Design Interior Design

How to Create a Home Art Studio on a Budget

An at-home art studio can take your creativity potential up a notch. Get tips for designing an inspiring and inviting space without breaking the bank.
Tidy home art studio with canvas and easel.

Photo: istockphoto.com

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For both amateur and more advanced artists, carving out a space to work away from the clutter and chaos of daily life can be essential to the creative process. “Having a small art studio at home allows me space to disconnect from the world and create,” says amateur artist Kimberly Mace from South Orange, N.J. “Being surrounded by easy-to-access supplies and inspiring artwork really helps the creativity flow,” she adds.

Whether it’s the corner of a room, a garage, a basement, or other unused real estate in the home, it’s possible to turn a bland space into an inspiring refuge without spending a lot of money. From inventive organization products to handmade décor, there are plenty of options for creating a home art studio on a budget. Get started with the tips below.

Make a plan.

Home art studio on house porch with easels, canvases, and organized materials.
Photo: istockphoto.com

A successful and affordable design starts with planning and forethought. Before wasting part of the budget on unnecessary or unsuitable items, take inventory of the space and prepare. Start with these four steps:

  • Set a budget.
  • Make a list of storage needs for both supplies and finished artwork.
  • Measure for and plan a functional layout that includes a table, easel, or other work area.
  • Consider a color scheme or desired aesthetic.

Prioritize organization.

Woman in yellow blouse and black apron organizes paints on a tiered cart.
Photo: istockphoto.com

As any artist knows, creating artwork can require a lot of supplies. Especially in small places, a smart storage plan is a must to keep items such as paint, brushes, and canvases neat and easy to access. Thoughtful organization solutions can also put supplies on display for an eclectic look.

Ikea is a popular stop when creating an art studio on a budget. For those willing to put in some sweat equity on assembly, their affordable storage solutions include utility carts, open shelving, drawer units, and decorative storage bins. Don’t forget cups and caddies for essentials like brushes, pens, and markers.

Don’t be afraid to rework or refurbish.

Art studio with red and white decor sitting on a large bookcase behind an easel.
Photo: neladunato.com

When Nela Dunato, brand strategist, visual artist, and author, set up her office, she used storage solutions as a design element. When she couldn’t find crates in the colors she wanted, Dunato bought affordable plain wood ones and painted them to match her desired color scheme. Read more about her remodel on her blog Nela Dunato Art & Design.

Thrift shops are also great places to find storage, accessories, and furnishings just waiting for a second life. While used items may need some TLC, the end product helps you redecorate responsibly and will be unique and personal.

DIY your work surface.

Open, white art studio with scenery paintings hung above work bench and table.
Photo: cbrlifeisart.com

Every artist needs a surface to create on, but it doesn’t always have to be a large table or desk. Get creative when designing a workspace. To make the most of her garage studio space, artist and blogger C. Brooke Ring came up with an idea for a vertical easel system. Learn more about how her husband built this affordable solution on her blog, Life Is Art.

Display personal or swapped artwork.

Small art studio with colorful personal art displayed on walls.
Photo: foxandhazel.com

Whether you choose sculptures on a shelf, a mural painted directly on the wall, or homemade prints, decorating with your crafts is an affordable way to make a studio space more attractive and inviting. Consider swapping art with close friends or an online artist community for variety. Keep it simple when hanging prints by skipping the frames like artist blogger Torrie Lynn opted to do in her at-home art studio. Take the tour of her full studio on her blog, Fox and Hazel, for more inspiration.

Splurge on comfort.

Art studio with green, pink, and beige abstract art on walls above a messy work desk.
Photo: laurahornart.com

It’s easy to forget about the less visible factors like ventilation, cooling, and lighting. Consider investing in LED bulbs to reduce heat and save money on bills later, and use natural light as much as possible. Opening windows will improve ventilation, a necessity when working with art supplies that release fumes.

“Lighting, heating, cooling, and a comfortable chair are all important factors that will affect your desire and ability to create,” says Laura Horn, artist and blogger at Laura Horn Art. “Investing in these items will pay off over time and reward you with more happy art-making hours,” she adds. Visit her blog for more of her expert tips on organizing an art studio.

Don’t forget the finishing touches.

Cozy home art studio with colorful decoration and window.
Photo: istockphoto.com

Small personal additions will go a long way in creating the overall mood for an art space or craft room. Keep it affordable by incorporating cut flowers from the garden, vintage books, or thrift store trinkets for shelf displays. Other finishing touches to consider are Bluetooth-enabled speakers for playing music and some blankets and pillows for comfort and texture.