Before & After: Nick's Music Room

On June 3rd, when Sarah and I closed on the house, we sat for hours on the empty living room floor sipping champagne and daydreaming of changes we wanted to make in our new home. Everything from big picture items like knocking down walls and rewiring entire rooms, to smaller tasks like painting the front door and removing mini blinds. The future ahead of us was both daunting and exciting.

We knew that in order to keep ourselves sane, and our lives functioning at least semi-normally we would have to control ourselves to working on one room at a time. That has been a hard guideline to follow, but for the most part, we made it work.

And FINALLY, after months of work, countless side projects, delays, and distractions, we are so proud to show off our first ever before and after post of our new home - the Music Room!

Since the music room is essential to part of my income, I immediately knew I wanted to finish this room first. It's been functioning as a lesson space for a couple months now, but has only recently been completely finalized.

Let's check out what all we were able to accomplish!

A lot of work went into transforming this small 3rd bedroom into the lesson studio it is today. Here are the tiny details of what it took to complete this room's overhaul.

The Floor Trim:

Every time I see the before picture of this trim I am blown away by it's hideousness. Unfortunately, the ENTIRE house has this exact same trim, so my crusade against it is far from over. The new trim and quarter round is painted with semi-gloss ultra pure white (untinted) Behr paint and the contrast it makes with the dark blue on the walls is exactly as dreamy as I hoped it would be.

Door/Window/Closet Trim:

The doorway to the music room was already trimmed, but with the same skinny, brown ugly trim that exists in the rest of the house. We took that off and replaced it with a slightly bulkier white trim to better match our floor trim. The closet and window had no trim around them at all, so they had to be framed out on the inside dimensions before adding new trimming around it. It was a ton of work that doesn't serve any purpose other than to look nice, but it was completely worth it. The window looks bigger, and the closet seems less like a random cave in the wall without a door. Also, having the inside of the closet doorway finished opens up the possibility of completing it with a door jamb and door in the future.

The Walls:

The walls in this room were easily the biggest part of this renovation. Where the drywall met the studs, there were terribly deep valleys. All of the walls had really noticeable ugly patches, various textures, holes, etc. Honestly, the photos simply don't do them justice. They were so nasty. We filled the uneven valleys with joint compound, patched holes, and entirely sanded down the textures on ALL the walls. It was disgusting, time consuming, painful, arduous, loud, and terrible in every way imaginable. But we knew it had to be done since this dark wall paint was going to just highlight every uneven and multi-textured surface. Once the walls were smooth, the primer coat looked like a million bucks, and the two coats of color on top of that just made my heart soar.

The Light:

As with every other room in the house, right in the middle of this tiny room was an old, gold and wood ceiling fan. Obviously, it had to go, and obviously it had to be replaced with a sleek, bright brass fixture.

The Shelves:

The music room is pretty small, and other than the closet and some very small desk drawers, there isn't much storage. These simple shelves from IKEA were super quick and easy to install. The only customizing we did to them was to paint the brackets. They started out as just slightly off-white. I didn't like the thought of the super white trim with off-white brackets, so I painted them with the same paint used on the trim.

The Furnishings:

We refinished these orange directional chairs specifically to be used in this room, and they were featured in a previous post, which you can read here. I love the contrast of the complementary dark blue and the orange.

This desk was the perfect combination of pretty, simple, functional, and small. It nicely fits the wall, and provides me with a place to finish up some work while not taking up too much of the room's precious floor space.

Of course, seeing as this is my lesson studio, I needed a piano! The space above the piano is finished with these beautiful Harry Potter prints that we had hanging in our apartment. Finally, they're not hidden in a back room anymore and their beauty gets the attention it deserves.

Maps are a mild obsession of mine, so the huge space on the empty side of this room was the perfect spot for this large map. We built the wooden hanger for it - you can read about it here.

The Plant Hangers:

The area above my new desk was the only wall we decided to keep white. Since this wall is opposite the only window in the room, we wanted to reflect that light into the rest of the space. The only problem was that it was no fun sitting at my desk staring at a blank white wall, so we decided to spice it up a bit with these DIY plant hangers that we featured on the blog a while back. I think they fill the space nicely, and the pops of green really enhance the room.

Whew! And we're done! Both with the music room and this post! I know this has been one of our longest posts, but I'm so proud of this room, and I wanted to brag about every little detail. That's cool, right? If you like reading the nitty gritty details of a room makeover/renovation, then you're in luck because we still have two more bedrooms, a bathroom, a basement, a kitchen, a laundry room, and a living room to do (someday... hopefully before I'm dead.)

Check below for links to all the things we used and purchased for this room! If we missed something or you have questions about anything, be sure to leave us a comment below!

Paint - Behr Starless Night and Behr untinted white (Home Depot)
Wall Map with Wooden Hanger (DIY)
Curtains & Rod (IKEA)
Harry Potter Prints (Etsy)
Gold Task Lamp (Target)
Globe (TJMaxx) - similar
Orange Chairs (DIY)
Copper Plant Stand (DIY)
Shelves & Brackets (IKEA)
Desk (Target)
Rug (Rugs USA)
5 Spoke Ceiling Light (Amazon)
Hanging Plants (DIY)

Sarah & Nick


  1. IT LOOKS SO GOOD! (I know how good it looks because I've also seen it in person)

  2. OMG IT LOOKS SO GOOD. Seriously, I'm amazed by how much you guys accomplished in just four months. My boyfriend and I have been living in our apartment for 6 months now, and I can't even bring myself to paint one of our nightstands. TEACH ME.

    P.S. - I bought one of those hexagon planters forever ago on a random trip to Target but didn't know what to do with I know. Thank you!

    Natalie Was Here

    1. Thanks so much, Natalie! It's suuuuch a struggle to get stuff done. It feels like we've done so little, but everyone says they think we've done so much, haha! I want to see more of your apartment - every photo you post looks so gorgeous!


  3. Absolutely love how this turned out! I'm most excited by those planters..I have been looking for that same exact thing to hang in my living room in this weird space and those are perfect. The fact that they're DIY and don't cost $30 each (like others that I've found) makes me really excited!

    1. That's awesome - we love those planters! And no one would ever guess they have faux plants in them! I hope you give them a try and send me a photo when you do :)

  4. What a great before & after. I particularly like the DIY hanging planters. They're so chic. :]

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