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Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Studio / Office Design Project

Whistle While You "Work"!

Whew......these past few weeks have been busy! It's springtime and that means getting out into the beautiful weather, planting gardens, and tending to everything that has been patiently waiting for our attention all winter long. Beth and I just recently exchanged our love for spring and color (or colour as you will see in Beth's blog post below). I know it's a bit different here in Arizona, but March in the Desert Southwest is nearly heaven! It brings out the busyness in me!

I've felt much like one of the Seven Dwarfs these past weeks! (I'd rather feel like Snow White........alas....) The log in this photo, it's representative of the wood in each of the walls I've painted during the past 10 days. Oh my, that's a big log! Seriously, who needs a gym membership?!?

I've recently gotten back into a rental home after my tenants moved out. After owning it for many years, I've decided (rather reluctantly) that it is the best thing to list and sell the property. Are you like me, perusing through the long list of memories and sentiments that are attached to places and things? I truly believe that's why Beth and I are so in love with the pieces she finds in England. Each has a uniqueness, authenticity, and story of the former beloved owner. We are very drawn to the history of each treasure we find and even better when we can share them with you!

So this home is located in a charming part of Phoenix / Scottsdale called Arcadia. The lots are large and irrigated as they were former citrus groves (this area is the inspiration for our Arcadia Citrus Groves line of products?!). There is a little old orange tree and a huge pecan tree in the back yard. These trees love the irrigation water.

When I first purchased this property with my parents, my grandparents who lived in Iowa, used to travel down to Arizona and we all enjoyed being together there at the house for a few months so they could escape the long, cold winters in the Midwest. 

Nagel Dairy Farm, Rollie & Lillian Shover, c1969

I vividly remember my Grandpa (that's me holding his hand) sitting on the back patio shelling out pecans. He loved doing that and yum, were they a treat! **So, just a side note, you will never have cinnamon pecan rolls like my grandma used to make! She was Bohemian / Czech and well, need I say more? They were simply divine! I'm so thankful for my family and I really do miss my grandparents. They were wonderful, hard-working people.

Growing up on a farm creates close knit relationships and during the months my parents and grandparents were at the house in Arizona, my brothers, sisters, and their families would also come for visits. We had tables full of people at mealtime! No kidding! 

We also had to figure out where to let everyone sleep and the solution..........we called it the "Guest House" since many a guest stayed there over the years. We built it in the backyard right under the pecan tree, laid a little stone path that led you up to the front porch, and while it wasn't finished inside, made the cutest darn bunkhouse. When we were living there, my mom would plant trailing ivy and bright red geraniums in the window boxes. It was just charming!

After all those years, the sweet little spot needs some attention. Believe it or not, those window boxes were made from Wisconsin barn wood and someone dare paint over them. Urg.....(that's the next highest form of irritation over Ugh, just in case you were wondering).

This little building measures about 16' x 16', unfinished inside.

During the planning and marketing to sell this property, I have decided to build it out as the Piece de resistance. It is going to be a very fun, hip, and slightly industrial office / studio when I am done with it. 

Our FMF Compagnie Pinterest board, Studio Inspiration, holds some fun little tidbits and inspirations of style that may just end up being part of the final design.

 Architects Studio

I find this space so peaceful. I love the natural light, the old drafting table and industrial stool. A great place to write, don't you think?

 Antique Typewriter

This space is just fun with its eclectic mix of office tools, including that fun antique typewriter. I love the old leather books, the folding lamp, and even the empty frame. 

 Workspace with Paper Cutter

Do you have collections? If I could, I would collect old paper cutters. I have one and hope to add to my collection. How hand to have one attached to the end of the work table. I could really use that for our FMF Compagnie's "brown paper packages, tied up with string". I recently sold an antique English bread board and it was fun to wrap it in brown paper and tie it with string and embellish it with a huge tag that said "Thank You!". 

 Studio with Chalkboard

Here is another very inspiring space! I love the old typesetter cases with the tiny wooden drawers and itty bitty drawer pulls. I also love the idea of drafting ideas on the wall of chalkboard. 

I feel so inspired each time I scroll through the beautiful Pinterest boards that Beth has been working on! I guess it doesn't surprise me that I wanted to turn this space into a studio / office with a little bit of a loft feel.

And now, the studio in the process of being painted on the exterior.

This week, we will begin the interior build out. Here are a few things you might see in the final design.

But these pieces are really just part of the framework of the design. You will also be seeing some of these amazing pieces from our FMF Compagnie collection bring charm and usefulness to the space.

I'm really excited to show you the progress after this next week or two.  Stay tuned, I will keep you updated and in the meantime, don't forget to "Whistle While You Work".

Until then........

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