using corner clamps

Okay so I know you are not going to feel one ounce of pity for me.  I get it.  But I am going to share anyway.  I need a bigger studio! Poor, poor, pitiful me, right?  I know. I know.  It is kind of like saying “I have so much money I don’t know what to do with it,” or “I am so annoyed I have to go on an all-expense vacation with my hubby without my kids to some tropical location.”  Yep no one feels sorry for me.

So upon moving to the great state of Indiana from Washington we purchased a house.  Everyone told us to purchase a house bigger than we needed because the house values don’t really go up here.  Therefore, you can’t bank on making money off your home to upgrade.  So in typical Farrant style we found a foreclosure with zero character, 3900 square feet, in a young neighborhoood in a cul-de-sac.  For the last 5 years I have done (what I think it is a good job) a lot of work to add some life and character to my home.


While 3900 square feet, 5 bedrooms and 3 baths is plenty big for our family of 4 we were considering upgrading.  We didn’t necessarily need a bigger house just a different layout of space.  One of the biggest problems was that my current work area wasn’t working for me.  I have a 10’ x 11’ room for my creative adventures.  I never really set out to make this my studio it just kind of evolved into that. So it has been a hodge podge of stuff to try and make it functional.



And every month, without fail, I ended up spending a good 4-hour chunk organizing, purging and attempting to improve it.  Unfortunately I can’t make it bigger.  So we were considering moving (there were other reasons too).  Tim and I both just felt that the next house was going to be our forever house and both of us were not ready to make that commitment.  So after wavering back and forth a hundred times we decided to utilize our loft (which was currently an underused game room) and turn it into my studio.

Loft area and future studio area


The decision was difficult because Tim and I always think about resale value.  I knew the decision to make a studio out of the loft wasn’t really an upgrade to our house and wouldn’t improve its value other than to me.  I know…I know…let it go, your house has to be functional for you. I get it.

We decided we were staying and the studio was going upstairs where I would have double the space and be able to actually work up there.  My current studio is more of a craft storage room.  I always go in, get the supplies I need, and then work in the kitchen.  I got a bid from a local contractor, and to do what I wanted to do in my studio was going to cost $12,000.  After catching my breath I decided there was no way my cheap hiney would spend that kind of money.  I checked into getting some cabinets and such from IKEA.  That was still going to be $5,000-$6,000.  Yowsers.

And then I met Sawdust Girl.  Okay so maybe it wasn’t that dramatic.  Sandra and I were blogging friends and I always admired her amazing woodworking skills.  But I always chalked it up to “yah but Sandra is amazing I could never do what she does.”

I mean….look…she built these built ins for her living room. I could never do that, or could I?



And her drool worthy executive master closet that I want to just live in.  You have to watch the video it is so worth it.  I could never do that, right?


Her most recent jaw-dropping project was her library.  Again you have to click over to watch her video of it. Uh-ma-ZING!  There is no way I could make something like that, see?



Sandra said she could teach me. I was thinking…okay maybe I could fly her out and she could help me do this. She said that was an option — she was starting a new venture as “virtual DIY coach”. She convinced me that I could do this (with her guidance via video chat)!

She reassured me that she would come help me with the tricky parts if I REALLY thought I needed her. She thinks I have what it takes to do the whole project. Gulp! What have I gotten myself into??? Could I really do this?

Off I went to Lowes to gather supplies and I started this DIY adventure.

To read more check out the first part of my Sawdust Diary.  And here is Part 2 of My Sawdust Diary.Beckies-Story1

Similar Posts


  1. But ya know what? I highly doubt what you’re doing is going to be specific enough to warrant a “oh my god, this room sucks!” Everything I’ve seen through your fb pics shows that you’re making some really awesome changes that could work for anyone! The next owners could make it a library, an office, a playroom, even an extra guest space. I’m so excited to see your new studio!!! You and Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick are making me itch to add built ins somewhere in our house. 🙂

  2. Looks great. Just one note: I think you meant to write “I can Build, She can Help” with a D. You wrote a t instead.

  3. Nessa,
    Good point. I think all that extra storage does lend itself to be versatile. I did make one change to the plan and decided not to do a built in desk but rather just a free standing desk. That way the room really could be anything.

  4. Actually I DO sympathize with all the aching muscles and backs having had two rounds of cortisone shots in my lower back in a 12 month span.

    You and Tim are doing a massive project…stepping out in faith and that can feel like a freefall in the beginning. What I get from your post is that you guys are finding your “rythm” and breaking it down into segments rather than staring at the overwhelming overall!

    This will be a space that is enviable to anyone who looks at your home to buy in the future. It can be easily converted to any type of room they want and still keep the built-ins to use as needed. I see it as a selling point in a home as spacious as yours.

    You’re doing a great job, one step at a time, and I am really impressed. I, too, have thought I’m not quite capable enough. You are inspiring me to create a built-in for my living room for tv and computer. When I get to that, I’ll be sending you messages!

  5. Wow! Your room will be so great! I am in the midst of organizing and setting up shop in a small room but you are giving me hope that someday I will build a glorious work space.

  6. Awww thanks for the encouragement. We will see. It is looking so good and every time I walk past it I am so stinkin proud!

  7. It is just nice to have a space to claim as your own. I am lucky in the sense that we had some underused space to make my crafty area big.

  8. You can do it. Sandra can help if you need to hire some assistance to walk you through. Just knowing I can call her with questions is so helpful. I think you are right…I mean who doesn’t love extra storage? I think the future home buyer of my home will love it as much as I do.

  9. Your challenge makes me want to finish something, anything!!! It looks envy-worthy to all of us DIY wannabe’s out here! Keep going…we need the inspiration!

  10. How rewarding would finishing a closet like that be! Sawdust girl is awesome!!! Knowing what you’re capable of from your blog Beckie, I think you’ll check this challenge off your list and be clicking your heels together too in no time! Thanks so much for sharing, can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  11. Awww thanks Nicholas. I have the crown to hang and then filling in the holes. We start painting on MOnday and then onto the doors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *