Zero Budget Project: Music Room


Attacking this room was a lot less work, but not nearly as climactic as Penelope and Felix’s space. I don’t really have a whole lot of furniture for this space, so we’ll likely end up bulking this room up over time. I’m pleased with it for now, though. I can walk around it and Chris can practice his guitars in it.

Remember, this below is a reminder of what it looked like before:

Most of my work was putting guitars and artwork on the wall. Even after I put up my pretty piece I felt so much better about the space.

Here’s what Felix was up to during the shoot. He was excited to be in all the fun. This space is easy to work with. The McBride’s left great window treatments, so I didn’t feel the need to hang curtains (although I may later). They also left most of the upstairs painted a bright, warm grey. It doesn’t translate as well into photos, but it matches pretty much everything and it’s not a bandaid tan. I feel like it keeps the space light, airy and open.

This interior wall is where I would like to place a piano, so the bench is a good place marker for that. Eventually I would like to reupholster the bench in a tangerine leather with natural wood legs, but that may be down the road. Chris doesn’t mind practicing his acoustic here. The art fills the space nicely, but I do think I will be adding more artwork along each side as we get more settled. I’ve been brainstorming a potential series recently, so I may use this space to hang a couple of those pieces. The bench I found at a thrift store ages ago, the Poang chair in the corner was from As-Is last year, the lamp is from ikea and the art from

This expedit cube was originally in the living room shanking one of the sides of the entertainment center, but this space needed something to keep it from feeling barren. This is mostly knick knacks, magazines, a few favorite books and a cheap bongo drum that Felix can’t leave alone (it’s so cute to see him jam with Chris!). The suitcase is another place marker. Chris has been thinking about getting another guitar sometime down the line, so I hesitate to fill the space with a big gallery.

The elephant was from Urban Outfitters a few years ago. The painting is by Brittany Scott (from a Creative Collab gift exchange last year), the jar was a wedding gift and the bongo drum from Guitar Center.

The trumpet is Chris’s. He played for several years, but hasn’t picked it up in ages. It’s far too beautiful to keep in a box, so I thought I would put it on display. It’s likely that Chris will actually pick it up and play if it’s out. Heck, I picked it up and played it the other day. I actually got a decent sound out of it, and it was HARD to do! The succulents are an assortment from Ikea and home depot. The aloe in there previously died, so I repotted this and a few other succulent pots a couple weeks ago.

The panton S chairs (scored at an antique shop last year) were at each end of our dining table, but they scratch up the flooring in our new kitchen, so they’ve been relegated to the music room. They add a nice modern feel to the room, but I would love to have a modern bench that spanned the room here. It would be great for small gatherings and jam sessions.

The chairs work well for now. The pillows I made (pleated + leather).

I did the far left painting back in college, the center intaglio print is by friend Emily Dennis and the right photo is one of Chris and my engagement photos. My mother-in-law took the photo, I cross-processed them and framed it in my great-great-grandmother’s frame. I love this frame – it’s a circle inside the square (which I have engraved on my wedding ring).

The globe is a hand-me-down from my parents. It’s super old – when the U.S.S.R. was a thing and colonies still existed. The side table is on loan to us until Shelley (my sister-in-law) settles down. She made it at her grandpa’s house last summer. He’s an architect and makes the most amazing stuff. I would love to find something similar that I could permanently use in the room.

We didn’t do a single thing to the entryway besides decorate it. I found the basket at DI a few years ago, and the bench I rehabbed from a home decor swap.

From left: Colt Bowden, Print from BigCartel, me, me, me, Lindsay Denning, Urban Outfitters.

There you have it. If budget were to allow it, I would buy a piano, reupholster the bench in orange leather and use it as the piano bench, add a gigantic rug in the space, more pillows and a gigantic modern bench along the windows, and maybe do some fun shoe storage by the entryway. Check out my pinboard for my finished vision of the room.

I feel like the area is thinly decorated right now, but it’s organized and clean which is all that matters at this point. I’m crossing this room off my checklist. Next week I might attack my studio.

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    1. Jess says:

      This looks great! Could you tell me about the paint color you have on the walls? I would love to use it in my home.

    2. Jeanna says:

      I am laughing at reading this post. In a good way! I could have written parts of it about my life, my husband Chris and is passion for acquiring more guitars, his old trumpet from high school, and pieces of art that I painted! My Chris has always talked about getting a globe for somewhere in our house too! Anyway, I am loving seeing the before and afters on a $0 budget!

    3. marissa says:

      you are AMAZING at this! i want to kidnap you and make you do this to my house! :)

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