Well, my studio’s back room has been bugging me for some time. When I moved my things out to the new space, I just had no clue how I was going to end up using it, so I just kind of stuck things in haphazardly. (By the way, the picture and frames in the back are not for customers, just my own display prints and frames – Customer orders are always handled with lot of TLC!)
I’m a little embarrassed to share this before picture, but I must come clean! I am proud to say my lobby area is always very tidy and my camera room is a little messy at times, but never this bad. I love organization but it does not come naturally to me. I am not a Type A person. I thrive on creativity and being flexible, but I need a little structure to keep those creative juices flowing… too much chaos and I want to run the other way!
So, I dove head-first into a total transformation of the back room. I removed every thing from the cabinets and counter. It was then that I decided I must paint the space. It just wasn’t working for me with the off-white and tan. I needed something to motivate me! Make me want to work in the space.
I picked a deep-sea blue color that I already had from a wall I painted for a photography background. It’s one of my favorite colors, and I thought it would really be amazing with some white accents. I did leave the one wall white because it might have been too much blue and it lightens up the space.
Next, I found some shelves that I had used in our house to display pictures as people headed up the stairs into the old studio space. I had taken them down since and kept thinking I should use them… Well, they work perfectly in the back end of the room for my packaging folders! There were four different sizes and they work awesome. The rest of the folders I stored just below in the cabinet to replenish the ones on the shelves as need be.
Also, I needed a place to hang some bags, ribbon and my tissue paper. Well, I had already bought a wooden dowel to hang my tissue from, but hadn’t gotten around to hanging it up because I was waiting for Andy to cut it down to size for me. I just decided… what the heck, I can do this! So I went looking for a little saw to just hand-cut it, but settled on the pruning shears instead! I figured the dowel wasn’t any bigger than tree limbs I’ve trimmed with it and it was made out of really soft wood… and wha-la! Hung up with some little hooks and I’m ready to just grab my tissue and stuff some bags!
The little basket I hung up is from a set of baskets I bought a while back made for hanging a spice rack inside a kitchen cabinet and I wasn’t able to use it because the way it worked, the cabinet door in my kitchen wouldn’t shut… so it’s just been sitting around and I’ve been trying to figure out a use for it. It works great for the ribbon to dispense and also has space for a little box of gift tags.
I did buy this cute little cup brand new! I found it at Office Max! Isn’t it adorable? I had looked and looked for something I liked and this baby was just what I wanted and under $4. Score! I got two, just in case. I think I might need one on the other side of the room eventually.
I don’t know if you noticed in the before picture, but I had an ugly fuse box that was half-ways covered by a cute picture of little farm boys. That situation I remedied with a large bulletin board that I had stored away in the house. I think I bought that bulletin board when I made a display for my friend’s graduation party in like 2002 and it had been sitting storage since! I painted the frame to match the paint because I was going to hang it on the white wall, but I figured out how perfectly it covered the fuse box, so maybe someday I’ll paint the frame white, but for now it’s just fine. I plan to tack up my Thank-You notes from my customers on it. A little positive reinforcement is always nice! I added a pretty bow to the top to hang it from the pipe.
Then came the hard part… deciding what to keep and what to throw away of all the stuff I pulled out of the room. That wasn’t fun. I just don’t know sometimes, something might come in handy someday… or I have always had this plan of what I was going to do with it, but just never got around to it. I hate that stuff! So I got some nice clear, storage totes and the stuff that I decided was going to stay, but was a project that I needed to get done, went in the clear ones for sure! If it was out of sight, it was out of mind and I want to tackle these things – one at a time over the coming year.
It was amazing how little of space things actually took up once they were organized. I put things back and was so surprised at how many totally empty cupboards I have! It will be a good thing because the office I have in my home will finally move out the studio this spring in anticipation of us building a new home. (crossed fingers!!)
As a little extra something to myself, I hung up a chandelier I bought a while back for the studio as it was being built, but never figured out exactly where I should have it installed, so it’s just temporarily dressing up the back room now. I hung it right over my brooms and dustpan… It makes me feel like Cinderella! 😉
I know it’s not quite worthy yet of a spread in Better Homes and Gardens, but it’s definitely a start in the right direction. And seriously, I only spent less than $30 on new stuff that I needed… mostly on two of these bamboo drawer organizers from Wal-Mart.
I still plan on hanging up some pictures and adding more finishing touches as I get used to my new space, but I wanted to share right away so you guys would know what I’ve been up to. Now, go tackle a project of your own! I need to get ready for a session!