The Right Studio
How important is the look and feel of your workspace? If like me, you run your own business, whether you sell goods or provide a service, chances are you’ll have a studio, showroom, an office, or perhaps simply a dedicated desk at home, and again like me, you possibly spend a lot of time there, right? In addition to it being the place where you meet with clients or create your magic, it needs to be a functional space first of all, also it must be inspiring or simply ‘feel good’ to spend time in! Size is often the key, then light, fresh air, locations ... every business has different needs.
I remember years ago working from a desk in the corner of my two-bedroom apartment in Sydney's Birchgrove, with files piled up on a crowded bookshelf and stacks of bricks and tiles in the garage, whilst having to always drive to meet clients, viewing products and finishes in showrooms around the city. It took hours of me driving from one place to another to select what was needed for that new-build or home renovation. When I finally decided to get my own 'studio', it was an affordable shop in down-to-earth Marrickville, and to embellish it, I placed my partner's and other artist friends' works on the walls, and put a price tag on them, with the view of perhaps helping with the rent! Well, before I knew it, people started walking in, artworks sold and other artists came to offer their work to be exhibited there - the Gallery business took off, but as exciting as it was, it meant two business to run instead of one!!
Realising I needed to focus my attention on my Interior Design business, a few years later we moved on, to a more office-like space. Then to one with better light, being the large space I’ve just moved out of, high ceilings, bright and flexible enough to create a set and fit in a whole film crew. For 7 Seasons of The Living Room, I used that space getting super creative, being where most of my design segments were filmed: for the last 6 years, it was the perfect space!
But Life is continuously changing, right? and adapting to it, is necessary. Filming with Open Homes Australia doesn't require me being filmed in a studio, which allowed me to move into a different space, one better suited to my boutique builders and clients. And there's no better time for culling than when packing and moving… it’s so very cathartic! The many samples of products and finishes I’ve accumulated in my years of practice are necessary to show my clients, as well as for me to play with when creating new colour schemes, display homes, & kitchen renovations... but as products go out of range and new ones come onto the market, samples do easily accumulate, and regular culling is necessary...
So, you may ask, is this new one the right studio? Well, it's what I need now, so yes, I can say it's beautiful, and it feels just right. If you too work in Interior or any creative field, then you surely understand just how important it is to work in the right space, not just for your clients, of course, but possibly more importantly for your own mind-space, to allow those creative juices to flow. So, if you too feel ready for a move but you’re not quite sure about the next step to take, here are some of my tips:
Why: Have valid reasons for moving, whether upgrading or downsizing. Moving is stressful and can be costly, and it also adds extra work to your already busy business schedule, BUT the results can be so worth it!
What: What size space do you really need? Small, medium or large? Natural light? Showroom or office? Space enough to spread out, to get creative? Easily accessible or maybe on the main shopping strip? Parking space? ...That perfect café just nearby?
Where: I suggest finding an area that’s easy for your clients to reach and park, and to simplify life, one that’s easy for you to commute too.
How: Chances are you'll be spending a lot of time in your studio over the next few years, so whilst packing and moving, try to declutter (it’s THE perfect time) and remember to furnish it to create a welcoming and comfortable space.
Finally: Creating good impressions is of course important, but don’t overstrain your budget! “We work to live!”... NOT the other way around, so creating the right balance will help you stay relaxed through the normal ups and downs of any business.