Vanessa Kunderman, Rogue Wood Supply

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Rogue Wood Studio Makeover

Ever since we moved to Pleasant House on the Prairie, I knew I wanted to stake a claim on the tiny studio beside the house. It's a detached garage (we have another garage attached to the house) and the previous owners used it to store some kind of compressor... or something. I'm not even sure what the thing was.

But you know how every man dreams of his man cave? This would have made a perfect man cave for Derek, if I'm being totally honest - but after I started taking over the loft and the guest bedroom with Rogue Wood Supply stock - and then the dining room and our bedroom, it was pretty clear I needed a designated space. With a door. And like. No baby stuff.

Since this was a garage, the before was terrible. And I'm really brutal for taking before pictures. Last minute (and after I started), I snapped some on my phone but I'm not sure they capture how blah and not special it was. There were stains on the floor, a serious number of spiders, no shelves - but there was electrical, despite the plugs being in the middle of the wall. And the house's wifi reached the space! 

I had some left over paint from tackling the great room in the Pleasant House, so I painted the drywall and the window trim in the garage (trim was green...) but left the wooden wall on the left side because it would have absorbed too much paint. I was using leftovers. I had to compromise. The friggin' trim on the windows was GREEN. Everything in the house was green. I have green rage. I was not allowing any green to survive in this space.

The floor was another debate. I almost went with a dark navy blue epoxy. I debated grey for a long time since it's basically my go-to colour, but I was afraid that it would just make it look like a garage with some furniture in it. Besides, concrete is already grey. After applying the bonding to the concrete, I made the very last minute decision to go all white everything because there are small windows and I was afraid a dark floor would just darken the entire space too much.

I know white seems like a risk (hello, dirt), but sometimes you sweep and act like a grown up and everything turns out fine.

The door was green (shocker) so I went with a soft pink (this is called Sweetened Plum) because I have a secret pink door obsession (our last front door was coral). It screams divine feminine anyway, and I LOVE it.

Derek and I also started talking about using the space to host some of my workshops and retreats, rather than pay the overhead of renting another space. While I like getting out to different spaces to teach, it's nice to have the option to host something at home, especially with coordinating a little one between two busy parents. And it's extra nice to have somewhere that isn't within my actual home - covered in baby toys and laundry.

Case and point: the Red Moon Sacred Circle Series is one of my women's healing workshops and due to the nature of the class, the length of time it takes to complete each session can be a little unpredictable. This makes it hard to rent a space to host an unpredictable workshop if I'm paying to use the space. So I guess the studio just became a more efficient way to earn an income.

My little makeshift sign was at the end of our driveway since we live nestled in this magical little birch forest. So. The arrow was pointing to my driveway, not Rogue.

It's really nice to have all my things around me, especially my working essentials since I love to have a smoke bath every time I get down to business. It's like a glorified space to have all my potions.

But I prematurely moved everything into the space before it was ready, and somehow... there was a little flood. Or something. I'm still not sure what happened. But more than half my stock got ruined from water damage and it was an absolute devastation. We pressure washed the space and Derek thinks this might have been what damaged everything. I had thought a storm made it too muggy or humid but that seemed like a stretch.

I discovered the damaged goods when I was loading them up to SELL at a popup downtown. It was the worst timing and made me look completely sketchy and incompetent because I had to back out last minute. So now I've put up shelves and packed the last of my stock in air tight clear bins. It's not the most beautiful but it's practical and I have peace of mind.

But the experience did inspire me for a slight overhaul and design tweak since I lost mostly packaging. I have a new special edition crystal collection coming out this fall, along with a couple new products. I felt like a fire was lit beneath me, and now I had an excuse to streamline a couple design ideas and things that weren't working, make more efficient orders and overall create a better experience for those buying from my supply shop.

This is me trying to find a silver lining from the whole experience. I was upset at first, but honestly, I'm OK now. It was more so the embarrassment of promoting myself for an event that I dropped out of less than 24 hours before. Me: What a loser.

The outside is green... and brown. And terrible! But I haven't had a chance to spruce up the exterior yet. I will this summer and it will be fabulous. We're painting it Private Black with white trim to make that pink little door pop. But since we're getting new windows on the house this summer (and maybe the studio), I didn't want to bother painting the exterior yet just in case. But it will be good.

All in all, the space is still a work in progress but it's so great to have all my things under one roof rather than scattered throughout the house, mixed in with toy construction trucks and like - golf balls. 

I needed the studio to be useable/presentable to others because my workshop was beginning this August. It's all find and dandy if it's half-ass and I'm the only one to sit and work in it, but not if others were going to be in the space as well. But every day I add little touches here and there, and I'm really excited for it's transformation throughout the end of summer and into the fall. The apple trees are all ripe and twinkling just outside the door, and Derek hung lights along the roof for me. It's the absolute best space to write in.


Which reminds me, I just finished my longest piece of fiction. Between all this chaos, I still find time to write (if there is a deadline looming) and it feels like there is finally the writer's nest available to me that I've always craved. I can not WAIT for fall.

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