The Organized Life, Art Studio Secrets, hiding in plain sight

The question I get most often is, “How do you do it?”  The answer is simple, but easier said than done…

“Organize and stay organized.”


My studio is in my kitchen so I have to keep it neat.  It is technically the breakfast nook, but as my children grew, and with other places to dine in the house, it slowly morphed into my studio.


It has a vaulted ceiling and a wall of windows which makes it a wonderful place to be.


With the burst of energy the New Year brings, I cleaned and straightened and tossed and tweaked so I could have a fresh start for 2014,


and it occurred to me that you might be interested in some of my little tricks for storing a massive amount of messy stuff in an open area~


I found this desk/cabinet at a consignment shop about 10 years ago, and knew it was the perfect solution. It was maple so I sanded it and painted the outside with a white crackle paint


The front opens up to a desk with tons of space to hold supplies at the ready


It takes no time at all to get started or to clean up, it’s so deep I can cram tons of stuff in there!


On the left side, I have a lazy susan  and everything I need for painting JMdesigns glassware , and on the right there are the mediums and gels I need for canvas and large projects.


The easel is right next to the desk,  so easy to open it up and access supplies while painting


A large drafting table sits in front of the window


Crown molding type shelves are handy for any space, you can lean paintings against the wall instead of hanging, display decorative trays and objects, and easily swap things around seasonally


A hanging file box holds folders of ideas, notes, and tutorials.  I have found this a great way to keep ideas at my fingertips. Notebooks are full of photos and patterns, and sketchbooks stand by


The overall black and white color scheme helps the space from being too crazy

studio storage

The big boxes hold fabric and yarn.  I found those at Office Depot [a while back] believe it or not!  You could also cover your own if you can’t find any to match your decor


Black magazine sleeves from Office Supply


painted cupboard

I wish I had a before photo of this, it was yellow and blue and hideous!  It’s from the unpainted furniture company and orginally went to college with DD.  I used leftover cabinet paint from my kitchen cabinets and added a few touches~


Now it is the star of the studio and It’s perfect for holding large tubes and cans of paint


This little piece really works hard holding all my colored pencils, pens, and specialty paints.


I even have a shelf of coloring supplies for Super Boy…who doesn’t like to color…how is that possible? Hopefully CC and Big E will be more interested~

studio organization


I bought this wicker drawer tower years ago at Pier 1 and it’s perfect for storing a variety of smaller supplies.  I labeled it just for fun to see if I liked the look but the labels added too much “eye clutter”  for me so I took them off.  I know where everything is anyway!


Masking tape and a tape measure are easy to grab, but totally hidden,  inside a large ceramic pot



Then a flat screen TV and shelves for books and a basket of felt~ everything I need is in easy reach

studio chair

With my Dressed Up rolling desk chair I can zip around and easily grab supplies~


and the kitchen island is so handy for extra space on busy days


If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to spend time on a certain activity, make a space for it.

Sometimes just by creating the space, you create the time!

Try to find a spot that works easily for you and your family and you will find that your resolution will become a reality.


Thanks so much for visiting, I hope I’ve given you some ideas for organizing and hiding in plain sight~


I will be joining parties over at:

Coastal Charm

It All Started With Paint

Blog Hop Blitz

DIY 1st Sunday, Organization

Uncommon Designs

Between Naps on the Porch

Make it Pretty Monday

the Scoop

A Stroll Thru Life

the Gunny Sack

Memories by the Mile

Savvy Southern Style

No Minimalist Here


29 Responses to “The Organized Life, Art Studio Secrets, hiding in plain sight”
  1. Emily says:

    Hi Jenna, what a great space to be creative! The high ceilings and all that light is perfect. You certainly are organized and I love all your storage cabinets. Love the white cabinet and the old college cabinet turned “charming”. Thanks for sharing your tips.
    I’m still reeling over last night!
    The French Hutch

  2. Liz Mackie says:

    Looks really good to me. Lots of work getting it that way. Nice job.

    >________________________________ > From: the Painted Apron >To: >Sent: Friday, January 3, 2014 3:01 AM >Subject: [New post] The Organized Life, Art Studio Secrets, hiding in plain sight > > > >the Painted Apron posted: “The question I get most often is, “How do you do it?” The answer is simple, but easier said than done… “Organize and stay organized.” My studio is in my kitchen so I have to keep it neat. It is technically the breakfast nook, but as my chil” >

  3. Color me impressed! Can you come organize me?! Love your space!

  4. My word, you are organized. I am trying hard out there in my garage. Today we are organizing the attics. I have had spaces not quite as good as yours but wannabes. The thing is, we always moved! That is why we are working hard the next few days to get more orderly. Bought out Home Depot this a.m. in the after-Christmas storage dept. I hope to be able to do more artsy stuff this year.

  5. Kim says:

    Jenna, what an awesome space – and with the natural light that’s perfect for painting! Thanks for sharing all your storage secrets. I’ve been confined mostly to my breakfast room the last 3 months, not by my choice, but I’m very segmented to different areas all over my house. I think it’s time to invade a bedroom upstairs! Although, I love your idea of being centrally located so you can cook a little here and there while you work. 🙂 Love it all – happy New Year!

  6. Mary says:

    Jenna~ You have such a great studio space with such wonderful light for painting! Your consignment desk find is perfect for working and stashing your supplies. I’m in need of some serious dish organization but I am out of room, I’m going to have to purge 🙂

  7. That is so true that if you make a space for it you’ll make the time! I love that your studio is the breakfast room! What a cool idea. Keeps you right in the hub of things while still working,
    Happy New Year!

  8. Your space makes me want to start creating! I love seeing all those supplies so neatly organized! Great tips…live the little chef glasses too! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. minervasgardenathena says:

    What a creative cool space! I love the gems on your cabinet doors, and the painted legs on your shelf unit under the television–neat.

  10. Diane says:

    Oh, you give me hope! I started organizing my house, as soon as the new year began. I had started to think that it could not be done, but seeing how clever you are, I think I might be able to do it! Thanks for sharing this – you have given us some great ideas!

  11. I am SO with you about hiding things in plain sight!!! I do the same! People come into our home and have NO IDEA what lurks behind the cupboard doors! 🙂

    Glad you’re off to a good start for 2014. I’m still playing catch up. Hope to get there by 2015! 🙂

  12. Oh my word, you are so organized and I love it all. Fabulous. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  13. Organization makes me soooooo happy. Your studio area is perfect! Thank you so much for helping to make the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop so much fun Hugs!

  14. plutrell says:

    Great encouragement for all creative people to begin the year organized…I really believe it is harder for creatives to be organized…I am including myself in that assessment! Thanks for participating in the blog hop…have a great weekend!

  15. April says:

    Very organized! Great ideas! Thanks for linking up to the “Get Your DIY On” link up party! Remember to come back on February 2nd with your simple décor projects you love!

  16. katiegolds says:

    You area is so awesomely organized, that it inspires me to go get organized just by looking at the pictures! Thanks for linking it up at Monday Funday! I’m sharing on Twitter.

  17. Ediso says:

    Thank you for the great ideas!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful work space. That natural light is amazing!
    Hopefully this post will be motivation to finish organizing my studio after work tonight.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Are you still using your space? What did you change up between 2014 and now, 2019? What did you learn about creating your space? Thanks!

    • hi Noreene, yes, I am still using my studio space, and it basically hasn’t changed a bit! One of the best parts of this arrangement is that I can reach just about anything I need with just a few scoots in my rolling chair. When I’m doing a large canvas I can roll my easel out into the center of the space, plus having the large island adjacent to the space is a huge plus when I need an extra place to spread out. I can make a huge mess and then close up my desk and cabinet, roll the easel back in place, and the kitchen looks neat and tidy! I hope this answers your questions, thanks for reading!

  20. This post really drew my attention because I do the same as we live in a 1300 sq. ft townhouse and I have an incredible amount of stuff!! I did a major reorganizing and purging of my craft room which is one of my son’s old bedrooms, last year but it is time to do it again…Great ideas! Thanks for sharing and thanks for dropping by !!

  21. Thanks Deb, I have to admit, in the years that have gone by since I wrote this post, my studio isn’t quite as organized these days, I need to reorganize and purge too!

  22. This is a great post thankss

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