Have finally gotten everything unpacked and have been busy devising functional yet inexpensive ways to store it all. My only "splurge" has been acquiring more shelving to house my books. Once again, I turned to Ikea and purchased two of their Expedit storage units. Stacking them one atop the other allows them to fit perfectly into the corner I'll be using as a reading nook. They're very sturdy and they look great. At just $39 each they were affordable too. These Expedit units hold all my over sized art books with ease because they're slightly over 15" deep. I love 'em!
A Different AngleOne strategy that helped me use the floor space more efficiently was placing some of my furniture perpendicular to the walls. This creates more usable wall space, makes better use of the room's interior square footage, and -- to my eye, anyway -- makes the studio seem larger than it actually is. I've done this with an open plastic shelving unit that houses a collection of lidded boxes containing my art supplies. Placed at a 90 degree angle to the wall, the open-backed shelving unit functions nicely as a room divider, with the work area on one side and "kitchen" area on the other. It effectively keeps the latter somewhat hidden from view, clearly defining the two areas, yet still leaves plenty of "moving around" room. Another advantage is that I can access the boxes on the shelves from both sides. Very handy!
I've placed my six foot work table perpendicular to the wall as well. This way I can work from either side. I'm really enjoying the versatility of this arrangement. Having easy access to the entire table surface is nice, and when my friend Kathy joins me for our weekly painting session, relocating my chair to the side closest to the door gives us both more room. The table Kathy uses sits several feet away from the 6' table, but we're both capable of making a bit of a mess as we work, so the more space, the better!
|My 6' work table placed perpendicular to the wall leaves ample room for storage to both the left and right. That open area now occupied by the trash can is destined be filled with a small 3-shelf bookcase.|
Put Up Some Pegboard
|Pegboard painted a cheerful color holds tools that used to take up valuable drawer space.|
Another storage tactic that has worked out great was putting up a pegboard panel in the work area to hold everything from brayers and palette knives to rulers, scissors and other frequently used tools. I painted the pegboard a happy shade of lime green in about 30 minutes, using a 4 inch foam roller and latex house paint. (The pegboard I used was pre-primed.) Pegboard is much more attractive when it's painted, and I've been amazed at how many items it holds, even though the panel I used was only 28" wide. Mounted in the space between the two south facing windows, it accommodates a few dozen tools and then some. As you can see in the photo above, it takes up hardly any space but holds a lot!
With all the gear I use routinely on full view, I no longer have to waste valuable time hunting through cabinet drawers trying to find a particular item for making art. Pegboard panels are inexpensive (a 4x8 foot panel is usually less than $20) making this storage space-saver a super bargain. The metal hardware that holds the tools on the pegboard is usually sold separately. I bought a set of hardware -- assorted pieces in a variety of configurations -- at a big box home center for about $9. The set also included the brackets for mounting the pegboard on the wall.
One last item still unaddressed is figuring out what kind of hanging system I'll use for that gallery wall. With so many choices available, that decision will take some homework on my part to get it right. So stay tuned. I'll keep you informed in future posts as I explore my options. Perhaps you have some suggestions or advice as to the kinds of hanging systems for artwork that have worked best for you? If so, I'd really appreciate your sharing it!
Images and text ©2013 Lynn Edwards