New Yabo Productions Studio

(Guest Blogger: Holly Deng)

It's not often someone asks me to be a 'guest blogger' (who am I kidding, I've never been asked ;) but let me just say I'm PUMPED to do this post. I guess I should introduce myself-

Hi. I'm Josh's wife Holly. When Josh and I bought our house two and a half years ago, we knew it had lots of potential and could be transformed into a place we would love and call home. However, I had no idea how drastic some of those changes would be and how relatively inexpensively we could make them!

Ok ok- I know you audio people are thinking, did I just switch over to the HGTV channel? Don't worry- this is not a home remodeling or decorating post. It's actually a chance for me to brag on my amazingly talented & resourceful husband who renovated our old, non-wired, non-functional storage room into his incredible mixing studio.

It all started here:

(The left side of this room is filled with my childhood junk stuff and the right side consisted of empty boxes from both our move and baby shower.)

The Decision:

After spending a few months purging this room of almost everything (don't worry I saved the doll house), it was finally a blank (dark) slate. You'll note I mentioned this room had no wiring- it's true. That lamp in the picture is hooked up with an extension cord from the hallway. So why choose this room for Josh's studio?

Josh and I are expecting baby number 2 (a boy) in April and in order to make room for him: his room will be what was formerly the guest room, and the new guest room will be what was formerly Josh's studio. So Josh needed a new room! After consulting two electricians who each gave us estimates of $2k (if we tore down the existing ceiling) and $1600 respectively, we discussed the option of Josh wiring the room himself. (He is an electrical engineer after all (which I know is different than an electrician but he certainly has a deep knowledge of electricity, wiring, currents, etc)) After answering my "are you sure you can do it safely?" question a bazillion times, and showing me his spreadsheet of supplies and tools needed to complete the project- the estimate of under $400 to DIY it was MUCH more appealing.

What We Wanted Done:

When we got 2 quotes from the electricians we asked them to give us an estimate for:
  • 4 recessed lights
  • wire and install 2 ceiling accent light fixtures
  • 2-4 wall plug outlets
  • 1 room light switch
  • Wire and install 1 light switch for the adjacent storage room

After receiving the surprisingly high quotes we re-evaluated our approach and decided we'd actually go with:
  • No recessed lighting
  • Wiring and installing 2 ceiling accent light fixtures.
  • Wiring and installing 1 central flush mounted ceiling light.
  • A room light switch that contains both a dimmer for the 2 ceiling accent light fixtures and a normal switch for the central flush mounted light.
  • Wiring and installing a light switch for the adjacent storage room.
  • Wiring and installing 2 wall plug outlets.
If you look at the list carefully- what we decided to go with actually calls for more work (aside from abandoning the recessed lighting). That's because once we decided Josh could do it- it still was WAYYY cheaper to do all that work than have the pro's do it.

The Process

Armed with his excel sheet of supplies & tools needed, Josh headed off to Home Depot. Once he got home with bags full of toys supplies/tools it was go time!

Drilling through the ceiling joists from the adjacent storage room to run the wiring into his studio.

Just completed drilling the first light fixture hole and running the wiring to it! SO proud!

 The ceiling holes all drilled and ready for hard wiring to their fixtures!

Light switches installed and WIRED! *Including the snazzy dimmer switch!*

The lights work! Which means the lighting wiring is good!! Time to mount those puppies! 

Mounting the accent lighting

 Deciding what angle to turn the rod.

Lighting is Up, Time to Paint!

Once Josh got the room all wired and installed, we could see how desperately the room needed paint. (in the dark we knew it was rough, but once lights were on- it was really bland) So we went back to Home Depot to pay a visit to the paint swatch aisle.

Our 2-year old daughter wanted to help test swatches.

After an appropriate time of hemming and hawing over what shade to do the main walls and what color to give the accent wall, Josh decided. I merely served as a consultant of sorts since this is his studio and I wanted him to go with what inspired him! He did a great job picking out colors for his studio and the overall vision of the room was starting to come together. 

The next step was taking the bold leap to paint the accent wall! (I'm not gunna lie- both of us kept staring at it thinking 'uhhh are we sure this is the right color?')

Don't worry folks- the paint was low VOC and we had the room well ventilated for this 6 months preggo lady.

The accent wall painted!

Time to clean up the room so I could paint the rest of the walls.

Even our cat wanted to check out the new room.

With the main walls lookin fresh with their new paint, the room was ready to move in!

Our daughter kept saying 'Wowwwww' as she looked all around Josh's studio. I agree!

The Finished Product:
The NEW Yabo Productions Studio!

Before I give you all the yummy after pictures I just have to say I am SOOOOOOOOOOO proud of Josh for all the work he put into the studio! I am SO amazed he wired the whole thing (and gave us a bonus switch and outlet in our storage room too)! He did an amazing job from start to finish and we saved SOOO much money by having him do it. All total we spent around $325! (YUH I'm being serious!) Talk about savings compared to the $1600 and $2K quotes we got JUST for lighting! $325 includes all the lighting parts (wires, caps, a special drill bit, face plates, switches, etc) paint, the light fixtures, and some miscellaneous hooks & hardware for various studio elements!!

Welcome to Yabo Productions Studio:

The gear corner

The back wall.

That side door leads to our storage room.

From start to finish (not including the period of purging) this studio lighting/painting/designing project took just over 3 weeks! Josh did such a great job on the installation and the vision of this studio. I hope he has MANY fun hours spent in there creating all kinds of amazing masterpieces. He is so talented and deserves a great studio. Way to go honey! And welcome to your new studio Yabo Productions!!