Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Savoring Our Home--Creative Use of Space--Art Studio

The reason my last post said that you might chuckle when I showed you my new art studio is that it is located . . . in our master bathroom! Again, I must credit my caring and creative husband for this genius, though unorthodox, idea. He also did much of the preliminary work to create the space for me. That was no hardship for him, however; give Mark a sledge hammer and something to demolish, and he is a happy guy.
Previously, I had been painting in the kitchen and frequently taking down and putting up all my gear because it was in the way otherwise. Workable, but not great, especially as I began to paint more and more often. Also, the large west-facing window often required the unsatisfactory choice of either enduring a glare on my work or closing the blinds.
We had planned some fairly extensive work in our master bath anyway, had the money saved up and our plans in the works. One day this plan came together in Mark's mind with his concern that I needed a painting studio. In our down-sized home, the master bedroom is a comfortably large enough room without being over-sized, and the master bath & walk-in closet are exceptionally large for this size house. Like many master bathrooms, it boasted a huge so-called garden tub which I had used only once in the six plus years we have lived here. When filling it completely drained a good-sized water heater, I decided that using it was WAY too wasteful. There is a normal tub/shower combo in the second bathroom for my occasional soaks.
The garden tub was set into a 5' X 8' nook around the corner from the shower stall with a wonderful, large, north-facing (perfect for painters) window. I won't take you through all the stages of the decision-making process, but simply will say that the sledge hammer performed its magic, and I gained a lovely art studio. For quite awhile, I used it with wall board patches around the tub area, the original ugly wallpaper above that, and an exposed concrete floor beneath (we tore out the worn carpet from that area--why would anyone carpet a bathroom?). It worked great, but was not very attractive, as you can imagine.
Now, we have completed remodeling the master bath and are delighted with the results. Large stone-look porcelain floor tiles laid on the diagonal unify the bath, little toilet room, and closet; the walls are a tranquil, warm caramelly color; we raised the vanity (which did not need replacing) to a more comfortable height on a plinth base (Mark and a handyman did that together) and gave it a new terra cotta colored counter top with vanilla sinks. I apologize if this is more information than you are interested in, patient readers. It's just that I am truly thrilled with our new master bath/art studio.
Question of the day: What has been your most unusual, creative use of space to make your home function uniquely well for you?


  1. What a great little studio Mary - now it just needs a few of your paintings on the walls!

  2. A lovely studio, I am mad about that tranquil window seat!

  3. I am not sure why, but even with the photos I am having a hard time envisioning this space. But how cool to have a toilet handy to your studio space! LOLOL Love those big windows too. I love using rooms in new and unique ways. I can't think of anything I've done with creative use of a room in awhile though. I just have a need to make them look as good as I can on a quite limited budget. Then the husband and animals, kids and grandkids, ruin the hard work and take the joy of the room away in the end anyway. (A bit of a killjoy this morning much? Sigh...Sorry, Mary!)

  4. Nothing like a comfortable uncluttered work space for some real creativity. You did good Mary. I can't stand clutter... being of German ancestry. :) My computer space is unfortunately shared but my gardening tools now have their own shed. There I can dream up new projects.

  5. Thank you all for stopping in and for commenting. We have been out of town recently, so have had less time to respond to all y'all. I am pleased that the entries I had set up for automatic posting worked as planned.

    Let me respond to a couple of you and come back later for more.

    Thank you, Liz and Marie--glad you like the studio. It is a pleasure to have you stop by, and I appreciate it. As to hanging paintings in the studio, I had planned to do that. But then (amazingly) almost half the paintings I showed at my November Open Studio Reception sold and were gone. More recently, 7 more are hanging in a lovely shop called Trends Home Decor. What's left is out in our living area. Time to get cracking on creating some new paintings!

  6. Sorry it has take me several days to return to your lovely comments, friends. Your visits and comments are precious to me--just have had too many other things going on in recent days.

    Thank you, Manon--I think the studio is perfect, too.

    Sherry, I know my photos and description don't convey the layout of the space--but it has a nice flow and feel. Your frustration with the whole family and crew that fill your life and space is very understandable. We are at a different stage in life with our empty nest--we, too, had years when we did not control all the choices about the use or look of our home. As they always say, this too shall pass.

    Thanks, TB--I'm with you when it comes to clutter (although I confess that I can generate my own clutter for a few days when I'm in the middle of several projects--but then, I have to restore order again for my own peace of mind). Thank you very much for stopping in and for your comments. Enjoy that creative gardening shed space!

  7. Oh - I love this post! What a creative husband you have! Your studio is wonderful - the window to die for!

    When we found this large home here in Maggie Valley about 12 years with a huge downstairs room off which there is a separage large laundry room with cabinets galore. A sink with counter and small refrigerator were already in place. It has a nice large bathroom and best of all, a rock fireplace across one wall. The room can be closed off from the foyer going upstairs, opens onto the garage, and also has an outside entrance with a walkway! A dream studio - right? Well, maybe. Since the space is so large, how about a combination family room and studio? Sounded great in the planning - however - football games and news casts tend to be distracting. For me a major problem is the panneled walls - my not-so-handy-man hubby originally thought we would change those. A coat of primer and paint would do it. Being a perfectionist, he says he loves the walls as they are and doesn't want to risk what might be an unsatisfactory change! I've learned to live with them - have bright walls in Florida for the winter -and headphones tune out his TV (to be fair, he does keep the volume low)..My computer is down here (I paint directly from the monitor) a drafting table as well as a long table give me lots of workspace and even room for students. Windows provide light for daytime painting and Ott lights for night. I really do love it and it's difficult leaving it for Florida in the fall! So, I guess this space does function uniquely well for us!