September 13, 2011

Better Put On Your Shades, 'Cause It's About To Get BRIGHT

To begin with, I know I’ve been a terrible blogger of late, so you don’t need to point it out to me. First there was Friday’s mush-brain incident and then yesterday, which I have dubbed “The Day That Everything Conspired To Prevent Ashley From Posting On Her Blog” Day. Hmm. That’s kind of long, but you get the picture. Yesterday was not conducive to blogging. At all.
However, it wasn’t without its good points. For example, I finally did what I’ve been talking about doing for close to a year now: I bought a new laptop. Yes! I, Ashley, am the proud new owner of…well…it’s small. And shiny. Lightweight. It’s not a Mac (I’m a PC person, through and through). And…it…did I mention that it’s shiny? Okay, okay, so I’m not the most computer-literate person on the planet (I’m pretty sure that there are hedgehogs out there who are more technology-savvy than myself), but the nice retired-professor-turned-computer-salesman (whose name was Mafti and who referred to me as “Ashley of the Green Buildings”) assured me that it was a good computer capable of doing far more than I wanted from it. It was also an excellent deal. So, I was sold. And then I bought. And now blogging from home (and on the go!) is going to be about a million times easier. Yay me and yay you.
So, having said that, now onto the stuff that I intended to post yesterday but was unable to.
Ever since we first decided to buy our house, I’ve been dreaming about one room in particular: my art studio. I’ve always wanted a space of my absolute-very-own, in which I could keep all my arts and crafts supplies, where I can leave a project halfway finished for the night, where I can go as crazy as I want with the décor. You see, ever since I moved in with Denny (wow, which will be six years ago this coming January), I’ve had to make do with a significantly smaller amount of personal space than I had been used to. Ever since I was very small, I’d had a room of my own and, from middle school onward, I’d always had absolute control over the space. Lime green walls? Sure. Want to cover it up with midnight blue? Why not? Oh, you want to write all your favorite quotes on the wall in silver paint? That sounds neat. You’re turning your closet into an entertainment center? K. (By the way, thanks for that, Mom!) It was really hard to go from that amount of freedom to the limitations that go hand-in-hand with rented spaces where you can’t hang too much art, you have no control over the paint, and your work space consists of either a dining room table which you also have to share with a homework-laden engineering student (and which, remember, you have to eat off of as well) or the floor.
So, needless to say, I’ve got a lot of pent-up impulses, which I plan on taking out in my soon-to-be studio. Up until now, my main focus has been to get the house in order. My life has been dominated by trying to find places for everything and by the ever-present need for cleaning-cleaning-cleaning. But now that things are settling down (ever so slightly) and that I have some projects I’m doing for Amanda’s upcoming living room renovation, I need to start making my studio space less of a throw-in-all-the-stuff-that-doesn’t-have-a-home-yet space, and more…well, studio-ish. There’s a lot of work to be done to make it fully functional, but here are some plans that I have for the aesthetics, just for fun. :)

Uh. Yeah. That’s my inner-spoiled-9-year-old coming out. But although these pictures may lead you to believe that the whole room will be pink-pink-PINK, my eventual plan is for it to be more “Rainbow Brite” than “Barbie.”

See? Way different. However, these pictures do serve as loose inspiration for the following reasons…(and just so you don’t have to keep scrolling back and forth, here’s the mood board again)

1. This room has several elements that I’m totally in love with. First of all, the bright walls (although a little too “blush-and-bashful” for my taste) inspire me to man-up and experiment with a bright color in my own room. Of course, my first instinct is to paint everything a deep midnight-blue, but since I want the studio to be well-lit, something a little lighter (and therefore brighter) will probably end up being a better choice.
2. This shelving unit from Ikea is a must-have for me. I’m tired of all my art supplies being crammed into boxes under the bed (and, before that, in Safeway bags in the closet—these made the boxes feel like an absolute luxury, sadly enough). I want to be able to walk over to my wall of shelves and pluck up anything I need, from bottles of Mod Podge to sock monster stuffing to oil pastels. I want it all in plain sight.
3. Also a must-have is something to protect the floor, since it’s carpeted up there, just like the rest of the house. I’ve decided that this graphic, black and white rug from Ikea will do the trick. I like it because it’s the coolest neutral ever. Think, you could have any color décor and it’d never look bad with anything. Very handy in a studio which is sure to change with my every whim and want. ;)
4. This door gives me the shivers (in a good way). It’s such a fun, bold statement and such a surprise. You’d never know from the outside, but once inside, it’d be like a fun secret for whoever walked in. Is it kind of weird and unnecessary? Sure, but I dare you to try and talk me out of it.
5. At first, I considered just hanging all of my own artwork in the studio. But then I got to thinking and it makes more sense to me that I should start out by hanging some art (not of my own making) that inspires me and gets my creative juices flowing. Random, vibrant colors are really catching my eye lately, so I found this bright floral print from Ikea as an example of what I want to start out with.
6. + 7. For the last few years, I’ve always been hampered by dim lighting and dark conditions when trying to work. So my goal in this new space is to keep the place feeling as light and airy as possible. Some sheer curtains (maybe bordered, but not inhibited, by some more solid drapes on each side) will provide a smidge of privacy without detracting from the natural light from outside. And this adjustable floor lamp can help by creating even more light for fine detail work.
8. Lastly, ever since I moved in with Denny and began pinning things up on the old corkboard he’s had since he was a kid, I’ve found out that I love having a place to tack up whatever I feel like looking at for the time being. And I like this particular take on the traditional cork message board, especially. It’s actually tons of cheap Ikea trivets (which I already use in the kitchen, by the way) hung on a wall. There’s a distinct possibility that I will have one wall almost entirely devoted to these repurposed trivets (and which will no doubt be covered in papers 3 inches deep by the end of the year).
So, now that you know I’m a closet Rainbow-Brite-loving-sock-monster-making-spastic-craft-junkie, do you think less of me? Is the bright pink door totally going against everything you’ve ever thought you knew about me? Or maybe you’re a RBLSMMSCJ just waiting to come out of the closet, too? It’s okay. You can tell me. I won’t judge if you won’t.
Product Breakdown:

Expedit from Ikea - $199
Stockholm Rand 6'x10' Rug from Ikea - $199
Pink Door Inspiration (source unknown)
Pjatteryd Art from Ikea - $50
Luxe Floor Lamp from CB2 - $199
Cork Trivets from Ikea - $3 for three
Barbie Dreamhouse from Amazon - $140


  1. You're a weirdo.

    Oh yes. I just judged you.

  2. @Amanda - I think I will take this opportunity to reply with the classic "TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE!" So there. :)

  3. You wouldn't leave those trivets the natural cork color, would you? Surely not.

  4. @Kaydeemcdee - Most likely not. I'd probably spray paint them or maybe even cover them in fabric. Although I probably won't be seeing much of them once they've been covered with scraps of paper.