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The Studio

Apr 3, 2012 by

Before. Heaps of displaced stuff, only one desk, ugly wall shelving (these were here when we moved in and were the only place for our clothes until I built the shelving/clothes rack in the bedroom), etc. 


I’d been putting off painting the studio for about 5 months, and it was the last room in the apartment that needed it. Now that it’s finished, it feels so good to have a nice clean work space! If you work at home like us, you know first hand that having a positive place to work makes the biggest difference in mood, productivity , and even hygiene (for me at least!). It’s the deciding factor in the daily question, “Am I going to shower, get dressed and get to work like a normal human, or am I going to work on the couch in my pajamas until the sun goes down?”

I finally had a plan to build wall-to-wall shelves above our desks, but first the walls needed to be patched, sanded, and painted. And, we needed to move all the shit out of the room first. We had JUST enough paint left over for the studio, and I’m so glad we didn’t have to make another trip to Home Depot for more. Prepping and painting the room took longer than I thought, though. I had hoped to finish in two days, but it ended up taking three. The first two days for patching and painting, and the last for building the shelves. Luckily, the shelves were easier than I thought they would be to install.

The boards for the shelving were really beat up, really cheap, 10 foot scaffolding planks that I scored for six bucks each at the lumber yard near our apartment. I had to cut them down and wire-brush the splinters off and give a good sanding to all 20 feet worth of dirty boards. It was hard and dusty, but after I oiled them up with some teak oil they started looking really good.

I was a little apprehensive at first because in order to hang the shelves I had to anchor into drywall-covered brick, but the guys at Oriental Lumber (of which is my only NYC Foursquare mayorship) were super helpful in recommending the right hardware and drill bit.

I ended up anchoring 1×1 blocks to the wall for the planks to sit on, and it worked out really well. They’re solid. Also, I think it looks a lot better this way rather than having installed ‘L’ brackets. All in all, it was a pretty cheap project – about $12 for the wood and maybe $40 for hardware, 1x1s, sandpaper and spackle.

Voila, that’s our studio.

Still on the list:

• Plants! As many as possible.
• Frame & hang more art
• Flat files
• Bulletin board(s)
• Stendig wall calendar
• Wide-format printer


DIY, Interiors


  • you guys make me hate my apartment, or rather, hate that i know little to nothing about DIY improvements. the studio looks A-MAZ-ING. well done sir!

    • THANK U! I don’t know much either, so don’t feel bad – I owe it all to the handy man (Dylan). And you’re welcome over any time…come craft with me!

    • Thanks! I’m so glad you like it and yeah, (what Leah said) come over anytime!

      The hardest part was getting 30 feet of scaffolding planks home and up the stairs… other than that, I just figured it out! I’ve never thought of myself as “handy.” I’ve never had any formal handyman training (ha!) and my dad never taught me how to fix cars or anything, but these days anything is possible with a little determination and the internet as your guide.

  • LOVE IT! clever shelving. the wood is really pretty, too. not sure if you guys were aware that you can purchase regular, not perfectly cut, (cheaper), lumber at the counter and pick it up outside by the warehouse doors. what you see inside, is not all that they have. i’m excited to see more!

    • I DID buy the wood outside, the boards we’re really dirty and splintery but SUPER CHEAP. I love that place. The boards took some extra work to clean up and cut but I really like how they turned out!

  • I never get tired of seeing all of the clever ways you guys are revamping your place. I hope you have a little house-warming party when you finish!

  • Love the shelves! I thought they were floating – the small wall anchors were a great invention!

    • Thanks! I really love how they turned out. And thanks for the mention on your blog too! Your home looks beautiful, it must be so nice (and a ton of work!) to have all that space.

  • This looks so awesome man, your making me look at mine like a bucket of yuck now, challenge accepted

  • Dylan: This is so sweet. (And I keep seeing glimpses of my grandma’s house with all the midcentury furniture. But Grandma Gert certainly wasn’t as stylish as you and Leah.) Great job. It’s fun watching you guys make this place yours!

  • Yay! I made it onto your new studio shelves!

  • Want to come over to my place and hang some shelves?

    Oh, and also, nice work!

  • [...] little update on this corner of the room, since we first posted about the studio last month. We have some new plants (including one in this Geo Planter I’ve been wanting [...]

  • [...] room  |  view Share this:DiggStumbleUponTwitterFacebookLike this:LikeOne blogger likes this post. [...]

  • I love the way the white blocks recede. Lovely, inspiring space.

  • [...] been almost 3 months since I installed the shelves and transformed the studio into an actual appropriate workspace. So, we decided it was high time to give you an update on what’s been going on around [...]

  • Oh wow! I loved all your posts but this one is especially… amazing(?) hahah :)
    I’m absolutely loving the studio. looks beautiful

  • [...] are more photos and info on their website – check it out! .nrelate_related .nr_sponsored{ left:0px !important; } /* In [...]

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