Studio Office Remodel, Part 1

The past couple of weeks I've been gearing up for a wholesale mailing blitz for my 2010 Valentines. (I know it seems early -- and for the real world, it is -- but give it a couple more weeks and you'll start seeing Christmas merchandise. The drop date keeps inching its way earlier and earlier. Pretty soon 'Christmas in July' will just link up with Christmas in December without any break in between. My point is: in the world of seasonal retail, September is not too soon to start thinking about Valentines Day.) Deciding on this year's colors, laying out my order sheet, running copies, printing color and design samples, and so forth.

I ran into a snag when my color printer ran out of ink. I was pretty sure I ordered 2 cartridges last time I ordered, so I thought, I must have a spare sitting around here somewhere. After it failed to turn up in all the predictable spots, I figured maybe it was time to clean my desk. There was a good chance it was buried in the 6 inches of stacked/falling/piles of paper.

My studio office. Note how the wall of the window well blocks off any light that might make its way into the office area.
A few hours later: a mostly clean desk but no ink cartridge. My desire for said ink cartridge (which it turns out I never ordered -- the second cartridge was the black one) morphed into a desire for a better office in general. I had been really craving some natural sunlight in my workspace, since I spend an awful lot of time sitting in front of the computer during gorgeous days.

I had been toying with the idea of a remodel for a while, sketching out ideas to make use of the strange, angular space my desk was in.

So the next morning I started ripping things apart. Meanwhile, of course, I was still in the middle of getting materials ready to mail. This was not going to be a quick remodel (quick remodels require detailed plans -- I barely had plans at all) and I have a hard enough time shutting my computer down at night. Besides, we had just gone to Everyday Music, and I had a stack of new (used) cds, and I can't work without music anyway. So I just stacked everything to the side.

Unplugging is for losers.

That was all a couple days ago now. Now I'm in the thick of the hard part. It's not easy to frame out anything when you can't attach anything to the walls (concrete). I can secure things to the exposed beams, or the staircase (although I'm not sure I would really call that 'secure') but everything else has to function on tension and gravity. Oh, and nothing's level. That's been fun. But I am making progress.I dropped $100 on some solid wood countertop from Ikea to use as the desk and worktable portions, but that's the only part that has really cost anything. The rest is recycled or scavenged. Much of it from the original framing that was in the basement "bonus room" when we moved in. (It wasn't much of a bonus, unless you like fire traps.)

More to come. Wish me luck.