New Design Studio

Work on my new design studio was completed back in February and at last I finally have a properly insulated office with plenty of natural light.

We ‘inherited’ the studio when we first moved in to this property. Originally it had been a single garage that had been converted by the previous owners into an office/design studio. So that was pretty convenient for me, being a designer myself. During the first year it ended up becoming a dumping ground for all the rubbish and old fixtures from the house. Once we’d finished on the house and cleared out the old studio I decided it would be nice to move out of the small front bedroom that I was currently using as a home office and have a work area separate from the living area. I gave the old studio a new coat of paint and put down some new laminate flooring. It already had it’s own power supply, telephone line and plenty of sockets.

I worked for about two years in the studio but. It was good to be able to shut my computer down and ‘leave’ work behind at the end of the day but it was always so damn cold, with never enough natural lighting (the studio/garage is in the shadow of several large trees). Even in the middle of summer I found myself having to wear my coat whilst working with a portable heater on full blast. I ended up moving back to the house, where I’ve been working for the last year.

I toyed with the idea of purchasing a garden office pod, but after consulting with AMP Home Improvement (a local builder who has worked on various jobs around the house) I decided that it would be worth salvaging the old studio by gutting it and starting again from scratch.

When the old plasterboard was removed it was discovered why it was always so cold and draughty – the original insulation consisted only of thin 5mm polystyrene boards, there were several unfilled cracks in the old stone work and a massive hole (which been for some piece of machinery) that had never been properly filled, just boarded over. A lack of guttering on one side of the building had meant there had been some water leakage as some point under the flooring, which had let to a mould infestation.

Once the old fittings and materials had been removed we could start rebuilding. New features include:

  • Double 150mm insulation in the walls, ceiling and floor
  • New damp proof membrane installed
  • New plasterboard walls and ceilings
  • Old window ripped out and replaced by double glazed patio doors opening onto decking
  • Old single door removed and replaced by a floor to ceiling double glazed window
  • Electric heaters with a room thermostat and timer installed
  • Replaced horrible old office strip lighting with ambient wall up lighters
  • All wiring and cabling hidden within walls
  • New power, phone, ethernet and HDMI sockets installed
  • New external security lighting
  • Engineered wood flooring laid upon new raised (flat) floor

I ended up replacing all my old furniture with new items in the end. I’ve also avoided adding any cupboards or drawers, as in the past there’s been too much of a tendency to fill them with clutter and rubbish. I’m still waiting on a new desk chair and have yet to make a decision about curtains or blinds for the new doors and and window. The outside also needs some work and I will probably have it clad or boarded at some stage. For the moment I think it’s going to have to make do with a fresh coat of paint.

It also evolved beyond being just a design studio/work space… and somehow I now have my very own indoor cinema with a 100 inch projected screen, 7.1 sound system and comfortable leather sofa. I like to think it helps the creative process. At least that how I’m justifying it.