The thing about taking photos of your home studio is that you need to clean the place from top to tails before doing so. Sigh. I am fortunate that I’m in a position to have a room of one’s own, though, and here I get to show you how it’s come together as a study, workspace, guest room, secondary lounge, gaming corner, craft crap storage locker and thrift shop tchotchke showroom.
First, before I dive into the photos, a quick State of the Bush update: I’m combining my creative efforts – this blog, and my online shop where I sell mod handmade decor and letterpress prints – under the singular Saltbush Avenue banner. It’s easier to share updates in one spot, like on Facebook or on Instagram. I’d also like to write about creative work over here, like sharing the process of how a letterpress print gets made.
(My own design practice has also been running hot lately, and I love it. Give me a yell if you’d like some help with small business branding – it’s becoming an area of expertise.)
And as you can see in the illustration: I am now 30! The benefit of never being hot in the first place is that you’ll be less affected by your looks changing over time. (I also made a special drawing for my withered-up old uterus, since apparently I should be all-consumed by its barrenness. Womp womp.)
And now, going back to the study: here’s what it looked like when we moved in. Blue carpet, mauve walls, a mauve ceiling, and a boarded-up lacquered brick fireplace with no hearth. This room received the same freshening-up that the rest of the house got. We refinished the floorboards and painted it in Dulux Beige Royal, a warm grey that we got tinted half-strength.
And here’s how the room looks now. What’s good, room?! You’re a Home Studio™ now.
“Home office” is probably more apt than “home studio”, since this isn’t the messy stuff-making space. (That quote-unquote “space” tends to spread throughout the house and the carport, depending on the facilities needed.) Whatever the terminology, this room is also a secondary lounge since it’s the only room with air-con. Occasionally we pull the futon out and use the space as a guest room. Sometimes I lie on the couch in the afternoon and feel like I’m Don Draper getting to sleep off a hangover at work, because I can and no one can say jack about it.
The futon isn’t the most stylish piece of furniture, but it serves its purpose. We got it from a Gumtree seller a few years back. It has a solid timber frame, placing it well in the 10th percentile of Gumtree futons. The mattress cover is a vintage army blanket, and the plaid cushion is from West Elm. The pretty boxes on the bookshelf were an IKEA find, so, get on it. The C.T.F.D. print is by WRDBNR.
The study also needs to store my stuff! Materials, prints, packaging supplies, the works. Jamie snagged the metal plan drawers (aka flat file) from his work when they were offloading a set. (Utterly ridiculous, and I understand if you hate me a little bit after hearing that.) The steel bookshelf was homemade, by scratch, by myself and Jamie’s brother Sam. He wanted to test out his novice welding skills. I’ll never not be amazed at the sheer blokey self-reliance that you get out in the country, I’m just saying.
Sam also made the bookshelf, several years ago when he was still in high school (!). It’s made from Tasmanian specialty timbers: celery-top pine and myrtle. I placed a couple of floorboards underneath it, so that the bookshelf could sit flush against the corner and not wobble.
I’ll do a separate post about all the collected art and posters in this room, but the Melbourne-designers one was a promo poster for the Australian Design Biennale. Three of those posters are letterpress prints and one is a risograph. It’s like I have a thing for printmaking and typography or something, who would have guessed?
My standing workbench, constructed from an IKEA bar table base. I use it for odds and ends, and lately it’s getting a hammering as I use it for product photography. (Reminder to self: look into lighting for a home studio setup – the natural light in this room is Not Great.)
Two of my letterpress prints are currently up on the wall, to the side. They’re brothers.
Fixing up the fireplace was a job split into two: laying a brick hearth, and then finishing the makeover by getting a heat pump installed. We got the heat pump because it can be used for both heating and cooling. (Guess which one we use more in frosty ol’ Tasmania?) It’s not the sexiest-looking heater but it’s miles better than the before.
Most of this stuff is secondhand or vintage, including the furniture. I’m into the macho ’60s bull-on-cane artwork over the fireplace. It speaks to me.
The desk got a makeover post, too. It was my very first DIY project, way back when! And then I had to redo it completely, once a couple years passed and I realised how awful my “upcycling” actually looked. It’s a solid old thing, this desk. I like being able to prop my feet up on the crossbar.
Jamie and I share the desk. I hook up my work laptop to the monitor, since it’s larger than my laptop screen. Then I’ll wander off with my laptop in the evenings while he uses the desk for games. (That’s a homemade hackintosh you’re looking at, friends.)
The chair is a vintage Pipers Truline blackwood chair. Made in Tasmania, bought by me at the South Hobart tip shop for five dollars. I got two billy buttons off the plant in my garden, which makes me want to plant, like, ten of them next year. Turns out that craspedia come from Tasmania too. (They’re native all across Australia and NZ!)
I said I’d do a separate post for art, but the b/w illustration of the Overland Track is from my talented friend Becski Design.
Thanks for coming along on this little tour of my home studio, you guys. Hopefully there’s some good home office decor ideas in there, alongside the pointless ones. The new light fixture is the mid-century pendant from West Elm, the glass-topped coffee table came from Gumtree and I got the flat-weave wool kilim from eBay. I think that’s about everything? Any questions, praise, or critique – I’d love to hear it.
I’m looking forward to doing more of everything in 2017, and it’s already happening. More words, more crafts, more design. More everything.
Check out my other updates in the study: Initial plans; flat file storage; DIY linen-weave roller blinds, giving the disused fireplace a makeover; setting up a dedicated tea station; refurbishing the timber desk; assembling a workbench and inspiration board; making DIY timber magazine files; choosing a stylish light fixture.