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Out with the old and in with the LIGHT!

Look at light and admire its beauty. Close your eyes, and then look again: what you saw is no longer there; and what you will see later is not yet.

Leonardo Da Vinci

It’s been a month (or a few) of makeovers from my career strategy, website, and now studio.  I am not ashamed to admit that I really love working from home.  I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s a perfect fit for me.  Since I spend so much time in my home studio, I decided it was time for a mini makeover.  My biggest goal with this was to lighten things up but keep it pretty, of course.  Light bounces off of light colors, therefore creating more light, but it’s absorbed into the darks – and my studio was dark abundant.   So I’ve made 3 changes to brighten things up and wanted to share them because they were so EASY to do.  

Panorama of my studio space before makeover

#1 PAINT – Nothing lightens up a room quicker than a coat of white paint.  

When we bought our house, everything was painted this dark butter yellow. a very tuscan in theme overall, which I love, but everything was this same color – it was a little much.  My studio, in particular, which has 5 windows, didn’t seem to have enough light.  Granted, 3 windows are shaded by a giant palo verde tree, which I am grateful for in the summers, but they were also framed in heavy blue curtains and valances.  Beautifully created and a perfect fit with the rest of the house, (I felt bad about not being able to use them), but they had to go.  Very happy to have one thing done, I moved on to 2 coats of ‘Marshmallow’ by Valspar. How could I resist a color called Marshmallow? It’s just off white enough to keep it on the warm side. This made such a big difference and it felt more she-shed-studio then cozy-cave.

And because I’m such a girl, I created a shimmery gold 1 inch border around all the window frames.

#2 MORE PAINT – Why stop at the walls?  

If there is something else in your space that is sucking up all the light – paint it or retain it a lighter color.  In my case it was my built in cabinets – dark wood which was beautiful, but too dark for the light airy feeling I was going for. I can’t change the counter top, yet, so I painted the cabinets myself.  

I was really nervous about this for several reasons…

First, this is the cabinet style that runs throughout the house so I was nervous about changing this set and ruining the continuity throughout.  I’m a little OCD like that :). But then I said, what the heck, I need the light.  

Second, I’d never painted cabinets before and knew it was a bit of an undertaking but again, it had to be done.  In the end, it actually turned out really well.  Would I do this to my kitchen cabinets?  Definitely not myself.  Because I didn’t have the equipment to spray them, it was really difficult to get into all the details and especially that rope pattern.  But, I did it and they actually turned out great. Another step up on the lighter brighter scale

*I also transformed my grandparents old stereo cabinet. Check out how I did it here.

#3 PEEL & STICK – This is my favorite transformation!!!  

My desk is actually a 104 x 38 inch dining table we bought as a floor model.  The length is perfect because my computer setup alone takes up close to half of that but it along with most everything else on my desk is a dark light sucking color.  So I thought first of painting it and wouldn’t it be amazing with a faux marble done by hand? Considering how much time that would take and my current workflow, I thought I’d look into an alternative.  

My hubby found this peel and stick wall paper from RoomMates and It couldn’t be more perfect.   He purchased 2 rolls which measure 20.5” x 16.5’ each.  The desk took two slightly overlapping panels with enough hangover to wrap the edges.  This was perfect because it looks more like a marble slab and is also less susceptible to peeling.  Because the edge of the paper is on the underside of the desk, it won’t have much daily were, if any at all.  Overall, the desk transformation turned out so great – it even fooled my parents who came to visit.  The surface is smooth, I can wipe it down easily, which I couldn’t do with the original faux dark wood texture. Best thing…I had extra and was able to cover the wood top of my painting table (seen in the first pic). BONUS!!  

There’s still a lot I want to do to finish off my space. The next step is to re-create the original valances in white. My sewing skills are limited but it’s a challenge I want to take on in the next few months. In the mean time, I’ll enjoy the light in here while creating new painting and patterns. And since summer is right around the corner, the indoor light is the only light I’ll be partaking in 🙂

My Supplies

Valspar interior Eggshell paint in ‘Marshmallow’
Divine Paint in ‘Pirouette’ (this is the pink behind my build ins)
‘Uzma Circles’ stencil from Royal Design Studio
Valspar cabinet and furniture oil enriched enamel in ‘White’
Room Mates Peel & Stick Wallpaper ‘Carrara Marble’

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