Natalie Sandifer Artisan Gifts

Update on the atelier renovations

projectsnatalie sandifer

At long last I have started on the atelier renovations! We have only owned this house for two years! and how quickly those two years have passed by.

One of the main selling points for us, about our home in Cressat was the two storey building in our garden which previously had been used as a plumbers workshop on the ground floor and two additional bedrooms on the second floor. This meant we had ready made workshops for my husband and I.

 Our atelier.

Our atelier.

Unfortunately I drew the short straw when it came to the viability of using my new workshop immediately, my hubby on the other hand, although having gained a dirty, cobweb ridden space was able to move his tools in and make use of the space almost immediately. All he had to do was sweep up, build a work bench and organise the myriad of tools he owns, into the convenient shelves and storage cubbies installed by the previous owner, job done!

I, on the other hand gained two rooms which had become a haven for filth and wildlife, specifically what looks like thousands of flies. Having given birth to our daughter just two weeks after moving into the property (we bought the house in May and only moved in the July) I had not given much thought to the workshop and in that time hubby had found it a good place to store anything and everything he could not fit into the cellar or garage, so on top of the grime there were now boxes inhabiting the space too.

Now two years later........ I am finally dedicating some time to renovating the spaces. The first room will become a space for candle making, silk painting, wood burning, screen printing, air brushing and anything that involves making a mess, as it has a tiled area with a sink.

The second room will be shared sewing room for hubby and I, with our sewing machines, fabrics, threads, yarns and so on for upholstery, sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery and the like.

I also hope to create a space where our daughter can have the freedom to express herself creatively. Until now we have been making do with our dining table as a creative space, which is not ideal.

During the last two years I have been imagining that all it required was a quick clean and a lick of paint - how wrong was I? Hubby had been in and done some filling of cracks to prevent further fly infestations but I was not fully prepared for the work ahead of me.

I recently ventured into the rooms to take pictures for my "before" shots and was confronted with more than I bargained for, this was going to need more than a lick of paint. The doors and windows were covered in fly dirt, (we live in the countryside - flies are a fact of life here, but this looked like it had become a refuge for every fly within a 5km radius.) There was a thick layer of dust covering the floor and any other surface it could cling to. Spiders had spun a lot of webs from walls to ceiling (which seem to have been completely ineffective at catching said flies.) There was a sad sight of the body of a local lizard which had obviously met his fate after being trapped in the room and to top it off there were bird droppings on the walls and floors, yes, that's right bird droppings. My heart began to sink, I would not be getting my creative juices flowing here just yet.

So two weeks ago, armed with wire wool, rags, sugar soap, my trusty hoover, glass cleaner, scrubbing brushes and rubber gloves up to my elbows I embarked on my mammoth task of cleaning up and to date I have spent probably 15 hours removing the grime from every wall, pipe, window and door frames, doors and light switches; hoovering, cleaning windows and preparing the room ready for painting. I'm leaving the wooden floors until last.

As of today a small patch of tiling around the sink remains to be cleaned but I can now venture into the room without having to wear gloves.

Next up, it's time to get painting and clean the floors ready for the installation of shelving and workbenches, then finally move my collection of craft tools and materials into the atelier and start creating.

Here are some before pics, I'll take some photo's before the paint hits the walls.