Conceptive creativity vs designing spaces

My predisposition towards creating and refining interior spaces is getting the better of me again. Here we are in our new little home which we moved into — I avoid the word purchased since the bank still own’s 90% of it — in part because it was livable. Livable, yes, but not ideal.

First project underway, now complete.

The trick in part will be not putting too much time or money into the place, and working on projects that add the most value. The home isn’t in the best of neighborhoods and we won’t be able to add infinite value to the space with our projects. This, however, is a practical point of view. Merge this with a designer’s sensibility, which considers the practical as well as the aesthetic, and that’s where I’m headed.

The most expensive project will be replacing the kitchen cabinets. In our previous home we got away with painting and replacing the hardware, but the cabinets there were in better shape and more plentiful. We have a lot of saving to do before I tackle the kitchen. Before then will come removing the wall between the living room and kitchen (which is done), adding walls and flooring in the basement to create a family room and a bathroom (the bathroom is already partially plumbed) and painting inside and out.

Part of creating an organized studio space for myself to work in will be adding the walls in the basement. This is a relatively inexpensive project when you don’t include flooring, but it takes a fair amount of time. As in probably a month of weekends start to finish when you consider the wiring and pluming that will also be involved. And building in an entertainment center.

The struggle comes with another pervading inclination, that of creating works of art. Today I want to start a small series of paintings. My clay is either too wet or too dry at the moment (I’m still looking for a local supplier of a new clay body that I like since we moved) so I thought I’d do something in the way of conceptive creation, in this case painting (something I do on occasion). I quickly realized, however, the lighting over the new work surface I scrapped together is insufficient, so I’m back to thinking about spaces and projects around the house.

It’s a vicious cycle for me.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

2 Responses to Conceptive creativity vs designing spaces

  1. jim janknegt says:

    We are almost constantly changing the way our home functions. In fact , I realized the other day, that except for one bathroom and two bedrooms we had modified every room in the house, some majorly, as well as adding on outdoor porches. I wondered, to my wife, why did we buy this house if we have changed so much of it? We liked the view from the front porch. And I like having projects to work on. I have a long list, just not enough time or money. And even though I probably should I do not think about resale value. I do what I like and what suits our family. It does cut into time for art work though.

    You might be interested in “the Timeless Way of Building” if you are not already:

    • pcNielsen says:

      Normally I wouldn’t be concerned with resell potential, but I’m viewing this dwelling as fairly temporary in the scheme of things and garnering some cash from it’s sale could be a tiny springboard towards the arts center.

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