Piano Studio Makeover

I’ve always said that just about the time I get done decorating my house, I’m going to want to go back and do rooms over again.  However, as it turns out, I couldn’t even make it that long before I made-over a make-over.

Here’s what went down at our house recently…

The last time you saw my office was in 2010, right after we’d finished installing the floating shelves that we made out of a hollow core door.

I was really pleased with how they turned out.  Unfortunately, though, the magazine holders on the right side of the lower shelf were a bit heavy and had to be removed after causing some serious sagging issues.  So the shelves that were supposed to get my office organized ended up having weight restrictions.  No good.  That along with having piano students doing more contests and events meant that my desk area slowly succumbed do some serious paper and music book clutter.

Enter my easy two step organizational plan:
1) Hang wall file holder for organizing frequently accessed teaching materials
2) Use an old picture frame to create a pin board for random papers

So I found an wall file organizer I liked online, ordered it, and the Saturday morning after it arrived at our house, I grabbed a big ol’ frame from my stash in the garage and set them up on my desk to figure out where I was going to hang everything.  A nice little two-step Saturday morning project…

It was at that moment that I realized if I was ever going to add brackets to the shelves to fix the sagging issues, it would be better not to have a whole bunch of stuff hanging in the way that I’d just have to rehang later.  So then I figured that my plan really needed a trip to Home Depot to become a three-step all day Saturday plan:

1) Buy and hang wall file holder for organizing frequently accessed teaching materials
2) Use an old picture frame to create a pin board for random papers
3) Add brackets to shelves to make them useful again

But then it occurred to me that I really have never liked my office paint color.  Oh, I know I said I did.  I defended my color choice up and down.  What else was I supposed to do when Peter said it was “the same color they use in funeral homes”?  But really, it was a horribly bland, slightly peachy, beige color.  It had no interest whatsoever, like the color they use in funeral parlors.

So why install brackets that I’d just have to paint around later?  Why not just have a four-step, takes-all-weekend get the office organized plan?

1) Buy and hang wall file holder for organizing frequently accessed teaching materials
2) Use an old picture frame to create a pin board for random papers
3) Add brackets to shelves to make them useful again

What color though, right?  I’ll give you one guess.  What is bright and fresh and clean and would make a dark brown piano stand out like nobody’s business?  White of course!

After running through my Sherwin Williams paint color fandeck, I was down to two choices.  On the left is what I went with, Snowbound, reject color on right is Snowfall.  Alethea was really disappointed when I told her my choice.  She was rooting for another shade of white called Marshmallow.

Anyway, I sensed as I headed out to the paint store Saturday afternoon to get a gallon of the winning color that perhaps Peter was a little apprehensive about me being able to complete a full room painting project before my students began arriving on Monday afternoon.  But, whatever, at this point in my DIY career I can pretty much paint a wall in my sleep right?

The scene in my office Monday afternoon at 1:30pm…

Oi!  So yeah, in the end I did get it picked up enough to teach, but had to pull all the supplies out again and paint some more on Monday night and some more during nap time on Tuesday and literally finished the second coat seven minutes before my first Tuesday student arrived.  So much for my simple four-step one weekend project, huh?

So then, once I blew my timeline, I figured I might as well blow the scope of the project as well, so in addition to painting, adding a wall organizer and adding brackets to the shelves, I also scored a new desk chair thanks to Mr. Craig and his fabulous list:

And got a new lamp with shade for $5.20 at the thrift store today:

So as of this afternoon, my newly appointed office now looks like this:

Clearly the frame to bulletin board transformation hasn’t happened yet.  I’m also thinking that I’d really love a new desk if I could find one for a thrifty price.  Something I can paint to balance out all of the natural wood tones in the space.

That said, I’m really happy with the changes.  It feels so much more ME now.  A little more feminine, a few more vintage touches and a whole lot more white.

12 thoughts on “Piano Studio Makeover

  1. I like it with the white walls! A lot! It makes your piano stand out! And although I never thought of your studio like a funeral room, the brighter color certainly creates an area less fit for dead people.

    • Thanks, Jenny! The old wall color wasn’t really awful, it just was incredibly boring. Even though it’s a subtle change, somehow the white feels so much more lively to me.

      • there is also a local estate auction site I ran across lost week that happens to have an antique desk for sale, the current bid is $3.00 and closes next week. The desk has some nice detailing, but not sure of the look you are going for. Michael and I snagged a wood headboard footboard for our current bed for $17.25 this week. It is beebidder.com

  2. Just beautiful, Elise! And from my (limited) experience with your painting skills, I really do believe you could paint a room in your sleep!

  3. Hi Elise, what a great music studio! So jealous. I am wondering whether it would be ok to use one of your images for the ‘find a music teacher’ section on my website? Cheers, Libby

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