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It isn’t easy to find inspiration when you don’t have the space or privacy to let your creativity flow. Instead of shushing your busy household or trying to catch a moment of peace, try converting your garage into an art studio.
Whether you’re a blossoming artist or a seasoned craftsperson, there’s a way to turn your dream into a reality. Follow the seven steps below to get started.
1. Clear Everything Out
Before converting your garage into a beautiful art studio, you must first clear everything out. All the sports equipment, workout gear, tools and home supplies must go. Sort clutter into three piles: donate, toss and keep.
As a rule of thumb, if you haven’t used something in over a year, it’s time to say goodbye. Once you’ve pared down your belongings, relocate them to an attic, basement, shed or storage unit.
2. Rethink Your Floors
If your garage is like most others, it probably has a cement or epoxy floor. Unfortunately, these materials stain easily, so cleaning up spills and splatters could be challenging. That’s why it’s important to rethink your floors and install vinyl, linoleum, rubber or tile if you can swing it.
These materials are easy to clean, stain-resistant and rather affordable, making them excellent options for your studio. If new flooring is out of the question, lay down rosin paper to protect what you have.
3. Install Adequate Lighting
Lighting is another important factor to take into consideration. How many windows does your garage door have? Are there places to plug in lamps or light bulbs? Odds are you have little light to work with at the moment, which means you’ll have to make a few changes.
Install two to three high-powered shop lights in the ceiling and add a mobile light source to account for shadows. Skylights and additional windows can also provide natural light, but they could cost up to $2,481 each, so choose wisely.
4. Make Room For Storage
Just because your garage is empty now doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way. Think about all the art supplies you plan on using in your new studio. Where will you put your brushes, canvases, easels and other essential equipment?
Consider various storage solutions like shelves, built-in cabinets, and plastic bins or drawers. If you choose the latter options, remember to add labels to opaque containers so you have quick, easy access to materials and supplies.
5. Invest In Climate Control
Regardless of what medium you use to create your masterpieces, it’s important to maintain a consistent climate to display and store them. Otherwise, your artwork may melt, freeze, fade or dry poorly.
Insulate your garage and invest in climate control by installing a heating-cooling system. Choose an air conditioning window unit if possible. A dehumidifier may also come in handy, especially during humid Toronto summers.
6. Ensure Proper Ventilation
Art supplies like glue, dry-erase markers and paint, especially oil-based, often contain volatile organic compounds, many of which are harmful to humans. For example, benzene is a carcinogen that turns up in everything from craft supplies to car exhaust to pesticides.
The last thing you want to do is inhale those dangerous fumes. That’s why you must ensure proper ventilation through a window air conditioning unit, exhaust fans or an encaustic fume extractor.
7. Set Up Your Creative Space
Now it’s time for the fun part: setting up your creative space. Move your work table into your new studio and add any other furniture or supplies you might need. You might want extra chairs and table space if you’re teaching art classes out of the garage.
Meanwhile, those who express themselves through tapestries, sculptures and other unique art forms may want more elbow room. Whatever you include in your space, remember to personalize it and make it yours. It’s your studio, after all.
Making Your Art Studio A Reality
Converting your garage into an art studio is an exciting prospect, albeit a daunting one. The entire process can seem pretty overwhelming when you consider everything at once. That’s why it’s helpful to break it down into smaller steps.
Take them one by one and start small — your conversion will come together in time. Until then, enjoy making your art studio a reality.
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