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2117 Grover Road
West Falls, NY, 14170
United States

a little bit art. a little bit me.

A little bit art.  A little bit me.

My Home At Home

Jennifer Calkins

So I work at home.  We’ve established that.  Well, where in my home do I work exactly?  In my studio (Duh!)

Studio [stoo-dee-oh] noun 1. the workroom or atelier of an artist, as a painter or sculptor. 

Yep, sounds about right to me.  And now you know what the word "studio" means.  I'm so glad I could enlighten the world.  Enough with the silliness... :)

Being a stay at home mom from the beginning with my son means that our family works on a pretty strict budget.  So when I decided to actually go forward with making pottery again, I had to decide.  Rent studio space somewhere or make space in our home.  Well, I chose to make space in our home.  Partly because of money and partly because I already had a pottery wheel and a kiln so I just needed the space.  Making an in home studio also allows me the flexibility I need.

So where in our home do I make space?  Basement?  The answer was no for a few reasons.  First, lack of ventilation for the kiln.  Second, our home is 50 years old and the back wall in the basement seeps so it’s a bit damp.  While we do have a dehumidifier down there I prefer not to work where it’s damp.

So what next?  Well we have a one and a half car attached garage (though my hubby wishes it was a three car-or perhaps a ten car-garage.)  We needed a little extra storage space so we’ve never parked our cars in the garage.  And another plus?  It was in need of some serious TLC.  Ok, so not really cool that it needed some TLC but since we needed to fix it up anyway, that was a plus in the column for new home studio!  Goodbye crumbling drywall!

So we tore out all the drywall down to the studs and ceiling joists. (I don't have a before pic)

(photos: Designs by JJK)

(photos: Designs by JJK)

Everything from our garage lived outside under tarps for six months.  Seriously.  Not kidding.  What was supposed to be a long weekend four day project took six MONTHS to finish.  You could say we ran into some problems.  Like structural problems.  And mice problems.  And electrical problems.  On the positive, we sealed off where the mice were getting in and up into our attic so no more mice (yipee skipee!), we replaced the main structural beam spanning the garage because the old one was too small and not attached to anything (for real).  We also fixed some electrical issues, replaced old metal outlet boxes, got a new not-falling-apart garage door and updated the breaker box to accommodate a new outlet for my kiln and a heater so I can work in the winter.  So even though it was more work than we originally thought (a theme for every project we do in our older home!), we fixed some major problems.  And I got a pottery space of my own!

(photos: Designs by JJK)

(photos: Designs by JJK)

It’s worked out well, though I wish we would have added a sink.  Honey?  Are you reading this?  I need a sink (insert big smiley face and a wink here!)  At the end of 2015 though I was feeling like it was missing something.  I mean seriously…

(photo: Designs by JJK)

(photo: Designs by JJK)

Blah!

So I did a quick clean up, got an extra set of open shelving and painted the first week of January.  Much better.  Now it feels cozy.  We picked up a small window at a garage sale for ten bucks last summer so I’m hoping to convince my hubby to let me add it next to the chalk wall rather than add it to our shed.  I think my studio is a better place to use it than the shed.  Who’d like the window in the shed?  The bugs?  Yuck, they won’t appreciate the window like I will.  So here’s hoping to some even more natural light.

(photo: Designs by JJK)

(photo: Designs by JJK)

So this is my office.  I also have a craft area inside our home where I work on my handmade note cards, paintings and other projects.  Which was part of another remodel project two weeks after we moved in and involved half of our upstairs.  It's best for everyone if I don't get into that project here now...

(photo: Designs by JJK)

(photo: Designs by JJK)

Where do you work at home?  Did you need to add a studio or home office or was it already there?  Well, wherever you work, I hope you have a fantastic day!