Wednesday, June 3, 2015

two studio updates

It seems I am always tweaking things in my space, but as every move is getting just a smidge closer to the optimal home and I also enjoy the process of slowly improving, adjusting and modifying things, I'm totally okay with that gradual process. My work space in the current apartment started out something like this, with the desk my papa made for me, a mini filing cabinet, some shelves, an old kitchen chair. it all worked but it didn't look very nice and so last year I painted the desk.

Which then looked like this. (you can read more about that whole thing here) It made a big difference, everything looked cleaner with the desk blending into the rest of the room a bit more. Later still I repainted the whole room a better white (here) which was also an improvement.

This month I made a few more changes to the work space which have ended up being pretty significant, at least in how well I am able to use the space and so it seemed like time for an update. 
I've been struggling for the last year with how to address the work surface of my desk. It's made out of an old piece of counter that's a sort of bandaid beige color, a great sturdy surface for all manner of project but not the prettiest, and as I take a lot of pictures of whatever I work on in progress on the desk it always bothered me. For the last year I've been using contact paper (like for lining kitchen cabinets) to cover the desk, (here) which was pretty easy to do, maybe a half hour job, inexpensive, and could be removed when it got dinged and dirty. However, I really wished for something more permanent. So I finally bit the bullet this weekend and painted to top of the desk. I think the reason I put this off for so long is because I knew to do it right I would render my desk unusable for a few days. But enough was enough so I bought some white paint and some clear sealer and took everything off the top of the desk. It took me three days and I probably got a bit loopy from the fumes (It may have been 10 coats total) but it was totally worth it.

Because now I have a beautiful clean, smooth white surface to work on. It has held up well so far (I will check back after some more time has passed) but if I have to give it an occasional touch up i'm okay with that. I actually applied the paint with a roller since there was no need to cut in, and it went on really well. I sanded between coats and let it dry for a full 24 hours after the last one before I put everything back on. It's actually so nice looking that I've been motivated to clean my desk a lot more. It looks nice when not covered in work ephemera so I will clear everything away in the evening when I can and it's very satisfying.

The second important work space improvement is that I finally got a real adult desk chair. I've searched on and off for years but I was always so frustrated by the high prices and lack of attractive options so I would get discouraged and forget about it for a time. But when I think about how much time I spend sitting in this chair, then the price starts sounding much more reasonable. I stumbled upon this one that I was interested in at Pottery Barn Teen of all places and was able to track down some positive reviews (though not on their site because they infuriatingly do not have product reviews available-grrrr) and with the addition of some significant Memorial Day sales, and free shipping, I hit the buy button. It arrived less than a week later, was relatively easy to assemble, and has been doing it's job very well ever since. 

Completely crazy how much more legit the space looks with a real chair, and how much nicer it is to work at (adjustable height and wheels- both so helpful) also it doesn't hurt that is cute and tufted and wide enough that I can sit cross legged if I like. And of course, with both things, all I am thinking is "why did I wait so long to do this?" Seems to be how all home improvements feel once they are done.

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