We started out by stripping everything out of the studio – paints, finished pieces, canvases, pictures pinned to the walls – even my desk! We gave the old pink carpet, which we suspected was sapping a lot of light from the room, a jolly good hoovering, before ripping it out completely. Under the carpets were some interesting old newspapers!

We gave everything a good clean down, so we were starting fresh, then gave the floorboards a few coats of a white floor paint. It was actually not too bad a job, as it didn’t need to be perfect – after all it’s only a workroom and no doubt lots of paint would get dropped on the boards from my easel over time – just clean and bright. I touched up a few spots on the walls, and we gave the woodwork a freshen up in bright white paint where it had yellowed (or been replaced and never painted at all).

Nicki MacRae Studio Revamp 2

Nicki MacRae Studio Revamp 1
My previously pine-effect, plastic coated chipboard desk got a few coats of a bright pink, glossy spray paint to cheer it up, and the shelf above it got sprayed a similarly jolly shade of yellow.

Nicki MacRae Studio Desk
Then came the task of sorting through every canvas, tube of paint, grubby charcoal sketch, book, pencil and pebble that had come out of the old studio – which took some time!Once the end shelves were fully stacked again with completed work and materials, we used wood batons screwed into the studio walls and ceilings to hang old white sheets and bits of fabric (from charity shops and my old textiles box) to make cheap, functional drapes. The idea was to hide much of the necessary clutter of the room, and also bounce more light about.

Nicki MacRae Studio White Floor
I had spotted a photo on an interiors website of someones home art studio, where they were using some sort of ex-industrial cart as a movable station for paints and brushes. It seemed such a great idea! With short notice I was able to source this old wooden drinks trolley from a local charity shop, and it’s just the job for keeping everything to hand!
Nicki MacRae Studio Easel
Finally I created a cosy corner, with another second hand bargain Lloyd Loom chair and some old side tables from around the house. The idea is to have somewhere to sit and flick art books and magazines, also somewhere for people to sit when they come into the studio to chat to me as I work (as they often do, especially my husband). It’s also a great spot to sit back and look at what you are working on and decide what needs fixing, or where to go next… The scarves are all treasured ones that I don’t often ware, they provide a little colour in an otherwise mainly white room – and now I get to see them everyday. the cushion is from the Tate shop.

Nicki MacRae Studio
All in all I’m so pleased with my new space!

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