the piano nook

This was our piano nook yesterday morning.


Nothing terrible about it, but pretty hum-drum.

This is it today:


Color, texture, pattern – a little crazy, but a fun change.


I have been waiting for inspiration to strike, and it came unexpectedly when I found this book:


I bought it a few months ago on clearance because the cover was torn. It has great illustrations and I figured I could use the pages as art.  On a whim, I cut out the pages and started randomly sticking them to the wall above the piano.


I used glue dots to attach them to the wall . I’m not exactly sure how the wall will hold up when I remove the pages, but sometimes you just have to go with it and deal with the consequences later.




Adorning the piano is a new frame of our family initial with date we were established. Love how it turned out.  And next to it is a favorite verse.






I’m not sure how long the birds will live on this wall, but for now, they add some life and color to an otherwise boring space.

zig zag

One more thing today : I posted this one year ago, but it seems appropriate to post again today!

You hear stories all the time about terrible mothers-in-law. They are overbearing, protective of their sons, want to tell you how to be a wife or raise a child, how to cook a meal or make a bed.

That is not the case for me.

I have a mother-in-law that I not only love, but I genuinely like.

:: She accepted me the first day we met {with her love of girly things and the fact she had two very un-girly boys, I think she would have loved any girl that walked through the door!}.

:: She adores her grandbabies. She is the kind of grandma who lets the kids dump out the entire lego bin, gives them a full ball of yarn to create spider webs in the living room, and provides them with their own mini shovels to help her dig in the garden.

:: She has given me over half of what I have in my house {pretty much all the cool stuff}.

:: Every time we spend the night, she gets up with the kids. For someone who loves sleep as much as I do and gets as little of it as I do, this is the best gift ever.

:: She dealt with a horrible first marriage and raised her two boys on her own and really doesn’t hold bitterness for a situation that would have ruined the average woman.

:: She gave me my amazing husband.

I love you Grandma Nonna.

You probably love her too because she inspired some of the best projects ever:


Appropriately called the ‘nonna wreath’



the flower pin.


70 Responses to the piano nook

  1. Meg Ahrens September 1, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    I love your “L” established on frame. Where did you get the brass plate at the bottom?

  2. Grace August 27, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    Leave the piano as is! It’s got character and you can never go wrong with mahogany can you?

  3. Ande August 27, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    PAINT IT!!!!!!!!!! IT’LL LOOK FAB!

  4. sharon June 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    awwe this reminds me of my MIL. I don’t even like to call her an in-law she is so sweet! super girly and raised one girl who only wanted to be like her other 5 brothers. haha she was an event planner and DIYs everything. Couldn’t be a more perfect fit. :)

  5. Kathleen May 23, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    You inspire so many people! I love looking at your site. I visit almost everyday. Okay, I DO visit everyday. You are wonderful!

  6. Shelley Heck May 23, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    I can relate to how you feel about your MIL. I feel the same about mine. I love that tribute to her. Very sweet. Tell her thanks for the Nonna wreath and flower pin! =)

  7. Quiltrobin May 23, 2011 at 4:06 am #

    I love, love, love what you did with the bird illustrations. It looks fabulous!

  8. Tricia May 21, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    In the first picture of your piano I can see the pictures you hung on the wall going up the stairs. How did you start that? I have a long hall way I want to do something like that with but am not sure where to start or how to go about it. Any suggestions?

    • Tricia May 21, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

      Also, are all the pictures black and white?

  9. Emily Dinwiddie May 21, 2011 at 7:10 am #

    How refreshing to hear of a mother-in-law who has a wonderful relationship with her daughter-in-law!! I have 4 boys (ages 2,4,6,8). I have already started praying fervently for my daughters-in-law. I want to have a fun relationship with them. I am such a girly-girl, yet God chose to bless me with these amazing outdoorsy boys!! Your blog is refreshing. I am drawn to the underlying scriptures you put in nearly every post. THANK YOU!!!

  10. Holly May 21, 2011 at 6:02 am #

    I love how colorful the birds are! Very cute! Also happy birthday to your Nonna! She sounds wonderful!

  11. Jaelyn Simmons May 20, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    I, too, have a fabulous mother-in-law!!

  12. Christene {WhipperBerry} May 20, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    First, can I just say I aspire to be like your Nonna is for you when I grow up. Thank goodness for beautiful, good women to look up to. Thanks for sharing her with us! I love your piano nook and how you redid it. It’s lovely and full of color. I also love your initial. Love it!

  13. Tammy May 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    Where did you get the little brass label plate on your monogram frame? I have been looking for them but not sure exactly what they are called, which makes a search difficult

    Im glad you recognize your amazing mother in law :) I feel so lucky to have such a nice, accepting and generous one too. We are expecting our first baby in a couple months, who will be her first grandson – only girls in the family so far. She has already started buying mini swim trunks and other adorable boy things, I am so excited for our boy to have her as a grandma :)

  14. Nancy williams May 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    I love the lamps! Where can I buy them? Thanks for sharing all your great ideas and spiritual thoughts. You are so inspiring.

  15. Tricia F May 20, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    You have inspired me. I am now on the look out for a book with great illustrations. Thanks!

  16. 1 Funky Woman May 20, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    I am seriously in love with your bird wall! The colors are so fun, it looks fabulous! Love the Nonna wreath and pin!


  17. Crista May 20, 2011 at 4:50 am #

    So glad to hear you have such a wonderful mother-in-law, I’m blessed with a great one too. LOVE the colorful birds above the piano, it would inspire me to sit down and play some beautiful music (if I knew how to play the piano, that is…)

  18. Kelly E. May 19, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    The piano wall looks great! Love the pop of color and how the pictures are overlapping in areas! Also, that book would make a great gift for my MIL. She LOVEs birds and is an artist, so it would be perfect! Thanks for sharing :)

  19. Logan May 19, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    I, too, love those birds! Wonderful sentiments for your Nonna – I suspect your bring alot to the relationship too. What a treasure.

  20. Jennifer Conant May 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    I love this because I love my MIL too. She is truly one of my favorite people in the whole world and we also both share a love of creative, beautiful things.
    Absolutely love your blog…so beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing!!
    Jenn Conant (Lindsey’s SIL)

  21. Spark*Amy May 19, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    Love the birds! I need to look for some books like that at Goodwill. Aren’t good mothers-in-law wonderful! My hubby is an only child and feels blessed to have me and 2 girl grandbabies. I love her!

  22. Rach May 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    As a mother of young ones myself, I teared up when you wrote that she gets up with your babies….what a huge gesture!

  23. Marilyn Holeman May 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

    I’m blessed with a great mother-in-law, too. Let me join you in wishing her a Happy Birthday!

  24. April May 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    Love the birds on the nook wall – but really loved what you said about your mother in law. I wasn’t as blessed as you, but after 27 years of marriage to her son I have learned to love her for who she is. I have two boys and hope I will be the kind of mother in law and grandma Nonna is.
    Always enjoy your newsletter and projects, thank you for sharing. April

  25. colleen May 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    my current mil is in heaven. she passed when my hubby was 16 but i feel she would totally love me because me and my hubby are soooo good together ;). i have 2 dil now and i want them to know how much i like and respect them. these are 2nd wifes and much better choices for these boys.
    one question where did you get those flowers in the silver car???? love the wall

  26. Lynne May 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    Happy Birthday, Nonna!
    ~ Such a lovely sentiment, Emily! Your mother in law is beautiful and dear. I lost my mother ~in~law the 2nd year we were married…She embraced me so, because I loved her son! She always made me feel special! I aspire to be Nonna (Italian for Grandma), but I will graciously accept the name my first grandaughter choses to call me… (she will be arriving soon).
    ~ The Piano Nook…is signature Emily, with a stroke of whimsy! Love it!
    ~Have a great day!

  27. Ashley May 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    I love my MIL too! She also gives us furniture and wakes up with the kids when we visit. Plus I don’t have to change diapers or feed the kidos while we are there. AND she gives us diapers too. I think she does it so we will visit more often :-) but Im ok with that bc I enjoy visiting reguardless. We are truely blessed to have such wonderful MILs.

  28. Stephanie May 19, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    LOVE the after! I like the visual progression up the stairwell. A future tip for you – skip the glue dots and use earthquake putty. I’ve used dozens of times and it doesn’t leave a mark on your wall.

  29. Milk and Honey Home May 19, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    It looks so good, Emily! I think the things that are done on a whim like that usually turn out the best (as is true in this case)
    And Happy Birthday, Nonna!
    My MIL is on her way to drop off panels she sewed for us. Just one of the million things she does for us. Couldn’t do it without her :)

  30. Pat Allen May 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    Love your piano nook, Emily! Please tell Nonna that I wish her a wonderful, joy-filled birthday!!! You are so fortunate! May your relationship continue to flourish and grow:)

  31. Hannah May 19, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    Awww happy birthday Nonna :) I too have a genuinely lovely mother-n-law whom I really do love ♥

  32. Liz May 19, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    Love the new look! Especially love the mother-in-law story. What a blessing!! (and quite an adorable pic of her with her adorable grandchildren!)

  33. Jennifer May 19, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    SO inspiring! I love it! And happy birthday Nonna! I also have a wonderful MIL who raised two incredible boys on her own. I feel so blessed in that area; not everyone can say that. I’m glad we can!

  34. Arielle May 19, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Wow! LOVE this! Such a fun, summery change. Your ideas never cease to inspire me!

  35. Jennifer May 19, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    That looks amazing! What a transforation!

  36. PamK May 19, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    Happy Birthday Nonna! Emily I love the wall. I am so inspired by you!

  37. Amanda M. May 19, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    Happy Birthday to the fabulous Nonna! And your piano nook looks great!

  38. hannah May 19, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    Using art from picture books is a great idea I hope to try!

  39. Diane @ Longaberger Lifestyle May 19, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    I *love* the color and whimsy! Color! What’s happened to you girl?!!
    HB Nona!!!

  40. {darlene} May 19, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    the piano nook is SO fun!!
    Happy Birthday Nonna!

  41. Kathryn May 19, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    We just lost our “Nonna”, Nana to us. Love them while you have them, especially the good ones! Ours will be greatly missed. Love the birds on the wall. What a great find. Beautiful!

  42. krystle May 19, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    thanks for posting this! i am redoing my girls’ bedrooms to share, with bunks, and it is bird themed but i wanted more colorful but not nursery or super modern looking art for the walls. ive been looking at vintage-y botanical prints but these photos will be perfect for framing in multiple frames. they are just what i didn’t know i was looking for! :)

  43. Jenny D. May 19, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    What what a wonderful mini makeover in that corner! Love the sweet tribute to your mother in law. I have a pretty wonderful one as well!

  44. EarlyGirl May 19, 2011 at 9:28 am #

    It looks fantastic, as should be expected! Now you have me re-thinking the wall above my piano. One thing though… be V E R Y careful when you take the pictures down. I used glue dots to hang letters on the wall in all three of my daughter’s rooms. When I needed to move them, they ripped the drywall right off. Big, ugly holes. Now, I might have the weakest drywall ever, but I’ve had no time to fix it (stay-at-home mom, freelance designer, obsessive creative), so those letters went right back up – conveniently covering the holes. I’ll deal with them later…

  45. Andrea May 19, 2011 at 9:28 am #

    As a mom of 3 boys I just love that you love your mother-in-law! I hope to have the same type of relationship with my future daughter-in-laws someday too:)

    The bird wall looks great:)

  46. Lorrie May 19, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    The color and pattern above your piano is amazing. How fun to do something easy that has such an impact. You must smile every time you walk by.

    Happy Birthday to your MIL. I’m thankful too, for mine – also wonderful.

  47. crib tales May 19, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    love your love for our mother in law – I have a good one, too, and almost feel bad bragging about her because so many have MIL’s they don’t care for. :-)

  48. adela May 19, 2011 at 7:54 am #

    Awe…that’s so sweet. Happy birthday Nonna!

  49. Anna May 19, 2011 at 7:29 am #

    I just love the images in this book. What a treasure.

  50. cailan May 19, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    That book is so fun – love the unexpectedness of the collage. The L is just lovely and yes, it is very wonderful to be blessed with a great Mother-in-Law! Hope you get to have some celebration fun. :)

  51. Ruth Abel May 19, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    Love the bird wall! So cheerful. And it it really refreshing to see someone else who was blessed with an awesome mother in law. I love mine as well!

  52. Amanda Eck-TheEckLife May 19, 2011 at 7:00 am #

    I love this!! what a great idea! and yay for great MIL’s! Love mine too! she’s awesome. Have a great day!

  53. andrea May 19, 2011 at 6:18 am #

    love the piano nook … and love the post about your MIL … i, too, have a wondeful MIL who only had boys to raise – she is a precious gem to me and, i’m realizing, a rare find! so blessed … :)

  54. paige May 19, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    well happy birthday to your nonna. she sounds amazing. especially the fact that she choose not to be a bitter woman. wow. that says so much about her character!

    the birdie art is fantastic!

  55. Lynda May 19, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    Your piano area is so cheerful now. I bet your kids really enjoy all of the different birds too! You are really blessed to have such a wonderful mother in law. She sounds terrific!

  56. Natasha May 19, 2011 at 5:49 am #

    Love the birds….super artistic what you did with them too!
    Another quick question: How do you keep your silver from tarnishing? I just acquired a beautiful old tea seat/tray/etc. from my own wonderful mother-in-law and I’m afraid to take it out of the plastic for fear it will tarnish in 10 minutes!

  57. I Live in an Antbed May 19, 2011 at 5:45 am #

    That is wonderful–birds are always a good choice. :)

  58. Ondrea May 19, 2011 at 5:15 am #

    I always enjoy your inspiration. I actually made time to make the cute paper bags for a baby shower & just sewed nine letter t-shirts for a reunion next week. THANKS for the awesome & easy ideas.
    BTW: What font did you use for the “Happy Birthday, Nonna” at the end of your post? I noticed it was also on the stickers for the paper bag tutorial, but even after looking at your favorite fonts, couldn’t find it. Is it actually a font or some other design?

  59. Meg May 19, 2011 at 5:10 am #

    I love the birds! I’ll have to look for that book now. What store did you find it at? Looks great!!


  60. Lauren May 19, 2011 at 5:05 am #

    Love it! the birds are great, but I think the L is my favorite!

  61. Alli - Life on LeRoy May 19, 2011 at 4:53 am #

    I LOVE THE NEW WALL LOOK! How fun and so random! Well done!

  62. Andrea May 19, 2011 at 4:39 am #

    Love all the color! You really are blessed to have such a wonderful mother-in-law.

  63. Katie May 19, 2011 at 4:29 am #

    I love what you’ve done here! x

  64. Mary May 19, 2011 at 4:15 am #

    WOW. Can I please crawl in there and stay a while? I love the layering and overlapping of the pages! B-E-A-Utiful! xox! http://theedgeofblue.blogspot.com

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