An (almost) Finished Writing Studio

(window boxes with flowers and Boxwoods someday soon...)

Only about 6 short weeks ago, Mike and I started a project. We had a very limited budget but big ideas and dreams for the humble concrete pad and roof off of our detached garage. We had $300 in a fund from Mike's mom; a stockpiling of Christmas gift and Birthday gifts from the past year. We've never been ones to back down from a challenge~ especially a budget challenge. And this writing studio was no different.
Everything but this $40 couch (a find on Craigslist) was brought in from what we already had.

With a stack of reclaimed horse farm boards ($.50 a board) and a Craigslist App we dove head first into the project. Old windows from a friend in town, some elbow grease from another to help frame and install them, tireless hours of nailing in old oak boards, priming and painting...and voila. Mike's skills as the ultimate handyman have always amazed me. This project surpased my wildest expectations.
Painted Concrete Floors

The only idea we had to lay aside was the hope for a sleeping loft for the boys. We might add it on sometime down the road but for now, sleeping bags on the floor will have to do.
Of course, it is a working studio...so by this weekend it will house the computer, printer and loads of papers flying everywhere. Oh why can't electronics come in soft buttery yellow and gray? The black HP printer has to go and ruin a perfect ambiance.
In time there will be more decorating ahead. I am terrible about committing to things on the wall. Once its there, its there and I'm fine. Its just nailing those darn holes in the wall...crazy stressful.
And, oh my!!! Before I forget. That sweet heart above the mantle? Ezra, my six year old painted that last weekend with some help from his Nan. I'm in love.

Click here for the picture below to look at a full photo tour~


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29 comments:

  1. It's a fantastic job, and a beautiful space.

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  2. You amaze me with your design on a budget!! It looks perfect! And I completely hear you on the electronics, haha Isn't that a millionaire idea ;) Nice work Mike!!! Handyman skills makes me fall in love with Aaron over and over haha!

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  3. If you didn't disclose that you only spent $300, I would have guessed it was easily 10 times that! I'm a deals kind of girl but even I am impressed with this thrifty endeavor! It looks fabulous!

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  4. I need to design/build a girls' and boys' room on a very tight budget. Where do you get your ideas?

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  5. Wow, congratulations to this wonderful space!

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  6. Danielle~ I actually just went in and added a breakdown of cost on the Flickr photostream along with where we got most things. We really lucked out with Craigslist, Restore and old discarded items from friends. Its amazing what people have laying around that they would love to have taken off their hands! ;) There were definitely elements that I had to let go....like the perfect outside paint color. It isn't my dream color but heck...it was a 5 gallon bucket at Restore for $20. Flexibility is key. When we get one certain idea and don't waiver from it thats when the price in paint goes from $20 to $160 for a 5 gallon of the perfect paint color. Wowzers!

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  7. Momuvfour76~ Hopefully that comment above helps. I get a lot of ideas from what we already have to work with. Ingenuity is key on a tight budget!

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  8. I have been so excited to see you studio!! I love to see before and after photos of projects :o) You guys did a great job!

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  9. I love the feel of the room you've created! It's beautiful.

    By the way, it's not a perfect solution, but shelf paper can make appliances (and walls) pretty in a removable fashion. It would take some creativity (which you've got), but you might like the result. I've stuck a sheet on the back of my laptop and drawn on it, and cut rose petals out of it to decorate a broken wall and an ugly black lamp. The nice thing, is you can just peel it back off if you find a better solution or don't like the effect.

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  10. Thanks Karen for the tips! I might have to try my hand at something like that. The thought of bringing big black electronics in makes me cringe!

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  11. Wow! Turned out beautiful! I hope you enjoy every minute in there. Don't know if you mentioned it or not, but did you insulate the walls?

    For your printer and other un-sightlys: I see you have a sewing machine in there, so I'm sure you could sew slip covers to cover them when not in use. Not only will it give you a pop of color/interest, it will also keep it from getting dusty!

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  12. Megan!

    The space has such a peaceful nature. Congratulations on creating the space and accomplishing it as a family! I love the entire space.

    My favorite slice of the studio pie is the front porch. A front porch invites one to sit in a relaxed environment and connect through conversation. Additionally, the porch allows you to maintain a solitude behind the door.

    Completely inspiring!

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  13. Heidi~ The slipcover is a genius idea. Thank you! And yes...we did insulate the walls for the elements. It ate into the budget a bit but well worth the cost.

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  14. Theresa~ I love your wording..."my favorite slice of the studio pie..." Perfect. Yes, I too love the porch. It was mostly in an effort to keep the studio a shoe free environment by allowing everyone a place to sit down and remove shoes...but I envision lots of cool fall evenings and conversation out there...come join me! ;)

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  15. Thanks Robbie. That's a perfect "Robbie" response. I will cherish it always on this blog post.

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  16. Wow, what a beautiful studio! Bravo on the handy works and being able to make such a cozy space with the budget. I love the rustic feel to it, too.

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  17. i LOVE it! great job.

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  18. Really lovely. What kind of paint did you use on your concrete floor? Anything specific?

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  19. Hi Megan!
    I love your little nook. SO homey...indeed every homemaker's dream haven. That little sewing machine looks really cute. I am inspired how you make beautiful things happen without the financial aspect being a burden. Keep on posting and making our homes lovelier more than ever...

    I do have some wonderful news to share with you, I hope you don't mind? We are moving to a new domain http://www.yumgoggle.com, (previously myfudo.com) this has been a project we have been working on for almost a year now. We just launched our new gallery submission site, and we are just thrilled. Unique and interesting bloggers like you will make the Yumgoggle gallery more fun and exciting.

    We'd love you to join the latest virtual shindig that is all about food photography, food in general, recipes, and culinary trends. We’d be proud to have your work as part of our growing collection to continue to have a larger reach and further inspire all fellow food lovers out there! Please sign up and check us out (it's free) www.yumgoggle.com/gallery . We look forward to seeing your wonderful pictures, as always.

    p.s. We are hosting a Kitchen Aid Mixer Giveaway to celebrate our new Yumgoggle site, coming soon in our launch post, we hope you'll participate =)

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  20. thisisallyj~ we lucked out finding actual floor paint at Home Depot in the "oops" paint section. I think it was called a "porch and floor paint." We primed the concrete with just a basic primer and then did 2 coats of the floor paint. Its held up really well thus far. I'm sure we'll have to touch up from time to time but we're ok with that ;)

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  21. Thank you Yumgoggle! I will for sure check out the site. Thanks for stopping by!

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  22. When I come down to visit can I please sleep in there? So, so dreamy.

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  23. Cheryl....you are welcome too. We might need to install the sleeping loft first. That couch is pretty tiny ;) It is quite dreamy. I'm still scared to get it too messy or dirty. That'll pass. I will be breaking it in tomorrow night with my first girls studio night. Wish you were here!

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  24. Megan, it's so perfectly YOU! That sofa is to die for and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the floors... I am, however, looking for that pink silk?!;)

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  25. this is so amazing and lovely!! i'd love to hang out in there! the heart is beautiful and i love how you hung the curtain on that branch. you are so talented!

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