The front of the garage/barn, in all it's 100-year-old glory.

Garage to Studio, Phase I

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The front of the garage/barn, in all it’s 100-year-old glory.

One of the things that I loved about our house, upon first sight, was the ramshackle barn that is the garage.  It is the perfect spot for something that I have always dreamed about having: my very own, grown-up art studio.  But, in its current condition (though it is such a fun photo-shoot backdrop), it just doesn’t pass muster: dirt and debris seem magnetically drawn through the cracks and crevices of those old barn doors, the electrical is worrisome, at best, and with no insulation, it is a sweat lodge in the summer and an ice box in the winter.  For the last four years, I have pined bitterly for my studio, but with all the work that needed our attention/funds in the house, it has routinely found itself at the bottom of the priority list.  But finally, finally! we are moving forward with it, and I am beside myself with excitement to be able to get my art back on.  It’s going to be a lengthy process, so to adequately cover it from start to finish, there will be many more posts to come.  Everyone’s on the edge of their seat, I know.

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The west side of the barn, though charmingly shabby, is getting a face-lift, too.

So somehow, after starting the weekend like this:Garage renovation at

….we managed to get our butts to work.  The current interior of the garage, I am embarrassed to say, is a dark, disorganized, post-apocalyptic outpost that looks something like this:

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Notice the chubby kitty to the left. She’s hard to miss.

The first phase of the project called for building a large storage closet in the back corner of the barn.  But first, the area had to be cleared, including removing all the haphazardly attached odds and ends of wood that were tacked along the walls, as well as removing the morning glory vines that had grown inside and turned it into The Not-So-Little Shop of Horrors.

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The cool salvaged machine-shop shelving is staying….just had to get it untangled from the death-clutch of the vine beast.
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The Texan measures the freshly-cleared space. Notice the ‘window to nowhere’ on the right-hand side. That’s staying. It’s awesome.
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The white dog helps the Texan with an engineering issue.
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A small handful of the THOUSANDS of old nails we pulled out of the various mish-mash of materials that were tacked up to act as interior paneling.
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The growing pile of mish-mash that was pulled off the walls….keeping all of it, of course, to use in future fun projects. This place is an old-wood gold mine!
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One of several sets of old, rusted, lovely shelf brackets salvaged from the barn walls. Definitely going to be up-cycled! I love me some junk.
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The skeleton of the new closet goes up!

Unfortunately, since we are far from done, I am going to reserve all ‘after’ shots until the whole thing is done.  Oh, the humanity!

Phase II coming soon….


  1. So exciting!! I love starting on projects! and I love the old brackets!

  2. Well, I’m just going to ask… did you leave the only window inside the closet? I hope that isn’t your only look-out at the world. Of course, a new window isn’t that hard to install these days. I envy you being able to tackle a project like this. I am in my 60’s now and wouldn’t dream of it anymore. Did my fair share in my day, that’s for sure!! Hope it doesn’t take too long… you gotta get in there!

    • It’s a 100-year-old window (or somewhere around that number) that has been covered with siding somewhere along the way. It’s completely non-functional, but we are leaving it because it’s funny to us. We are, however, installing two new windows along the west side (where there is currently only one window). Gotta let some light in there! 🙂

  3. I’m with Bobbie. So glad you reuse all the junkie finds.

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