Everyone needs a space of their own to be creative, whether its the kitchen (not me!!) or the garden, an art studio, craft area, workshop or garage. My current house has a study but it doesn’t feel personal enough and yes, I’m a bit selfish about my creative space. I want my own.
So, what does make a space inspiring, relaxing and organised? Newandimproved.com explain that people do actually learn and think better in a physical environment that suits their personal preference and getting this environment right can actually stimulate creativity. Apparently, Schiller, the poet, filled his desk with rotten apples as he liked the smell when he was composing. Proust (novelist) had to work in a cork-filled room as a kind of sound-proofing of the world outside and Kant (philosopher) worked almost always in bed with his blankets specially and strategically arranged around him.
Well, thankfully I’m a little more easily pleased than these people so just a space with a roomy desk and some inspiring bits and pieces keep me happy. Rotten apples?? No, maybe a few Starbucks empties instead.
Think about how to moderate your space and what environment works best for you – light, music, design, temperature, views? One things for sure for me, the phone is a huge creative distraction. If I leave it on my desk, within seconds I’m googling something totally unrelated to what I set out to do.
With my perfect environment in mind, I decided to hijack the dining area, an unused space at the end of the lounge with lots of windows and light. I had a vision! I set about my work, purposely ignoring husbands said grumblings of ‘What is going on NOW?’ in the background. If you live in a rented house, you sometimes have to be a little bit more inventive. You can’t just get rid of textured wallpaper or dodgy light fittings and carpets but you can make the best of what you’ve got if you’re inventive.
So, out came the old kitchen table from the garage – perfect pushed up against the wall to use as a desk. Black chalkboard paint is perfect to give the legs a new lease of life. I thought about painting the surface too but just now I can’t bring myself to erase the years of paint stains and scribblings from three little mischievous daughters. The simple act of painting, rearranging, reorganizing, is like letting in new energy and a breath of fresh air through the house and I love changing things up. Over the years, my friends have got used to coming in to my home and looking confused while muttering ‘errrr… wasn’t that there before?…… and where did that cupboard go that was there?’. As a child my bedroom was rearranged on an almost weekly basis. Once I get an idea, I’m off!! Have often been known to drag heavy furniture up stairs single-handedly and even lay on my back on the floor to push heavy wardrobes along with my feet. Determined, yes! and impatient, yes!
Nothing so drastic this time….
To cover the ‘dodgy’ white textured walls I attached four large pieces of black card. These can then be used as display/pin boards; great for pegging and clipping things to the edges and sticking inspiring little bits and pieces all over them. I’ve used pictures I like, quotes, little sketches by the children, memories of travels.
I like to surround myself with the things I love and collect and things that I find inspiring. I found some really sweet little vintage wooden drawers to sit on the desk, some wire trays, a lamp, a vintage fan and together with my bits and bobs the job was complete.
Now to actually stop procrastinating and get on with creating something!!
(All photography and styling by Tina Hunt)