My wonderful spaces at 100 Braid Street Studios, New Westminster, are very small. They are each approximately 8’ x 8’. Storage and display space is limited and has been a challenge since I moved in.
Susan Grieg, the studio owner, had a rolling IKEA shelving unit with a back added as storage for children’s art supplies. As those classes are no longer offered, the unit was taking up her storage space. The wheels in my head turned, and I suddenly saw a use for the paint-spattered unit – perfect housing for my fabric cards, bookmarks, butterfly pins and small landscapes. It was easy to roll in and out of my main work-space. A deal was struck and after lots of scrubbing, it was pristine white and ready to roll. It stays securely locked in when I’m not there, and rolls out to sit along the outside wall when I am in.
After a few public events, one in the evening, it became clear that there was not enough light in that area to properly showcase my work.
I knew that there were several kinds of shelf lighting at IKEA, but worried that the lights would be too low, and not allow safe passage to anyone over the height of 5 feet. The problem now arose – how to mount the lights higher? My dear husband Michael found a solid wood TV stand at IKEA that was available in white and the same width as the rolling unit. It added just the right height and the bonus of even more display space. Michael found hardware to join the two units
securely and installed four new lights safely above even the tallest head. We found four white storage boxes to hide items on the bottom cubbyholes. The whole thing weighs considerably more and just fits through the door. I must maneuver it slowly and carefully, but the glow of those lights is worth it!
The final step was to paint the back of the new cabinet white, and add a white wooden strip to the front to hide the gap between the original unit and the new one. Elegant, secure, always at the ready, this is working well!
Thanks to Susan and Michael, I am now always prepared for events like the New West Cultural Crawl, First Saturday Open Studio, Winter Market and International Artist Day.