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MRM Illustration's art, illustration, and design studio in Hamilton, Virginia

Once Upon a Barn: A Tour of My Art & Design Studio in Hamilton, Virginia

It’s hard to conceive just how far gone my now-art design studio was when my family and I first moved into our 1890 home in Hamilton, Virginia last summer.

This is how the entrance to my barn, which I eventually converted into my studio space, used to look like:

Converting old outdoor shed into art and design studio space in Hamilton, Virginia

The majority exterior to our outdoor barn was covered in overgrown ivy; and the barn’s interior — which I, unfortunately, did not take pictures of at the time — was cluttered, run-down, and covered in dust.

As you can see, it wasn't exactly the most inspiring of places from which to do art from.

flower stamped icon by MRM Illustration

Still, the barn had massive charm and endless potential.

You had to be able to see through all the clutter and have some kind of vision of what the barn could be.

And I did.

My construction crew and I took several days to declutter the shed (during the hot summer days, yuck!).

Once everything was out of the barn, the next step was to sweep out all the cobwebs, putty all the holes, sand down all the surfaces, and prep the space (walls, tabletops, and shelves) for painting.

Here’s ???? how all that hard work turned out 🙂

MRM Illustration's art and design space in Hamilton, Virginia by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

MRM Illustration's art and design space in Hamilton, Virginia by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

MRM Illustration's art and design space in Hamilton, Virginia by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

MRM Illustration's art and design space in Hamilton, Virginia by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

While I’d considered painting the walls with color, I opted for all-white at the time to help brighten the place up. I may eventually add color over time once I feel more connected to the space.

flower stamped icon by MRM Illustration

Next, I unboxed and organized all my stuff.

This included an infinite number of art supplies, books, trinkets, and more ????

MRM Illustration's art and design space in Hamilton, Virginia by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

MRM Illustration's art and design space in Hamilton, Virginia by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

flower stamped icon by MRM IllustrationNow here’s how things are looking so far ????

MRM Illustration's art and design space in Hamilton, Virginia by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

I bought the black stool-looking chair at a nearby flea market near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and it needs some sprucing up; I’m thinking of painting or reupholstering but such aspirations have to wait for now.

I keep thinking I should add a mural or something on the walls but honestly, Rome wasn’t built in a day 🙂 at least that’s what I tell myself.

Plus, the immediate priority was to make the space for a proper art and design studio, and I believe we’ve since achieved that.

I’m just thrilled with how it’s all coming along and happy to share it with you so far.

flower stamped icon by MRM Illustration

Moving forward

Now that the barn’s been totally spruced up …

MRM Illustration's art and design space in Hamilton, Virginia by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

… I have many plans for moving forward but for the time being, every day I get to enjoy my new art and design studio space feels absolutely amazing.

I walk in and get completely lost in creativity mode.

I could be in there for HOURS (and hours and hours) to the point where family members have to walk on over and practically yank me out, especially when I’m deep in the zone.

There's still much to do but I'm taking it in slowly, one day at a time.

I hope to update more at some point with new art studio evolutions in the future.

For now, it suffices to say that I’m pretty darn giddy and feel so, so appreciative to finally have a creative space; one I always dreamed of.

Thanks for reading … and stay in touch.

Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

flower stamped icon by MRM Illustration

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