In order to create a place that I am hoping kids and adults can both enjoy. We needed to create a classroom in our space. We dreamed of the front of the studio being a lounge that offered open studio time with craft supplies/kits for purchase. The back half of the studio would be a classroom that can offer preschool, homeschool, after school art classes and than numerous mom night out options as well.
I joke that when we look back on what the place was and how much work we have done ‘would we have still signed the lease?’ I’m not sure. I never thought we would do all the work, but finding a contractor to start immediately wasn’t happening. We did the next best thing, and we called Matt’s dad. He is one of the most talented, kind hearted (with experience in construction) mans you might ever know. He should have told us no, yet he jumped in excitedly. George came from Georgia and lived with us for two weeks to kick the construction phase off strong. He brought tons of tools and knowledge, and he was such an encouragement to us. He was able to meet people at the studio by day (when Matt did his real job and I homeschooled our youngest two) and worked around the clock.
We had gotten rid of the drop ceiling tiles, but there was still the track that they rested in that needed to be taken down, as well as the fluorescent lights that were still in the track. Matt and George brainstormed where new electrical should go, took down the old stuff, and started putting up the new stuff.
This was a long hard process. Electrical is so important, but for my impatient excitement and eager to help heart…I couldn’t do much. The kids enjoyed the big empty football field, which was awesome since it was too cold to be outside. I joked that this place was the basement we didn’t have. Getting rid of the ceiling track and lights totally opened up the place! It felt huge. We had figured out where we wanted the classroom and taped off the size it would be. The classroom would leave a long, wide hallway from the lounge part of the cafe, past the classroom, to the storage nook and bathroom. I love pallet walls and figured out that creating an accent pallet wall at the end of the hallway was one project I could start now, while the electrical was going on too.
We knew we wanted to open up the storage nook and view into the bathroom. It needed to be obvious and a clear line of view from the classroom, so a wall needed to come down. It was DEMO DAY!
This was exciting! Such a huge difference and big thing to check off our to do list.
We decided to leave the drop ceiling tiles in the storage nook and bathroom. It would have been a lot more work to take all that out without getting the same big effect. Plus, the bathroom needed tile or some kind of ceiling anyways. Privacy. We decided to add a beam look to tie the two places together, and it has come out beautifully!
This phase was exciting because we were making the space ours. The visions in my head were starting to come to a reality.