Before and After and In-between

Finally one of the rooms downstairs is completely finished.  Did I just say finished?  Yes!


Granted, it’s a tiny room, but I’ll take finished any way I can get it. 

It’s funny how priorities shift almost weekly in this renovation process.  Real life charges on and sets the course.  Nothing is how we planned it to be.  One thing leads to another.  So much for our pact: “we’ll only work on one room at a time and not move on until it’s finished”.  Ha!  Almost every surface in our house has been touched by the messtruction in one way or another.  It’s how it goes…


So, we had to bring the piano in from storage as piano lessons started up again(fall crept up on us).   But to bring the piano in, we needed to have a place to put it!  Which required a good two weeks of work.  Remember…one thing leads to another. 


Our new music room used to be the living room of sorts.  It was the room you walked into from the front door.  The piano now sits where the woodstove was before. 

The wall that  you would see when you walked in the front door.

Like some of the other rooms, we had to replace some floor joists and straighten the walls.  Basically a complete gut job.  Upon opening the wall, we found the home of its previous residents:

giant wasp nest inside wall

Thankfully they were long gone, or it would have been quite a sting!


We added the wainscoting which is painted “Clean White”… a Waverly Valspar color.  Above the wainscoting, I used my favorite neutral, “China Moon”, also Valspar.  The ceiling is painted a grayish blue for a unexpected splash  of color.  Ceiling light with Edison bulb from Lowes.


We moved our vintage French sofa in the room as the size was perfect for the space. 


Above sits a framed scripture plaque I  made.  The background  material is handmade paper from the art store (love the texture!). 


On top is a piece of fringed sheer fabric with the verse “printed” on using the miraculous Citrasolv. 


Instructions for using Citrasolv found here


I love browsing fabric stores.  I’m *always* inspired by fabric, and when I saw this, I fell in love.  It has that vintage flair that I was looking for, the colors were perfect, and mixed with the pom-pom trim, the pillows turned out so playful and fun.  


The fabric roman shades came from Lowes.  I’ll probably be using the same ones on all my downstairs windows.  I love that they are sheer to allow the light through, and the linen material provides texture.  And they’re cheap!


Our new piano teacher insisted on an adjustable bench seat.  Does she not realize the design dilemma that left me faced with????  I scoured the internet for a cute, cottage-like adjustable piano bench.  I’ll spare you a similar search.   It doesn’t exist. 


I decided to make a slipcover, and added some pleats at the bottom for a more tailored look.  Much  improved I think, although there  was no way to tactfully cover up those honkin’ knobs on the sides!


I wanted to play up the black keys of the piano by choosing a bench with black legs, and also by adding a black task light above. I knew I didn’t want the traditional ho-hum piano light, and when I saw this industrial looking light from Pottery Barn, I thought it was perfect for the space.  I love the clean lines and contrast against the white walls, and it provides a very practical purpose in addition. 


I always shy away from making a room look to0 themey.  But since this is a music room, I did add some theme-like elements but only because they are actually used items. 


Sharpened pencils at the ready in the smaller Anthropologie apothecary jar, and music flashcards in the bigger one. 


You might recognize this row of hooks and mirror from my old laundry room.   A large tote hangs on one of the pegs which holds the kids’ current music books.  Hanging storage=more floor space. 


The antique doors leading into  the room were a souvenir we brought back from a trip to Asheville, NC.  They came from one of my favorite antique shops ever, Oddfellows Antiques.  They have the most unique stuff… a lot of it European.  I don’t know where these particular doors are from originally, but I like to pretend they came out of a charming stone villa from the French countryside.  One can daydream!  I still have to finish painting them, so I suppose that disqualifies this room from the coveted “finished” status. 


But I like to cheat…  in my view, they technically belong to the living room.  And as you can see, the living room is definitely not finished.  Still in-between. 


But better than before.

the “before” view of the same space


  1. Any progress is good progress!Kids ,house ,school ,and music lessons! you are doing wonderfully my friend!

  2. It is a very charming room Rie. I always like your rooms. I like that you use old bits and buy new bits as you need them.

  3. The music room looks beautiful and I'm sure the rest will come together over time. Although it's hard during the process, a restoration is so worth it in the end!

  4. Looking good. I wish you many happy memories in the new space.

  5. Rie, it is looking so lovely. I was wondering if you could share the color #s for your paint. I can't find it on the valspar website.

  6. Such a pretty and functional space. I LOVE the fabric you used on the pillows. It is beautiful and has so much vintage charm.

  7. I so admire you. I could never do that! I like new homes so I don't have to worry about things like wasp nests in the walls. It looks wonderful.

  8. Your music room looks fabulous, I love everything that you have done, the music touches are sweet!

  9. Oh my have just made me so eager to see it all done! I am sure you feel the same. :) The music room is as quaint and full of charm as I knew it would be. Rie you are amazing. With a house full and home schooling you manage to get so much done. Thank you for posting this. We all want to come along for the ride. I bet you have no trouble sleeping at night.
    xoxo Dianne

  10. Yay for progress! We have been in our new construction home for two years and I have yet to get everything done, so I'd say you are doing great!

  11. hi the idea of white walls with a colored ceiling! the music room is simply beautiful.

  12. I am sure you are frustrated with being in limbo with unfinished reno's but it will be so worth it in the end. I just know it's going to look utterly fab, and you'll think back on this time and barely remember what an inconvenience it was =)

  13. you are seriously living in chaos as you remodel this farmhouse.

    We are living in someone else's house while they are in N. Africa with their kids until November.

    As thankful as we are, it will be nice to live in the midst of our things again....and I'm SURE you feel the same way.

  14. Your music room looks simple and chic, the way you always decorate. I love it!! Mixing old and new and having it all look timeless. You are doing wonderful, Rie! Hang in there!


  15. oh wow it is soo nice to see other people in the same situation as me, we are doing a big extension and renovating the existing part of our house, it is a BIG job! oh and so messy, un-organised, it is driving me crazy.. but we will eventually have what we want ;) Your music room looks lovely Well done !

  16. Wow Rie! The room looks so charming and wonderful! I love, love the doors you picked out. I can't wait to see what you do with the rest of the are amazing!



  17. Wow! I love it! But...I really loved the fun surprise of the yellow doors...I think they look fantastic as they are!

  18. It looks AWESOME!!!!!! What a fun project!

  19. Oh Rie- I have lived your life...we rehabbed 14 houses and lived in 12 of them during the process. There is never a simple-"let's get this room done", is there? You are exactly right-One thing ALWAYS leads to another. I always tried to get the master bedroom done first because then I had a place to escape to at the end of the day.

    Best wishes as you continue on this project-xo Diana

  20. You have been busy! This is a long awaited post, and well deserved the wait... your room is beautiful and I'll bet your kids love it! The ceiling makes the whole room for me. Just simply beautiful. Good luck on the rest our your transformation, I can only imagine doing it all with so many little ones. andrea @ townandprairie

  21. Wow! Step by step you are getting there! It looks lovely. I love the pillows--what a fun pop of color. What an amazing journey you are on to transform this lovely old home with so many other people and activities in your lives. I'm inspired!

  22. My favorite part is the board and batten on the walls. So pretty.

  23. rie....i love it! you have added some wonderful touches to the music room...i really like the verse you framed above the piano.

    and your house.....that recent shot of the family room shows major progress my dear....keep it up!

  24. All that work paid off. The new music room is beautiful and cozy looking. I love the wall color and the wall treatment is awsome. Fabulous job.

  25. What a charming room! I love your simple touches...we are remodeling too, and I have to say, it is crazy! Best of luck, I'll be following.....

  26. What a transformation! This is the perfect room for practicing piano, so light and fresh. I'm sure there will be no trouble getting your kids to practice in there! x x

  27. Looking great! You are definitely making progress. I love your scripture plaque- so fitting for the room above the piano.

  28. I am the one that always asks for the updates and hopefully I am not nagging! It is just that we are so interested in the process! We know your life is beyond full! But THANK YOU for the finished room update. It is beyond wonderful! So YOU! I love the room colors and how you put it all together! It is so simple but so beautiful with all your special touches.

    Once again, I can't thank you enough. We get so anxious when you post for us. I will try to be patient as we await more finished areas in the house. Just know that your peeps think you are doing a GLORIOUS job.

    God Bless You and Your Family!

  29. Hello,
    Your room looks amazing. I love your vintage French sofa and pillows are just the perfect design touch. Congratulations on the completion of your new room; it look fabulous.
    Smiles, Paula

  30. It's so charming!... god those doors are just wonderful, and i love the blue ceiling. The sofa is to die a thousand deaths for. You must be loving that you can say that room is finished as you move to the next step.


  31. I'm a musician and I love it that you have a room totally devoted to practice with a large window nearby! :)

  32. I love it...the fabric for those pillows are perfect! Congrats all that had work, sure did pay off!

  33. Beautiful! Beautiful! BEAUTIFUL!!!
    I like it!

    ~adjustable piano benches are much harder to find than organ stools. as i was reading i kept thinking of the elegantly carved spin up organ stool we had a kids...

  34. You are a good woman. I'd have gotten another piano teacher or advised her to bring a pillow the correct height. ;-) ADORE those doors - they're amazing!

  35. What an inspiring room especially for your children. Loved all the elements - you had me at the lightbulb....but then those beautiful doors!

  36. wow! i love the room! truly i wish i had half your vision.... and also i too like the surprise of the yellow doors... seems to suit.
    cant wait to see the rest!

  37. You have worked hard - and it is paying off. Thanks for the update. Would you please share your source for the sconces on either side of your beautiful doors? Best of luck to you.

  38. The sconces came from Pottery Barn a few years ago. I know that probably doesn't help you much since they probably don't still carry them. So sorry!!


  39. Looks fantastic! I love the doors and the fixtures! Wonderful detail you guys have come so far! Very inspiring...great work!

  40. Beautiful. I love seeing your updates. Also, if you have time (LOL), I would love to read a post on how you keep things organized during a renovation with a blind child.

  41. The wainscoting is so lovely! Could I also ask, from the previous post on the girls room, where did you get the apple green paint? Did you just mix it up or is it a ready made color somewhere? I have been looking for a color just like that for my kitchen counter stools.

  42. The antique doors are dreamy!! Just love them! I kind of like the yellow rustic paint, but I'm sure you'll come up with something that's just as lovely.

    I love your idea for the pencils and music flashcards. I can't tell you the number of times I've gone in our music room to find them falling on the floor, pencils everywhere. And now guitar picks. I'm off to find some jars!

  43. What a beautiful room you've created! The doors are incredible!!! I might have to try out your China Moon. I need a good neutral.

  44. Your finished room looks awesome. Remodelling is so much harder and time consuming than building new. We started our new tractor building about the time you started your project and it's basically finished except for the garage doors installation, which is scheduled for Wednesday.

    The rest of your house looks spacious with endless possibilities. Can't wait to see the next area that gets completed.

  45. PERFECTION! those doors! swoon!

    ashley over @

  46. it's so charming! love the blue on the ceiling!!

  47. Would love to know where the fabric came from for the pillows. Thank You!

  48. Anonymous- You can call this shop up and ask them about shipping the fabric (maybe send a pic of it?):

    Hope that helps!


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