I just finished a total re-configuraton of my basement Studio - Carder-style, and I wanted to share some ideas I came up with and also share some useful supplies I found at great prices.
The first picture is the studio with the 5000k CFL lights. I bought the Bulbs at Batteries Plus (which now carries bulbs) for $11 each. I used inexpensive clamp-on light fixtures I got at Home Depot (I think they were around $7 each).
I put screw-in hooks on the walls near the very top and then strung 2 parallel cords from wall-to-wall so I could hang the lights (at 35 degrees), and keep them up as high as possible.
I also installed hooks and more cord around the area where I paint and hung black sheets (3 @ $4 each at my local thrift store) to block out ambient light and distractions.
To block out light from the windows, I bought these really inexpensive "Black-Out" blinds. I got them on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000SDTEAG/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I got a 6-pack of them for $38. Home Depot has a 4-pack for about $36. These things really do a great job blocking the light and you can cut them with a utility knife to fit your windows. (they come 48"wx72"h). No tools needed-they stick on with double-sided tape.
Next, I built the Palette table, with a couple little twists. I admit, I can be a bit of a klutz when I am focused on working and I was afraid that I would bump the glass and knock it of the support arms, so I extended the arms and added some wood pieces on both ends that wrap around the sides of the glass just enough to keep it from moving. I drilled holes in the wood to hold brushes, and a glass "bowl" for medium, or... (upside-down butter dish lid - $1 at thrift store).
The wood at the ends allows enough depth for me to put 1/8" hardboard under the glass. This way I can paint the hardboard to match the color I am underpainting the canvas. I will use the color Mark uses when I do a still life or portrait. However, when I do my landscapes, I typically do an underpainting of a red oxide acrylic. I was taught by an old master oil painter, who held true to the traditional style of hot over cold, and cold over hot. The red underpainting makes the blues in my skies really light up. I will paint a couple sets of the hardboard so I can swap them out depending on what I'm painting.
I made the Shadow Box based on the one by "mrking" with some changes to the joints, I just LOVE having the drawers! I bought a bunch of knick-knacks at the thrift store so I'm ready to get started on still life paintings.
One other thing I'll mention. I often use a T-Square, Mahl Stick, 4' level and the Canvas Guard (which is a mounted replacement I made for the Mahl Stick). These are always leaning against table or something - which means I'm always knocking them over. There is an item called the "Q Claw" which is used to hold pool cues. I found the one from when I had a pool table, so I use it to hold everything up. I included a couple pictures of it in case someone might find it useful. It's rubber and grips whatever surface you put it on.
Well, all that's left is to make my Color checker and mix the SDM (thanks dencal for the link to get cheap clove oil)! By the way, Mason Jars to hold your paints - 12 pack of Kerr 8oz wide mouth jars for $12 at Ace Hardware. http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3376864&cp=2568443.2568448.11927733.11929889
Thanks to Mark, and to everyone on this site for their great ideas and resources!!!!