By Erik J. Martin
One benefit of the lingering pandemic and how it has forced us to spend more time indoors is that it has, for many, unleashed our inner Van Goghs. Plenty of folks have used the lockdowns and sequestering as an opportunity to turn to artistic endeavors, crafting, and hobbies to let off steam and express their creative sensibilities.
In fact, according to the most recent finding of Houzz’s 2021 Emerging Home Design Trends Report, online searches for the term “art studio” increased 875% in 2021 versus 2020. That’s a strong indication that more homeowners are transitioning spots in their abodes to art studios and workshops where crafting, knitting, painting, sculpting, and other creative pastimes can be indulged.
“These research findings suggest that people and families are focusing more on allowing their own artistic interests, hobbies, and passions to shape the environments they want to live in,” says Jill Williams, a professional watercolorist and painting instructor. “I think many people want more from their living spaces than the traditional dining room and den arrangements that haven’t really served the modern family lifestyle in decades. And I’m convinced that all the time we’ve spent at home over the past year-and-a-half have been a catalyst for people to be introspective, reflective, and responsive to their creative callings like never before.”
With all the uncertainty since 2020, all of our nervous energy needs to be channeled somewhere, and art is the perfect outlet. Having a place in your home to create whatever you want whenever you want is ideal.
A spare bedroom or attic space is the ideal location for a craft room or art studio.
The higher your chosen space is in the home, ideally the more natural light you’ll be able to see. You will better relax if it is a room where you feel comfortable and liberated.
Williams agrees that a spare bedroom or another unused area that offers at least 11 x 12 feet can be the perfect spot.
“Spare bedrooms often feature one or more windows for lighting and a closet for storage options; plus, they are typically located in a quieter, low-traffic area of the house adjacent to a bathroom or half-bath, which provides easy access to water for art-making and cleanup,” she notes. “You may also be able to effectively create a mini-portable set up around your kitchen table or garage.”
Your designated space should accommodate a worktable, desk, or easel and additional storage furniture like a taboret for painters or
a sewing cabinet for quilters, Williams adds. A small loveseat or chair can be added for studio guests, and a bedroom closet can have shelving added to maximize your storage space.
“Good lighting is your first consideration, so make sure there are windows or be prepared to install new lighting fixtures to compensate,” Williams says.
Consider your floor covering, as well. Easy-to-clean bare floors are best for nearly every form of art to protect against stains or spills.
“My art studio is located in my basement, because there’s simply no other place for it in our house,” says Marissa Likar, owner of Stitchclinic.com. “You want to choose a room or area where you don’t have to change the basic functions of that space and that can be easily converted back to another type of space if you want to sell your home in the near future.”
Even if you’ve not engaged in a creative hobby or artistic activity in the past, there’s no time like the present to start.
“A good candidate for a studio is someone who wants to create daily and has the room and resources to accommodate that initiative,” Likar says.