music room before and after
colonial farmhouse,  decorating

Music Room Before and After

I’m not sure if I’ve ever done a proper ‘before and after’ room post because that’s just not how I roll, but there’s a first time for everything!

Today I’m going to show you pictures of our music room before and after because I’m at a stopping point in this space.

Basically, I’ve called it ‘good enough’ for now. Or maybe ‘much better than before’ and I’ve moved on to other projects. Yes, there are still things to do in the music room.

Will they get done? Definitely.


Let’s not hold our breath.

Last week I showed you my piano harp art.

The piano harp art may be the star of the show, in terms of art, in our music room, but the supporting cast is the newly clean, wallpaper-free walls.

This room was entirely wallpapered when we moved in. Even the stair risers.

The below photo shows our piano room on the day we moved in in June 2019. That’s not our stuff on the floor – it was left here.

What you can’t tell is that the walls were so dirty that I actually washed them with a floor mop. You don’t want to know about the filth that was on the baseboards and heaters.

Those french doors lead to a sunporch that is also in dire need of a makeover.

Opposite the french doors is the stair wall that goes up to the bedrooms.

As you can see, there was a lot going on in this space:

Another set of french doors that separated this room from our dining room.

Painted stripes going up the wall.

Flowered wallpaper on the stair risers.

White and blue trim.

The little flowers on the stair molding were not original. How do we know? They were hot glued in place. Handy Husband ripped those off one day with a great deal of enthusiasm.

That stair wall looked like this after I painted over the stripes and removed the wallpaper from the stair risers.

The trim got a fresh coat of paint too.

After I applied wood putty to the knots in that wood wall, sanded it, primed it and put four coats of paint on it it now looks much brighter and cleaner.

There’s a closet under those stairs. If you push on the “hidden” door it springs open. That’s where I keep my vacuum. You’re welcome for that tidbit.

I did leave one nail in that hidden door (and painted it white) so that I have the easy option of hanging something there in the future.

music room with white paneling

This is the view from the music room looking into our living room.

Those floors are original to the house.

Now let’s get back to the nitty gritty on what had to be done to fresh up this music room.

Namely, removing the decades-old wallpaper. In my experience, no wallpaper removal process is the same because there are too many variables involved.

The patterned part of the wallpaper in our music room came off in seconds. The underlayment did not want to give up the ghost.

After I finally got it all off, I had to scrub the walls to remove any remaining residue. I also patched some cracks and caulked around all the trim.

I’d like to tell you it was a good time, but it was mainly grunt work. Nothing glamorous about it.

All that grunt work was totally worth it though!

The music room wallpaper was probably the least offensive wallpaper in this house, but I didn’t realize how much better I would feel about our main living areas until it was all down and the room was painted.

Our dining room/entry, music room, and living room are all connected in a straight line, so these spaces feel more cohesive now.

I did save a section of the wallpaper to put in a file for a future homeowner. Just a little piece of this home’s history for their reference.

I have griped about the amount of stuff we hauled out of this house when we moved in.

However, it is hard to regret that situation because there were quite a few gems that we kept.

Like this radio. Isn’t it fantastic?

It works too!

The plug on the cord kind of looks like a fire waiting to happen, but don’t worry. It’s not plugged in. And since there are precious few outlets in this house, I’m not going to waste one on this thing!

We tested the radio out and it does pick up channels, but not with great clarity.

I loved how the radio looked and I think it works in our Colonial Farmhouse because we have a healthy mix of old and new decor.

I can imagine a family gathering around this radio to listen their favorite programs. Can’t you? Perhaps one of FDR’s fireside chats?

There are still a few things to do in the music room. Of course!

We need a new light fixture that we won’t bang our heads on. I need to paint the french doors that lead to our sunporch and finish painting the stair railing. The light switch and outlets need to be updated. And, I’m still contemplating art options for the stairs.

I have been asked if I am going to paint everything in this house white. The answer is it is quite possible!

What I’m really doing is cleansing the palate, so to speak. This house was so busy and so dirty when we moved in. It had been neglected for a long time. I needed a reset button, a fresh start. White paint was and is the way for me to do that.

Also, I like white paint.

I have ideas on where I might want to add color in the future, but right now I’m happy to be enjoying the process. I really like living in this old Colonial Farmhouse. This isn’t our forever house, but it feels good to be here right now. This revelation is amusing to me because there are so many things wrong with this space. How I can swing from irritated to enamored with our house in the space of a millisecond is beyond me.

A handful of times in the last few months I have randomly mentioned to Handy Husband, “I like living here.”

He always replies in his chatty way, “Mmmhmm.”

This house is a labor of love, so sometimes we both need the reminder that being here is a good thing for our family.

However, it is no longer a hardship to sing and play the piano in our newly made-over music room.

In fact, I think I’ll go do that now.

It sure beats the alternative – stripping more wallpaper!

The wall color is Arcade White by Behr. The trim color is Bit of Sugar by Behr.

Thank you so much for sharing part of your day with me. I can’t give you a hug, but I can share these other posts you might enjoy! 

Sheet Music Easter Eggs

Kitchen Refresh with Paint

Hide Furniture Scratches Without Refinishing

Colorful Girls Room 


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  • Sandy Smith

    I love your piano room makeover. You guys sure took on a project when your bought that place. Lots of hard work. BTW I can’t imagine papering the stairs.

    I would like the radio better if it didn’t have all that colored stuff in the middle. My parents had a radio somewhat like that . If I remember right it had a record player in it . It worked good. However that was at least 60 years ago so it is hard to remember such details.

    • annisa

      The colored stuff in the radio was such a happy coincidence for my particular needs. The colors in that tapestry match the colors in my living room rug and help tie the two spaces together. I’m pretty sure it is removable should I switch my living room rug out for a more neutral version in the future.

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