An Art Studio That's a Step Up

A few years ago, my husband and I got the idea to paint the risers of our back stairs. We took leftover paint from every room on the first floor and alternated the colors.

My painted staircase.

We thought it was a fun and creative addition to the house. We were pretty proud of ourselves. But then I saw Melanie Royals's art studio.

Melanie has a stencil design business, and her studio is her showroom.

Literally every surface in the studio has pattern on it, including the concrete floors and the wood and cork floors with their stained, faux marquetry patterns.

The walls are decorated the walls with patterned plaster treatments, gilding, paint, and even glass beads. The designs continue onto the ceilings, with painted borders and repeat patterns.

Melanie Royals's staircase.

And yes, even the staircases. Every surface has been created to inspire.

What about your own studio? How do you use it to inspire your own art? If you open it up to clients or the public, how do you set it up to inspire them?

Here are some tips for making your studio reflect your art:

1. Create a gallery. Dedicate a shelf or part of a wall to a display of some of your finished art. Even if no one else sees it, looking at this purposeful shrine to your artwork will help get you through times of doubt or a creative drought. If you aspire to have your art on display in a gallery or shop, this in-studio gallery will help you focus on your goal.

2. Don't be afraid of color or pattern. Even if your art studio is small or exists in a corner of your home, make it your own with paint or pattern. If turquoise lights your fire, then paint a wall turquoise. If you love paisley, drape the window with a paisley shawl.

Melanie's walls and ceiling.

3. Use your collections. Cover the door jamb with colorful buttons, frame a mirror with a mosaic of found objects, hang beads in the window to catch the light. Make your space magical.

Melanie's studio is one of several jaw-dropping art studios in the Fall 2012 issue of Studios magazine. See the rest of Melanie's studio and get tips for storage organization throughout the issue, including a special focus on creative shelving. Then create an inspirational space of your own.

P.S. Have you decorated your studio in an unusual way? Tell me about it in the comments below, and include a link to a picture, if you have one.


Art Business, Blog


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