A Pretty Big Studio Design Change

I’m back with another lesson in “it’s okay to change your mind, even in the middle of a huge project.” I change my mind all the time. I allow myself that freedom because (1) this is my house, (2) I need to love my house since we’re in this one for the long haul, and (3) I shouldn’t have to live with things I don’t like if I have the ability and the budget to change them. And those rules don’t just apply to me. They apply to you as well.

This change wasn’t easy to get my mind around because it will completely change the look of the front wall of the studio. And by front wall, I mean the long mural wall. The wall. The focal wall of the entire room.

For years now, I’ve had in my mind what this wall would look like. After all, I did this drawing back in 2017, and I’ve never really considered another look.

That’s a long time to have a plan in place! I did make a change when I decided to eliminate the desk areas and put lower cabinets all the way across that wall. But that didn’t really change the overall look of the wall. But the change that I’m making now will change the overall look.

Yesterday, I put together two of the four upper cabinets for this wall and put them into place.

I had still planned to add 20-inch cabinets on top of those so that the finished cabinets would be the full height of the wall. And these are supposed to be open shelves with no doors.

But the more I looked at this wall, the more I realized that what I’d really like to see is more of the mural. Once I get those cabinets build 20 inches higher, get them all trimmed out, and then get the windows trimmed out, the only significant portion of the mural that will show will be that large center section.

My initial thought was that I could carry the mural onto the back panels of those upper cabinets since they’re going to be open shelves, but my mom talked me out of that. She said that once I get things on the shelves, it would look too busy with the items in front and the big flowers in back. I didn’t want to admit it 😀 , but I know she’s right.

I had to decide what was more important — the upper open shelves or the mural. And quite honestly, I came down on the side of the mural. After all, open shelves can and do look pretty if they’re styled just right. But who wants to keep all of those open shelves pretty and styled in a studio/workroom? I don’t want to have to worry about that! I want to be able to stash things behind closed doors and in drawers, and get on with the fun of creating.

So I’ve decided to do away with the upper open shelves and take the mural all the way across that wall, from end to end. MORE FLOWERS, PLEASE!!! I’ll take more flowers over open shelves any day of the week. 😀

That doesn’t mean that those cabinets will go to waste. In fact, I’m going to order doors for them, and order more cabinets to go with them (since those are only 40 inches high), and put them right here…

The plan from the beginning was to have storage on this wall that’s just inside the room as you’re walking from the breakfast room into the studio. But when I ordered the IKEA cabinets, I couldn’t decide what I wanted here, so I just decided to leave it and address it later. So this is meant to be! These cabinets fit perfectly here, and they’ll be so much more use to me with doors on them so I can store paint and other things behind closed doors.

I think this is going to work out perfectly. I’ll get MORE FLOWERS and more very useful closed door storage. That seems perfect to me. And the great thing is that if I ever decide that I do actually want upper cabinets on that long front wall, I can always add them at a later date. But for now, I’m off to buy two more pieces of that mural so that I can see those flowers spanning the full 20 feet of that wall. 😀



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  1. It was meant to be! The mural will be an amazing focal point that makes you happy every time you look at it, and the cabinets won’t go to waste (and will actually be more useful in their new location).
    Also, moms are the best with their advice!

  2. Agree with those changes 100%! I didn’t like so little of mural showing and glad cabinets can be used elsewhere.

  3. Great decision. It is a good thing that you have waited so long to get to this room. Ideas have been percolating all of this time in the back of your brain while the front was working on other things.

  4. So glad you will be able to have more flowers! They inspire color and creativity. One of the great things about doing it yourself is you CAN change your mind. Can’t wait to see the final room!

  5. Oh, that all sounds awesome…no waste at all, and more flowers to look at. The minute I looked at the picture of the cabinets up top, I didn’t like it. Not sure why, but the long counter top looked so spacious to me, and maybe I was thinking that the mural was too hidden as well. You could always put a few open shelves up later, but I think mom was correct on this one. Perfect plan, love it!

    1. Good point. Wasn’t there an issue with another box of flooring needed to complete the counter if those end cabinets weren’t there? Hopefully there’s at least another box of that same flooring lot at the store.

      1. Yep, I was short by one board. And I’ll have to buy a whole box just to get that one board that I need. 😀 Unless I can come up with another solution, but so far, nothing comes to mind.

          1. Maybe they’d send you a sample??? Or put out a call on Craigslist/Facebook etc. for a spare piece? The idea of buying a whole box for one piece makes me twitchy! LOL!!!

    2. OOOH, good point! Guessing we will cross our fingers! If nothing else, maybe shelving with brackets or some artwork could hide any difference in dye lots. Anything lighter than solid cabinets would disguise it.

  6. Love the change…much more of what you want on both accounts! Once again, you’ve made a great choice for you!

  7. This sounds like a great plan! It’s going to look good and work well. Have you come up with a solution for the parts of the countertop that you were going to cover with the upper cabinets, where it’s missing the pieces?

    1. I haven’t. I called LL Flooring to see if I could buy just one board, but I would have to buy a whole package. So I might have to spend $70 for the one board I need. 😀

      1. That could be a good thing for the future. In case you spill something/paint or damage it by chance then you will have some leftover flooring. That extra 70 may be worth it one day.

        I love your new plan. It’s going to be beautiful. Yay!

  8. Yippee! I hoped you would change your mind! I had felt that there was already enough going on this wall, with the mural and the windows and light fixtures. I couldn’t imagine shelves with stuff trying to take away from the rest of the wall. Love the switch in plan!

  9. Hey, about your previous post and running out of counter boards… I had an idea for the small spots with missing boards! The website lets you order 4 free samples, and only $1 more for each additional sample. You could order enough samples to fill the gaps!

  10. That is a big change but I understand why you are doing it. The flowers are grand.
    Plus you will have more storage you can reach. That is important for us less tall people! I can’t wait to see a picture of the finished, finished studio.

  11. Excellent choice. Now to hide the missing countertop corners that the cabinets would have covered. It’s always something, isn’t it? 🙂

  12. Great change in plans! The upper shelves would be hard to reach and also collectors of dust and sawdust, etc. The new location for them is perfect. Good pivot, as usual.

  13. I’m so glad you are going with the mural all the way across. Obviously, it’s your office, but I’ve always thought that it was a shame to have so relatively little of the mural showing.

  14. I would paint the relocated cabinets the same color as the walls. That will let the front wall remain the star of the show without distraction.

  15. Yes! Yes! Yes! And maybe cabinets on the other side of the opening for symmetry? I often wondered wondered why open shelves in a work room. The more places to shove supplies in the better! The mural will be the showcase of the room and all the “stuff” can be stashed behind cabinet doors! Onward!👍😊

  16. Glad to hear about this change. You worked so hard to redo the wallpaper to get the flowers “just right” so it was going to be a shame to cover up/not use it on those sections of the long wall. Perfect that the cabinets can be used by the breakfast room door. Will you be making the same type of countertop there? If so, you can easily add in for the 2 sections that were short on the long wall. I’m anxious to hear your trim decision and see the color on the cabinets!

  17. So is it a dumb idea to just have 2 floating shelves both side where cabinets are being relocated? Just to display a few things and balance the weight of the bottom cabinets? Just a thought.

  18. I’m so pleased that you have decided to go this way! I was worried that the mural would get lost with those cabinets and not give you that beautiful effect that you were after

  19. I think that’s a good decision. All along I’ve wondered why you were limiting yourself to such a small section for your wall paper. It will look so much better on the full length of the wall. And, yes, of course you can change your mind! As many times as you need to! 😄

  20. Brilliant. You might use the rest of the laminate planks to put on top as a counter to the bookcases you are moving to the opposite wall. I really like these ideas & resolution. The wall paper changes really do work better for scale I think.

  21. It’s so funny because when I saw your post yesterday I wanted more of the mural!!! You absolutely made the right decision. Open shelves with “pretties” just aren’t me either.

  22. What if you cut the depth of your cabinets down to about 4 – 6 inches and turn them so they would face each other at either end? This would cover your blank space on the mural wall, give you great storage space and still give you that beautiful full mural.

  23. I think your idea is a great one, and your Mom was right. You inspired me to purchase some IKEA cabinets for storage in my home office. I need space to store fabric, my sewing machine and some office supplies. I love what you are doing.