A Refreshing Experience with TJ Maxx: Music Studio Makeover

I love a good challenge, and the idea of redecorating anything… that’s definitely a challenge.

You may see the words “Home Decor” in the menu bar above, but I by no means consider myself a good decorator. I am in love with the idea that I can decorate my house the same way I decorate my body. The difference is – I’m confident in how I can decorate my body, and when I look at a room… Well, that’s all I typically end up doing: staring.

It’s the kind of situation where 500 ideas fly through your head at once, like Pinterest on LSD, and you can’t quite grasp the good ones so weird ones come out instead. Like when you decide that you’ll have a white on white bookshelf comprised of only white objects, or a 5′ poster of Tom Waits in your living room. I need structure.

TJ Maxx/Marshalls invited me to a challenge with a purpose: spring organization.

Organization has never been my strong point – ask my elementary school teachers. And parents. And close friends. What can I say? Sometimes I throw things and leave them there for a while. Who hasn’t thrown something to its future home before? I’m not a criminal I’m just cluttered.

The house I am living in is mostly comprised of musicians. If you know musicians, you know they’re not known for being ultra organized. We are lucky enough to have a room that can be totally devoted to musical instruments and recording equipment. This also means one thousand audio cables everywhere, guitar picks in weird places, instruments strewn about (chances you’ll trip over a guitar: 78%) and other hazards.

Music Studio - BEFORE TJ Maxx Refresher

Not to mention… it’s pretty boring to look at. Lots of good components, but mostly just cluttered and confused.

TJ Maxx/Marshalls told me to refresh a room and after much deliberation, I thought that a communal space deserved a little face lift. I grabbed my wildly indecisive boyfriend (whose guitar you tripped over) and headed to the TJ Maxx about a mile away.

Music Studio Makeover

We had a $150 budget and set our intentions on making this room a stress-free, functional place where people can play music or just hang out. After using up our budget and spending a few hours mixing things up a little bit, we ended up with this:

TJ-Maxx-Refresher---Music-Studio-Before-After

Not too shabby, right? Much cleaner, leaner, and definitely more appealing!

Here’s how we did it:

One of the big problems with the studio is that there are so many places to sit that there’s no place to sit. Our seating arrangement was all out of whack. It also looks like more a storage room for music paraphernalia than a studio.

TJ Maxx Before & After: Music Studio

By applying logic and the spatial recognition of a 6 year old, we totally maximized the seating and got more space out of the deal. We moved the (really awesome) leather chairs against the wall, and placed the two ottomans (both at TJ Maxx!) near them, because they are completely usable as seats, by themselves! The cute green chair went next to our new steel bucket (TJ Maxx had a bunch of these – we almost got 2!) which you’ll see more of later…

TJ Maxx Before & After: Music Studio

And another thing! If you’re going to have awesome musical instruments, why not display the crap out of them?

TJ Maxx Before & After: Music Studio

(I’ll tell you right now that this wolf thing isn’t my favorite – not only because it’s a freaking hologram that follows you around,  but also because it’s 0% cute. But I am a roommate and team player, so it stays.)

The accordion is too cool not to show off, and that Washburn Rover? It couldn’t be a cooler color. Retro amps are scattered around like dead leaves in the fall, so we might as well show them off. We put the accordion in its original case atop a cool, teak-look table we found at TJ Maxx! We loved it so much, we used 1/3rd of our budget on it.

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I needed a way to collect all of the cables and keep them in the same place without needing a bunch of wall-mounted organizational stuff, or anything too sophisticated… So we fell in love with this big, metal bucket and bought a pillow (plus pillowcase) to put over the top of & disguise the cables underneath!

TJ Maxx Decorative Metal Bucket

If we find something better later – awesome!  I can think of a thousand ways to use this basin.

Moving the keyboard to the nice wooden table made it look less like a cheap keyboard and more like a fancy digital piano. It also freed up about 4 feet of space along the wall! (The chairs say “Thank you.”) It also allowed us to create this badass mobile recording station.

TJ Maxx Music Studio Refresher - Mobile Recording Station

This little rolly guy was hiding underneath a stack of guitar cases and just begged to be used for something cool. These pedals are not only awesomely colorful, but were sitting totally unused on the top shelf of the closet – now they are 100% usable! The multi-channel recorder and effect pod on top are the perfect height to be manipulated from a seated position.

Why would I place hundreds of dollars in musical equipment on something I literally tell people to kick towards each other? I encouraged these expensive toys to be placed on this mobile unit because there’s a secret: bathmats. We picked one up on our TJ Maxx shopping spree, cut it up, and used it to secure our electronics to the surfaces of the cart.

TJ Maxx Music Studio Refresher - Mobile Recording Station

TJ Maxx Music Studio Refresher - Mobile Recording Station

It’s adorable, functional, and fits perfectly under the keyboard table.

TJ Maxx Music Studio Refresher - Mobile Recording Station

Whew! Did you make it through all that? If so, I’m impressed. I couldn’t resist the gory details of this room’s makeover because I’m pretty happy with how it came out – and our grand total for the entire thing was only $132!

This room went from a gigantic mess to a totally fun hangout spot! Everything is accessible and totally works. People can sit down, stand up, even grab a pillow and sit on the floor (if the cat isn’t there, of course). Overall: success. TJ Maxx was a great resource for this challenge! I have been inspired to look into some cool soundproofing and maybe even some wall paint – things aren’t over between me and the studio!

With our $150 budget at TJ Maxx, we got:

  • A gigantic metal basin
  • 2 pillows
  • 2 pillowcases
  • Bathmat
  • 2 faux leather ottomans
  • A medium-sized Teak-look table

Pretty incredible, and it completely transformed the room. There were a thousand things I wanted to get that would have put us way over budget, but the things that we picked up will be reusable in other rooms down the road. Versatile multi-taskers! I’m all about it.

If you could change up one of your rooms, which would you choose?

TJ Maxx provided a gift card for my challenge, but all of my sassy opinions are my own. 

Lindsay Ginn

Livin' in your basement, eatin' your canned foods.