One of the best things I did in all of 2015 – besides giving birth to my 3rd baby in February – was transform the formal living and dining rooms in our home into my dedicated studio space.
The BEFORE image was mid way through our clean out of the room in order to remove the carpets and put in white laminate flooring. My desk used to be against the short wall by the windows under the pictures and the room had a line of stuff – cabinets and a couch – where the chairs are here.
We have a breakfast nook off the kitchen and with the carpeting in the formal dining area, we hardly ever ate at this table – only for Thanksgiving and Christmas when our families would come over. I bought this table and chair set sight-unseen for just $200 off of Craigslist when we were in escrow and stored them at my parents house until we moved in. While I loved having a home that was big enough to host family gatherings and a table that extended so every one could fit comfortably, I DO NOT COOK. I am NOT a good hostess. We used this space for homeschooling and not much else.
We hired Robin Long Photography for our newborn family session and the minute I walked into her studio, I knew that I wanted to create a dedicated space in our house with a similar vibe. I had been shooting newborns over by those 3 windows since I started in early 2013. With my computer desk in that space as well it was very tight.
I would drag in a piece of plywood to put on the carpet if I ever wanted to use a backdrop on the floor and all my props were stored in my garage and in various places throughout my house. Ultimately, this space in our house was vastly unused by the family and I knew it could serve our family better as a studio.
So, we painted – TWICE – because I didn’t like the underlying tones of the first white. My husband could not warp his brain around how one white could differ from another, but in the end he saw it my way and did almost all of the painting by himself.
Then my husband ripped out the carpets and called his brother over to help him lay the laminate floors. I chose a white brushed pine plank. My windows face east and since I shoot with natural light, I wanted to create a space that was as light and airy as possible. In the summer I can shoot in here until about an hour before sunset.
I LOVE how the floors turned out! My husband changed out all the outlets to be white – I’m really not sure why builders chose that icky yellow color for outlets in the 80’s – and added moulding to the floors.
And now THIS is my new shooting space!
My goal for 2016 is to recover that little brown couch that I picked up at a collector’s market for $85 in a solid white or grey. It is where my newborn parents sit during their session and while I do like it, it really does NOT go in this studio space. I still have to figure out storage and how to display props in a cute way, so as of now everything will stay in the garage and tucked away in other places of the house so that I can keep my studio open and clean.
I LOVE having an open and bright studio right in my home. With 3 kids, it’s nice not always having to travel or worry about the weather for a session.