A Clarinet Studio Transformation: After

Last week, I shared the “before” pictures of my friend Kristen’s clarinet studio. You can read the full post here. As a reminder, here is where the room started:

Kristen thought hard about how she wanted the room to look, and created a Pinterest board full of ideas. After emptying the room and painting it white, we had a blank slate to work with. She decluttered bag after bag of trash, and took lots of care with each item we brought back into the room. We went vertical on storage, utilized existing containment solutions, and purchased a few new ones as well. She was able to incorporate design elements that reflect her style, and we are so pleased with the result!

After: The Office Side

The first thing you see when you walk into the room is a calming art wall with matching gold frames. Whereas before, the cumbersome printer occupied the corner behind Kristen’s chair, now a beautiful lamp draws our attention. The printer is still easily accessible, but its situation on a lower (technically under-cabinet) set of drawers minimizes its visual impact on the room’s aesthetic.

Most of the Elfa drawers in Kristen’s studio were already there. She bought a few more to fill in the wall, but many of these have been in use for years. (In case you’ve considered purchasing Elfa materials before, the quality is great!) She did purchase drawer labels, which are a great organizational addition.

Now that Kristen’s desktop is clear, her office is much more functional. Sharing a workspace with a second teacher is no trouble when clutter is minimized. Students can focus on the music and instruction rather than distractions. And teachers can concentrate better when their space is tidy.

We organized each drawer so that Kristen’s time can be spent interacting with students, not searching for materials. She already owned the containment solutions within each drawer; we just had to “shop” around her house a bit!

After: Inspiration Wall

Before, the wall that Kristen faced every day while teaching was a mess. The three mirrors she had hung a long time ago were surrounded by pictures and mementos that had the opposite effect of calming! She also lacked storage solutions for her existing crafting/office supplies. We maximized her vertical space by purchasing two tall bookcases and one short cube unit to create an area that can both store her necessary materials and also be a wall of inspiration.

Kristen very carefully chose each item that went on display. She kept only a select few photographs, and gave other items room to breathe. The gold frames match the rest of the room, and here contain scrapbook paper. (Isn’t she crafty and clever?)

The pink baskets contain some of the materials that were previously on the floor, and actually all of them aren’t even occupied yet. We used her existing beautiful magazine racks to organize school and art supplies on the bottom left shelf. Selectively decorating the bookcases allowed her room to showcase some of her other business materials, such as business cards and the water bottles she gives as senior gifts.

She upgraded the chair in the corner from a rehearsal chair to a plush decorative one that adds a pop of color and interest to the room. (That chair would primarily be occupied by a parent observing a lesson.) Adding a gold mirror to the art wall reflects even more light into the bright space.

After: Craft Closet

Part of cleaning up the inspiration wall involved moving bags of craft supplies into the office closet, thus turning it into an amazing craft closet. Her closet was already very well designed, so we had great bones to work with. When they renovated their basement 10 years ago, her contractor installed nice shelving. We added an Elfa door unit and Container Store shoe boxes for her influx of reed supplies. Otherwise, she already owned many great containment solutions that only had to be repurposed or cleaned up. Plus, her handy husband installed an outlet and a light so that the desk space is truly workable now!

All she has to do is wheel her beautiful new office chair over, where all supplies neatly await! There was even enough room to store her spare and backup instruments. (An instrumental music teacher requires a lot of equipment, and obviously instruments are an important part of that!) Kristin loves using her Cricut machine, and we loved that the Elfa door unit was able to nicely corral her vinyl and paper.

Kristen had so much fun organizing everything that she wound up purchasing her own label maker, which came in really handy as the influx of new merchandise started arriving shortly after we finished setting up the closet. However, she has great handwriting and already labeled many of her boxes with chalk paint and chalkboard stickers.


Kristen’s studio transformation was such a pleasure to be a part of. Here are a few side-by-side snapshots.

Office area: 

Inspiration wall:

Parent Corner:

Work Surface:

Closet:Many, many thanks to Kristen for being a fantastic client, and for my sister Sunny Hutchinson for being an amazing photographer!




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