Winterize Your Studio Using These Tips

3 Dec 2009

Most of the time when I'm not at work, you'll find me in my studio, conveniently located in my home (which is five minutes from the office--see how it all works together?). I made over my studio in the spring of 2008, with the results shown in the premiere issue of Cloth Paper Scissors Studios, and ever since I have been very happy with how it flows and functions.

With one exception: lighting.

There isn't a great deal of natural light in my studio to begin with, and once we "fall back" to Standard Time, it's dark outside by, oh, 4:30 p.m. or so here in the Northeast. Unfortunately it's really dark in the most important area of my studio: where the design wall and sewing machine live. So when I need more light, I bring over a standing Ott-Lite for task lighting.

However, now that I have the latest issue of Studios in hand (Winter 2009/2010), I can use Assistant Editor Barbara Delaney's article on how to choose the best lighting for your studio to help me select the right kinds of bulbs, lamps, fixtures, and light colors, and where to position them to see what I'm doing and prevent eyestrain. If only I'd had that information sooner!

In the meantime, I have other ways of brightening up my studio during the winter months, which I reveal on this video tour, aided by Managing Editor Helen Gregory. These tips are not only easy, they involve fabric and artwork--two of my favorite things.

So, there you have it: my tips for "winterizing" your studio.

To recap:

1. Add punches of color to the decor. Make or bring in pillows, cushions, or window treatments in vivid, warm colors to brighten your mood and rev up your visual metabolism.

2. Stimulate your senses with art. Rotate the art in your studio to give you something new to look at for inspiration. Choose artwork given to you or bought from friends (or pieces you picked up on vacation) to stir up warm feelings and bring instant cheer.

3. Keep your art supplies in sight. See-through storage containers visually stimulate your creativity the moment you enter the studio, banishing the winter blahs.

4. Refresh your inspiration board. Mix it up, move it around, change the focus, add color.

5. Have a portable art project at the ready. When cabin fever hits, grab your sketchbook, hand-stitching project, or something else you can slip in your bag, and take it to a warmer, sunnier spot.

6. Get comfortable. Have an extra pair of warm slippers or socks and a fleece jacket in your creative space if it gets chilly. And keep a thermos of coffee or hot water and tea bags or instant cocoa nearby.

7. Let there be light. Lighting is crucial for seeing colors accurately and avoiding eyestrain. Check out the Winter 2009/2010 issue of Studios for help in choosing the right lighting for your art and space.


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on 3 Dec 2009 11:03 AM

Loved the tour! Good to see you make time to create even though you have so much keeping you busy.

She-Quilts wrote
on 3 Dec 2009 11:14 AM

Love seeing your studio!  I'm trying not to covet your sunshine coming in, the frig in your studio, or your HQ16.  

Wonderful tour and I like your idea of having something out ready to work on in the evenings.  


colorific wrote
on 3 Dec 2009 11:39 AM

Love the studio and learning about your process for staying motivated. That is very helpful. I think that I could use some color therapy. Changing out fabric in hoops is an awesome idea. I also love that you have souvenirs from the fabulous artists you meet in your work. And, the locker baskets are fun and a good reminder to keep moving.

Quilnan wrote
on 3 Dec 2009 11:52 AM

Enjoyed this...always fun to peek into someone's studio and get some storage and arrangement ideas. Nancy

on 3 Dec 2009 1:18 PM

LOVE the tour, pokey!!  ;)  and sooo cute to see louie just hanging out for the walk-about!  ;)  just adorable!  ;)  xoxo

Edy wrote
on 3 Dec 2009 1:26 PM

A functional and wonderfully organized studio!  It motivated me.  You have a lot of useful tips.  And an adorable dog!!!  Thanks for sharing!

eileenkny wrote
on 3 Dec 2009 2:55 PM

Thanks, Pokey. I'm in NY so I know exactly what you mean about needing more light.

I'd love to have a big place like yours but my house is almost 100 years old and I don't have a garage to build onto. <sigh>

juliasew wrote
on 7 Dec 2009 7:08 AM

Nice studio!

I'm hoping to winterize my studio with quilted window shades using warm window pre-quilted fabric layers.


on 23 Mar 2010 12:32 PM

Thanks for the tour. I love to see other studios. We will be building a new house soon. I am trying to decide where to put my studio. Does it bother you to be away from the main part of the house (over the garage)? Can you hear the door bell or people moving around inside the house? Would you rather be on the main floor? Have you ever had a studio in the basement? If so, how did you feel about it?

I hope this is not too many questions. I am having quite a struggle over the cost of a large studio and my need for space.

Rinachiyya wrote
on 24 Mar 2010 6:11 AM

What a great studio and what a great space you have.

Loved your video. You are a amazing artist.

lulumoon wrote
on 31 Dec 2011 4:27 PM

Ooh, studio envy!  But I feel so accomplished in that I, too, have vertical storage for my cutting mats!  Still, that wet studio space... *sigh*...

: )

on 1 Jan 2012 5:58 AM

I too am blessed with a large studio area but I seem to be overwhelmed by it. Seeing how yours is organised has inspired me to set to work and make it as user friendly as yours! Thanks for the tour.

on 28 Jan 2012 3:02 AM

Some great ideas there Pokey. Nice you have so much space and facilities. This will help me with my planning of a studio space.

jeanthomas wrote
on 29 Dec 2012 7:38 AM

I was excited to read about better lighting for my studio, then disappointed that you would entice us to read an issue that is "out of stock" and therefore unavailable.

kitzs2 wrote
on 29 Dec 2012 2:09 PM

Loved the tour of your studio, Louie is adorable!  I'm getting ready to "reorganize" my entire sewing room - great inspiration seeing yours...

Happy New Year!

on 29 Dec 2012 6:05 PM

I had a very hard time hearing what you are saying when you are turned away from the camera, even with full volume. Some things I could not decipher even with repeated playing of the video.  But the "visitor"/videographer's voice, with the volume up, is way too loud when it should be just background. If you could use a pin-on mic and turn off the mic at the camera, the video would be more understandable.