Thursday, June 30, 2011

Installing Floor in New Art Studio

The Art Studio is coming together.  We started building the two story garage/woodworking shop - lower level in August 2009.  Then in May-June-July 2010 added the second story creating space for the art studio. 

Here's my darling Mom, Lorraine removing brass hardware from one of the 120 card file drawers, getting it ready to sand each box to remove old crazed varnish finish, followed by primer coat, then two coats of black satin enamel.  Mom cleaned all the brass hardware fixtures with fine steel wool.

By the way, Mom is sitting in the garage below the studio, sitting on one of the 5 vintage chairs I purchased at a vintage/antiques shop called Reflections. 

This is the East Dormer under constructionin May 2010.  To the right you can see shaft opening for the elevator, and the ladder sticking out of the floor--our makeshift entry/exit during the studio build.

Well this is bare bones, isn't it?  It is the East Dormer walls being framed.  Nice view of the old barn.

Looking South is the Balcony Doors.  To the left is the East Dormer.

The walls are gray, dark floors, the woodwork will be off white.  This is the view looking north.  The north end of the studio will have a 12' wide countertop with storage below for canvas art frames. To the left is the West Dormer (my sewing space).  I bet I've moved those vintage chairs dozens of times during the build.  We just ran out of room in the garage below to store easels, chairs, conference table, boxes of flooring, etc. 
Sunday, I sat on the floor and re-installed all the brass hardware on the 120 card file drawers.

Here are four sections, each section contains 15 drawers.  Two boxes stacked equals 29"--just the right height to add a laminate countertop.  I'll sit (sew) facing the west double windows with two care file boxes on my left, and two boxes on my right. 

Last summer when Mom and I worked a couple of weeks restoring the two old credenzas, here are some photos showing the drawer dimensions, and how I plan to use them in the sewing room for notions, and in the north end of the art studio for paint tubes/brush storage.

In this photo, just behind this credenza is another matching credenza.  As I mentioned before, I removed the vintage legs, and unbolted the four sections making up this unit of 60 drawers.

At one point during the card file restoration I took some photos showing how I plan to use the 17" deep drawers by 5" wide.  This will work out so well in the sewing room.  I'll be able to keep the sewing supplies organized.

The north end of the studio we will use the other card file storage sections to support a standard countertop height 35".  We'll have to elevate the sections by means of a 3-4 inch wooden base (platform).  Here is a photo showing how I'll use the card file storage in the art studio.

Jon is doing a great job of laying the flooring.  Note, middle of photo at the left in the floor is the now boarded up temporary entrance/exit, without the ladder sticking up through the floor.

Once the proper lighting fixtures are installed, I think you'll see more definition in the wall color.  I'll be using 5000K color lighting.  There will be three ceiling fans with lights for ventilation and comfort.  Let's see how long we can get along without a/c. 

Above is the East Dormer, and our new temporary exit/entrance with a ladder in the elevator shaft.

The building exterior siding will arrive soon.  It is the same style of wood planks as the old barn.  The color we're painting the exterior is a beautiful shade of . . . .


  1. how exciting, what a great space! But what i got the most from the post is the precious time you and your Mom have spent together on the project. Cherish every moment.

  2. Dearest Ann. You are so right. I love every minute with my Mom.

    Mom always begins by saying, well I don't really think I can help out with the Old House and Art Studio projects. What could I do?

    Hah! I tell her, are you kidding? There are so many tedious projects that require patience of the most demanding sort. She tackles each of those projects that take hours to do and brings them to the finish line everytime.

    Dare I say, no one else I know has the patience and mind set for a level of accuracy as does my mother Lorraine. She works so hard when she comes to visit.

    Soon the art studio will be done. She and I will climb aboard the elevator and go to the big playhouse studio where we can sew and paint.

    Did I tell you my mother (and her mother Eva) are also artists and talented seamstresses as well? I learned from the best. And Lorraine taught the best too. Her other daughter Pam is a seamstress and costume designer for a theatre on the east coast.

    Thanks for letting me brag about my Mom, and a even more thanks to you Ann for bringing the subject to my attention. Golly Ann, you are so wonderful. Wish we lived closer to each other.

    Your friend,
    Mrs. D (Linda)

  3. I think your card file cabinets have turned out very smartly, and it's good to see how they're going to get used. Storage for artists requires very different space than other storage. I'm reminded of that when I look at my flat files — which I'd like to replace.

  4. The card file drawers look so great now! What fantastic uses they will now have. I like that you'll use them for both sewing and art supplies. Bet you can't wait till it's all done!


  5. Thanks Mark,

    The card files were given to me (free) by my neighbor who got the credenzas a long time ago, "just at the right time" when the local Jr. College was switching everything over to computer. For organized small storage the card files are an incredible score.

    I'm glad no one barked at me to save the original credenza legs. I find them ugly and the wasted space between the floor and credenza would have eaten up valuable real estate in the studio.

    The restoration was not a snap. Mom and I worked on them a couple of weeks. I purposely didn't overdo the sanding the of wood drawer fronts.

    If you could see the drawers up close, the old crazed finish is still faintly visible under the smooth to the touch sanding, and newly painted
    surface. It is an interesting look and I am glad it turned out that way. The drawer fronts are very soft
    wood. I was afraid to sand them down too far--warping the edges.

    Also, I asked Mom not to over process the brass hardware with steel wool. I wanted the darker dull patina, but not the grime. Its like washing and baking a potato--I want to eat the potato skin, but not the dirt.

  6. Dearest Anyes and Pam,

    Yes, I'll be glad when the studio is set up and ready to sit at the easel. My door is always open.

    You gals are two of the most talented people I know. I think we should get together at the studio to paint and visit for a couple of days. And if not painting, we could always do a lampshade re-cover project, or hit the vintage/antique shops or local auctions.

    I hope you'll say YES, and come visit me in Wisconsin.

    Your buddy,
    Mrs. D