I’ve been invited again to participate in a challenge with other bloggers, tasked with the broad assignment of building something organizational. The art room I gave you a peek of earlier this week fell right in tune, and today I’m ready to show you its current state. At the end of the post you’ll find links to the other participating blogs – enjoy!
Transformations like this remain my favorite type of projects, but it’s not often that we have the opportunity to completely rethink a space with a dramatic effect. Last month, what was just a corner of the basement is now a 16’x24′ art room studio for our whole family to use. We built walls. We painted. We reconfigured lighting, furniture, and now? We organize.
What did that same vantage point look like on January 2nd, when we spontaneously framed out a few walls? Dark and basement-y.
The result of this project really surprised us; we have a vision of what the basement itself could become with drop ceilings and carpeting or floating hardwoods and an extra bedroom and maybe even a finished laundry room, but a spontaneous art room? Had you asked me around Christmas if that was on my mind… nope.
The mission of our art room ended up being two-fold:
- To give our kids and their friends a space that can be a mess with paint and glue and games;
- To relocate the bins and drawers full of crafts that were occupying valuable space on the main level of our house.
#2 literally forced us into an entire household reorganization, which was unintended but super wonderful. We have so much new closet space upstairs now!
In the art room, open storage is our friend. There will be no out-of-sight, out-of-mind, there will be no crafts left behind, games will be easy to access, and the bigger toys, like our chalkboard, have a dedicated space where they can be enjoyed. (Psst. The support beam running behind the chalkboard? It’s waiting for a coat of paint. It’ll be our height measurement post for the next few decades.)
There are open containers of colored pencils and chalk within reach, and plenty of storage on our IKEA shelving along one wall. More shelving is definitely in our future, but it’s nice to be able to use what we have now. We’re going to hook up a TV on the stand towards the corner, but mostly envision the space being bright, open, and simple.
Making use of old furnishings has been the most efficient part of this whole process – it gave many items that were staged for sale or donation an unexpected lease on life. Our old couch, decor too dark and rustic for our current white/light wood palette, old lamps, and miscellaneous art will find a home here over time as we continue to optimize the space for our family.
One thing that might surprise you is that when we removed the carpeting to install hardwoods upstairs, we saved several large remnants. The rug was clean and in fair condition, and one of the larger remnants ended up being a perfect fit in this new space.
Our newest acquisition is a large 3’x4′ flat file that for now, and maybe permanently with the right finished top, suffices as a coffee table in the center of the space. It’s now home to our many, many prints, maps, and large scale pieces that were slowly being wrinkled to death in various other places around the house. This is the most organized our art has ever been.
Other pieces of art are slowly finding a new home on all of the new available wall space. A barn wood frame that dates back to when I sold via Etsy now hangs with a very aptly timed Star Wars Lego poster that Pete received last year as part of a sweet collaboration with Lucasfilm. Just out of sight is one of Julia’s kitty posters, “Just hangin’ around.” You know the one.
Offering more storage potential, I attached a shoe organizer on the backside of the curtain rod that extends over the doorway. I’m leaving it up to the kids to sort that thing with paint brushes and pipe cleaners in a way that works for them.
The best part of this for me is that I know it’s a space that will be ever-evolving and adapting to meet the needs of our kids. There will always be a rotation of crafts in progress, and now we’ve given them a permanent space in which they can create and learn… without the expectation of having it cleared off the dining room table before setting it for dinner.
Check out what the other bloggers in this Organization challenge are doing – the range in creativity is pretty awesome.