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#1 of 4 Old 09-09-2010, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been lamenting the loss of my first floor creative space for more than a year. It was just a little room, but it was cozy and felt like such a comfortable space to be. Then I got pregnant and the kids really needed their own rooms so that I and they could get sleep. My things went to the basement in this cold and slightly less...ok a lot less than wonderful place to be. It's cold and stark. The lighting is ghastly and the ceiling tiles are kind of icky. I'm sure it was great when the previous owners put it in, but it's showing its age.

SO...what I'd really like to do is change that. My dream was always that we'd have a family art space - a place to create and play. A place to have lots of other kids over for a homeschool art group. A place to work on my blog or at my sewing machine. A place with lots of storage for my things. Places up high to store the things I don't want to share and places down low where the kids can help themselves.

If you were creating a space like this...and budget was an issue...what would you do? I'm thinking of asking for this for Christmas from my family so I want to have an idea of what exactly I'd do before then.
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#2 of 4 Old 09-10-2010, 10:50 AM
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We're on a budget too but I sure miss having a basement! We now live in Texas but I grew up in Ohio in a house with a full basement. Some ideas for you:
1. Walls- HOme Depot and Lowes usually have clearance paint. Nothing wrong with it just returned by customers. Check often to find a color you like. If there's not enough of a particular color, you could find a coordinating color to do stripes or big dots or something. Part of the wall could be painted with chalkboard paint. You could make a big "felt-scape" to take up some wall space. I'm doing this in my dd's room. Just a big piece of felt off the bolt and I'm going to cut out shapes from all different colors of the little felt sheets for her to arrange and re-arrange. You could also get some showerboard from a home supply store to make a huge dry-erase board to mount on the wall. Hang corkboards, clotheslines, etc to display artwork.
2. You could make funky little storage containers/units with groups of coffee cans or something similar and screw them onto the wall.
3. Freecycle - Be creative with what is offered and ask for stuff that you want!
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#3 of 4 Old 09-13-2010, 02:48 PM
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If it were my project, I'd start with a budget, then list and prioritize every little thing that needs to be done and an approximate cost.

I think for a studio, especially in a basement, getting good lighting is your most important need. (That is assuming the space is warm and dry, if not, those would be first.) So my list of priorities would be something like this:

Walls (repair, paint) and trim
Work space (tables, easel)

Draw out what you want the space to look like, where your tables and shelving will go. That way you'll know what size pieces to be on the lookout for. You can probably get tables and bookcases for very little. If you buy new, Ikea has great tables. Our work table now was my college desk (umm...like 20 yrs ago), I just cut the legs down. For craft supply and sewing storage, I have a tall Ikea bookcase. The kids stuff is on the bottom, and mine is on the top. I use tons of baskets to sort everything. My yarns are in drawers in an antique chest of drawers.
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#4 of 4 Old 09-14-2010, 01:25 AM
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I completely agree with heat, dryness, and lighting being the top priorities! Add in the ceiling, walls, and floors next.

Back to lighting...aim for the most natural lighting possible for the feel-good aspects. Do you have any windows or a door? Go for the lightest, sheerest coverings possible while maintaining any privacy concerns. Use the broad spectrum, natural daylight type lights wherever possible (probably mostly task lighting). If you have existing ceiling lights, check into the available bulbs and choose a few different types until you figure out what works best for you and your space. If you do not have existing ceiling fixtures, you may wish to invest in installing several types. The more variety in your lighting, the more most people enjoy their space.

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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