It’s a super cozy, wonderfully lazy Monday afternoon… It’s been raining steadily all day, actually for most of the past week. Combine that with a crackling fire in the hearth and I’m ever so happy. No snow this far south, but if it’s raining and I can have a fire, I’ll be happy. :)
I’m been wanting to do some more before & afters of the Cottage, but somehow it has taken me a while to get those pictures taken and uploaded. And with two active little girls, I find my computer time to be a bit lessened. Combine that with a New Year’s resolution [but wanting it to continue past just this year] – the goal to not be on the computer after dinner in the evening.
That’s been a stretch for me, I’ll admit. I didn’t realize how often I go online after supper. It was a good, easy thing of relaxation at the end of a busy day, but the down-side of that is that I could easily check out with Ben and the girls during our only family time of the day. And honestly, if Ben and I needed to talk through something, I could easily hide behind the screen instead of talking… :( So, I very much realize this is just my own choice and not something that’s for everyone. This is just for me. And if Ben is gone for the evening, don’t be surprised if I’m online at 7:30P.M. :)
I have found that I have SO much more time for reading than I normally did. It’s only the first week of February, but I’ve already read several books this year. I don’t have to wonder long where my free time was going… But we’ve been having so much good family time. Hide & Seek with the kids that is way more fun that being on the computer. Reading them lots of books. Feeling like I have a lot of time in the evenings…
And besides all that, I don’t want this blog to be all about my projects and my house and my… What I DO want it to be is an outlet for me to remember details about life and God and family and living and creating that I wouldn’t otherwise remember. To celebrate and treasure the little things. The not-often big things. To share a part of my journey with other people. To try to respect the privacy of my family at the same time…
And a great blessing that comes along with that is keeping current friendships in far-away places as well as meeting many new wonderful friends! Truly, I feel so RICH in friendships!!
So, today is a post to document the Befores and Afters of the Music Room/Family Room/Office.
[bright yellow/orange walls, but really in good condition otherwise]
[for better room flow, we moved the door to the left of the fireplace…
… to the right of the fireplace]
We began by painting the walls a neutral color, the same as most of the rest of the house. I wanted to go with a paint called “Biscotti” because how fun would that be to tell people the wall color?? But it didn’t quite fit the pallette I was wanting, so instead we went with “Tuscan Beige” by Ace Hardware.
This room is a walk-through room to the girls’ bathroom, the laundry room, and the master bedroom. We thought about closing part of it off to make a third bedroom [at present we have only two] and putting a hallway through it, but because of the option to add two bedrooms upstairs eventually, we decided to keep this room opened up. Besides, closing off the rooms would’ve meant getting rid of my baby grand, and that would’ve been a very sad parting…
When I was getting ready to work on this room last summer I asked on facebook if anyone has some old sheet music they weren’t using/would give/sell. My friend, Marylou, offered to send me an old book. It was a gem – I was so thrilled upon received it! Not only were the pages a very lovely aged color, but the titles of the songs are so delightful! Thank you so much, Marylou!!
I combined this old music with new books that I got off ebay for a song [yeah, didn’t even think of the pun, sorry]. And I kind of went a little happy with all of the music projects. I told someone I feel a little sheepish even showing this post because it’s a music overload!!
I began by putting these various sheets over the wall by the desk.
[This idea came from French Larkspur [blogspot], not original with me.]
Can’t forget to include this in the pictures. :)
The desk we picked up at a yard sale for $10, and then I painted it several years ago. That was when I was painting everything black. Now I realize there ARE other colors to paint things. :)
The chair was free at a yard sale last summer because the caning in the seat is coming apart, and we still haven’t fixed it. Hence the pillow to sit on while working at the desk. :)
The window panels I made from fabric that I bought for $1 a yard several years ago. I really wanted to go with a bright grass green for my accent color in here, but couldn’t find what I was looking for for the price I was willing to pay. So I ended up using some fabric from my stash….
This old [bald & hairless] rocking horse came from an antique auction. I used to think he was dreadfully ugly, but he’s growing on me. :) The girls love him, so why shouldn’t I? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say. :)
The jute rug I picked up on craigslist, the same time I got the rug for the living room.
Turn right at the desk and this is what you’ll see…
The old piece of furniture was bought as-is at my grandmother’s auction 5 years old. It badly needs a new paint job, and I’m not sure whether to leave it black all over, or paint the exterior white and the inside black? This room tends to be rather dark, even with the two windows.
White vase: Pottery Barn outlet for $1.99. Wish they’re still have cheap clearance like that.
Old Frames: auction for $1-2 dollars each
White bust: T.J. Maxx, I think
Quote plaque: gift from a friend ♥
I love bringing the outdoors inside. This mossy stuff is so beautiful to me!
Keep going clockwise, and watch out for the baby grand…
This was my birthday gift from Ben when I turned 24… I am a very humbly proud owner. :)
I got this wild idea to make a music tree [as if there wasn’t even of a music theme in the room]. So one afternoon when the girls were napping I traced an outline on the wall, then cut various music sheets to fit that outline. I thought it would take me days, but an afternoon was enough to complete it.
The bird cages were found at several different junk shops.
I bought quite a few books at my grandmother’s auction several years ago, along with these binoculars, which belonged to my late grandfather.
The round votive holder is from Pottery Barn – something I had watched in the catelogue for a very long time, starting out at over a hundred dollars, and finally finding it at the outlet for $30. I was happy. :) That was several years ago. Now, I think it’s a little “heavy” in style, but after waiting that long to buy it and then getting it for such a good price, AND storing it for several years until I had a house to put it in, well, I’m not selling it quite yet. :)
The 4th mantel/fireplace in the house. Not sure black is what it’ll always stay, but because I have so many fireplaces I didn’t want them all to be the same. So this is black.
I call this my “Wall of Words” – inspired largely by The Lettered Cottage’s reading room. Theirs is only words, if I remember correctly. I combined words, music, pictures – just a lot of things black and white. [whoops about the one picture falling from its frame]
The black frames were mostly bought at Goodwill for around a dollar each, average, and I spray-painted them black. When my sisters spent some time with me last summer, I conned them into doing some of the writing for the quotes I wanted on the wall. :) I used a combination of Scripture and some favorite quotes. The wall words were given to my by my mother-in-law, who found them at a yard sale! She is a yard sale queen! :)
This old globe also belonged to my late grandfather. Can you tell I’m sentimental? :)
And just for fun, before and after again:
And that concludes the Office/Music/Family room before & after!
[disclaimer: these pictures were taken during the naptime of two children. Should you happen upon us today, or any day for that matter, there is very little chance of the above room looking remotely similar and tidy. At the moment, there is a dishwasher-sized cardboard box in the middle of the room which is the “house” of the above-mentioned children and they would be disastrously devestated if the house would need to relocate anytime in the near future.
(p.s. the mother of the above-mentioned two children is learned and growing in the areas of letting children be children without demanding that messes be non-existant and playtimes be solely imaginary and with no fun props. Hence the cardboard house, which is stretching the imaginative developement of the children, and the perfectionistic tendencies of the mother, who is learning that happy children are worth far more than perfect houses, and that imaginative play is what will create wondeful memories rather than immaculately-tidy rooms].