To be honest, we aren’t really sure what to call this room. Technically I maybe you could call this space a foyer, because it is an open area near the entrance to our home. It is the crossroads of out house. A room that connects the living room, play room, dining room, and vestibule. But we just call it the piano room, because that’s where we keep the piano! It’s less confusing that way.
Anyway, whatever you want to call it, here is a quick review of what it looked like the first time we walked through the house…
In the picture below, the entrance to the house is on the right and the living room is through the large doorway in the middle.
At some point we are guessing that someone turned this place into a duplex. One way they did this was by putting up drywall between the foyer and the room we call the playroom. We very briefly toyed with the idea of leaving that wall up to create a bedroom downstairs, but we eventually figured out a plan that would allow all three bedrooms to be upstairs. This meant the wall could come down, which was easy because it really just required a swift ninja kick.
Another old modification to the room was the addition of a closet. They actually did a decent job of moving around the trim to make it look like it was originally there. But we wanted it gone! We had other plans.
Once again, this was an easy fix. A few whacks with a hammer, a little ripping, pulling…. and it was down.
The piano room has two large windows and a large doorway that leads into the dining room.
As with every room in the house, one of the first big jobs was to lovingly restore every window sash.
The windows were boarded up for security reasons and we left them on for a good portion of the renovation, but we LOVED the days when we could remove all the boards and begin to see what the house would look like with more natural light.
After we finished all the electrical and had insulation blown into the walls downstairs, we finally had ceilings! One of the first things people comment on when then enter the house is how big it feels. I think most of that is due to the height of the ceilings.
After I did a ton of plaster repair, Amy primed everything and then we both began the monster task of sanding and refinishing all the floors in the house.
We always tell people that the moment our house turned into a home was after we sanded the floors. We were surprised at the transformative effect of having the floors done. Being able to walk around without shoes was a new luxury!
Shortly after finishing the floors, we moved in!
Once we were unpacked, we painted this room. It was actually the very first room to be painted. Several years later, after refinishing the trim, painting the room again, and finally making some design decision, we are excited to officially announce that this room is DONE!
This was a difficult room to design because we weren’t really sure how we would use this space. It’s easy to look at it now and feel like it makes perfect sense, but at the time we struggled with placement of furniture, book shelves, and rugs. We didn’t want to over-furnish the room, because it really serves as a high-traffic intersecting point of our house. But we also wanted to it to feel cozy, welcoming, and a place you could spend time.
Once again we got lucky with floor model scratch and dent furniture. This sideboard has a tiny little ding on the front so we got it at a discount and also didn’t have to pay the cost of shipping.
This is the view as you walk in from the vestibule. We REALLY struggled to find the perfect rug for this room. We wanted something traditional, but not stuffy. The colors of this rug are bright and fun, but still hint at some level of sophistication.
Remember that closet that we tore down? It is now the location of our family piano.
We’ve said it so many times, but we are so lucky that almost all of the original hardware and woodwork was left unpainted, intact, and ready to be restored. I love these protective corner pieces. We have three of them in our house. I have never seen these anywhere else.
The space in the picture below is another example of an area that seems obvious now, but we had a difficult time figuring out what to do here originally. We thought maybe a chair, but then started leaning towards a book shelf. The problem is that most book shelves would have come out so far from the wall that it would have blocked the trim of the pocket door. This book shelf was the perfect solution because it doesn’t have sides.
The “before” picture below is one of my favorites. I’m not exactly sure why… maybe because it is such a typical scene for that time in our lives – Stopping by the house to check on something, carrying Lucy around, lots of staring, thinking, and imagining what it will all look like someday. And so excited about ceilings!
I know the piano room isn’t very fancy or decorative, but we wanted to make sure it had an open and uncluttered feel to it. Plenty of room for cross traffic, comfortable chairs for reading, waiting for the family to be ready to walk out the door, and the perfect place for a piano!