I had no idea that a late night knock-off post would generate such enthusiasm! I was flipping through the catalog and trying to blog at the same time. Since we had so much fun...
Pottery Barn's November catalog shows the Bedford desk against a wall of sheet music.
Can anyone tell me how much secondhand sheet music costs? How about that desk? You can spray paint file cabinets black, with a painted door for the desktop. (Hint: the doorknob hole is a great spot for computer cords.)
The cool wire crate holding files? I've passed up more than my share of old metal freezer baskets at the recycling center.
And look at that handblown glass bottle with two fern fronds. I use that "no flower" technique all the time in my yard sale vases. One potted fern for your summer patio will give you fresh green indoor accents for months.
In our last move, I donated tons and tons of sheet music to a local music school - I just couldn't face moving it all again. I imagine there's lots out there, if one knows where to look (maybe start by asking at yard sales in older neighborhoods?). I've kept a few special pieces to frame one of these days.
I like the old sheet music idea. You can make wallpaper from old maps, too, as I'm sure you know. Vintage maps look great, but as with any alternative wallpapers, you have to be careful to mount them well or risk a look that is more amateurish and cheap than interesting and beautiful.
There are some free printable ones online. I've got some listed for children's music, but check Project Gutenberg.
They might look nice on some antiqued paper.
We're not a music family, so I'm not planning to duplicate this at home. I just wondered if anyone knew the going rate.
I think this could be adapted to any type of interesting paper ephemera. Vintage patterns behind a sewing table?
I would think the price of old sheet music would largely depend on the condition and rarity of the piece. Most musicians mark up their music, so much of what you'd find would not be in pristine condition. But it would likely be cheap.
I painted a very ugly filing cabinet hot pink. That probably sounds tacky, but it goes beautifully in my craft room, which is accented in hot pink, turquoise, and lime green. Just making that small change made the room look so much better!
Are your crystal goblets Gorham's "Lady Anne?" If so, we have the same crystal pattern.
I've seen sheet music for pennies at yardsales and thrift stores. You could take any sheet music and dip it into tea water and stain it if you'd like the "old" look. What a great idea!!!
I have actually done the exact thing you have described in the top photo (with the desk). The only thing I would add is to add a piece of beveled glass to the top of the door, unless it's a plain door. Ours had two squares (can't think of the right term here), so the top was uneven. Putting glass on top gave us a smooth surface. Plus, you could put things like photos or pressed flowers between the glass and door.
I love to browse catalogues for ideas. These frugal ways to get the same look are wonderful!
Thank you, Meredith! I asked for the pottery barn furniture and you delivered!! I am very excited to give these things a try. Maybe you should consider a new blog: Catalog Hacks by Meredith!! Just a thought!
Stephanie, thanks for the suggestion! In fact, I'm putting together a similar blog right now. I'm using it as my chance to experiment with Wordpress. We'll see if it takes off or not.
I'll let you know the URL when I'm done with the template.
Yes, those are Lady Anne ice tea goblets. I found a half set at an estate sale when I was engaged, so I registered for more.
I actually traded in all my china and silverware so I could have enough credit to get 24 ice tea glasses. I didn't get any other stemmed glasses for wine. I figured we would be serving a lot more ice tea and water than any other drink!
What a great idea!! :0) I love to play the piano and have been thinking of what to put on the wall over it and now I know!! :0)
I LOVE LOVE LOVE your idea for a desk and am going to do it!!!! LOVE it!!!
Awesome, awesome, awesome! Using the PB catalog for decorating ideas is one of the best ideas I've heard in a long time and I'm enjoying everyone's ideas so much! Thanks Meredith!
I'm not a fan of this setup, but love the look of that wall. I doubt I'd ever use sheet music, but for someone so inclined purchasing just one or two different sets of sheet music old enough for the copyright to expire would work. As long as they were new or in good condition it could be copied and if copied onto the correct paper it would look old.
Now how about a Crate and Barrel catalog. I drool over that!
I bet you could stain the music too with tea to make it look more antiqued. That would be VERY frugal :)
I love all of your ideas, Meredith! Great tips and lots of great feedback too!
love the idea. I'd love to use well-loved, dog-eared, marked-up music. At the annual fundraiser bookfare last year there was a box full of 1920s-40s music - it would've been perfect.
You could get old building plans from an architect. Use pages from an old book (foreign languages look funky)... engineering diagrams...
Even quite new patterns might look good. Spotlight (fabric store) here wrap their china in old patterns! You could layer them all over, then put a transparent whitewash over it, then stick one or two feature ones on it......
thanks for this, Meredith! I'm about to go buy a huge canvas (only $10 at the dollar store) for my loungeroom. I'm going to collage it...
Any ideas on how to take sheet music and get it to actually stay and look good on a wall?! I'm a piano teacher who just moved and would LOVE to do that on the wall behind the piano - fun idea. Tips???!?
Funny story...a few years back I decided to make my own PB style desk for cheap. I bought cinder blocks for the legs and covered them with folded muslin in a very effective no sew slip cover. Then I headed to home depot to find boards for the wooden desktop. I found some beautiful boards and the label which was over my head read $8. I carried three six foot boards to the register nearly knocking over everything in my path and tried to balance the boards while signing my credit card. I never looked until I got home. Then I cut the boards to fit my space and stained them. They looked fantastic! When my credit card bill read over $100 for Home Depot, I raced back to the store! They were $8 a foot! Yikes! The desk was great and worked well. When I moved to LA I sold each board at my yard sale for $10. And, I learned a very important lesson about signing for credit purchases!
Yes - I keep thinking of more and more ways to reproduce the "look" without spending that amount of money! You know already how much I love to copy ideas out of the Kids catalog - like pegboards, Thanksgiving banners, and baseball toss games!
Making my envelopes, I remembered the homespun ornaments featured in the Christmas catalog - can you say easy? A styrofoam ball wrapped with ribbon and trimmed with a little ric rac. The wheels are turning!
I think that would look great with nautical charts too. Those are very plentiful if you live near the coast - and you can "antique" them by brushing them with strong brewed tea or coffee.
What really caught my eye is the big, black treble cleft on the wall. Talk about impact! I'm thinking a black poster board can be cut out to make that...with a template. I'm gonna go look for one now.
About that treble clef: Martha Stewart Living Mag Sept 2007 had a bulletin board project, cutting large initial out of homosote with jigsaw for wall. Would not sag like black poster board. Of course, poster board you can use scissors.
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