Creating My Space in This Crazy Place

Ok let me just get this right out there:

PicMonkey Collage

Yep, embarrassing.  It doesn’t always look like this, these photos were taken several months ago when I was in the process of organizing other rooms in the house and it became a dumping ground for all those “what do I do with this?” items. Well, ok, who am I kidding – it almost always ends up looking like this.

This was supposed to be my art room, but it’s too small and I don’t like to isolate myself when the creative urge comes over me. I’d usually take supplies out to work in the family room or dinning area which resulted in all my tools and supplies being stored in random parts of the house. Having to hunt around and travel through different parts of the house when working on a project was frustrating and discouraged me from doing any work. Clearly, I needed to rethink my idea of a functional space. 

A few days before Thanksgiving, our son moved back in and brought two friends with him. You might remember from earlier posts my frustration at the game of musical rooms we were playing in our house. I had finally reached a point when I thought the game was over and well, you can imagine reconfiguring rooms to accommodate a family of six from what was a family of three.

As this room needed to be turned into a bedroom (again), I decided it was a good opportunity for me to create a space for myself where I could get serious about my “art” (yes, I use the word loosely) and after all, the title of my blog is My Space In This Crazy Place…

I found some great ideas for my space at houzz.com:

The last one is stark but I see it as a blank canvas with tons of potential. The other photos are pretty typical of what I have in mind; along with a great view, a water source, access to the outdoors and large sliding doors that could open (or close) to the common living space. The problem is I don’t have a room big enough for all my wants. Or a budget big enough for that matter (maybe I should see about getting myself a coin minted).

The best solution for me would be something like this:

I could easily do this in a corner of our family room. One thing I would have to overcome is my need for tidiness. Things can get pretty messy when I’m “in the zone” and the thought  of not having a door to hide the mess behind makes me a little uneasy.

But, I finally accept the fact that homes are made for living in. Right? All homes have some  “mess” and creative mess is the best kind of mess – it’s really a sign of a busy, active, creative mind. Right? If I am going to seriously throw myself into my art, the first step (one of many I’m working on) is to get over this idea of what I think a home should look like. I mean, it is totally unrealistic of me to think I should be prepared for the Elle Decor staff to drop in at any moment. Right?

Too often we lock onto the glamor shots in those staged rooms we see in decorating magazines. We believe the make-over shows where an entire crew makes over a room for a homeowner, even down to organizing the drawers, folding pairs of socks into perfect little squares. We forget about FUNCTION and our habits: in short, what works for us.

What works for me is:
1) having EASY access to the most used tools and supplies
2) the ability to interact with others while I work
3) being able to see what I have
4) having a space that does not need to be cleaned up at the end of the day (unless the mood so strikes me)
and while drawers and cabinets are great and necessary, for me they are somewhat cumbersome, so
5) open shelving is be the best solution for me

While I don’t have everything on my wish list for the perfect art room (who really does?) I do have:
1) a large, bright, happy place to work
2) access to the outdoors
3) a space big enough to accommodate the rest of the family
4) easy access to the garage ( where paints, canvas power tools and stash of “I’ll make something with this someday” items are stored)
5) a hidden space I can feel comfortable getting messy in

So here it is:

No, the cords are not usually a tripping hazard
No, the cords are not usually a tripping hazard

I received the art table for Christmas from my hubby and I love it.  I’m still working on finding a comfortable stool, but the wicker trunk works well for sitting and storage (I was pretty excited to find it at a yard sale for $10.00!) The open shelving lets me find everything easily, which also makes clean up easier. I am not crazy about the plastic drawer unit – but it is made really well and is very functional.

I’m pretty to happy to have a place for everything:cubbies

Yes, there is chocolate stashed here somewhere. Can you find it?

Surprisingly, I don’t feel distracted by all this clutter. In fact I find it much easier to get inspired and motivated to work. So I have finally created my space in this crazy place and I’m ready to get to creating.

I’d love to see photos of your work space and of course, I’m always open to new ideas and suggestions. Please do share!

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