Saturday, April 26, 2014

studio tour - leah farquharson

As a part of the "our creative spaces" series for the blog, I'm sharing my studio space today! Many of you may already know that scrapbooking is only a part of what I do in my studio space - I also run my handmade business, write creative articles for magazine publications, keep an active blog sharing my experiences in the creative industry to encourage other women entrepreneurs, study my design courses (and do homework), as well as homeschool our boys. It's really a multipurpose living and creative space - since we live in the city, where space is a premium.

Because of this, I recently came to realize that I needed to do some serious purging and updating. I just don't have room for much as far as supplies, and it's impractical to keep very much around due to clutter. See the chair in the photo? That's our living room area, and this is pretty much the view from the front door. This is a really large multipurpose room that people in Florida call a "great room". The living room area is actually even larger than my studio space, and off to the left is a small dining table. I'd say the room is actually shaped like a number "7"!

I love all of the natural light in this room. We have floor to ceiling, wall to wall sliding glass doors that stretch 24'x8' - so even on a cloudy day like today, there's usually plenty of light. Speaking of cloudy, part of updating the space involves painting these lovely vintage cabinets a light blue color, but the weather has just not cooperated lately, since we've had lots of rain. That's really unusual for this time of year here. We typically don't get a lot of rain until later in May. Oh, well! It'll get done one of these days!

Most of my scrapbooking takes place at this stand up counter spot. I keep the tools that I use most often in a basket made for picnic tableware that I grabbed on summer clearance one year - three slots for plastic ware and a long slot for napkins. I've had this counter height bench for over 15 years, but recently updated it by painting it a dark espresso brown color. Shhh! I hide so many things behind that curtain - there's a box filled with thickers, a rolling tote for scrapbooking, a brown felt tote that keeps all of my camera goods, and boxes of stock for my shop. When I first moved the bench to our living area years ago, I added the curtain by just attaching some velcro.

It also doubles as a packing station for orders - or a spot for me to plop the ipad down to finish invoices/receipts/miscellaneous office work that doesn't require the power of the laptop for photoshop or illustrator.

I usually keep an ever rotating row of artworks and inspiring quotes on this wall - I recently switched the color from a latte tan to this bright white, and I'm loving it. I began running into a problem photographing items for magazine shoots that required white backgrounds, so I just switched it all over. It's perfect, because our couch is that latte color, so the wall and couch were blending for a very blah look!

When my desk space is clean it makes me super happy. It means I don't have to shuffle anything around to get to work! The old cigar box on my cart actually hides all of my little plug in cords for computer things - like my camera and ipad accessories. And the tiny orchid and succulent just make me smile.

To save space, I usually just use a dining chair for my desk. When it's time to eat we move it over to sit as a family, or picnic in the living room if we're catching a movie or sporting event on the tv!

This is my sewing station - I have done so much here, and have so many more things planned! It's actually a simple, inexpensive camp table. I stitched up some home decor fabric that I grabbed at IKEA a few years ago to create a heavy duty table cloth that actually hides  TONS of stuff underneath. We have a giant, espresso brown wicker basket (that matched the trash bin pictured) underneath that stores all of our school books for the boys. The basket on the shelf houses my punches and a few bulky items. The cabinet down low has my cuttlebug and diecutting plates. And I bring my laptop over to this table when I need to cut anything on my silhouette cameo. And as you can see - I have TOO MUCH PAPER! Ha!

My second cabinet holds lots of embellishments in boxes and trays, yarn in a wooden crate, binders and notebooks, and office supplies behind the doors.

On the opposite wall (still waiting to be painted white), I have my photo printer/scanner, and expedit storage for fabrics. (Whew - I need to update my keyholder when I finish painting, too!)

I hope you've enjoyed this little tour around my creative living space! And perhaps gained some ideas for your own. I'm a big believer in the saying by Teddy Roosevelt, "Start where you are and use what you have." I choose not to wait until the day when I have a room that I can dedicate to creativity, and instead make my creativity a way of life. It's so much a part of what I do, that it just coexists with our living space. And honestly, I love that I can be in the same room and still get work done that I need to. There are days when I would love to be able to close a door on creative messes, but overall, I choose to use that as a motivator to keep messes contained instead of overflowing. Clutter and mess tend to bog down my creative process, so it's been a good exercise to keep me disciplined!

For more on me, my business, or my (normally) daily blog postings, you can stop by

~ Leah

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  1. I love your room Leah! It's *pretty* and looks like a room you'd want to sit in all the time!

  2. love seeing how you make your space work for you! beautiful color choices!! :) evie