Alternate Title: "Doing What You Can With What You’ve Got" ;)
Step 1: Pick A Space In Your Home
This year, I decided to make creativity a priority in my life. Keeping with this thread, I knew I would eventually need to designate a space in my home to create. The spare room was an obvious choice for this space, as it mostly went unused last year, except for a few friends who stayed as guests. In the spare room lived my queen bed from college and armoire from my childhood. When I moved in with my partner last year, I knew I would would eventually convert this room into a creative space, but at the time I was admittedly not ready to let go of my bed and armoire.
One step at a time, I told myself. Moving in together was a big step, a first for me, and I wasn't ready to start selling my possessions and dream up an entirely new studio space from inception. Sometimes change feels more natural when it happens in small steps.
So last year I made the spare room into my own sort of space: A guest room and a place for my clothes and jewelry. My queen size bed was too big for the tiny room and toward the end of 2017 it started to feel like the room of a distant teenager. I knew this feeling—I was shedding my skin, growing again.
March 2017 became the month for re-designing the spare bedroom into my own creative studio space!
Step 2: Draft Up Some Sketches And A Budget
As much as I would love to commit to purchasing completely new furniture for my space and painting the walls, I am too impatient and thrifty for that, especially since this is only a rental home. I would only commit to spending $400 to create this studio space, since that is the amount of money I estimated I could get from selling the bed and armoire. We already have a couch/futon that fits in the room and was previously sitting unused on the front patio. Plus, this couch is good for guests, so the studio can still be a spare room whenever we have friends in town.
Rearranging existing furniture in your home is a great way to transform a space, inject it with new life, and get more life out of your existing pieces. This is definitely something I tend to do as a thrifty minimalist.
Step 3: Start Selling + Buying New Furniture
Once I started making plans, everything happened very quickly. In the period of a week and a half I sold my bed and armoire and purchased a rustic and worn working table from a man off Craigslist. This table seriously looks like it has had many lives and I love its character.
- Sold armoire: +$100
- Sold queen size bed: +$300
- Purchased table from Craigslist: -$40
- Couch/futon cleaning: -$90
- Drafting chair from Craigslist -$40
- Copper clothing rack from Etsy store MoodyMarsh: -$200 ($150 plus $50 shipping)
- Things I already owned: futon, standing lamp, pillows, blanket, artwork, candles, incense, art supplies, cat
Step 4: Rearrange Artwork + Set Up Studio Supplies
For the last part of my spare room makeover, I re-arranged the artwork on the walls, put my art supplies on the table, and taped up photos using highlighter-yellow washi tape. I put some of my artist/crafting books on one side of my new table, but left the other side open for screen printing and other projects that require more flat space.
The whole process from start to finish took about 2 weeks, but the clothing rack from Etsy did take a while to arrive, so I ended up taking photos later in April. I’ve already used the space A LOT in the past month and it feels awesome to have a dedicated area for my creative projects. I don’t miss my bed or armoire at all! This project proved to me that putting my focus in the right place makes change easier. In the process I ended up getting rid of even more clothes and unused art supplies—a win for creativity and minimalism all in one!