Studio Makeover

A client of mine is a professional doll maker and teacher.  She teaches classes all over the world and from time to time in her home based studio.  She made attempts to organize the space a few years ago but wasn’t able to find a system that was functional and professional looking.

She asked me to stop by for a consultation and immediately I noticed the lack of continuity in the space.  The mix match of furniture gave the eye a feeling of clutter and the pieces she had didn’t take advantage of all of the storage space the room had to offer.  The furniture didn’t match the quality of the nice foam flooring she had installed and the pretty paint color.  When you see the before and afters it will be hard for you to believe her studio is in her garage!

During the consultation we went through all of the cabinets to take a look at what types of items needed to be stored and it occured to me that she could get the best bang for her buck with a custom storage solution from Valet Custom Cabinets.  I have partnered with them in the past and I really like their product.  I asked my sales rep Karin Parodi to meet me at my client’s to talk about the goals and objectives for the project so she could put together drawings to give us an idea of the potential custom cabinets could bring to the space.

Karin sent us two drawings, a basic plan and a second plan with more bells and whistles.  After reviewing the plans my client decided she wanted to move forward with the second plan and we scheduled the installation.

My client asked me to manage the installation from start to finish as well as help her to sort, purge, and organize all of her supplies.  On installation day my assistant Matt and I arrived at the break of dawn to pull EVERYTHING out of the existing studio space. (We waited until the day of installation to start so my client wouldn’t loose any work productivity).  Some of the furniture was taken to the curb for the neighborhood to snatch up and other pieces were taken to my warehouse to sell. (You might recognize the desk from this post).  We set up tables and began the sorting process in the driveway while Valet cabinet installers began the cabinet transformation.

In total Matt and I worked with my client for 25 hours (over 3 days).  There were so many little pieces to sort through, i.e. beads, trim, fabric, sewing notions, buttons etc.  We had so much fun working on this project and were happy to find a home for all of her supplies in the new storage unit.  Check out the before and afters…

We decided to use my favorite product, clear shoe boxes (surprise surprise), to house some of her small tools like buttons, buckles, and beads.  Each box stacks nicely and is easy to grab off the shelf for whatever project she might be working on.
The drawers house all of her beautiful fabric by color, this is the pink drawer…
Other drawers house finished dolls and supplies like these shipping bags…
We were able to reuse the tall armoire and the black and white cubby shelf for more supplies…

I love how pretty her supplies look in the glass jars and how sweet the vintage dresses are hanging on the boxes.

Matt and I also hung up all functional storage pieces on the opposite wall.  My client can hang patterns, awards, or cute paper goods on the two bulletin boards and the shelving will look nice filled with vintage dolls or supplies.

Overall the project was a great success.  My client is OVER the MOON with happiness and she feels like her studio has more of a professional and organized feel to it.  She has written me happy emails since we completed the project saying how fun it has been to put things back where they belong because everything has a home.  She’s right, organizing can be fun and the key to an organized space is finding homes for everything!

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0 Responses

  1. Love it, Amanda!:) I'm in the process of setting up my own studio slash storage area, it is a lot of fun.
    Alas, I'm working at a snails pace since it involves bringing many different things from all rooms of the house, never mind half the utility room or the fact that I am also setting up an emergency supply shelf yadiyadiyah:)
    Yesterday I spent four hours just cleaning up an old shelf – maybe it would have been smarter to buy a new one:)
    I'm envisioning an airy open space with the necessary, practical and uglies hidden out of sight and everything else – creatively out in the open where it is quick to access. Today I will organize the first aid kit and make a list of all my supplies.

    Of course I misjudged the amount of time and effort it would take for mostly one person to get into the nitty gritty of organizing. I like the decorating part much better:)

    I may have to bite the bullet and invest in a couple of pieces in order to streamline the appearance and give it a coherent calm presence rather then the hodpodge it is at the moment. I totally agree with you that organization and function has to come first, but as an interior designer I crave inspiration, creativity and since it is my personal space lots of color and a certain unique atmosphere.

    You certainly breathed life into this space, it looks amazing and feels organized too. Having a space for everything is key:) or you will be right back to where you started from – chaos.

    Sorry about the long post:)

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