Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Studio Tour

Today was spent tidying my workspace at home. I am lucky enough to have an entire spare bedroom dedicated to my art studio. However, since it is the home of all of my creative energy, it can get very messy and cluttered very quickly. Nothing re-energizes me more than getting things organized and in their place.

I have done a lot of growing and learning this past year and MoKoPo has transformed from a "Hmm, I wonder if I can do this" dream to a "This is my passion. This is my career. It is happening" reality.  With that, it was very important for me to create a workspace that allows for serious productivity-- a place where I can lock myself in for the day and create to my heart's content. You might remember my modest little set up from my post at the end of 2010 here. What a transformation, huh?! 


I have three main "stations" in my studio. I have a "business and blogging" station that houses my calendar, computer, and office supplies, a "crafty" station that is a clean, open counter space used for assembling things, packaging prints, etc., and a "get messy and create" space where all the magic happens.

I designed and assembled my desk space using mostly products from IKEA (uhh, LOVE ikea!). It was important to me to have lots of counter space, lots of storage space, and that the desk utilized as much space as possible in my small room.

To create the desk, I used one large Expedit bookcase turned on it's side for the left end piece, and two small Expedit bookcases for the middle and right end pieces.

The desktop is actually composed of two separate Vika Amon table tops laid across the three bookcases (they meet in the middle of the center bookcase). To keep them from sliding around, I attached them to the bookcases with a strip of adhesive velcro. Works like a charm!

Note: The bookcases are slightly deeper than the table tops which wasn't a big deal to me. I just slid the table tops all the way toward the front of the bookcases so that they were flush in the front. The small gap at the back (against the wall) allows me to run my computer cord up the wall, behind the desk, and into my laptop to charge.


I do most of my painting at this desk, also purchased at IKEA (called the "Vika Blecket Drawing Desk") The desk is able to be tilted up at the back and used as more of a drafting table, but I usually just keep it flat and work from there. I have a small, portable, plastic slanted surface that I can use if I need a drafting type of space (in this photo it is what the 4 red canvases are sitting on).

I've had this desk for years and I've just accepted the fact that it is my work area and it WILL get messy. I gave up trying to keep it clean (notice all the paint on it?) and it's so much less stressful to create without feeling like I have to restrain myself for the sake of staying tidy.

In this room I have one closet which houses all of my blank canvases, some finished canvases, shipping supplies, and my prints.

Behind the entry door I have a hanging shoe organizer where I store all of my soft materials like t-shirts, tote bags, etc., as well as the small canvas journals I paint occasionally

Behind my desk is a giant pegboard wall. I started using pegboard as part of my art show display (seen here) and I loved its versatility so much that I knew I needed it in my studio as well! This is where I keep the supplies I need most often (paints, brushed, pens, etc.) so they are always within easy reach.

Once again, the small white shelves that hold my paints were purchased at IKEA. They are called the "Ribba" photo ledge. Instead of using screws, I simply hung them up with pegboard hooks through the shelves' pre-drilled holes. Luckily, I already had these shelves-- they can be seen holding my finished canvases in my old studio set-up.


The containers holding my pens, markers, and brushes are called "Asker" containers. Other items are hung up with general pegboard accessories found at any home improvement store. I actually bought a giant assorted pack of hooks at Big Lots for a good deal. The long skinny pegs are great for hanging scissors and store-bought items that have hanging tabs already in the packaging (in this case, colored pencils, doilies, etc.) Two of my larger paintbrushes are hung up using double hooks meant for things like screwdrivers. 


Since I'm ALWAYS in need of paper towels to dry my brushes and to clean up unfortunate paint spills, I decided to rig a hanging device so they are always on-hand. I just used a little bit of rope, tied two loops at the ends, and strung it through the roll to hang it on the desk's screws. Easy peasy!

And on a final note, I want to mention that if you go to IKEA to do some shopping for your own studio, be sure to check out the "As-is" section near the checkout of the store. This is the place where they put all sorts of defective, returned items that are often drastically discounted.

I found this returned piece of kitchen cabinetry originally intended to hold and sort plates. Now I use it as a place to organize all of my prints and keep them from getting damaged. Be sure to think outside the box!

So that's it! What do you guys think? Have any favorite parts of my studio? What about your own creative workspace solutions? I'd love to hear about them-- please share in the comments below!

Also, if you have any questions about items in my studio (where I got them, how I set them up, etc.) don't hesitate to ask! I'm an open book!


  1. You are so amazing to me,I love your studio set-up and how you gave us a tour.Such clever ideas we can get from you (talented,and beautiful)I'm so proud of you...and very happy for your success every day:)Love Aunt Sandy!!!

  2. I'm quite impressed! You look so organized. :)

  3. Gah! I love this so much -- especially the pegboard. How do you keep the carpet clean? That's the only thing that would make (me) nervous . . . but I rent.

  4. Heidi- As far as keeping the carpet clean goes... well, I don't. Haha. We own the home and we knew from the get-go that it would be my studio and it would get messy. We just sort of embraced the fact that if we ever decide to move, new carpet will have to be in the budget.

    One thing that comes to mind as a floor covering for a rental space would be these panels from Sam's club that are really easy to put together:

  5. I covet an entire room for my studio. One day!! This is beautiful.