Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Creative Zone

Create your own custom-designed space



I like that I get to mix things up creatively on a daily basis. I can be working on design projects at one point, shooting a makeover for a magazine or TV later on, and—one of the most rewarding aspects of what I do—having an in-home consultation with a homeowner. 

I started doing in-home consults a few years back to help homeowners freshen up their space. Often homeowners live in their house every day and cannot “see” it anymore. They cannot see the potential because that isn’t what they do. It’s what I do. I come in with a new set of eyes and a fresh perspective. I share ideas and come up with creative solutions that are attainable and will make their living space more functional. I get to see what dilemmas homeowners are facing design-wise, some of which can be solved by moving furniture around or sketching some ideas. In any case, I leave them with a plan of action for change.  

Let me share a makeover project that stemmed from such a consult with a homeowner who wanted to have a creative space to work in. As you can see, the “before” space is a great example of a room that was intended to be a creative space but didn’t quite get there. Look familiar? Often, procrastination or fear of making the wrong choices gets in the way of good home spaces coming to life. 

I begin every consult the same way—looking at the positive and negative things about a space—and then come up with a plan of action for making it the best it can be. That is just what I did when I walked into this little barn studio for the first time.

The small barn had a vintage feel to it, and the space did not inspire the client to be creative. It just didn’t have that vibe. So my task was to bring that vibe to life quickly because it is important to show a client that you can turn a room around fast and give it a new look—and feel. 

It’s all about being organized and I’m very much a “to-do list” type of guy, so here’s what I needed to do for this project:

Remove every item from the room.

Paint the walls white. Paint all the doors, beams, and trim black. I wanted the new foundation look for the room to be black and white, which would give the space a contemporary feel. I chose milk paint from the Real Milk Paint Company because the building was historic and this  eco-friendly paint jibes with what was used in the old days. 

Lighting is the key to creating an inviting room and especially in this space, which needed to be brightened up. I replaced the overhead, dated pendants with a more industrial-style fixture and some simple halogen spots from Ring’s End to illuminate the room better. 

Next, it was about creating areas. I wanted a central work area that was movable if needed. So I chose stainless-steel work tables from a restaurant-supply company to act as my main island. One can work standing up or pull up a stool and work on a laptop.

An unfinished wooden bookcase was painted white and positioned in the center of the room to serve as a backdrop for the work area. I am a big fan of unpainted pieces that can be personalized. I found this one at Wood Bin Furniture.

I made a small desk area by using two, movable, storage-drawer units as a base with a stainless-steel top bridging it. The desk ties into other steel accents I introduced—a simple metal chair from Overstock and matching lamps from Homegoods. 

To crank up a contemporary feel, I brought in some eco-friendly carpet tiles from FLOR. If they get dirty, simply pick up one square and clean it off or replace it. The whole eco-friendly angle of FLOR’s products works for me, too. This pattern is called “Mod Cow” and ties in perfectly to the black and white cow painting on the wall. 

At the entrance of the space, I created a casual seating area by using simple black chairs, an industrial floor lamp, and some colorful throw pillows and a throw.  

In the end, this space serves a purpose and is an enjoyable place to spend time in. I also designed the room with pieces that can be reconfigured for various work styles or moods. To me, this is all part of what keeps us inspired and interested in a space. 

Do you have a room like this that could use your own creative stamp—perhaps to write that cookbook, generate paintings for your first art show, do yoga, or simply savor your morning coffee while you organize your day? Think of it as your own, private, rejuvenation space. 

We can all use that. 

Add your comment:

Connect With Us    

Sign-up for our event 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

November 2018

Just a little over an hour from the northern suburbs of NYC, in the northwest hills of Connecticut lies one of the best kept secrets in trail running around! If you are ready for a new challenge of...

Cost: $50-$60

Where:
Steep Rock Preserve
2 Tunnel Rd.
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Steep Endurance LLC
Contact Name: Brian Vanderheiden
Website »

More information

Meet us under the Dome and catch all the excitement! Come out for the 16th Annual Festival of Trees to benefit Ann’s Place at the Danbury Sports Dome for a weekend filled with live events...

Cost: Ages 3 to 64, $10; Seniors, $5; kids under 3, free.

Where:
Danbury Sports Dome
25 Shelter Rock Ln
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Ann's Place
Telephone: 203-790-6568
Contact Name: Michelle Frosch
Website »

More information

Kiki Michalek will introduce a new series of paintings, celebrating the art of the carousel. “Carousel Dreams” is a collection of original work showing animals with different themes....

Cost: Free

Where:
Whiting Mills
100 Whiting St.
Studio 308, Air Borne Creations
Winsted, CT  06098
View map »


Sponsor: Kiki Michalek
Telephone: 203-913-3883
Contact Name: Kiki Michalek
Website »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join Art Rodia, an instructor with over 30 years of yoga teaching experience, as he guides this gentle yoga class. Created for people over fifty and beginners who need a gentle and accessible...

Cost: 10 per class

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
Website »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join New Morning Market’s new knitting club! We’re crafting wearable items for Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury and welcome all levels to join! Instructors will be on-hand for beginners. Yarn,...

Cost: Free - registration requested

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
Website »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

KMR Arts presents Mark Seliger: Platinum Prints. The exhibition opens on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 3-6 pm with a reception and book signing of the monograph, MARK SELIGER PHOTOGRAPHS, with the...

Cost: no charge

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: (860)868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

More information

Join New Morning Market’s new knitting club! We’re crafting wearable items for Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury and welcome all levels to join! Instructors will be on-hand for beginners. Yarn,...

Cost: Free - registration requested

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Holiday Craft Day on Friday, November 23rd from 2 to 4 PM, followed by a 4:30 PM family movie (Disney’s COCO) for all ages. Local artist Katie Ré Scheidt will lead the Holiday Craft...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens
One Green Hill
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens
Contact Name: Laura Neminski
Website »

More information

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

KMR Arts presents Mark Seliger: Platinum Prints. The exhibition opens on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 3-6 pm with a reception and book signing of the monograph, MARK SELIGER PHOTOGRAPHS, with the...

Cost: no charge

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: (860)868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
Website »

More information

We will celebrate the Full Moon and use its powerful energy for personal growth and spiritual development, focusing on developing intuition and the “heart’s knowing.”  Music, ritual,...

Cost: 15.00

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Byrde + the b is pleased to announce an exhibit of Walter Fields new  artwork opening on Friday November 2 from 5-7:00pm at Byrde + the b, 10 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794.  The...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255-6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

KMR Arts presents Mark Seliger: Platinum Prints. The exhibition opens on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 3-6 pm with a reception and book signing of the monograph, MARK SELIGER PHOTOGRAPHS, with the...

Cost: no charge

Where:
KMR Arts
2 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: KMR Arts
Telephone: (860)868-7533
Contact Name: Kathy McCarver Root
Website »

More information

The New York Times bestselling author, Simon Winchester, traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age to explore the single component crucial to...

Cost: 25.00

Where:
Sandisfield Arts Center
5 Hammertown Rd.
Sandisfield, MA  01255
View map »


Sponsor: Sandsifeld Arts Center
Telephone: 413-281-4100
Contact Name: Marcella Smith

More information

Join us for another incredible evening of music featuring four local singer songwriters performing original music! Doors open at 7pm upstairs in the handicapped accessible Community Room. Snacks...

Cost: Free - donations graciously accepted

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: New Morning Market
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Following a Dream

Peter Gallagher on Life as an Actor

Coal-Fired Kiss

Sasso’s Coal Fired Pizza also has incredibly fresh seafood

A Taco Sensation

Èl Camión has been crowned Connecticut's Best

What is the stone marker under a tree on the green in Litchfield?

Champagne Is So Over ...

What i’m bringing to your holiday potluck
Edit ModuleShow Tags