One of the trickiest aspects of always wearing a revolving round of hats, especially while at home, is finding the space to create, rest, eat, play and recharge - all typically done in a tiny studio apartment. How can we maximize our space and intertwine our musical instruments with our everyday household items without tripping over cords and cables?
There are oh-so-many things to consider when attempting to divide yet another corner of your living space. This is especially tricky when we’re forced to only use a corner of our space and we are unable to devote an entire room to our very own homemade recording studio and creativity center. For those who are able to gift an entire room in their home to the art of making music, you’ll still be able to adapt some of these tips to your space.
Let’s start with the unavoidable. If you don’t have the luxury of being out in no man’s land and you have neighbors, roommates and partners whose volume control you should respect, then the placement of your studio will need to be your number one priority. Try your best to choose the place in your home where it has the most audio privacy. This will be helpful for your creative process, as you won’t be as disturbed and those around you will be much more supportive and excited about your musical journey if you respect their hours of peace and quiet.
Next is the issue of space. Less is more when it comes to much design and placement, yet this becomes tricky when musical instruments are often large, overbearing and full of long cords and cables trailing behind each device. In this case, we suggest making your studio space as beautiful and appealing to the eye as possible. The more that it blends intentionally into your home, the better.
A little tip that we have adopted ourselves is the act of incorporating some of your musical instruments into your home as little pieces of art. Do you have a gorgeous guitar that doesn’t really fit in squished between your bed and your desk? Consider adding it to the living room where you’re able to use your space wisely and add a touch of edgy style. It’s the best of both worlds.
Now, if you’re particularly strapped for space, consider putting away the instruments that you’re currently a little less inspired by and give room and focus to that which is currently speaking to you. Do you have a few too many keyboards and drum machines that have begun to line your walls? If any of your instruments are getting particularly dusty and you’ve run out of room so much so that your whole studio corner has lost its luster - consider storing some of those in a closet and let your piano or snare drum step into the spotlight.
Keep it functional yet comfortable. You should be able to spend hours in your setup, so be sure to get a cozy chair and a desk with enough room for loose papers and a bottle of water. If you’re recording and not only using the space to write or jam, then we highly recommend that this is one element that you don’t skimp on. Keep your recording process setup and ready to go at a moment's notice. Nothing stalls and slows down inspiration like having to setup everything from scratch.
Let's not forget about the acoustical aspects of this endeavor. We know that when you're living in an apartment, worrying over acoustics is a bit of a luxury, as often find yourself with no choice other than to just keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best. Consider the climate, varying resonance throughout the options of where you can setup your space and the insulation factors.
Lastly, embrace the fact that you're lucky enough to bring music into your home! Rather than stressing about how you can incorporate creatvitiy into your every day life, let them blend together subtly and intentionally.