Music Room Progress: The Walls Are Finally Finished!

I’m embarrassed to say that this took almost an entire year, but the music room walls are finally finished!

music room walls - gray and white trellis stencil with black Sharpie marker accents

I stenciled these walls in June of last year using Behr Polar Bear (that’s the white color) and Benjamin Moore Classic Gray, and then I added the black Sharpie marker accent on half of the room in January of this room. But all along the way, any time I “finished” a part of these walls, that always came with an asterisk.

I stenciled* my music room walls! (*Except for the hard parts around the edges and around the doors.) I improved the design with a black Sharpie marker*! (*Except that I only got halfway done and still have a whole wall plus some to finish.)

But today, I can say (completely asterisk-free) that the music room walls are finished. 😀

If you missed my first post about adding the black Sharpie marker accent, you can click here to see the details. But here’s a glimpse of the difference that the black Sharpie marker makes on the stencil.

It takes a very flat design and makes it look dimensional.

I’m so glad to have this project behind me now. The wall stencil is what I was working on when I developed that awful nerve pain issue in my arm and back last year that plagued me for a couple of weeks, then went away, and then came back. It was a miserable experience, so needless to say, I wasn’t chomping at the bit to get back in there and finish up the stencil.

But it’s done. Finally. One year later. 😀

To be clear, the bookcases haven’t actually been arranged how I want them. I just stuck some stuff up there a while ago so I wouldn’t have to keep looking at empty bookshelves. 🙂

I have a few more projects to do in the music room before I can call it finished. They include:

  • reupholstering the two chairs
  • painting the round table
  • repairing and refinishing the piano bench
  • building cabinet doors for the lower sections of the bookcases
  • touching up paint on baseboards
  • touching up paint on black doors and installing the second handle
  • arranging the bookshelves and accessorizing the room to finish

Three of those projects — the chairs, the cabinet doors, and the piano bench — are bigger projects that will take more than one day each, but the rest should be fairly quick and easy. Surely I can get this room finished soon!

But for now, I have three more half-finished projects to get finished by the end of the month — shutters, porch ceiling, and one living room drapery panel. I’m feeling pretty confident that I can do it. 🙂



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  1. I just cannot believe the difference in this house between first moving in and now. The vision you’ve had is absolutely amazing, I love every project you’ve completed in there!

    1. Christie, it looks awesome, but I really love the chairs you want to recover. They are beautiful the way they are!

      1. Absolutely. Can’t wait for that table to be painted so it really pops, but those chairs are already in your preferred palette. 🙂

  2. Congratulations! It looks great. The view of the music room into the living room is splendid. I even like the color of the chairs, though I know you think it clashes with the kitchen cabinets. Maybe in real life it’s more apparent, but in the picture it kind of pulls everything in the three rooms together for me.

    1. I agree about the chairs. I think the look great as is. That blue goes so we’ll with the new artwork and adds a different pop of color than the teal used in much of the house. I’d leave them if it we’re me, of course I don’t see the whole house every day, I can only judge based on pictures of the music room alone.

      1. My issue with the chairs isn’t just the color, although I do think if you could see them in person rather than just pictures, you’d agree that the color clashes with all of the other blues/teals in the house. But the actual fabric is like a cheap velour rather than a lush velvet. If it were actually a soft velvet, I might learn to live with the current color. But the color + the cheap velour appearance is more than I can handle. 🙂

        1. Have you looked into just painting the fabric, and whether or not that would change the texture to something you would like?

          1. No, I probably won’t try it. I don’t mind painted upholstery as an interim solution, but I don’t want it in a final room design.

        2. Oh, since it’s that cheap, stiff, fake stuff, I would have to change it too. That’s why I always say you do you! You know better than we do how the real thing works for your needs!

      1. I’m sorry to hear this, but not surprised; grasscloth is so delicate. 🙁 Feeling for you!!! One time as I stepped on a ladder at a client’s house the ladder shifted and the tray of white paint flipped right off, FACE DOWN onto her wood floor! It’s one of those, “Oh no, say that didn’t just happen!!!” moments.

        1. Try dark pink paint on white plush carpet! I’ve had the white paint on the wood floor, too–and it was an old house and the gaps between floor boards were fairly wide.

      2. Just looked over from when you did the grass cloth (June 12 2017…almost an entire year).
        Do you still have that leftover piece from when you did the wall initially?

        Not sure how you remove the paper cleanly, and how much the dye may bleed, but I know cheap fabric softener works wonders, better than a steamer to loosen paste on my walls (with little smell, especially well, if there was paint before the paper was applied).

    1. I feel like crying! I don’t suppose you have one length left? Can you paint over the whole expanse? I’ve seen painted gras cloth and it isn’t so bad. 🙁

      1. I didn’t have a full length left. I just had a few feet left over. I used a scrap to test out the idea of painting it, but it looked awful. 🙁 It took away all of the characteristics I love about grasscloth.

  3. Gorgeous. I love the view from the music room into the living room–your vision is coming through for the rest of us. I am dying to know what fabric you have in mind for the chairs?? I am stumped on what I would choose if I had to 🙂

  4. It’s beautiful. I loved the stencil but the sharpie shadow just went over the top. You have such nifty ideas.And SO much energy. It takes me forever to get things done. (Less energy than 20 years ago!)

  5. Kristi. you’ve got this place looking beautiful. There is so much lovely color and detail that you don’t know where to let your eye go to next. Fantastic job!

  6. Kristi, I came across your website just a month or so ago and I love, love, love your vision, design and creativity. It blows me away !!

  7. Super dandy great, Kristi. Now that you explained about the twin chairs, I see your point. Once done, the two of them and the table will make a lovely spot.

    Who plays the piano?

    How about a video performance for us all in the celebration of your music room success?

    1. I play, but I haven’t in many years. I’ll need to get the piano tuned and start practicing again. Then we’ll see about a video performance. 🙂

  8. Kristi,
    I love everything you have done in your home and just want to tell you that you inspire me!
    Your house has probably tripled in resale value…but could you ever sell???
    Now for the chairs – a soft buttery yellow and a teal or fuscia for the table!
    Keep up the good work on your June challenge.

    1. Nope, we don’t ever plan to sell. 🙂 Life has a way of surprising us sometimes, but if we have our way, this will be our forever home.

  9. I’m still amazed that the sharpie marker took the wall design from flat to dimensional. That’s so wonderful. And I love that you can finish off those half-done projects. Those would drive me crazy.

  10. Congrats on finishing! Maybe I’ve overlooked it, but I feel like this is one of the first photos I’ve seen that shows several of the living room components all together. That room looks so pretty and welcoming! And cheery! I love how everything coordinates 🙂

    1. I was going to say just that. Most pictures feature a particular project you are working on. Seeing the music room, living room and a peek into the kitchen looks wonderful. It makes it look like a lovely home, not a project at a time. When those few projects are finished will it be time to work on the studio?

      1. I’m hoping so. The reason I decided to focus on half-finished project right now instead of the studio is because I’m kind of in a holding position while they work on the carport. But the good news is that today they started raising the walls at the back of the studio (i.e. the “mudroom” and the half bath and back entry area). Once that framing is done, I can finish up the electrical, then call the other guys to come do the insulation and drywall. And THEN I’ll be able to start doing my work on the studio. 🙂 I have my fingers crossed that the framing will be done by the end of this week, then it’ll take me a couple of days to do the electrical, and then I’m guessing four days or so for insulation and drywall. So hopefully next month I’ll be ready to focus on the studio.

  11. Well done Kristi, it must be a huge satisfaction to get all that detailing finally finished on the stenciled walls. It looks absolutely amazing! I love the view from the music room into the living room and to see how you’ve completely transformed your home! Well done, your talent and creativity never ceases to amaze me.

  12. What did some of us miss with the grasscloth?? I see several people have commented on it and I didn’t realize I’d missed a post somewhere!

  13. Lovely! And I am curious about the picture…maybe I missed a post about that. It almost looks like a needlepoint. Beautiful print.

      1. Occasional insanity maybe, but it is beautiful and I want one! But, I know that I don’t have the patience to make one, and can’t afford to pay someone (I’m pretty cheap and lazy!) 😀

    1. Oh my goodness!!! I had been out of town where we have no computer and missed that post. So, thank you for responding. You have such vision and patience. The Lord certainly has blessed you with such amazing talent. Truly, I am in awe. Thank you for sharing.

  14. The music room walls look fantastic, Kristi, as does that gorgeous artwork, and all the views in to the various adjoining rooms. The house is really shaping up to be a show place!

    I saw the grasscloth pic on Instagram and my heart just sank for you! Made ME want to cry for you, I know how much time and effort you put into finding that grasscloth, not to mention installing it, and framing it. I’d probably still be screaming my head off in despair, but what’re ya’ gonna do when your pets are just being themselves and doing what animals do? I’d purchased a brand new suede microfiber sofa from Pottery Barn and had it a sum total of about 5 minutes when my beloved cat Sabrina (RIP sweetie) jumped on it, then used her back claws to launch herself off of it thereby tearing a slice into one of the seat cushions! I was so upset and sad, but I loved her so much that I just flipped the cushion over and tried to forget about it! (And no, it’s not “RIP Sabrina” because she tore the cushion, that happened many years before she passed from old age.) I sure hope you can find a way to fix the grasscloth.

  15. Looks great. I think though you should knock out the 3 easy projects in the music room,
    touching up paint on baseboards
    touching up paint on black doors and installing the second handle
    arranging the bookshelves and accessorizing the room to finish. It will fee even better to get the little stuff out of the way and then you’ll know you just have the big projects left. I had a big party to get ready for and did a bunch of stuff I’ve been putting off for a couple years. Felt awesome.

  16. Everything looks great. Sorry about the grasscloth. I wanted to comment about the concept of “finishing” projects. I , like you, am one who struggles to finish things. Two things that might help: Kathryn from the YouTube channel Do It on a Dime, recently shared how our brains are wired to want things completed, like a story has beginning , middle , and end. I inferred that it is better to have one completed space than , say, 2 partially completed spaces. Another thing that helped me was the book Eat that Frog which is about prioritizing.

  17. Your home is looking so lovely! Quite a change from the early days! And I so enjoy following your journey, steps forward and back, and how you figure it all out and tell us about it on the way. Thank you for sharing, Kristi!

  18. You are a-freakin’-mazing! Soooo very impressive to see how you’ve been able to translate your vision for your home into reality! Thanks for the video. I loved seeing the house as a whole, rather than just a project-at-a-time, as someone else said. And btw, Cooper makes an excellent tour guide!

  19. That stenciling is really fantastic. I’ve seen wallpaper with the same pattern but not this nice.

    Have you thought about commissioning your own wallpaper? I’m not sure the steps to go about doing that, but I think this would be a popular product to sell.

  20. Kristi, would you reconsider building cabinet doors for the bookcases in your lovely music room? They look so good, just as they are, The long continuous vertical line reiterates the full length of the doors and even the glass sidelights at the entrance to the room. From what we can see, this is not a room with a tall ceiling and lower cabinet doors will only emphasize the proportions, rather than keep the eye moving up, floor to ceiling.

    That said, you are a remarkable designer, and if you go ahead with the lower doors, I’m sure we will all think they should always have been there.

    1. I was really hoping to have more non-kitchen, non-pantry, non-bathroom closed storage where I could store things that don’t need to look pretty, but it’s quite possible that I won’t need that in the music room now that I have the hallway built-in cabinets and I’ll have so much storage in the studio. Those cabinet doors are pretty low on my priority list, so I could just wait and see if they’re even needed. I could also always plan to add built-ins in the family room when we build that. I’m just thinking of storage for not-so-pretty books, board games, etc.

  21. It’s hard to believe something so simple as adding that black shading could take that stencil onto another level! I guess it’s like adding shading to artwork in how it creates dimension. Have you thought about stripping the table and staining it? That would balance the stained wood in the piano on the opposite wall. I can’t wait to see what you use to cover the chairs…have you considered an animal print in a luxe fabric or the fabric Kathy left a link to is really nice.