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Interiors

Studio Tour: Stephanie Ryan’s Art + Alchemy

by Annie Werbler

Finding a new place in which to start over proved to be a positive transition and a bit of an adventure for artist and designer Stephanie Ryan. After becoming single for the first time in her adult life, Stephanie packed up her dog Luna almost a year ago and began searching for a home and studio environment that would refresh and inspire her ART + ALCHEMY watercolor painting brand. When she found an early-1800s stone farmhouse overlooking a gentleman’s farm — with cows and horses roaming in the pasture and a quaint little church across the street — she knew it was the right decision to relocate there to Honey Brook, PA. It was essential for Stephanie to find a place with a lot of character, a great view of the sky, and one surrounded by nature to nurture her creative spirit. Random-width wood floors, deep sills, exposed beams, and antique hardware made her decision easy. The 234-square-foot formal dining room quickly became her painting studio because of its beautiful built-in cabinetry, including a hidden wet bar that’s perfect for cleaning paintbrushes.

Stephanie makes watercolor florals, abstract landscapes, and organic intuitive paintings, and is currently in the process of translating her art into products like pillows, fabric, and stationery. “It was very important to find a house and studio that really supported me and my creative life and vision,” she shares. “I feel like my art fits so perfectly in this space — almost like it was meant to be!” Stephanie already had the two functional flat files and a table from the Martha Stewart Craft Series, but she needed a new desk that would complement the style of the house, be a focal point of the room, and help her look forward to spending time there. Luckily, the house is a short drive to Lancaster County where she picked up a stunning handcrafted wood piece, a table for her sewing machine, and a great rustic bench to use as a styling prop and for project display. Linen pin boards from Pottery Barn hold inspiration as well as current works. As Stephanie creates new art, she likes to hang it on the walls and experiment with frames. She is always on the lookout for objects that can be used for styling her photography, so the room is full of glass bottles, crystals, fabrics, and unique pieces that complement her aesthetic. She added some temporary lighting from IKEA over her work station using Command Strips and linen sleeves to hide the wires, providing better visual clarity to her workspace.

The historic qualities of the studio make it feel unique, and the countryside view keeps her grounded while working. Stephanie wanted to create an inspiring and nurturing environment that supports her practice on a daily basis. “Even though finding this space came from a difficult place,” she reflects, “It has opened up a new door for my creativity and a new chapter in my life.” —Annie

Photography by Chaucee Stillman

Studio Tour: Stephanie Ryan Art + Alchemy, on Design*Sponge
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In artist Stephanie Ryan's home studio at her 1800s Pennsylvania farmhouse, the fireplace wall is adorned with her artwork, an inspiration board, and her Indigo Floral dinnerware collection samples. The room contains a warm mix of old and new furniture with original textiles, natural elements, pattern, and color.
Studio Tour: Stephanie Ryan Art + Alchemy, on Design*Sponge
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Stephanie and her Bichon Poo, Luna.
Studio Tour: Stephanie Ryan Art + Alchemy, on Design*Sponge
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The fireplace wall is flanked by hand-hewn wooden ceiling beams and two ever-changing linen pin boards that show inspiration and fabric strike-offs for Stephanie's new pillow collection. To the left, built-in cabinetry hides a wet bar, perfect for cleaning up watercolor paints and brushes.
Studio Tour: Stephanie Ryan Art + Alchemy, on Design*Sponge
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Details of Stephanie’s new Indigo Floral dinnerware collection with Lenox and fabric swatches from her new pillow line.
Studio Tour: Stephanie Ryan Art + Alchemy, on Design*Sponge
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A close-up of Stephanie's pin board with pieces of her artwork, new fabric swatches, and some custom hand-dyed fabrics.
Studio Tour: Stephanie Ryan Art + Alchemy, on Design*Sponge
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Samples of a new dreamy watercolor pillow collection.
Studio Tour: Stephanie Ryan Art + Alchemy, on Design*Sponge
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Across the room, Stephanie utilizes the Martha Stewart Craft Series flat files and craft table. Added pendant lights from IKEA have sewn linen sleeves to hide the cords. "The pin board over the painting table is always filled with new art," Stephanie explains. "I love seeing the patterns and florals together."
Studio Tour: Stephanie Ryan Art + Alchemy, on Design*Sponge
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Art-filled flat file drawers, a wooden pedestal from Terrain, and art supplies.
Studio Tour: Stephanie Ryan Art + Alchemy, on Design*Sponge
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The pedestal displays Stephanie's changing selection of art and a crystal collection.
Studio Tour: Stephanie Ryan Art + Alchemy, on Design*Sponge
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Watercolor paintings housed in flat file drawers from the Martha Stewart Craft Series.
Studio Tour: Stephanie Ryan Art + Alchemy, on Design*Sponge
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Details of Stephanie's art and the tools used in its creation.
Studio Tour: Stephanie Ryan Art + Alchemy, on Design*Sponge
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Stephanie paints on her glass-topped craft table with linen fabric underneath for a more natural feel.
Studio Tour: Stephanie Ryan Art + Alchemy, on Design*Sponge
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Looking toward the rest of the house at the studio's custom built-in cabinetry, random-width wood floors, and view of the natural brick flooring in the hallway.
Studio Tour: Stephanie Ryan Art + Alchemy, on Design*Sponge
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"What I love most about my studio is it’s a safe place to dream and create." - Stephanie Ryan
Studio Tour: Stephanie Ryan Art + Alchemy, on Design*Sponge
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A repurposed chest and altar table with Stephanie’s intuitive painting above in her separate meditation room. Here she journals, sketches ideas, and quiets her mind so that inspiration can find its way in.

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