–Ralph Waldo Emerson
That is the most motivating quote!
One day my Friend and I were talking thru email about our favorite place/space in the house to read or write or paint. Truly I haven’t such a space yet – and I told her so, but said I dreamed of an art studio in the attic (not our attic – I want one with windows), and she had me describe what it would be like.
A few emails later into this conversation she meant to encourage me thru her vision of what I’d told her -it was a little off from my own ideal, but she’s got a gift with words. What she wrote back was more than that, it also got me thinking...
What could I accomplish toward such a vision, and what might I attain for myself- what would it look like, a year from now?
Because of her vision, I created a plan and I will be creating steps to the goal of creating it, if all goes well with keeping our home (via this modification nightmare).
What follows is how I will intend to make it real (IF we are still here, which is when I would begin work).
A Year from Now…
I picture myself next year getting up before the sun (watching a sunrise keeps me mindful of God and renews hope in the possibilities of a new day), collecting fresh eggs from my chicken coop, finishing my book and exploring the hills on the back of my pinto gelding in a new black Australian saddle that I will have earned with artwork.
My days will be full of color, new clothes (and a new look!), and clothes I’ve sewn for myself (also a ‘new’ look, lol), flowers everywhere, decadent paintings on the walls – oh wait, the walls are paintings!
The attic room will be transformed: it has an eccentric but decidedly feminine feel to it with all that painted furniture I rescued…and the walls, well here's how it is:
Better Than Dreams ~Making It Real
I like how someone said “Home is where your story begins”.
She refers to decorating topics which are glorious to meander thru. However it’s a different meaning that I take from it- where I live is where my story begins, and of course I do have some decorating ideas which I keep in a binder and on disks… “but this isn’t about that”(it’s time to get used to that lead-in) this is about making the house fit my life, making it feel like home by reflecting our/my personality and our/ my needs, by incorporating what I dream about in a home.
Even if I have to make it myself.
But first, the vision….
I am sure that not everyone has a friend who can poetically express ideas in a visionary form like my friend does (yes, I’m green with envy myself!) But the process of focusing on those things is important to the creation of your vision - it is the first step!
“I picture you next year collecting eggs from your chicken coop, finishing your book and exploring the hills on the back of your pinto. We’ll sit in the grass and watch the cloud animals float by…and I will write of thunderstorms and my Colorado friend who raises chickens at the foot of the mountains; who loved her horse enough to give him a name long before they ever met; who possesses the wisdom of the ancient pines and…
I can picture your attic room; it has a Victorian feel to it from your description…..and I see a beautiful rustic stone fireplace placed purposefully on the wall across from the windows. There is a beautiful throw in front of it with colors that match those of the stained glass, and it is adorned with an oversized chaise for private times away watching the world from your windows. The throw that adorns it is thick and worn from catching your dreams and keeping them within reach. The room smells of wood and turpentine, and everywhere I look I see bouquets of paintbrushes, virgin canvases and acrylics. In one corner there are library shelves filled with favorite novels and there is an eclectic assortment of art books scattered about. I hear Celtic music and I feel an overwhelming sense of well-being; warming and comforting; like I’ve found home…….Ahhh, yes…..I can taste the hot chocolate…”
(out of vanity I left the last part in, even if I have to admit she’s all wrong about how wise I am, lol)
So, what do you want? What do you see in your minds’ eye when you consider what you want, where you want to be?
Sometimes that’s really all there is to it.
Once you have that idea firmly in mind you can pull it all together.
You take your idea, your dream (in my case, I have several working dreams in progress, but for now lets concentrate on the attic artist studio) - and you create a practical working GOAL.
First let me explain that I keep hold of the great ideas I’ve encountered over the years. I bet these would create a pile almost a foot high -of magazine clippings alone. I don’t know how many disks I have, maybe a dozen. But that includes everything from apron patterns to Christmas stocking ideas...
This is about the house - and that has its own binder. It is not the “Managing Paradise” binder (which has the master chore lists -seasonal tasks, etc.) or the warranties and manuals for things – all that important practical stuff.
This is for dreaming big, and getting material information so that you can make concrete plans when you’re ready to. LOL, doesn't everyone want a kitchen remodel?
This is my Dream Home Projects and Renovation Ideas (Binder)
For organizing and storage of photos, illustrations/clippings, drawings, how-to's, et al, which makes it a planning tool.
It has 2 sections~
“Interior” is sub-divided by “Room” Tabs
“Exterior” is sub-divided into ‘topic area’ tabs
(you could say “Inside” or “Outside”)
In the front is an index for the numbered tabs:
Under the “Interior” subject heading, are items like…
Theatre/Game Room - Tab # 10
Window Treatments - Tab #17
Murals – Tab #18 (I paint them too)
Under “Exterior” the topics are like…
Water Features - Tab #7
Chicken Coops- Tab #4
Landscaping -Tab #9
Greenhouses -Tab #10
*I printed out an aerial view of our property and circled and labeled each ‘area’ that may be designated under the tabs. This print out is in a page protector sheet just behind the Exterior subject page.
*Each tab is followed by a section for Business Cards (for resources, venders) – in a sheet to themselves (or you could use an old/unused photo book with sticky sheet or even tape or glue to thick paper).
*Because the collections of clippings are loose pieces of paper, I generally keep them in sheet protector pockets. There may be 2 or 3 pockets full for each topic, and I may have to pour them out onto a flat surface to view them, or find that picture I remember, but this is cheaper and easier than pasting them all onto paper and cutting out holes… although that is another viable alternative. (I just got lazy- after I did this with my recipe book, I didn’t want to do it again).
In the very back of the binder is a CD-keeper sheet – CD’s with photos of ideas I found online, and how-to info or fact sheets, labeled with one of the two main subject heading.
Interior: “Tabs 1 thru 3”, “Tabs 4 thru 5”, or Exterior: “Tabs 1 thru 4”
It may take a while to load each disk but this is much easier than looking thru 1000 random pictures on each disk – because each disk contains labeled folders for the topic – Chicken Coops, Outdoor Décor (like wreaths)… (using Tab #s got a little bit too-organized, lol).
*Catalogues and brochures are best kept in a separate shoebox because they are so bulky -again I don’t bother with tabbed dividers that match the index of the binder – it’s one shoebox for “Interior” and one for “Exterior”
Ok, now that my OCD issues are cleared up… the finale:
Even tho’ our attic is windowless, and is only ½ finished (plywood floor, insulation, light fixtures so low you can't stand under them), I know that it will not be any time soon that it becomes another usable room. (Oh yeah, the pull-down ladder also sucks! It sounds like the springs are going to fly off and kill you!)
It’s wasted space right now, although at one point the kids hung their hammocks up there and used it as a hideaway when company came. It gets too cold in winter and too hot in summer to live in.
You get the picture. This is just a small rectangular room that is partially finished so you could store boxes in it.
BUT, it could be a studio, an art studio. After all- no one goes up there and no one will care if paint gets everywhere. So I look at these pictures of inspired room additions and make-overs… and murals… and I get the idea that my “dream for an attic art studio” is something I really can accomplish. But how?
It will not match the description my friend has, for practical reasons-
1) We have no windows up there, we have a metal roof and a weird house exterior material we cannot just cut a hole in-even IF we could afford windows (which we can’t).
2) I am laughing just to think of a fireplace in the attic
3) I couldn’t fit any nice chair up the pull-down stairs
4) anyone over 5’ tall can’t stand full-height under the light-box fixtures
But, there are some elements I can work with:
1) the light fixtures are in the center of the room (great for direct lighting over a desk/table)
2) it’s private- my most artistic need, perhaps this is eccentric- but I can’t stand painting in front of people or sharing an unfinished painting… or even having distractions like clutter around.
3) plywood is somewhat cheap & easily put up
4) I can paint on the plywood, use primer coats to even out the roughness … perhaps fix the window issue with a mural of a window looking out onto a view…
5) and… I have experience painting murals and painting on plywood!
OH I'll have to share that with you:
(Thanks to HGTV shows, this is the unfinished faux painted floor in our old house- it was a gross linoleum from the 1960's, but I painted it to resemble Saltillo tile - adding black 'caulk' lines later and coating with polyurethane. It was impossible to make the floor look worse, but aided my confidence in 're-purposing; things and taking a chance. I guess it was a successful project - the house sold in 8 days).
Let’s see what happens next!
(Ok, that really means I’m on hold until we find decide or discover what is happening with the house).
And what about you now? Are ideas popping into your head - or have you been inspired to give more thought to some idea that was gathering dust?