What makes a great Home Art Studio?
I’m so excited to share my top 4 needs for a Home Art Studio! Read on to see photos, art, and some of my favorite things!
I was recently asked by Redfin to give my tips on creating an ideal home art studio space, and it really got me thinking! What are my necessities for a great home art studio? I have had an art studio in my home for quite a long time, in several different homes, too! Of course, my needs always evolve, but I do have a few consistent needs in my home art studio that have stayed the same over the years!
1. Abundant natural light
The place I call home can change from time to time. Most of you know I live in the Pacific Northwest, but I also have a home in France! No matter where I am, my home art studios always need abundant natural light. Though the sun regularly plays peek-a-boo behind the clouds, light is such an important aspect of my art. As I’m sure you know already, I LOVE COLOR! I work with so many different colors and shades, and being able to see them while I’m working makes all the difference in the world!
In both my home art studio, and my creating space in France, I have large windows all over, which not only brings the natural light in, but gives me a view outside to great sources of inspiration! The windows allow me to see flowers and grass, birds and trees, clouds and rain (and sometimes snow!), kids playing, and friends walking their dogs. It is lovely to be able to connect with the world while I am inside and creating.
2. A large table
I also need a large table at a height that allows me to work either standing up or sitting down. My husband built me this amazing 4′ x8′ giant table that I LOVE! It also offers access to easy and ample storage- win! Having the freedom to choose standing or sitting is especially important, because I like to be comfortable while I create. Creativity takes time, and sometimes standing is not what I want to do! Being able to sit down and paint, get up and move, walk to the other side, and look at it from another angle is amazing. One other thing we did, which I’m so happy about, is add locking wheels. So if I ever need to move it to the side for larger projects I easily can.
Your art is a treasure box, and perspective is the key to unlocking it!
3. A sink
Another important piece to my home art studio puzzle is a sink! It may sound like a trivial request, but as I mentioned previously, I work with a lot of colors and shades, and I really do switch between them regularly. Having a sink nearby allows me to clean my brushes, dump my muddy paint water (which I do in a bucket next to my sink for environmental reasons!), and get going again. Having the sink nearby helps me take better care of my brushes and tools by not letting paint dry on them… in theory (haha!). Also, I *really* like not having to worry about cleaning up dirty paint splatters and messes around here the same way I would if it were in my kitchen or bathroom!
When we moved into our current home in the Pacific Northwest, I had an amazing opportunity to really build my ideal home art studio. I made sure my space had plenty of windows for the abundant natural light and inspiration I was dreaming of. I got my giant table with plenty of storage and the sink I always wanted – an entire bathroom actually – which is really helpful for those all-day art sessions! But something was missing. I still needed that one thing to make my home art studio perfect for me.
4. The perfect easel
My perfect home art studio would not be complete without a perfect easel. I have always had easels and will always have easels, but I work with such a wide variety of canvases at such different sizes. Sometimes my canvas is just that, stretched canvas, and sometimes my canvas is a huge wood board. I needed something that would be perfect for any size canvas and strong enough to hold up any piece of wood. Ideally, it would be able to hold several of them at once. The challenge was finding that perfect easel. How was I going to find that? You may be surprised, but I couldn’t find it.
The perfect easel didn’t exist. Total BUMMER, right? But then my incredible husband came up with the solution! He built me a custom easel wall! Yes, you read that correct– an entire wall that is an easel. And yes– it is absolutely fabulous!
It is at a slant with pegs, which makes it possible to adjust the shelf height, and allows me to paint any size canvas, comfortably. It is also quite long, which gives my art plenty of room to just sit and breathe. That allows me to think about the next step I want to take with it, while also having the room to work on a different piece of art. My easel wall is one of my favorite and most cherished features in my home art studio! Especially because it was such an act of love and support from my favorite person.
I feel fortunate and blessed to have such a great space curated and customized just for me. As an artist, having a place of freedom, open creativity, and inspiration gives me such a feeling of contentment.
A few other things to think about…
There are a couple other things that were important for us to keep in mind when we were building this space. My kids were still home at the time! I truly loved being able to hear my family mulling about the house while I was working. And I still do when my grandchildren are here! It helps to make me still feel connected to them, while also having the separation that I needed to actually get stuff done. We also built the studio above our garage, and attached it to the home using a breezeway. This constitutes as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), and is very beneficial in case we ever decide to sell our home!
I have created some of my best work at a small kitchen table with terrible light. Beautiful art can be made anywhere and in any environment. And to be honest, sometimes having boundaries and limited options does help focus you while also freeing your mind.
If you are creating a home art studio, I think the most important piece of advice I can give you is:
Make sure it is perfect for YOU!
Take a breath, take some time, and really think about the details that are important to you. What are your art creating needs? What makes a great home art studio for you? I’m excited to see what you do with your space!