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before and after

before & after: collaborative studio design

by Kate Pruitt

It makes me giddy to think about a blank slate space where anything is possible — within a budget, of course. This collaborative studio renovation from Kristen of Five Dot Design and a group of fellow creative professionals in Newport, Kentucky, is a great example of how far creativity and hard work can take you. They smartly settled on a very reasonable budget and factored in the amount of labor they would have to do themselves to stick to it before they began. The interior looks completely transformed; the red accent wall against the white, wood and black is lovely, and I love their use of beautifully restored furniture pieces to bring in character. Amazing work, Kristen & Co. ! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

Read more about the studio redesign after the jump!

Time: about 5 months

Cost: We decided the renovations would need to stay around $2000. That meant we would be doing the manual labor ourselves — ripping up carpet, chipping away old tile, painting, refinishing the floors — everything. In the end, we ended up going over by $500.

Basic Steps: The walls just needed a fresh coat of white paint — a clean slate. We all agreed that with all the photography on the wall, and knowing those images would rotate, we couldn’t marry ourselves to a color on the wall. Once we began to see the space evolve, ideas would come to us. Some worked, most didn’t, so we would try new things that popped into our heads. For instance, the gold checker floor came about after we figured out we wouldn’t be able to get the carpet glue off the concrete. The initial idea was to stain the concrete, but gold metallic paint is where we ended up. The teal buffet was going to go under the TV originally, but once we put the white table on the checker floor, a dining room of sorts unfolded, and the style of the buffet best suited the table and the entire look of that corner. The flat files were originally going to be put in the back for us to use as a workspace, but when we couldn’t get another idea we had for wall shelves to work out, we brought the flat files to the front to fill the space on the longest wall in the studio.

Be prepared to run an audible. There were many times we started to bring our initial idea to life, but found it wasn’t going to work, and we were able to find a solution we liked, in most cases, more than the original idea. Don’t be afraid to mix styles and be bold with your choices, especially if you have such an expansive space as we have in the studio. We also made “to do lists” every few weeks because we weren’t all able to be in the studio at once to work, and it was important that everyone knew who had completed what and what needed to be done before something else could be completed. The most important bit of advice I can give is to be prepared to eat, sleep and breathe a project like this, especially if you go the same route we did in doing all the work yourself! — Kristen

Members of the studio include

Kelly Ledford :: Cinci MakeUp (makeup artist)
Tiesha Frazier :: Event Elixir (event coordinator)
Kristen Becker :: Five Dot Design (custom invitations)
Jacalyn Mains :: JMM Photography (photographer)
Marti Thompson :: Marti’s Floral Designs (florist and event designer)

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