A Composer’s Studio – Artist Retreat, part 5

It’s been a little while since we last visited the Artist Retreat series, and there are a few more spaces left to explore, including this composer’s studio. Since my last post, an article in the Winston-Salem Monthly was published about this house!ย It is a fantastic read (despite my bias as the designer) because it really focuses on the clients and their experience with this project.

But first, let’s back up a little. When I was first approached by these clients, they were in the process of closing on this house. I was hired initially for two purposes – to design the main level of the house and to work with the husband who is a composer and professor at UNC School of the Arts. He is one of those all-around wonderful human beings; warm, grounded, insanely talented, and passionate about his craft. The basement of this house was designated as his studio. It needed to house several dozen(!) instruments, his musical scores, dvds, and also be a place where he could retreat to play on his own or with a group. Here we have the same view from above, when I first saw the space:

Artists Retreat Composer Studio - Before

Functionally, what he needed was seating and storage. And the space clearly needed a refresh. In came new carpet and a fresh coat of paint. The colors from upstairs were brought downstairs onto the walls, and the fireplace was repainted a deeper gray color to add contrast and the the mantle got a nice pop as well. The tired window treatments came down to add more natural light. And do you see that awkward brick knee wall on the right? It became the location for built-in storage.

Artists Retreat Composer Studio - Bookcase

Shelving started at console height, and went straight to the ceiling to add visual height to the room. The shelves themselves were painted the crisp white of the trim, and were designed to be adjustable for the varying heights of his different media needs. The shelving creates a nice, layered nook for the couch and two side tables. The goal was to have plenty of places to place books, guitar picks, a glass of water, or anything else one might have around them during a jam session. Including a table lamp for multiple levels of light.

Artists Retreat Composer Studio - After

A side chair is angled next to the fireplace to face the small sofa and create a space for conversation. To warm up the space, we layered in a red and orange hued antique rug, rich wood tones in the tables, throw pillows with reds and indigoes, artwork, and musical instruments. Altogether, the space is warm, inviting, and ready for creative musical explosions. Kind of like this mantel.

Artists Retreat Composer Studio - Mantle

A big shoutout to the contractor on this project, too. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is having a great builder on the job. If you’re in the Winston-Salem area, check out George of Arista Builders. And if you’re feeling inspired from this Catspiration Friday post and ready to embark on a space overhaul, check out our full-service interior design service. You can read more about it here. Happy Friday, y’all!