managed to check all the boxes! Some spaces are just going to have to serve more than one purpose. I've lost track of the many times I've laid out and re-arranged the room. :) I use this free room planner, (sometimes the link changes based on who sponsors the program) and I LOVE it so much. I am really anxious to share the room design and the design elements I'll be working in. I have a few more things to finalize with the sketches and then I'll give you the run down. I'm hoping to get some opinions on a few design choices as well!

We broke ground last night, and the materials are being delivered tomorrow. Tomorrow!! :) 








2 Responses

Jessica Rose
Jessica Rose

August 21, 2017

Thanks Shelley for that recommendation! Having a white void of any undertones is definitely a priority!! :)

Shelley | Crazy Wonderful
Shelley | Crazy Wonderful

August 20, 2017

This is so exciting!!! And, how lucky are you to have a husband that can build this! Ok, so you asked for white paint suggestions in one of your emails – I love Benjamin Moore’s Simply White. We’ve used that for all of our builtins and the ship lap I put up in the kids’ and guest bathrooms. It photographs very clean without any undertones interfering. Cannot wait to see your new workspace!

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