Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Making It Home, Part I: The Studio

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Although most of the house didn't require any extra work before we moved in, my studio was the one room that I really wanted to change. The room was lavender, and though it was a lovely color for its former use - the bedroom of the previous owners' young child -  for my purposes, it wasn't quite right. It made the room feel very dark, particularly in the late afternoon, which is when I get a lot of my best work done.

So when I started thinking about a new paint color, I really wanted to consider the character of the room as a whole unit, particularly because it's connected to a beautifully restored 40s bathroom with yellow and sage green fixtures. Although the house was built in 1925, the studio and back bathroom were later additions, which would explain why the bathroom is old, but clearly not original to the house.

I hemmed and hawed over color for a while - do I match the bathroom with a sage green? Do I leave it lavender? Do I go for a soft turquoise? Sure, maybe, I guess. But nothing felt quite right.

The Carlyle - 1250 Ocean Drive (Kichnell & Elliott, 1941.)
Image from Tropical Deco: The Architecture & Design of Old Miami Beach


Then one morning, I woke up and realized that the choice was right there in front of me: pink! Because why the hell not? It works well with the Tropical Deco-vibe of the color palette, and it has the added bonus of being my favorite color.

So off to the paint store we went, and got four different shades of pink, from pale to bright. I had always heard that bright color can overwhelm a room really easily, so it's better to err on the side of a lighter color. But as the swatches dried and I looked at all my options, I realized that a bright pink was what I wanted, damn the experts.

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But then - as is a risk with any decision that rejects every shred of common sense and conventional experience - in the middle of the process, I was suddenly struck with doubt. It took two coats of paint, and it was hard to cover the lavender, and we had to do some major touch-up work, which added hours of work and wretched anticipation onto the whole project. So there was some late-night painting, and a small amount of crying, and a hefty dose of self-doubt.

And at those moments, I had to remind myself how sure I had felt at the beginning. How carefully I had made the decision. How much preparation and time we had both spent on the project already. And I held onto the hope that at the very least, it would be okay - maybe not perfect, not great, but okay. So we did the work, I held my breath, and I waited for the paint to dry.

And in the end?


I shouldn't have worried. I absolutely love it.

Happy Wednesday, friends.


pdxknitterati/MicheleLB said...

Beautiful! I went with a neutral shade for my studio, kind of putty but a tiny bit warmer. It looks great in my studio, not as good in DH's office right next to it. Lighting is everything! But he doesn't care, and I used my leftover paint in his room. Empty nesting means offices for both of us!

Hannah said...

What a beautiful color! I love how soft the pink looks. Nice job Cori :)

Kat Riddell said...

Love it! The pink is absolutely delightful, and it looks like it goes really well in the space. Enjoy your new studio!

Becca said...

This looks so beautiful! Love the Deco tropical vibes. Worth all the work. Congrats on your new home! Enjoying your updates :) x

Anonymous said...

This is so true! Especially so when we decided on a kind of retro, granny smith green for our enormous living room. At first we weren't so sure, but once all the finish work was done, the books put on the shelves and the sofa slid back in the room we realized those experts are fools, anyways. Love your studio (and the rest of the house.) Congrats!