We bought this house with the idea that I’d use the garage as my studio. Two car garage. Nice space. But it was very dark and uninviting since there was no natural light. So the first thing we did was to put in a side entrance door with glass. My dear husband did it for me. After three years, I still need to put on the door trim.
The new side door gave me some natural light but it looked on to gravel which was my only (depressing) view – although Simon and Schuster didn’t seem to mind.
So I decided to create a patio that would enable me to use the side entrance and make it more attractive for people to visit my studio. A big plus is people would no longer have to come through the kitchen or laundry area. You can see the details of the patio construction and before and after pics in my Tuscan patio post.
To improve the lighting we also put up inexpensive shop lights with daylight bulbs (5000K). Again, not pretty but very functional.
5000K (K=kelvin) are full spectrum bulbs meaning they have equal amounts of red, yellow and blue so it’s balanced light – not too yellow or blue. It’s best is to get a bulb with a CRI (Color Rendering Index) close to 100 for more accurate colors. It’s sort of like calibrating your computer monitor.
Next up was to fix the cold. It’s really hot in the summer and inside the studio could reach over 100 degrees, but the winter studio could hover around 40. The paint gets stiff and so do your fingers. We installed a split unit for heat and a/c. But it could only do so much since the garage wasn’t insulated apart from the south-facing outside wall that we insulated when we moved in.
One solution was a nice little DIY project to insulate the metal garage door that faced the hot evening sun. A friend suggested using foam insulation panels and slipping them into the frame.
Instead we installed traditional R-13 fiberglass wall insulation and held it in place with plastic sheeting and wooden strips bolted to the door frame. It was very effective and brought the temp down by an average of 10 degrees. But it wasn’t pretty. I like pretty.
My studio intern, Ernesto and his friend Derek helped me hang canvas drop cloths over it to hide the insulation. The garage door still opens but it now looks much more like a wall. Not exactly pretty but much better and not too expensive. Definitely worth the money.
These are the projects we’ve done so far in the studio, but the next step is getting rid of all the things I don’t really need or use.
So I’ve hauled stuff to the thrift shop and am finding homes for the family photos. I’ll soon be sending a box of my Dad’s papers related to his service on the Ft Worth city council to the city archives. Out of my studio. Good. Preserved for posterity. Great.
I’ve made several trips so far.
I expect there’ll be more…
Sometimes you need major changes for your workspace, like putting up insulation, lighting or adding heat and air. But often it just requires a bit of a de-clutter or rearranging of furniture to make it more efficient. What are you focusing on this week? Post your progress in the Studio Makeover and De-Clutter Challenge by adding your link.