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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Studio Re-do Update!

I just started working on a different kind of creative project...
and so I thought it might be fun to let you tag along. This post is part of a series of posts about my journey in creating my ultimate craft room This is going to be more of a journey over months as the project comes to its fruition. I hope you enjoy the trip! 

The beginning plans sketched out 
The story of the Printers Cabinet and Armoire (the debate to paint or not to glad I did not paint!!!) (that's this post...then I take a break for a while...)

We are actually redoing the entire basement in our home...
There was actually only one area finished but to get to that area , you have to walk over bare concrete floors, walls with exposed insulation, open ceilings showing off the rafters...not to mention, the basement is cold and uninspiring.  The wiring in the basement was also a little off...lights flicker, and don't even try to plug in a space heater or it will pop the breaker. 

You may recall that I recently moved my studio into the little basement bedroom, with help from my intern this past summer. I went from the larger badly finished room into the far room with two windows (we got rid of the guest bed so we could do that), hoping that it would encourage me to get down there more often...but it didn't work so well.  I get extremely cold, then I can't work...all I can think about is how cold I am.  Even more concerning, the kids don't want to hang out with me down there, so I have to run up the stairs to break up their arguments and get them glasses of water, I miss all the fun stuff that goes on during the day, like the funny things my kids say.  

So it really comes down to the fact that I don't like to be isolated from my family when I 'm working, so in order for me to want to hang out in my basement and set up shop down there, it is essential that my studio open up into a central family area so I can be in the center of all the family chaos.  That area has to be a fun gathering spot for the kids...we've got some fun plans there, but that's another story. Being in the middle of it all...That's the way I like it (most days.) If you read last months creative hop post I showed you the doors to my I'll have a little control over the chaos. ;o) 

This month...we've made a bit more I'm sharing another few additions to the project as well as some "before" pictures. are you ready???
I was storing my paper vertically in wire cubes...and overflow in the closet on's been a great system--very functional, but I have been dreaming of using something with a bit more character.  I thought about refinishing a china hutch, painting it aqua and converting it for paper storage...but then...

"THIS" came on the market in the online KSL classified ads. 
(that's like our local Craigslist...only 1000 times better because it's actually user friendly.) 
So what is "THIS" exactly???

Well, I'll tell you what "THIS" is...
It's an antique printer's cabinet from the early 1900's by Hamilton Manufacturing Co.  It's solid oak with logo stamped drawer pulls and "This" is going to convert into my paper and misc. storage area. I just need to add masonite shelves to the slots...and find a few printers trays to sort out my nick knacks.  

The Story about "This":
Getting "This" was quite a feat...
I was the ads first responder...and the piece was promised me if I could come get it by day's end. husband wasn't around today, and I couldn't find a family member or neighbor to help me with a truck or trailer. 

The owner of "this" called me in the afternoon and told me that there was now a problem, because 6 other people now wanted "this."  Especially one particularly pushy woman who kept on text messaging him asking if I had picked it up yet. Then it happened...she offered him a substantial amount more money than what he had originally listed "this" for.  His original price was really great...really really great! Hence, so many people lined up for it. This lady had the gaul of texting him that I was probably just "that woman from Lehi who buys things on KSL, then paints and resells them at a significantly higher price to unsuspecting buyers." 

Well...I may be a woman from Lehi...but not "that" woman from Lehi. (no offense to that furniture refinisher...she probably works really hard at her business...I just didn't like the way this other lady tried to make me look like a villain without knowing anything about that is just not nice.) I assured him that I had major plans for "this" and that "this" would be going into my studio renovation project, that it was the perfect fit for my paper cabinet, and perfect height for my cutting counter, and that it was just the "character" piece that I needed to give my space spice.  

Then he told me, that because of their financial situation, his wife would kill him if he didn't go with this other lady's offer. I was devastated...because I didn't have the means to get up their in the morning, I was outbid in a bidding war that I didn't even know existed.  I talked with him at length on the phone telling him how much I disliked the situation, and that if I matched her price would he hold it for me until I found a way to get it.  He said "only if you can come really soon" he couldn't promise if he would just sell it to her if she offered more again.  So I called a few more a frenzy, as I was not happy about this piece slipping away from me after I had committed to buy it and it was supposedly being held for me. 

Realizing that I couldn't find anyone to help me at a moments notice...I went out to my side yard to look at the truck and the trailer just sitting there.  Yes, I had means...but I had never driven our truck while attached to our trailer before.  A dear patient friend of mine who had driven a trailer before volunteered to come over, hook me up and coach me on driving it. (She would have come with me too, but her baby was sleeping.) After we hooked it up...I took it on a few test spins around the block and felt confident.  I called the man back and told him that I was on my way. 

Even though I didn't want to pay more...I had to think to myself...if he had originally priced it at what I was going to pay, would I have been interested and still think that it was a good answer was YES. Even at the higher price, it was still a fabulous find at a deal better than cabinetry would be for that I was still happy. 

I may not have been so willing to match her price so readily, but you have to understand...this piece is the perfect fit for the space which I had planned for paper storage...AND the history of this piece is perfect for someone who studied graphic design in college back in the day when they taught you how to spec type with a pica ruler. If you know what I'm talking about, then you are a kindred spirit indeed. ;o) here's my basement studio plan...
Now you might be able to visualize how perfect a find "this" was for me...
Do you see the aqua space in the upper right corner...
that is the area I planned for paper storage and cutting counter...if you place the printer's cabinet into that is darn near perfect!  (minus the 2.5 inches into the window space area...but hey...I'll happily live with that minor nuance.) ***Updated to add...I fits perfectly!***

Now back to the story (sorry so long...thanks to anyone still hanging with me...)
So I drove the trailer on the freeway from Lehi to West Jordan...and do you know what...

It was easy!  
Yup...I don't know why I was nervous to take it out in the first place.  I just allowed myself the space and enough breaking room in case of any sudden stops.  It was smooth sailing.  So I got there, and we loaded it in...that's another story...but I've been longwinded so I'll spare you the details there....and then I happily drove "this" to it's new home.  Yeah! for a few more "before" pictures...
These are my crafting tables now...yes,, not particularly inspiring...that will change...
This is my sewing area...not ideal, but I have been grateful that I do have a place to sew.
My old cutting table... (above)
it's going to go away...I'm bringing my flat files into the room and will build them into a rolling island that can be placed in the center of my room...or rolled out if they aren't convenient at any particular moment.

This is the closet in my current room... (left)
It's great place for storage...but we will be taking it out and converting the space into my main painting and crafting area. It will be a continuous "U" shaped counter with two corner desk for my arts and crafts, and one for the kids...or future assistant computer area when I get to that point.

See the fabric stacked in here...(below)
Now see where it's all going...
Isn't this GORGEOUS????

I love it!  It is a HUGE Armoire. The orange strap is not part of the furniture, but rather the strap that is holding it to the cart that we wheeled it into the garage with. The metal scroll doors will allow for pretty fabric bolts to show through the doors...sigh...totally in love with this find!  We also got this on KSL...for a was only $150.  It's solid luan wood...similar to was made in Indonesia.  It's even more beautiful in person.  It will go in the lower left corner of the room, by the sliding barn door...something fun to greet me when I go into my studio in the mornings...sigh.

You see this wall here...(below)
This is the wall that will be opened up into the family room area...looking forward to that so much! It will be nice to have a view on the kids, and have them feel that they can just come into my room and "hang out with Mom."  Notice on the room plan, I have a window seat sketched's right next to my computer desk...the place where I spend most of my time...they can come in and hang out there.  
This door wall will be made into a solid wall...
but if you look outside of the can see hints of the bare concrete, and insulation to give you a picture of what the rest of the basement looks like...this will become the wall that the fabric armoire will be on when the room is finished.  
Back to the rest of the plan...
the lower right corner will be a corner computer desk area with upper cabinets and will match the crafting area laminate counter tops and cabinetry there.  I'm searching KSL for cabinetry...hopefully white or cream...and a great price.  If you are in the Utah area and you are redoing a kitchen...let me know if you have old cabinets you want to get rid of. ;o)  


  1. Wow.. the nerve of that lady *hmmph* hehe.. LOVE your new piece for your room. I love the idea of distressing it in the aqua color like the photo you featured. It would look amazing!! Good luck in deciding. :)

  2. Wow... that's just crazy! Some ppl... I swear!
    And it's gonna look amazing... I can't wait to see the finished product!!!

  3. I can't blame the lady for trying, although maybe not the means in which she did. It is a fabulous piece. I agree, it would look stunning painted the aqua and distressed, however it is such a great piece of history. It has so much character as it is. I would just clean it up a bit and let it's story and history give it, it's character, not paint. That's just me, though. I love antiques and cherish the stories they tell about society's past.

  4. WOW! That's a lot of goings on! LOL! I can't wait to see your space when you have it all completed!!! How exciting! As for that woman...let's just say I'm glad she didn't win! HA!

  5. Samantha, what an absolute divine find!!!! I think it's AWESOME and I just HAD to read the story in its entirety. Some people just never cease to amaze me, I can't believe her!! I kept reading even knowing that you HAD to have won out but seriously I was getting nervous. LOL I could totally picture you going outside to look at the trailer, that is something I would do, too! Like, there is NO way I'm letting her get away with it if I can help it. haha It is absolutely the PERFECT piece to add to your seriously perfect crafting space. I love getting glimpses like this into where other people craft. It gives me so many ideas for the day when I will have an entire room to myself! I love all the different areas for different facets of crafting. Yes, it's going to be so great in the end that you won't want to leave the space! You may need to add room for a cot. LOL

    Now, to the serious question at hand, to paint or not to paint?! That is a tough one! I adore the look of the antique aqua, in fact, I just might have to "borrow" that for something that I picked up over the summer that is desperate in need of a makeover. Yours has such beautiful character already, I think it would be hard to paint over that. Maybe set it up in your space before you decide. Once it's there, you may find that it's perfect the way it is, but if you still keep thinking about the aqua then you know you've gotta paint it! I can't way to see pics of it in use! Now, I better go off to the hop so I can be thoroughly inspired by your amazing team! :D

  6. Wow, your furniture pieces are all amazing! I can't believe how pushy that lady was. I love the layout of your room. I wish I had that big of a studio!

  7. I would leave it as least for a while. Although the aqua is can add color through your decorating and projects. You may regret that you painted the piece sooner than you think. You can always live with it a while and paint. Although being so large, it may be hard to move in and out. I still vote for leaving it as is to delight the eye!

  8. OMG! That printer's cabinet is a super find! So jealous! I learned Graphic Design back in the day when we used Pica rulers so yeah I get it.
    I love the layout for your studio! Functional and awesome! The cabinet for your fabric is wonderful too. I'll have to check back and see how it all turns out.

  9. Glad you were able to get that cabinet after all you had to go through. Personally I wouldn't repaint it, it is beautiful the way it is (more valuable that way too). I love your new space, it going to be so awesome!

  10. When your studio is complete, I'd LOVE to come see it : ) We really need to meet!

  11. Oooo yummy project. I like the aqua but would leave the cabinet natural for a bit of spice in the room.

  12. What a great story. I'm glad that you ended up with it--I would love to have such a gorgeous piece holding my supplies. And the other pieces are gorge too!!!

  13. So glad you got the new cabinet. Congrats on riving with a trailer- you're so brave. My question on painting the cabinet is how much aqua will actually be visible once the cubby's are filled? Will the aqua only show on that row of drawers in the middle and a bit of the frame and side?(assuming you leave the top as in your example) I think I'm on the side of look at it in the space and see how you feel then. If it doesn't make a lot of impact painted -it might be better to leave it with it's vintage patina.

  14. Wow ... I would have been totally annoyed by that lady. See, sometimes good does win!! Can't wait to see the finished product.

    pruttybird at comcast dot net

  15. I can't imagine having a craft room like that - wow! I'd live in it forever. The paint? I would go with the piece - keep paint classic for a classic piece like that. The distressed look is a fad and will be gone eventually, then you'll need to re-do it again. I'd stick with a classic look, and paint it all over with glossy white. Do the distressed aqua on something that's not such an important piece historically. I'll look forward to seeing what you decide!

  16. Wow what a fantastic find!!! I would love to own that myself and I would keep it exactly ad it is! It is perfect!
    Kindest regards,

  17. The cabinet is gorgeous - personally I'd go black - I think
    it would make it elegant with the
    aqua & I would accent the room
    with black iron bracket shelves
    to unify the room - adding a black
    iron mannequin or iron accents would be a nice touch(I love black)
    but it would be beautiful either way. Best wishes for your transformations & have fun.

  18. As soon as I saw the photo, I literally gasped knowing exactly what it was. Being a graphic designer myself and drawn to all things print-related, I have to say, just shine it up and leave it as is. The history of the piece is amazing. Imagine the lead type that was stored in it! I would love a piece like this!!!! Not that I have ANY room to put it, but really, I would love it. Congrats on being persistent and getting this cabinet!!!!

  19. Your new studio is going to be AMAZING. Glad you decided to leave the printer's cabinet plain. You can get the aqua in some other way - maybe cushioning on the window seat, some shelving, the kitchen cabinets when you get them. . . So looking forward to seeing the finished product!

  20. Anonymous7:09 PM MST

    This is my first blog hop and I have marked my calendar already for the next one! I was thrilled to find your fabulous designs at the Jessica Sprague store and am looking forward to the release of Orchard Harvest!

    I read your 11-10 update and agree that restoring the natural color of the wood on the beautiful printer's cabinet is the best route to go. You are very fortunate to have the help and expertise of your husband! I look forward to future remodeling and furniture restoring updates!

    Andrea McCulley

  21. I love all the things you got! and I think you should leave the blue dressers as is..they look very beautiful with that mix of rustic and shabby chic.

  22. Samantha...I totally missed the "hop", not needing to be in the running for freebies anyhow, I am starting the hope now! I am in love with all your furniture and I can't wait to see all you room put together and will try my hardest to not be jealous of the final product!

  23. Wow, your furniture pieces are all fantastic!!! and I love all the things you got. I really love all !!!!!And it's gonna look amazing... I´m so glad you got the new cabinet look fantastic to me !!!! I can't wait to see the finished product!!!I love the layout for your studio!
    I love to read your storie I used the translate ...I love each detail!!!
    Have a wonderful week.
    Kisses and huges from Brazil

  24. My craft tables are just like these..EXCEPT..I can't see the top of one of them..yikes!

  25. Hi Samantha - Loved reading about your furniture adventures - Love the furniture and would for sure keep their natural color even tho I love aqua. I've downloaded your designs for my silhouette and I'm really interested in seeing more of your other designs. Nice to 'meet' you! Karyn


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