Monday, June 10, 2013

House tour - piano room, updated for under $200

The piano room is my least favorite room of the house.  It's the room that has gotten the least attention and is really a hodge podge of random furnishings that we used to fill the room.  

Let's take a look at the before photos.  Since a new couch for this room wasn't in the budget, I had to work with just a few hundred dollars to update the room.  Sticking with the old, green couch, I wanted to add some coastal touches and make it an inviting space for people to sit and relax.  

Here's the old couch with some framed floral prints that I yanked off of an outdated calendar.  The rug is the thorn in my side, and comes from my husband's old bachelor pad apartment.  It just wasn't working for me.  The size was all wrong and the pattern lends itself to more of a funeral home decor.  Relaxing?  Maybe, if you're dead...
The old green couch with the old floral prints and the old bachelor rug

Our beautiful upright Steinway piano with the antique bow back chair from my parents' house

The old floral prints - worked in our last home, but screamingly outdated in this one

The bachelor rug, in all its glory
I had been scouring the bowels of the Internet, looking for some sort of modern rug to put in this room.  Like I mentioned, I wanted to spend less than $200 to update the room.  If you've ever been rug shopping, you know that it's nearly impossible to score a decent 5x8' rug for less than $200.

Enter Craigslist.

I randomly searched for "striped rug" and found a lady selling a brand new, still in the wrapping, 5x8' striped wool rug.  Apparently she had ordered the rug and the actual color wasn't quite what she was expecting.  Since she wasn't able to return it, she was selling it heavily discounted on Craigslist.  I hopped in the car, drove about 24 miles north and scored this great rug!  Total cost = $150.

Piano room with new rug - starting to look a bit more updated
I picked up a curtain rod at Lowe's for about $35 when I realized that I had some simple tie top curtain panels tucked away in the guest room.  I've always outsourced the curtain rod hanging to my husband, which he gripes about incessantly.  This time I decided to give it a whirl myself, and I think I did a pretty good job!
The updated piano room - Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter on the walls

The old green couch, striped rug and bow back chair
The top of the piano is mostly uncluttered with the exception of a small orchid and a set of candlesticks that my grandfather picked up during a Naval deployment.  Familial rumor has it that they're either from India or Africa (and yes, they're made of ivory).

The small frame that sits above our piano was a simple craft that I completed in our old house.  I typed out a portion of our wedding vows on printer paper, and then soaked the paper in a pan full of coffee.  Basically I stained the paper to look like parchment, giving it an antiqued look  A cheap and easy way to bring memories from the past to the present!
Coffee stained wedding vows, candlesticks and an orchid on top of the piano
 This bow back chair needs some love.  I thought that I might want to tackle recovering the cushion myself.  I even went to unzip the bottom cushion to see how I might be able to deconstruct it and the foam inside has crumbled.  Eventually I'm going to update this chair with a new cushion and some modern fabric, but that will have to wait for now.
Remember those horrendous floral prints that I snagged from an expired calendar?  They had to go.  I wanted to bring something fun and nautical into the room.  I found a great website that sells "pocket size" prints of most NOAA nautical charts and ordered a set of 3 to group on the wall: Chicago Harbor, Elliott Bay (Seattle waterfront) and Cleveland Harbor.  I thought it would be a nice way to bring our birthplaces and our current home on to one wall in the house.
Seattle Harbor nautical chart

Cleveland Harbor nautical chart

Chicago Harbor nautical chart
Tucked in the corner of the room is an antique that my aunt handed down to me.  It's a handmade end table, made by my great great ________ on my Mom's side.  It's not known whether it was a grandfather or an uncle as there were 10 children in that generation - 5 stayed in Sweden and 5 immigrated to the United States.  My brother has the Swedish Bibles that were housed in this great, little piece.  It's pieces like these that I absolutely love - the pieces that have a story behind them.  

Handmade Swedish side table - a family heirloom

As always, thanks for reading!  I'll be sure to come back with a few more tours: powder room and mud room are next.

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