I run Strange Fruit from home around my day job, the kids and other projects so you can figure that ours is a busy household. When we got to the point of boxes of envelopes becoming permanent features in our living room we realised we either had to move or I needed to find a studio space to work from. A studio was a lovely thought, my own space with no distractions that I could make my very own. But then again I like the kids, the husband and the general busy-ness of our house and as I am out all day working on something I had to ask myself if it was fair of me to spend my Strange Fruit time working in a studio way from home?
The thinking began, maybe the solution was to build a studio at home and we started looking into building a posh shed in the garden or a conservatory. Both do-able but then another question to answer – do we actually like this house enough to invest in it so we have to stay in it? The answer all round was a big fat NO!
So the house search for a new house was on, it had to house us and have studio space for Strange Fruit and general creative messiness. Just a few months later we and our many many belongings and a few boxes of envelopes were headed two miles up the road to a wreck of a house with a glorious basement that had the ‘potential’ to be become the Strange Fruit Studio. It was also the first house we looked at. Everything was coming together; the only downside of this plan was the house was a wreck, but oh what a beautiful one.
So here we are! And in the last three months we have ripped out the bathroom (it took the builder seven long stressful weeks to fit a new one), done the best we can with the kitchen and decorated the Boy's room. We are being methodical – such a bore – but it is so necessary to work through the house in order.
To give you an idea of how much work each room is, here is the bathroom, before and after.
There was no way we could live with that bathroom!
The next room to get decorated will be the back bedroom which will be my temporary studio. I am so happy.
Doing the house in order means most of my possessions are still in boxes and I have not been able to unpack even my paper scalpel – I have around a zillion collages and card designs I want to work on and as soon as ‘my’ room is done I can. The curb on my creativeness is really really hard. I wasn't expecting this at all. The day to day business side is manageable but I was not emotionally prepared for how difficult not being able to make a creative mess would be. I have to keep remembering our move is for the greater good for all of us and my creative sanity.
As for the basement, the whole reason why we moved – funnily enough it will be done after we have done the garden, built an en-suite in our bedroom, re-plastered the hallway and the living room, restored the cornices in the house and taken care of buying and hanging lots and lots of Victorian doors.
In the meantime I dream of calm uncluttered work spaces like these beauties I found on Pintrest where my I collect my house inspirations.