The Creative Studio – 7 Ways To Find Your Design Center

A creativeLeslie Shrewing blog

Finding your creative center may involve nothing more than dedicating a little space, picking up a paint roller and assembling the things that inspire you.

Whether you write, blog, journal, craft, paint, or do interior design professionally or within the confines of your home may require you to re-think your space plan and carve out some square feet within which to seek that inspirational muse. It does not need to be an office! There are plenty of creative people out there who don’t allow their initiative to be limited by space. Working effectively with an economy of space is best achieved by triangulating 1) organized access 2) storage 3) a work surface that optimally is expandable.

a wall-mounted table with legs cut away frees space underneath for supplies storage – image via nom,nom,nom tumblr

As I am so fond of advocating, limitations are the impetus for genius and discovery. Whether that studio constitutes a reworked close, a spare room, a garage, or your dining room table with supplies artfully displayed in a china cabinet makes little difference to the end result – the exercise in question people, is taking the hill – and planting the flag that makes this your space.

But a creative studio is a little different than an office – triangulating the first 3 steps is a start. The home office and creative studio share the same goals of access, organization, productivity – and perhaps profitability. But business has an impersonal edge by necessity. It requires a mindset geared entirely toward productivity that can best be attained by forging an environment that draws a distinct line between personal and professional zones.

Finding your creative muse requires creating harmony between those lines drawn in the sand around that designated work area, and creating definition of all those layers that assembled define you.

Here are some thoughts and inspiration to inspire you to quarantine that creative and define that creative oasis at home.

image via

1) If your big aspirations are small in scale, a small space will do – include your favorite colors, necessary tools and supplies and a bright window to put get bright light on the subject.

image via Hallie Burton –

2) If you blog or write, you need room for a lap top and maybe a sketch book – the rest is about inspiration. You may want to lose a globe for some elbow room – seriously – but putting all the things in front of you that you for various reasons is like compiling images from a CAT scan that assembled create a recognizable and detailed image – of you.

image via decorology blog

3) OK, if you’ve got it, use it! It would be criminal to omit the queen of organized creative productivity. Martha Stewart is a person gifted with a unique understanding of harnessing the relationship between big picture and detail, and blending function with creative inspiration.

AlmostBunnies’ tiny desk office

No, this is not Martha’s desk! But it demonstrates perfectly the paradigm she coined between muse and perfection she so successfully coined – AND – the fact that you can do it, too. I see: a work surface, three vintage glasses updated by identical grouping, stacked cardboard boxes, some storage containers available in any craft store, some stamped creations (probably creations of the office administrator) hung on string, and a letter that plants the flag of the designer. You can do this, too!!!!!!!!!!!!!

image from Katie of PAPERFASHION

4) Decorate your creative studio with some of your best moments in your creative career – and if you are just getting started, hang inspiration from other crafters, writers or other artists that inspire you, and replace them one by one with your own creations – don’t compete; aspire!

image via Unhappy Hipsters blog

5) If you have no place to go and need more room, go up! Modern trellis shelving will do the trick.

image from lovelydesign Fliker

If you don’t have mid-century modern shelving, traditional free-standing cube units are just as effective – Shining floors inspire me!

from remodelista

6) Finally, if you are a designer, professional or otherwise, limit the direct influence of color in your immediate work area. This sounds really counter-purpose but trust me. Color has influence and persuasion on other colors. When you step away from your colorful work area with a color palette conceived in proximity to competing strong, cheerful color you may get an unwelcome surprise….

Jessica Senti via Kathy Davis from What say beauty blog

7) OK – If you just can’t live without color, keep those walls white and situate your work surface in close proximity to a significant natural light source! Natural light has a muting effect on the coercion of color.

It’s Saturday – why are you still reading this?? Find your favorite glass, flower, vintage pin. pillow, chair and drag in a work table. There’s loads of paint color inspiration and info here on Re-Do it Design, and if you need more, try Pinterest – grab a roller and some paint, and get inspired!

An image I find really inspirational – image via Julia Hoersch