Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Music Room

Finally!  The day has arrived!  Gracie's Christmas present is here!  We started paying for it in the Spring.  I found it on the Wisconsin Craigslist and Ross, the gentleman who owned it, allowed us to make payments.   Moving it actually cost as much as the purchase price!
I need to decide what I am going to do with the furniture in this room and I need your help!

Now it really is a Music Room!  Unless you count Michael's bagpipe chanter and my rarely used violin.
If I paint this piano will I end up in Dante's Ninth Circle in a frozen lake of ice?  Is painting pianos really a sin?

Though this beautifully carved piece is burled, some of the finish is damaged.

The carving on the front is breathtaking.  Isn't it?

Please note the damage.  It could be repaired without much ado but should I?  What would you do?

This grotto stool is waiting to be painted.  Grey?  Gilt?

This armoire, heretofore referred to as the Archangel, but henceforth known as St. George (Thank you Thersites!) is in the Music Room.  I have been tempted to paint this but *shrug*, I just don't know what to do in this room!  This is the room that opens into the Family room, one door opening and two window type openings.  I have never liked them.  We were supposed to have them drywalled by now but veterinary bills took precedence!  The wall to the left has an odd opening to the front staircase. That will be walled over too.  Otherwise, we would only have one wall in the entire room!

This French chess table (Craigslist $200) with ormolu is also in the Music Room, as are the French cane chairs I found on Craigslist for $40 each!

This ex voto vignette is also in the Music Room.

This daybed sofa will also reside in the Music Room after I finish painting  it grey and reupholstering it!  This is the Craigslist photo.  It is currently in my garage.  I have chosen a lovely bird toile, in linen, to cover it.

Red bird toile fabric.

Should I paint the piano?
How about the armoire?
Why do I write a Blog if I can never make up my mind? Who do I think I am? All the cool bloggers show beautiful, finished photos of their homes.  Will my home ever be finished? Will I ever be a Cool Blogger?  Sigh.




  1. Sorry Andie I love your painted pieces but NOT that piano! It is gorgeous! I'm less certain about the armoire...Think I might paint it...Who am I kidding my husband nearly blew a blood vessel over my painting those God awful honey oak cabinets....Which I hope to never have to live with again. And yes the builders grade stuff drives me crazy. Again hopefully not in my next house *fingers crossed* Vanna

    1. I agree about the piano, especially if it is to be used as a musical instrument. Clean it up, and leave it, but DO paint the armoire! About the door and openings: have you thought about putting in French Doors there instead of just walling it up? That would give you flexiblity in the future, even if you decided to put something in front of the doors for now. Good luck! Your home is beautiful, and I have really enjoyed perusing your blog! xMarjorie

  2. Andie it's beautiful..and I myself would not paint it..I just cringe when I see people take a beautiful piece of history and ruin it with $5.00 worth of paint..I have many pieces I had restored back and my late husband would have killed me if I ever mentioned painting them..some pieces it cost me more to have them restored than what I paid for's getting harder and harder to fine great pieces..PLEASE don't ruin it girl..
    Your music room is going to be divine. ha ha!!.and a house is like the Golden gate bridge just when you get done painting it you have to start repainting it again..never finished ha ha!!
    All your pieces in your home are wonderful..Richard would take you out and tar and feather you if you took a paint brush to this piano..Richard and I have talked many times about peeps painting real fine wood..Ok to paint an old piece of junk as junk 100 years ago will always be junk today..
    Ok that my soap box input ha ha!!
    come by and see Bubba and Patty Ann's Christmas letter this year..Hugs and love Gloria

  3. For once, I would not paint the piano, just have it repaired. Not because I think that painting pianos is a sacrilege, but because I like the look of it as it is. If you don't paint the piano, it does not mean that you cannot paint other pieces that go into the Music Room. Who said that everything has to match? I think that the warm wood tones of the piano will go nicely with the gilded frames of the ex-voto display.

    P.S. Re: St. Nicholas - I think that your gift from him might be the talent for finding great stuff on Craigslist for almost next to nothing. No shoes required, just a computer and an internet connection. :-)

  4. Ooooh I am sitting out on this one..knowing which ever way you go, all will be divine in the end...but again....I'm sitting out on this....mmmmmm Colx

  5. My philosophy is that I do what pleases me when it comes to paint. Unless I'm thinking of donating the piece to a museum, why wouldn't I do what pleases me with it? You bought the pieces because you love them and want them in your home.....not for their "resale" value, right?

  6. Bonjour Andie!

    MY GOODNESS, there is so much to see here; that DAYBED is fabulous and your piano is yet again a fantastic DEAL!!! I wish we could get a widescreen view of your entire living space to see all of these wonderful finds in one big picture. You are the queen of details and bargains, indeed! Have a fantastic day, Anita

  7. wow you really hunt down the divine for sure! I am in LOVE with that piano~it is a stunner! I would just wax it...and buff it a bit, you would be amazed at how some clear wax and dark wax on damaged areas can rejuvenate a piece. All of your pieces I would love to find should open a store you know. xo

  8. Andie Gracie’s piano is heaven! I’m so in love with that grotto stool too one of my favorite designs. My personal opinion is paint the armoire but not the piano. I would have the piano restored and then wax it learn to live with the beautiful wood. You need a contrast/mix of things and if everything is gray then nothing stands out. I love all your work but the piano is one piece I wouldn’t paint. As for your home being finished, I’ve lived in mine for seventeen years and it’s never finished. I’m now going through and redoing all the rooms one by one. We’re updating and bring things into the 21st century but still being respectful to a home that’s 223 years old, it’s a fine balancing act. I hope whatever you do Gracie loves and enjoys playing her new/old piano it’s stunning!


  9. gorgeous pieces! I tend to say that they are your pieces, and if you don't plan to resell, then do what you want and don't let what you think is right, get in your way. Now, having said that, I think the piano is gorgeous as is. I'm one to love a mix of painted and wood pieces in a room, but would tend to bring the rest of the room together before making the final decision on the piano =)

  10. Richard here. Seems like I have already given you my answer. Yes, Gloria and I talk about paint. I do not like people who paint really good antiques. I loved old painted antiques. I know you, you find good reproductions and make them look good with paint. I am not on a cover up mission here, just saying as I am saying. I think the piano is grand, I would probably fix it up, heck you've already gone this far. If I was closer I would gold leave the stool for you. There are several of those stools in gold leaf in the ladies bath room at the Fox Theater in St.Louis. how do I know, that's another story!!! Love the piano, your home is becoming a vision.

  11. I have rescued wood in a worse state than that and given it a deep and satisfying glow. I am drawn to stained wood if it is really nice wood. Your piano falls into that category. I have used Formby's furniture refinisher with great success. It basically cleans off any dirt and damaged finish without stripping. After that just stain and polyurethane or oil.
    I would say the same for the armoire but I love the idea of painting the daybed and piano stool.

  12. you are the COOLEST blogger -so stop it! LOVE love the grotto stool -wow! As for the piano -hmm -as a piano player myself it seems sacreligious but I think it would look great painted your gray tones and maybe bring out some of the detailing? I don't know......As it's tall it's also pretty looming in that dark wood.


  13. All I want to say is that toile bird material is fabulous !! my favotie material , and I think it would look good on the settee not painted, just like it is , it will still look good on it painted

    Piano no paint
    armoire no paint



  14. the piano is wondrous! i paint everything but wouldn't touch this one. it glows.

    your room is coming together so beautifully!


  15. I'm a big "who cares if it's wood, PAINT IT" person but I wouldn't touch that piano except to spackle/stain the damage (or whatever needs doing to it!)...but I would gild the stool! i think it would look great gold!

    How's the insides of the piano? Sounds GOOD? I'd be surprised but I'm hoping it's yes!?

    xxx Z from geeez

  16. Interestingly, if you search google images for 'painted pianos', or 'painted piano ideas', you'll see many examples -- even historic grands with florals & scenes under the lid showing when it is raised.

    The most important thing, (as long as it is not a priceless antique) is to make sure it is a rubbed back, distressed finish, & to pick out the raised swags in gold/ gilt & rub back. Then paint the stool to match.

    So many homes get rid of pianos these days, & if painting it saves it from being discarded, & it will be played & loved & enjoyed -- then why not?!

    Love, all the way from Australia, Em

  17. Oh my that piano is stunning. NO I would not paint it. What a lovely gift and stunning room.

  18. I have an old piano (1898) that still sounds great. It has the same sort of carvings and I love it dearly as it is. If that piano were mine, I'd fix it and be happy!! Paint everything else as you wish! People that paint pianos appear to use them as decorations. This piano is NOT a decoration! Would you paint a Stradivarius Violin? I think not!♥♫

  19. Don't you dare paint that grotto chair!!!!! Please

  20. The consensus is not to paint the piano-and I agree. A good wood cleaner, oil, would be fantastic to bring out the burled wood. Listen to Kevin about the grotto chair-he knows a little bit!

    Andie, you are VERY cool, and there's something fantastic about your blog.


    PS Please post a sound byte of Gracie playing the piano!

  21. Não pinta essas peças originais vai ser um pecado tapar essas belas entalhações. Coloque cor nas paredes, nos tapetes e cortinas mas deixe as peças de madeira em tom natural. Tu não vai se arrepender. Mas tenha calma tudo vem ao tempo certo.
    Tenha um ótimo dia.

  22. Awww you ARE a cool blogger! I love seeing the before and works in progress and there's nothing wrong with asking for advice before taking the plunge. I used to have a very similar piano when I was a child. Itg was painted off-white when my parents bought it for me. I don't think that there is anything wrong with painting the one you have. I think that it would return it to its old glory as a showpiece and a wonderful instrument to play! Not sure what color - maybe a linen to go with the background of your toile fabric. The armoire, hmmm that is a huge piece! It is beautiful in it's current finish. Maybe work on the rest of the items in the room that you know what you want to do with - the settee, windows, walls, etc, and then see how each piece falls into place. I think that if you take one item at a time then, it won't be so overwhelming. I appreciate you asking for others' thoughts - that's what we're all here for! The support in the blogging world is priceless! Good luck and keep us informed, please! Hugs, Leena

  23. Andie - You certainly have some gorgeous pieces to work with. If the damage is severe to the piano, go for the paint. If it's not, I'd leave the wood. The carving is just beautiful.

    Good luck,


  24. Remember my Friend, all the alleged Cool Bloggers might be staging a portion of Home for a Moment in Time... then it goes back to usual Living... I doubt any can profess to Live in a Magazine Spread Visual 24-7 and who would want to anyway... it would merely then be a House and not a Home. Your Home is Lovely & superbly Decorated, you have excellent taste and a good eye. That being said, yes, if you paint that gorgeous Burl Piano you are surely going to Hell! *Winks* I'd leave it 'As Is' or just have the damaged portions refinished/restored... you'd be a Braver Woman than I if you decide to Paint it... but then, with your Magical Skills at Refinishing it might just look Divine! So what do I know? *LOL* BTW: Is your address still the same coz I FINALLY found the perfect lil somethin'-somethin' for you that will go with a Vignette you recently Shared & I want to send it... E-Mail me if you need to so that I can get it to you as a much belated Friendship Exchange. Dawn... The Bohemian

  25. OMG totally envious of that piano! As a woman who paints most everything white, I surprised to say that I love that look just the way it is!

  26. Piano - repair and not paint. I just can't imagine that paint (which I do love) could be any more beautiful than the light gleaming off the wood where you flip the piano case over to get to the keys. Which is another point - its going to be really hard to paint around those metal hinges and in where the keys are - you don't want to be able to see that you painted as you play. I think as you get the room settled you will have enough painted and 'light' pieces that this large area of wood won't overwhelm the space.

    One thing I notice (in part because I have the same issue here) is that, while you have the most amazing stuff (seriously, would you let us know when you resell stuff on Craigslist? - there are some items I'd love to run over and pick up), you haven't done anything structural to the house really. I'm not just talking about walling in the random cut outs that builders insist on putting into new houses - I know you'll get to those. But it can be a bit jarring to see such lovely, elaborate, period pieces up against the very modern lines of the rooms. I think you could do a fantastic job with crown moldings, borders, etc.

    I think you might enjoy watching the transformation Chris did over at on her two houses. Her style is different - beachy chic - but she's done an amazing job on her new builders house in putting up molding, putting in flooring, wall boards, etc. She makes it seem very approachable and the difference that those details make is profound.

    And I love watching your transformations instead of logging in and seeing "here is a completed room." Isn't part of real cool being able to chart your own way instead of imitating the "cool" kids?

    cris dot shepard at sbcglobal dot net

  27. Just to be clear - Chris Kauffman is a blogger up in Canada who seems to have endless energy. I am a non-blogger near Chicago who can't seem to even get the laundry done.


  28. Hi Andie,

    I have been trying to leave you a comment for days....
    Wow, you are an amazing girl, one after my own heart!!!!
    What a fantastic treasure huntress you are :)
    I love your energy and style!
    I am beyond smitten with your grotto chair.
    Was that a Craigslist find or did it one with the piano?
    I would die if I came across one.
    I will be following you closely and if you ever find yourself in NorCal , we must hang out and hunt!!!!
    Happy Sunday and Merry Christmas


  29. And may the immortal light of Christ continue to shine in all you do Andie! Anita

  30. You wlll destroy the value of both the armoire and the piano if you paint them. The wood on that armoire is so fine I think I would cry to know you had painted it. Please don't as It would be a travesty.

  31. What a lovely old upright! Is is a Chickering? I had an antique Chickering some years ago, and it looked quite similar to the piano pictured in this post.

    The Chickering upright that I had was so heavy that the floor sagged in that corner. Be on the watch for a sagging floor with any upright piano -- especially one of the older instruments.

  32. Hi Andi I know I'm terribly late with my suggestion but I absolutely agree with the rest of the fan club here to not paint the piano, you could however gild the details on it with either a 24kt krylon marker or rub n buff or some old fashioned gold leafing. We're dying to see this room in its current state and progress. I have to agree with cris about simple and doable enhancements like fli r boards and crown mouldings. Good luck im pretty sure it'll turn out amazing no matter what you do with it.


    1. Oh boy these typos and auto correction is killing me, sorry for the terrible typos and incorrect spelling lol.

    2. Oh boy these typos and auto correction is killing me, sorry for the terrible typos and incorrect spelling lol.

  33. I would not paint that armoire. It is absolutely beautiful, and I don't think one would find another quite like it. It would be ruined. The fabric you chose will lighten the room as well as the paint. Plants and sparkle will also add light to the room.

    What's the value of the piano? Old pianos are usually not worth very much. very very sad. But the carving is so unique and intricate that I would get it appraised and then decide on painting or no paint.

    One can also can get the inside rebuilt.


I love hearing what you have to say!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...