Design is not my strong suit

Here’s the thing.

I want a writing studio. I want a space that I can come to where creativity is the THING. I may even do sewing here.

IMG_7381.JPGWhen we bought this house, it came with a really neat space above the garage. It’s been great to have games up here and shindiggery, but in the past couple of years, that stuff hasn’t happened and the loft has been…lonely. I half-arsed decided that this would be the year I’d put together some kind of studio.

But here’s my porblem. I’ve started cleaning out all the junk and I’ve decided to get rid of a number of easy chairs (we have five recliners and two sofa chairs, along with three chesterfields, a rocker, and two coffee tables up here) but I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to make this big, open space do what I want it to do.

IMG_7385.JPGI have two bookshelves, two desks, and an old dining table we use as a bar. I don’t want to lose the comfy visiting area because it really is a great place to hang out. I show movies up here too, projected on the wall.

But how to create a little sanctuary amid the madness.

Plus, there are memories. So many memories here. A part of me just wants to seal this place up and keep the ghosts up here.

I need an interior designer or a buddy to come and tell me where to put things. Someone who uses words like ERGONOMIC. But only ironically. I need this space to be fabulous and I feel like I’m an eighth of the way there. I love the sorta Mediterranean feel of the ceiling draped in scarves and the floor covered in rugs. But I need more.



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14 responses to “Design is not my strong suit”

  1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Avatar

    Close your eyes and imagine what it would look like if it were already perfect – plenty of storage, plenty of desk space, a good way to isolate yourself when you just want to write – and maybe that will guide you. Mentally take everything out of the room – return only what you want.

    My space is perfect for now: the paperwork side of my life is confined to a nifty office built into a former walk-in closet, the writing side is my favorite part. I can see the hummingbird feeder and the greenery on our court out my window, and everything I need is close at hand. It needs tidying up a bit, and some dejunking, but it works for me.

    1. cenobyte Avatar

      I have done that! I close my eyes and then get flooded by memories of all the times we’ve had our friends and family here; all the laughter and tears (and plenty of sex) that have happened up here. I picture my perfect space for writing, and it’s beside the water, in a place where it’s never winter.

      But when I try to picture my perfect writing space here, I draw a complete blank. It’s just not happening.

  2. cenobyte Avatar

    It’s pretty awesome; I’m not going to lie. Air conditioned and heated. No plumbing, but that’s no big deal. The floor is bare plywood ATM, covered in most places by Persian-style rugs. Eventually I’d like something durable to cover the floor like that pour-on flooring stuff. But right now, I just want a space where I can create.

    It’s pretty big – about 24′ x 36′, so there’s plenty of room for a chill-out space, a minibar, an entertainment centre, and a little studio corner. It’s an A-frame design with ceiling fans (20′ ceilings) and exposed rafter beams. The finishing work isn’t done; there are no baseboards, and the people who built the place put in all the electrical boxes flush with the studs, so I’m going to have to reset all of those in order to put plate covers over them. Because the walls are angled, there’s not a lot of shelving we can do, but we can hang artworks and tchotchkes, and there are boxes on each of the west and east walls for light fixtures. The majority of lighting is from the north and south bulkheads – there are pot lights above the window and the patio doors.

    Eventually, I want french doors here (the patio doors are set incorrectly and are borked) too. So I have *some* vision. Just not a lot for this specific project right now.

  3. Jim Avatar

    Perhaps look for panel screens that make you feel like you are by the water and use them to set an area apart?

    1. cenobyte Avatar

      Panel screens. Interesting. I’m also considering a bubbler for the sound of running water.

      1. Jim Avatar

        That would keep me running down the stairs to empty my own water, but if it works for you, go for it!

  4. Elan Morgan Avatar

    Would it help to divide the space with a two-sided bookshelf unit like this? That way you can have books and whatnot facing out into either space, and it manages to create separate spaces while still bringing them together stylishly.

    1. cenobyte Avatar

      The problem with shelves like that is that the walls in the loft are quite drastically slanted, so those shelves would have to be basically sitting in the middle of the room. If I could find some modular ones or just build a bunch of boxes to stack on one another, that might work. The only other concern I have is the passage of light through the shelving units.

      Well. And dusting the little fuckers. But whatever. I’ll worry about maintenance once construction is complete, I guess. I do like the idea of creating a pseudo-wall. I’ve tried to do that with curtain/fabric.

  5. akaAelius Avatar

    Oh my goodness. Lets see. Angular Bookcases?
    Although those looks far too ‘modern’ for my tastes. But I think you could make your own.
    Venetian screens have always been my favorite for dividing rooms, slanted slats like this one would allow for some great light flow, and I like the antique look. Obviously there are cheaper ones than this but I figured it gave an impression of the style.
    For a water motif, I would suggest perhaps a coat of paint. Baring that and perhaps a little more creative, why have you not looked at getting someone to paint a mural on the wall? Even better, a mural of a lakeside setting to immerse you in your perfect world even when it’s snowing outside.
    I’m not sure how far you’re willing to go, but a skylight is also a fairly popular idea for decorating sloped/slanted walls. While it wouldn’t be grand in the winter, it would look gorgeous and help with light flow.
    Personally I would totally go archaic and hang some sort of cool candelabra or chandeliers from those overhead beams.
    If you are going total overhaul I would put in a fireplace… but that might just be my overkill attitude kicking in… and that would probably be a TON of work.

    “Make the slanted ceiling a lighter color than the rest of the room. A dark slanted ceiling can seem oppressive and may give the ceiling a “caving in” effect. Even if you put a medium or bright color on the wall, keep the slanted ceiling a light color to accentuate the room’s height instead of shortening it.”

    1. cenobyte Avatar

      SLANTED WALL BOOKSHELVES. These can also work in the kids’ rooms. Frigging brilliant, they are.

      I’ve been thinking of something like a rice paper screen/wall. Like a Japanese wall. I’m more eastern in my design preferences (Mediterranean, Japanese).

      I’ve thought of the mural, too, only I’ve not tended to like interior murals much. Probably with the right painter. Sadly, Dali is no longer with us.

      You may not know this, but when we first moved in, we had a wood burning stove up there. We still do have the wood burning stove, actually, but the chimney, etc., were not up to code and we didn’t want to pay the extra insurance for it. What that MEANS is that we have a hole in our roof that’s prime for a skylight (I love skylights). And I’ve always wanted a grain-burning furnace in there, simply because I think that in this climate, we always need an alternate heat source. Grain-burning stoves don’t need as much clearance as fireplaces, and they can be vented horizontally, which is also cool.

  6. StarkRavingDad Avatar

    I loved that space when I saw it last summer, and my first thought was how great it would be as a writing space. I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

    Remember to capture the airy feel it already has – go high rather than low. And keep the furnishings comfortable and loved, just like the ones that were already there. You don’t need to sacrifice the memories you have of the place, you just need to carve out a small space to create a few new ones!

    1. cenobyte Avatar

      It’s so tough to find a balance between keeping the memories and making something new.

  7. Katrine Avatar

    I have a few ideas that I’m having trouble translating. I would really like it if I could just play with your space.

i make squee noises when you tell me stuff.

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