For a reason that I have yet to figure out, the studio of my dreams wasn’t meant to be. To make a long, drawn out story short, the current tenants decided to keep the 350 square feet of dreamy light which was a shock to the landlord and, of course, me. “I wouldn’t have shown you the space had I known they were going to keep it beyond the first month,” the landlord told me. Current tenants get first dibs.
To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. Not willing to let go of the space so easily, I approached the current tenants (who have been holding on to the space – empty and unused – for 3 months) to plead my case in the kindest, most I-don’t-want-to-step-on-anyone’s-toes sort of way. They were super nice but it was a no-go. The tenants rent a much larger space in the same building and aren’t exactly sure what they will do with the smaller space. Office? Conference room? Storage? And so it sits – empty and unused – which is probably the hardest part of the whole thing for me. To know that corner room on the second floor with its easy access, modest size and amazing windows isn’t being put to use kills me.
News of the studio being a no-go came just before Everett’s accident. After the accident, my priorities shifted. I tried not to think about the space, but it was still on my mind a lot. I felt guilty for thinking about a studio while Everett healed but, eventually, I realized this was something I really wanted. Taking a cue from strong Everett, I picked myself up out of the stupid hole of self pity I had dug and started looking for another space.
I encountered the same problems I had when I first started looking: too expensive, too dark, no creative freedom. Last week I finally secured a new space on the same property (different building) as the dream space. It isn’t perfect. It’s dirty, gritty, rough, raw. At 1,000 square feet, it’s much larger than I need. The landlord felt so badly about the first space falling through that she was willing to come down quite a bit on rent which put it in my price range. I decided to take it and make it work.
The room does have some great attributes. The ceilings are crazy high. I haven’t measured them but they’re at least 20′. Two 2-story windows face west and let in a good amount of natural light. Access to the room is via a loading dock which means I can easily pull my car up to the room’s double doors and unload materials for projects. (This also means it isn’t all that great for public access. Having visitors enter through a loading dock is a little scary.) There’s plenty of room to spread out and have several projects going at once. At first, I was put off by all the space but now I think it will be nice for the kids to have room to play while I work. And there is a good amount of empty wall space to serve as photo backdrops.
The room was a dance studio (with an interesting paint scheme) in a previous life. Although, the tenants were evicted because they did more partying than dancing. As a result, the room needs drywall work (partying + dancing = holes in the walls) and a thorough cleaning. I keep reminding myself that nothing in life worth doing is easy. Drywall work started over the weekend and things should wrap up today or tomorrow. Then it’s onto cleaning and painting. I’m hoping to have the shell of the room finished by June 1st. I’ll be sharing progress in the coming weeks so stay tuned!
Even though it isn’t the studio of my dreams, I’m really excited to make it my own and to have a place outside of the house to be creative and make messes. It’s The Underdog in studio form!
images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking