I'm a full time designer/artist who is sharing a live/work space with another designer. The space is an apartment with high ceilings and lots of light, but no closets. Technically that's a lie, but the one closet we have is small and has to be kept fairly clear because that's where the light switches are (old buildings have so much character!) We've both been taking on a lot of client work recently and we're working to make the space better for meeting with clients, making work, and entertaining friends.
I've made art for a long time and, basically, I just have a lot of stuff. Not accumulated worthless junk, but useful supplies for a wide variety of projects that I need to be able to access easily and quickly.
I've already done the hardest part. I pulled EVERYTHING out of its boxes to completely organize and inventory it. It took a lot of time but it was worth it. I've never been good at organizing but I was losing so much time hunting for things that it was affecting my ability to create work and take care of my client's needs.
I started using Evernote. This was a turning point for me, as I've never managed to really be organized before. I have a whole bunch of standard office paper boxes. I numbered each one. In Evernote I made a 'note' for each number, then listed the contents of the box in that note. For things that would be complicated to inventory with text (like my assorted studs and brads) I also tagged in pictures. I can access this information on my computer (via a program I downloaded), on the internet, and on my smartphone. This means that I no longer find myself in an art store trying to remember if I need more pthalo blue paint, I just look it up on my phone. When I'm working on a project and need a specific material I just search it in Evernote and go pull out the right box. I also use evernote to keep track of project inspirations, shopping supply lists, and other info I want handy to make my project work easier. I've saved countless hours and finished a lot more work.
Now, on to the plan for upgrading the functionality and aesthetics of my space. First off, I need shelves. Many of them. It's awfully demotivating to know what box I need and realize I have 6 heavy boxes stacked on top of it. Shelves will fix that. I have a wide underutilized hallway that could be lined with book shelves.
Next, I need a table for meeting with clients. I love the Goran table. I would cover it in an elaborate wood veneer (similar to my Hidden Treasure Box.) That box was inspired by antique maps so the plan is to finish a dream project and veneer a world map on this table. That should be enough to impress most design clients, though honestly I would be happy just to not have to meet people in coffee shops anymore! Goran is perfect because it folds up - meet with clients during the day, have friends over for dinner in the evening, then fold it up and tuck it out of the way so that my roommate can lay large pieces of fabric out on the floor for her projects or I have room to run my painting robot. I would love to have a few more of those tables that I could paint out in solid colors or leave in a plain wood grain to use as photo backdrops for the projects I publish online. There's nothing better than a table that's there when you need it and out of the way when you don't, unless it's also useful as a photo backdrop.
After that stuff is handled my next goal is to replace the ugly office boxes with more sturdy and attractive ones, ideally the kind with little card holders built in so that I can easily maintain my numbered box system. A couple closed armoire style cases would be nice for fabric storage to keep the dust off of things. Some shelving in the bedrooms would be nice, too, with the whole no closets thing.
Better office chairs would make the designing, writing and photo editing a lot more comfortable. It would be nice to have a permanent home for my sewing machine as well. I have a few crazy ideas about hacking a coffee table with LEDs, too.
Finally I want to improve my selection of serving dishes for better food tutorial pictures, I've accumulated some nice pieces but I could use a bit more variety.
I really just want a space that is finished enough to meet with clients and versatile enough that I can get a LOT done!
Runner Up in the
Share Your Space Challenge