Google+ House Revivals: Adventures in Cleaning out the Attic and Creating a Studio

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Adventures in Cleaning out the Attic and Creating a Studio

This post is about my attic of shame. Most people have a closet of shame, or a drawer of shame, but I have an entire attic of shame. Plus some closets and drawers.

When we finally moved our boxes out of storage and into our beach house THREE years ago, we were in a huge hurry and still doing major remodel work, so all of the things that we didn't know what to do with, and didn't want to deal with, got shoved into a tiny attic space adjacent to the sleeping loft. Along with all the random stuff, all my studio supplies got shoved into the attic as well.

And there it sat. For THREE years! Sometimes, in frenzied bursts of creative energy, I would tear into some boxes to find a certain supply I was sure I had. Sometimes I found what I was looking for, but mostly not. We had THE WORST movers, and nothing was properly labeled. The attic was a huge mess that made me want to cry. On top of that, since we must spend the work week in the city, and only get to go to our beach house on weekends, we found ourselves not wanting to spend precious beach time hanging out in an attic. Basically, when faced with a choice between a bonfire and an unboxing session, we tended to choose the bonfire. Which is great. Except when you choose the bonfire for THREE years.

Well, my Word of the Year is Intention, and one of the ways I want to be intentional is to spend more time at the beach creating. I had a long talk with my husband about "going down to the sea" intentionally to create for several days out of each month. Not too many days. My husband and I love each other, and like to be together, so I won't be deserting him; but I can often work from the beach house as easily as from the city condo.

So, I have been cleaning out the attic. Believe it or not, the pictures here were taken AFTER I spent a Saturday unboxing and getting rid of stuff!  The attic is going to become a "studio-attic". Of course, it also happens to be the only windowless room in the entire house, and contains only one light bulb and one outlet. But mostly, it contains NO VIEW. So, while this space will house studio storage, machines, and a large worktable for bigger projects, smaller projects will still be carried to the dining table, or my drafting table, where there is a view of crashing surf. Because, you just don't go down to the sea to hang out all day in an attic.

The first time we saw the beach house, I knew the loft above the living room would be a perfect studio. It was one of the reasons I chose this house (plus, there was the VIEW).  Sigh... Changing job commitments have changed the way we use the house. Now, we use the house for business entertaining about one weekend in four, and the loft has to function as a secondary seating area for games and socializing. I have a small drafting table against that far wall, next to the door, but my dreams for a huge loft studio have been dashed. Le sigh....

Okay, seriously, folks, don't feel sorry for me. I'm a pragmatist, and I understand the house has to earn it's keep. Plus, I still get an ENTIRE ATTIC! Which is more than I've ever had before. And did I mention that this attic is at the beach? After three years (four since we bought the house and started renovations), I'm still pinching myself.

As I was unboxing all that STUFF, that first Saturday, I realized my actions would be futile until I actually had a place to put everything, so I stopped working and curled up in front of the fireplace with my husband and put "buy lots of cheap pine shelving" on my mental to do list. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I went every Fred Meyer within thirty miles of our condo buying ALL THE SHELVES. The sixty inch high units are perfect for the "tall" side of the attic, and the thirty inch high units are perfect for the "short" side.

Do you have a dedicated studio? I could lose myself in Pinterest pictures of gorgeous studios. Mine won't be beautiful right away -- I will feel like I've won the lottery just to have it functional for now! Beauty will come in time.

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To find out how we met and  fell in love with our beach house, read this post.

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