Do you dream of having the perfect studio for your needs? I certainly do! In fact, that has been the driving force behind me for the past few months. My husband and I have been hunting for our retirement home and it has few requirements, a space for his baby grand piano, a good kitchen, a yard for the Newfs, and a space for my studio. Currently, my quilting is scattered around the house. I have a longarm in the basement, a sewing machine on the dining room table, my computer in the family room, and stash – well anywhere I can stash it! I am trying to get to one creative spot. Do you find yourself in a similar boat? If so, I will share my journey to my new space with you!
Define your criteria
The first step was to find the new home as we have sold our current house. We were lucky in that our house sold the first weekend. For anyone who has been moving in the past few months, you share our pain, excitement and frustration. The housing market has been so hot that house hunting is like speed dating, just with a much higher price tag! If you are lucky, you get 30 minutes to peruse the property. If it is in good condition, you are not the only one looking or bidding. So, you are usually competing against multiple offers, usually due that weekend. If it needs a little work, you are probably in better shape. With this being our retirement home and my hubby still working a few time zones away, we needed less work not more.
The first three criteria for the new home were pretty easy – room for the piano, a nice kitchen, and a good-sized yard for our Newfs. Those are easy to define, especially to a realtor. So, what exactly did I want in a studio space? I wanted good light, good ventilation, and plenty of floor space for my longarm, quilting table (when I actually have one), and seating. You may have been expecting me to say storage and not seating. As a designer and small business owner, I spend a good deal of time on my laptop. Ideally, I want a comfortable sitting space in my studio, my creative space, not a separate area, which just feels disconnected. As for the storage, I have decided to take this time to purge and get back to basics. I will still need storage, but for the right things. No sense in moving stuff I will probably never use – right?
Since I spend the majority of my day designing, sewing and quilting, it needs to be a safe and comfortable space. To give our realtor an idea of the space needs, I compared the size of my longarm to a pool table. That helped her understand the space need. Most pool tables are located in finished basements, which is why lots of us have basement studios. If I were to have another basement studio, it would need to be finished, have good light, and not have a radon issue. There were very few homes that met all three criteria.
I found the perfect place, but it wasn’t finished yet. The advantage of an existing home is that you can generally move in quickly or spend a week or two painting and cleaning before you need to vacate your current home. With a new build, you have to waiting for the builders, their contractors, and their supplies, which can be nerve-wracking. The advantage is that you can usually specify what you would like! The plan for this house had a beautiful kitchen, space for the piano, a yard for the dogs, and a dream space for me. The studio is a BONUS room over the garage! I will have a large space, with natural light.
Over the next few weeks, I will share the progress of my purge, my move and my studio development with you. There is so much to share and I know I am not alone in the is journey. So whether you are downsizing, upsizing or just confiscating more space in your existing home, you may find this journey fun to follow.
PS, I am still working on designs and quilts during all of this, so life will be a little hectic!