A Piano Niche and a Chalkboard Wall

We recently got our piano out of storage and I spent some time decorating the piano niche.  This is what it looked like when I started:


 My husband built the shelf specifically so that the dvd player could sit on it. (You can see the cutout on the left where the wires will connect to the player.  But, from my perspective, the very utilitarian  dvd player  hardly seemed worthy of such a beautiful shelf.   My suggestion to hubby that we find another place for the dvd player was met with silence.

So plan B was to  camouflage it.  Since it’s black,  my thought was to paint out the back wall with chalkboard paint.  Hubby didn’t quite share my vision so I promised to repaint the wall if it looked awful.

Here’s how it looked after the first coat of chalkboard paint, along with just the two required elements, the dvd player and a lamp:


I admit, I was ready to turn back at this point and repaint.  But I have learned over time that it helps to live with the change for a few days and let it sort of settle in.  I played around with  some accessories, and decided that a second coat of paint was in order to really decide on whether the chalkboard wall was staying or going.

For the accessories, I hung our Ethan Allen  clock that we’ve had in storage for almost two years!  It felt a bit like Christmas when I unpacked it.



I  really like the natural wood tone against the black wall.

Then for functionality, I pulled out two old wooden boxes – one to corral sheet music and another smaller one (on top of the dvd player) for remote controls.


 Repeating an element (in this case the natural wood tones) is good for continuity.

From there, I added some old books which  always work well for adding character and texture.


…and then a few seasonal items with the pumpkin and vase of bittersweet and cattails.


Then, I brought in  an old piano roll meant for a player piano and  fished it down the back side of the shelf.


I think it’s a nice tie-in with the piano.  And it also serves to minimize some of the black.

Finally, for balance and a touch of whimsy I stenciled a set of antlers and then hung a simple gold frame over them.



Before and After
Before and After

I’m really glad I stuck it out and didn’t turn back after that first coat of paint. What seemed overwhelmingly black  initially, was greatly toned down once the accessories came in.  And you hardly notice the dvd player … yay!


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