Hiding stuff from people can be a good thing

Week 4 and one more week to go in the Studio Makeover and De-Clutter Challenge so now it’s time to HIDE stuff.

I don’t mind a mess when I’m working since I’m focused on what I’m doing. But for an open studio one of my challenges is to hide all the stuff I use, or that inspires me, behind attractive facades to make the studio look more inviting.

Hiding stuff under the table
Hiding stuff under the table

This metal table used to have my mitre saw mounted on top but now I store it underneath along with paint cans, easels and other assorted stuff. Not what you want people to see when they walk into your studio. Painting a scrap of 1/8″ plywood does the trick.

Old and 'new' cabinets painted the same color
Old and ‘new’ cabinets painted the same color

Several years ago I got a grey metal utility cabinet and this past year I was lucky enough to get two new metal cabinets from our local University Surplus auction. That’s when I painted the old grey cabinet to match the ‘new’ ones.

Storage cabinet extra shelving
Storage cabinet extra shelving

Expanding the storage

The bank of cabinets serves as storage for props and materials but had become cluttered and crammed with stuff I wasn’t using. So I got these metal racks at Goodwill to use as shelf supports to increase the usable space on the deep shelves. Some painted scrap wood serves as shelving.

props, inspiration and clutter!
props, inspiration and clutter!

This is how this area of the room looked before. I love looking at other artists’ work for inspiration and had tacked up many clippings and my prop shelving and work was spilling out into the room.

I stored most of the props on the extra shelf space in the cabinets and put the clippings in a binder. After the open studio I’ll display a few select ones.

Neatening up

neatened up bookshelvesA fresh coat of paint on the bookcase and turning the magazine boxes around gives the area a much neater appearance in what was a cluttered mess.

There's a gadget for that. Cutting pvc.
There’s a gadget for that. Cutting pvc.

Behind the curtain

I took inspiration from Unsettled Gallery whose curtains hide the kitchen, and I made curtain rods out of pvc pipe and fashioned wooden brackets to hold them.

The curtains are inexpensive painter drop cloths from Lowe’s folded over to the right length and clipped on to curtain rings. Not so elegant perhaps, but it does the trick.


Curtains hiding laundry area.
Curtains hiding laundry area.

The curtains serve to hide the laundry area and storage racks.

Curtains hiding storage racks.
Curtains hiding storage racks.

The flat file/desk area now looks a bit like it’s prepped for surgery! Less visual clutter but perhaps a bit heavy feeling. It’ll do for now.

Almost done.

I’m anxious to finish so I can begin making and hanging work for the open studio which will be on the 15th and 16th of February from 10-4. If you’re in the area please come by.

2 Replies to “Hiding stuff from people can be a good thing”

  1. I love the pvc and dropcloth curtains! Great solution to the way too much supplies clutter we all seem to accumulate.

    1. Jean Wilkey says:

      Thanks. I’m especially happy not to have to look at the washer and dryer and think I should be doing something with them!

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