Organizing a Dual-Purpose Room
I have in my home, like some of you have, a dual purpose room. It’s my piano studio. No, wait- it’s my living room!
It’s both. And it presents an organizing challenge.
I’ve taught private piano lessons in 3 of our homes since we’ve been married, and it’s taken some trial and error to figure out what works best when it comes to keeping the teaching room company clean. I sometimes have parents stopping by to make a tuition payment, so even on days when I’m not teaching, the living room needs to be presentable.
My children are used to what happens on my teaching days; they know it’s time to clear the living room of all toys. They are my main clutter control for this dual-purpose room! As a rule, I try to keep this room simplified from extra “stuff,” so when it’s pick-up time the main jobs are toy pick-up, vacuuming, and dusting.
I’m going to share some pictures of the metamorphosis of this room. I’ll also be sharing some tips to keeping a dual purpose room looking professional, yet comfortably livable.
This is a shot of the studio part of our living room from about a year and a half ago:
My teaching supply shelf was originally bright and colorful:
The side wall held my white board, calendar, and progress charts:
Then I added the giant fishbowl to keep track of scales…and added musical notation charts:
Last year’s set-up was workable. However, this fall I decided that the piano studio was taking over the living room. It felt more professional than it did livable. Also my array of supplies was visually distracting. I began to wonder if company thought they were in a living space or a professional space. I’ve made a few small changes that made a big difference! Here is a shot of my teaching space as it is right now:
I took down the charts and added some homemade musical art above the piano. I also moved my music cabinet and replaced it with houseplants.
So when people come into my living room/studio, this is what meets the eye:
(A simple shoe space and a maritime welcome.)
The photo below gives a glimpse of the room from the door. Notice that you can see all the way through the dining room and kitchen to the back door! I try to keep that visual line clutter free as much as possible. (I’m noticing my daughter’s teapot pony house on the floor there…just keeping it real, eh?)
The top of the piano is attired in simple decor as well- just a few items that inspire me and that I hope will inspire my students. I like to use items that are enjoyable for me personally even when I’m not teaching:
I swapped out the green bookshelf (pictured above) for a smaller, wooden one. I also swapped out the colorful supply baskets for some brown weave baskets. My intent was for them to blend in to the surroundings a bit better- to be a bit more “living room-ish” and a bit less “piano studio-ish.” I use my laptop while I teach to record notes in Music Teacher’s Helper, so the computer is a permanent fixture:
Directly to the right of the bookcase are my notation posters, progress charts for children, and the ever-handy white board:
In a different corner of the room is my music lending library that used to be to the left of the piano (pictured above). It is functional, yet not distracting to my goal of a homey living room:
So there you have it- my dual purpose room. Some of you may have a piano studio/living or dining room as well. Or perhaps you have a photo studio that shares your home. Remember that it’s the small things that make the biggest difference in a room!
The key to maintaining a dual-purpose room is to find a balance with the decor and the practical items that are implemented into the room. The goal for this type of room is to have a professional feel during the “business” times, and a comfortable, homey feel during the casual times. And above all else, the main focus should be to present a well-ordered home as a good testimony for Christ and for all who enter.
“Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40