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Studio Tour: Dear Colleen

I love a good studio tour and this one in New Zealand doesn’t disappoint! It was submitted by Colleen who runs her own design firm called Dear Colleen who specializes in hand lettering, fashion and homeware design. It hasn’t been shown yet online so I wanted to give you a first peek!

Studio tour

Colleen’s studio sits on the second floor of an old shared building for artists and creatives. The building is nearly 100 years old and has amazing features like large metal framed window and wooden floors. Colleen is based in Dunedin which is in the south island of New Zealand. Here is her studio from start to finish in a video shot by Scott Savage.

About her space Colleen says, “I did the studio up in a week with a lot of help from my boyfriend and a budget of around $300. I bought filing cabinets from op shops and gave some of them a new lease of life by having them powder coated in a bright green. The wood desk was dirty and abandoned in the room so I sanded it, added casters that I had saved from another piece and added new handles.” Being on such a small budget forced Colleen to get creative!

Studio tour

Studio tour

Studio tour

Studio tour

Studio tour

“I painted large wall graphics to add interest to the space, which took time but pretty much cost me nothing. All the furniture in my studio is second hand or salvaged. I love rescuing pieces that are destined for the dump and giving them a second chance.” Well done, Colleen!

(photos: Emily Hlavac Green.)

Posted by decor8 in Home Tours on June 20, 2012

Your comments...

  1. Michelle drew commented
    June 20th, 2012 at 9:34am

    That is fantastic and on such a tight budget. Wonderfully resourceful and I love the pink fabric covered desk chair!
    Michelle drew´s last blog post ..Lets go on a journey with travel journals from Natalie Ratkovski

  2. mimi commented
    June 20th, 2012 at 9:43am

    Oh I am SO in love with that cushion in the first picture! Are they for sale anywhere…. please tell me they are!
    mimi´s last blog post ..Watch out Hampton Court, here we come!

  3. Hazel Schreiner commented
    June 20th, 2012 at 10:06am

    Love it! Especially love the pink office chair and the time watch sketch! Fab space to work in!

    :) Hazel
    Hazel Schreiner´s last blog post ..LIL’ Monkey

  4. debra@dustjacket commented
    June 20th, 2012 at 10:33am

    Great job…love the green and the pink chair…so cool!
    debra@dustjacket´s last blog post ..The Painted Veil (by thiemo sander)

  5. le_third commented
    June 20th, 2012 at 10:40am

    Dunedin is a haven for creative types in the south island – very inventive and totally fab – go colleen – oh and we have our cold beach holiday house there so I am bias :) best le and like everyone we adore the chair !!

  6. eskimo*rose commented
    June 20th, 2012 at 12:00pm

    Fab studio – green with envy here! Love that dull office chair that’s been totally brought to life with great fabric :o)
    eskimo*rose´s last blog post ..blanket no.1: progress

  7. caroline @trend-daily commented
    June 20th, 2012 at 1:11pm

    i would so love to be part of a studio environment-it can only be inspiring and encourage your creativity-and keep you away from the kettle and the fridge!! :-)
    caroline @trend-daily´s last blog post ..Styling Details

  8. Barbara commented
    June 20th, 2012 at 2:00pm

    Fantastic studio, I love all those details and light is fantastic! I hope my studio will look as good as this one when I fix it

  9. Kerry Steele commented
    June 20th, 2012 at 5:35pm

    Love the pink desk chair and I really want that pillow in the first image!

  10. Bonnie McCarthy commented
    June 20th, 2012 at 7:37pm

    Great space!! Love that chair -and her artwork is wonderful!
    Bonnie McCarthy´s last blog post ..Cherry Picking!

  11. Kind Designs commented
    June 20th, 2012 at 9:31pm

    To reiterate Mimi’s comment, I have fallen in love with the cushion on the leather chair! The colours and geometric pattern work perfectly! Is it available online?

  12. Colleen commented
    June 20th, 2012 at 10:07pm

    Just quickly for those that are interested the cushion is from a site called Click for Art and the Fabric on the chair is by Designers Guild and is call Central Park.

  13. Elliot Alexander commented
    June 20th, 2012 at 10:52pm

    Yep DC is world famous in NZ. Here are a couple of other great illustration/design peeps from NZ worth checking out.
    Love your blog.

  14. Melanie commented
    June 20th, 2012 at 11:54pm

    What an inspiring workspace! I love that pink chair. :)

  15. Patti Trostle commented
    June 21st, 2012 at 12:23am

    Love watching the video and seeing it all come together! This reminds me of my studio. I also do my painting in a building that houses over 70 artists. The building was built in the early 1900’s. Great character and wonderful space to work!

  16. A Little Ink commented
    June 21st, 2012 at 11:34pm

    Adore this space! Such a good reflection of her work too! Really punchy, strong design with a serious twist -so, so clever. A Little Inspirational!

  17. Yeshen commented
    June 23rd, 2012 at 3:13pm

    what a lovely workspace.. the metal draw unit with green draws is great, also cool how that green is repeated in a few objects around the space.

  18. Dreaming of June commented
    June 23rd, 2012 at 10:35pm

    Awesome space! Thanks for sharing it.

  19. Kat commented
    June 25th, 2012 at 12:22am

    Oh that pink cover on the office chair is so pretty!
    I’m sure it must help her get more work done sitting on
    something as nice as that!
    Kat :)
    Kat´s last blog post ..Enchanted wood – only kindness matters

  20. Jacqui commented
    July 1st, 2012 at 3:19pm

    How gorgeous! I would love to work here! Really a treat to read about the process here. And a fellow New Zealander too! Nice one Colleen!

  21. Susan commented
    July 2nd, 2012 at 10:16pm

    Lovely space Colleen :)

    Think youve caused that cushion to sell out on Click for Art!
    I was too slow!

  22. Alexander commented
    July 4th, 2012 at 1:22pm

    Love the idea of painting the cabinets green! It adds a great look to the studio. Check out our site for some more ideas and products for improving your home and office.

  23. suzanne commented
    July 5th, 2012 at 11:18pm

    Such a sweet and refreshing space! Gotta be a great place to work!

  24. Veronika commented
    July 6th, 2012 at 4:56pm

    Really nice pictures. I love your pink desktop chair, its so beautiful.
    All the best – veronika

  25. Sam commented
    July 7th, 2012 at 8:07pm

    Love the space it is amazing what you can do on a small budget some times, it can push you to explore new ways to refresh an interior. Love It x

  26. Anne commented
    July 12th, 2012 at 6:48pm

    Thank you for the tour!
    I love the wall graphics :)

  27. Lottie :: Oyster & Pearl commented
    August 6th, 2012 at 6:25pm

    Ooh, I too love that cushion! Off to see whether it’s back in stock now.
    Lottie :: Oyster & Pearl´s last blog post ..Summer Art Classes

  28. Cathy D commented
    November 28th, 2012 at 11:46pm

    Um, $300?!?! That’s wildly impressive. I always look at these gorgeous homes and decor ideas and think to myself, “well, maybe someday when I have the money…” This has inspired me to get off my butt and stop making excuses! Also making me wistful for the time I spent abroad in New Zealand during college…what a beautiful country.

  29. Danielle commented
    February 9th, 2013 at 7:50am

    Hi! I am madly in love with that colorful pillow in the first picture! Could you please let me know where it can be purchased? Thank you!!

  30. J. Patryce Design commented
    August 23rd, 2013 at 3:31pm

    Hi – I am an interior designer in the NYC area. I am always seeking interesting new textiles. I LOVE the colorful geometric pillow in the very first image.
    Can you tell me more about the fabric or pillow maker?

    Thanks – Joan

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