Studio Update: Drywall and more

Hello hello! I figured it would be fun to share more of the progress pictures I took during renovations of my studio space. I’ve been moved in and mostly set up in the space since the first week of November 2018. There has been a lot of tweaking of furniture and I think I’m mostly settled on how the space is flowing now. Although, I like to change my mind, so that could get switched up at any moment. Actually, the space is very flexible so it’s nice not to feel confined to a certain layout. Also a big part of what I kept getting hung up on was how I would use the space. For now it’s where I work and keep my pattern and supply inventory for my shop. It’s been amazing to have everything out of my house! I’ve hosted a few small events just for fun, it was nice to see the space full with people! I’m still getting my bearings and hopefully will be able to settle on any additional things I might be doing in the future (think pop-ups, hosting craft classes, having a small retail section, hosting a community sewing/crafting night, etc.). Lots of possibilities but I’m okay with waiting and letting things fall into place first. Plus it’s been one of those winters with lots of gray days so I’ve been allowing myself the time and space to not rush into anything.

So I’ll just pick up where I left off in my last update post. The drywall went up without a hitch, it was actually one of the smoothest processes throughout the project. And it totally transformed the space over the course of a few (hot!) days! It was best left to the experts with the high ceilings and large expanses. After that I spent Labor day weekend painting everything. My mom helped and even my kids got in on the action.

Next up was the electrical getting mostly finished up. All the light fixtures that I had bought months before could finally leave my living room and be installed. It was really fun to see something more final in the space! After the electrical was finished up the flooring was installed. Again, best left to an expert considering the large stretch of flooring. I did sign on to tile both the bathrooms myself though! I have done a bit of tiling in our house and previous houses, but it had been a while. It’s hard work, but very rewarding. I set the tile one weekend and then came back a few days later to grout. At the same time that was happening the back parking lot was being finished, and it was pouring rain for dayssssss. It all felt like a hot mess for a while.

All during those weeks I had also been painting the interior trim work. And man, if we could have scheduled that with a painter I so would have! Priming and painting took forever. I spent what felt like weeks heading out to prime and then weeks to paint. Small bits at a time here and there, it felt like I lived in my painting clothes. Luckily my mom helped again, but it was such a process because every day was rain and humidity so paint dried very slowly in our small garage where I painted. But eventually we got to haul the trim to the building and a couple of carpenters spent almost two weeks installing the trim work. They also set the base cabinets for the kitchenette which was fun. And wow, that part just was so amazing to watch.

After the trim work was complete we spent time building the furniture and the plumbing got installed (yay toilets and sinks finally!) as well as the HVAC getting wrapped up. We built the back packing table out of Ikea kitchen base cabinets and then finished the back with bead board. We built the top from birch veneer plywood and stained with a white pickling stain. I really like how it turned out and the cabinets are so nice to have! We also built a main center island that sits under the white pendants. It turned out really well, even after multiple trips to Ikea, which is a couple hour drive each way for us. I had my friend Heidi build the counter for it, she used reclaimed wood and then stained it a lovely rich dark gray color (she also made my floating kitchenette shelves from more reclaimed wood). I’ll show that off in my next post.

The kitchenette counter got installed several weeks later as well as the window sills. I chose Silestone which I think is going to hold up amazingly well compared to any other material. So that’s mostly it. I think I’ll save the rest of the furniture details for another post. I’m still not completely organized though, for example, the cabinets where I’m keeping my fabric is a semi-disaster, but I’ll get around to it.

I feel like this post is such a sweeping summary of the process. It was the hardest project I’ve even been a part of. There were so many questions, so many steps, so much coordination, and so much sweat equity. I joke that it was my second full-time job, and it was. Even though my husband and I split the work, it was overwhelming and at times we definitely wanted to just give up. But we pulled through and now it’s still kind of surreal to work here. Grateful for having a dedicated space, but still am in the phase of “we actually did this”. There are a few small things left such as grills for the divided wall window openings and a bit of trim under the window sills. I’m also on the search for finding some antiques and am gathering inspiration to finish up the bathrooms!

So thanks for reading if you made it this far! I’ll post more about the furniture and finish details in my next post. And, I have a couple new patterns coming up that I’m very excited about. I’ve been using my sample of one of the patterns non-stop and I can’t wait to show it to you!


15 thoughts on “Studio Update: Drywall and more

  1. Marsha says:

    My goodness, what a huge accomplishment. Thanks for sharing this report. I look forward to the next installment AND your new patterns (wherever did you find the time to do that, too?!?!).

  2. Clara says:

    I certainly enjoyed the pictures and your description of the process you did to make your work space. Love the choice of flooring! Real wood or laminate? Thanks for sharing, Anna. Looking forward to seeing your new patterns.

  3. helen says:

    This is fantastic work! As Marsha said : a huge accomplishment! Wow! Congratulations and I wish you great success in your new Studio!!????☀️

  4. Sandra Woods says:

    Wow. What a massive (and expensive) project.. I look forward to seeing it when it’s done. I’m told that it’s the last 5% that is the real killer. Good luck.

  5. Jeni says:

    Ahhh! It looks amazing!! Thanks for taking us along, it’s so fun to see the different stages of progress!

  6. Rae Hoekstra says:

    WOW, Anna. Just WOW!!! I’m so amazed at this project!!! Way to go!!

  7. Katie says:

    This is so amazing! Incredible work, all of you. Wishing you many years of happiness and creativity in your new space.

  8. Katie says:

    PS Please tell me more about this “cheese castle” next door…

  9. Colleen says:

    Congratulations on such a big project. Everything you’ve shown here looks like it has been so well thought out and well done. I can imagine that it hasn’t been easy though. Thank-you for blogging about it.

  10. Margie says:

    Wow! It looks fantastic. Congratulations of having the strength and perseverance to get it done.
    Now we egarly await the new patterns ?

  11. Brenda says:

    What a beautiful and bright space! I can see it full of seamstresses and their sewing machines, sharing ideas and generating that energy that seems to flow whenever good friends get together to create. I really wish I lived closer so I could come and sew with you when it is ready—congratulations.

  12. Kristin says:

    Your studio updates are my favorites! I love watching the transformation. The space you are creating looks like an absolute dream!! xoxo

  13. It must feel so good to reclaim the parts of your house that once were home to your inventory! This space looks lovely. It seems as if it was a *ton* of work, but I imagine you’ll be reaping the benefits of having a dedicated area for creating and running your business for a long time. Enjoy!

  14. Katta says:

    Anna, it’s fantastic grat job! Your studio will be beautiful. I admire you and I envy you a little 😉
    Best wishes from Poland 🙂

  15. Dee says:

    The studio is looking so fantastic! I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s finished. And I can’t wait for your new patterns! I just love, love, love your bag patterns. I don’t know how you find the time to do the studio, blog and create new patterns. Congrats Anna!

Comments are closed.