Design

Introducing–Our Music Room!

October 10, 2019  —  Written by Julia 

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This post is sponsored by Walmart

When we looked at this home for the first time, I liked SO MUCH about it, but we couldn’t get over the entry leading right into this double story, open room. The previous owners were using it as a dining space, but I was struggling with what we would do with it. It was so tall and open and we decided that maybe this house wasn’t for us. We looked at several more, but none other compared to the lot of this one and we loved the layout besides this, very centered, space. We went back to the house to see if we could come up with a solution before making an offer. (Hahaha, it was literally a deal breaker!) We decided right then that we would extend the ceiling from the hallway over and make a bonus space upstairs and wall in this room a bit to allow it to be a more intimate space. We even gave it a purpose–our music room.

Here’s how it’s looking now! With a 9ft ceiling and large arched opening to the room. The far door is now gone and halfway into becoming an arched passthrough. The large window on the right will be identical. We knew the music room would house our piano; it’s passed down from Chris’s great grandma and Chris plays beautifully and our two oldest are currently learning. Then we have a djembe (again, Chris) and guitars, (Chris!) and a ukulele that Greta got for Christmas a couple years ago that she’s learning to play.

The vision grew when we added in the idea of a puzzle table in this space (dreams come true) and moody walls (wallpaper? no one’s surprised) and a record player was the icing on the cake! Earlier this year, Chris and I took a trip with our best friends to Nashville where we played tourists for a long weekend. Our Airbnb had a record player and a slew of records that we would take turns choosing and playing all the way through. It was such a cool, fun addition to the place and a chill activity that’s so much more enjoyable then telling Alexa to play a song. A record player was officially on our wish list for our home. That was confirmed once again when we gifted one to our nephew, Jordan, for his birthday shortly after returning and he is smitten with it.

Turns out, record players make an amazing gift for others and yourself. Maybe a fun house warming gift, too! I don’t know why I had this idea in my head that record players were $250-$500+, we got ours (above) for $99 from Walmart! Isn’t it so snazzy? Walmart has a huge selection of record players at really affordable prices. I linked a few favorites below starting at just $44!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

 

We had the most fun breaking in the music room with a few vinyls we also bought through Walmart (their selection is enormous!). Queen’s Greatest Hits, Frank Sinatra, The Greatest Showman Soundtrack (the girls went craaazzzzzyyyyyy), Tony Bennett Duets–incredible album, The Beatles Abbey Road!

This is our first record player so our vinyl collection is only pushing a dozen, but Chris already said, “I can see why people collect records, this is so much fun!” So, we’d love to hear if there are any must-have albums we should add! And if you don’t have a record player yet (just us?), what an incredible, charming addition to a home. I can already tell this room is going to be special for our family.

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What do you think?

  1. Ginny says:

    My husband works for a record label and their biggest physical seller (obvs digital platform stuff is highest grossing) is records!! Tapes are making a comeback too, which is so funny to me :)

  2. Susan says:

    Oh my gosh I love this! Growing up we loved it when our parents played the “looney Tunes” record. A collection of really, well, Looney songs. From Witch Doctor to Rubber Ducky, we always bounced around when they played that record.

    Alice’s Restaurant, is another one I remember – a long story like song that I was probably too young to hear but it is warped and I love it. And now I live a few miles from Alice’s Restaurant… and the railroad tracks.

  3. Jane Reed says:

    I can’t stop laughing. The next thing you know, you will be teaching your children how to use a land line telephone or a typewriter – all of the relics of the past!

  4. Rachael Pierce says:

    Fleetwood Mac – Tango in the Night!!! I had this album as a little girl and basically wore it out from listening to it so so many times. There’s nothing a record!

  5. Lisa says:

    AJA by Steely Dan, Disraeli Gears by Cream, Who’s Next by The Who, Blue by Joni Mitchell, Blood in the Tracks by Bob Dylan.
    These are the five my long time audiophile husband recommends off the top of his head. BTW he’s NEVER not had vinyl!

    Best wishes as you explore this new world.

  6. Carrie says:

    Christmas music!!!! We have my husbands grandparents vintage record player (it is insanely huge & ridiculously heavy) but Christmas music just sounds so lovely and special on it. It isn’t perfect but it reminds me so much of Christmas as a child.

  7. My 4 year old LOVES our record player. He finds it so magical to look at the albums and then music actually comes out of it. I’m glad you found a purpose for that space. I hate when space is just wasted like that!

  8. Steph says:

    The Beach Boys!!! (Pet Sounds) Our littles danced and danced to this as their first Vinyl experience and now you’ve reminded me that I need to set up our record player again. It would be fun to compile a list of all the various lo-fi family activities we all enjoy. I played Connect 4 with my daughter last night and it was just so relaxing.

  9. Lisa says:

    David Bowie – I’d choose “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”.

    Wilco – “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” is made to appreciated on vinyl.

    And Pearl Jam’s “Ten” as it is an absolutely amazing album and they kept issuing all of theirs on vinyl at a time when many bands had stopped.

  10. Deborah Thompson says:

    I grew up listening to The Carpenters on record- we still have several from my mom’s collection. I love the sound just before the music begins and as it ends that can only be heard on a record player.

  11. Judith says:

    I think two of the most perfect albums ever are “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis and “Blues at Sunrise“ by Stevie Ray Vaughan. I’d also get Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Bad and Dangerous albums because it’s great music, and the soundtrack to “Sleepless in Seattle” because it’s lovely and also comprised of great music.

    I realize that’s quite an eclectic assortment, but it’s 1:40 am here and that’s what my intuitive tired brain came up with :) and I truly love all of those albums.

  12. Chrissy N says:

    I bought a bunch of the old Disney read along records for my littles and they’ve been so fun! I found them from various sellers on eBay ????????

  13. Kristen says:

    Love! We have a music room with the piano my husband grew up playing as well! Along with his guitar and my dad’s banjo. And hubby has been collecting records since before we met so we have quite the collection going and no sign of stopping ????

  14. Mari says:

    Think outside the box and dabble in world music. The best birthday bash had THE BEST music playing from all over the world. I was high on it!

  15. Your record player is darling. I highly recommend Doris Day!! Anything…Doris Day! ❤️

  16. Grace says:

    My dad gave me all his old records and his record player! I totally agree that’s it’s so different than just playing music on a bluetooth speaker. Friends love choosing records from our collection to play, and I even love the ones that are a little scratched because I can picture my dad playing them back in the day over and over. Now when we’re traveling I stop into a record shop now and again and pick up vintage records! My favorite lately was a Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers Christmas album that I can’t wait to play during the holidays!

  17. Nicole says:

    Can any of these connect to Bluetooth speakers? I wonder if that would improve or diminish from the experience? I was just thinking that it would be cool to have a record player that you could interact with at a party or something, but then everyone in the house (or outside) could benefit from it too.

  18. Piia says:

    I just bought a train ticket for my daughter (13), my son and their friend (both 16) for a 2hour ride to a record-pup-up-shop of their favorite band (called “Kraftklub”) to get their newest album, hah. We have a huge collection of Grimm`s Fairytales from my own childhood on vinyl, so my kids grew up listening to them. My favorites are CCR, C.King (Tapestry), Billy Joel, Janis Joplin, Joan Baetz, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Cat Stevens,Queen, The Beatles… and lots of Christmas albums. We bought most of our records 20 years ago when my husband lived in New York for a year for 1$/record and carried them in our suitcases across the ocean:D

  19. Robyn says:

    We have such a random assortment of records – some of our family faves: Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston, Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Joni Michell, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland, Annie soundtrack, and start stocking up on Christmas albums now. So much fun!

  20. Marie says:

    I remember my Dad bringing home a HiFi record player with a collection of Broadway show tunes. The best childhood memories from the 50s!

  21. Dianne says:

    When my parents downsized to a retirement community last year, my mom had plans to donate their 1956 record player to a thrift store. The player brought back a myriad of memories — from spinning those 33 1/3 RPM, 45 RPM, and 78 RPMs to singing aloud with Christmas albums. I decided to bring home and have it refurbished. The wooden box now has a place in our living room waiting for our daughter to take to her home. I look forward to breaking out the old albums and singing along when I’m home alone!

  22. Becca J says:

    Ahh anything from Bread – The carpenters- Bachman turner overdrive -The supremes- Kenny Rogers I know all their songs from playing my moms albums which I have them all now and play often Love it !!!

  23. Tracy says:

    Cat Stevens – Teaser and the Firecat :)

  24. Lauren says:

    If you don’t have a great record store near you (I’m spoiled by Amoeba where I live), then I highly highly recommend discogs.com. You can find almost any album under the sun, and many of them around $5 total for a playable, used copy.

  25. Dawn says:

    How fun! Free To Be You and Me is the record I remember listening to over and over again as a child!

    • Michelle says:

      Me tooo! GREAT songs and great message. Still remember the babies meeting each other in the nursery. I bet it seems a bit dated now but at the time it was PROGRESSIVE. Less so but equally as charming for kids under 8 I recommend Tom T Hall. He’s kinda like a singing Mr Rogers in addition to singing country for adults. The Songs of Fox Hollow was my childhood favorite (dates me I know). Lots of nice melodies and good musicianship with cute songs.

  26. Julie S says:

    Even though I’m not a music aficionado type, I’ve always loved records. I tend to like physical things better than digital versions so that’s part of it! We lived with my grandparents for several years when I was growing up and they had about 50-60 records, so that’s where I learned how to use and appreciate them :)
    I have to find a good table for ours now – it got booted to make a homeschool space in the L end of our living room and has been out of operation since spring. We particularly listen around Christmas in our family, but I’d enjoy making it a frequent tradition.

  27. I bought my husband a record player a couple of years ago and we love it! It’s perfect during/post dinner, as dinner party ambiance, in the summer with the doors open, in the winter with the fire going, on and on.

    We haven’t bought any new records yet – they’ve all come from charity shops and our parents’ attics, including their Beach Boys, Beatles, Springsteen albums from college. They love that the records are getting new life! I’d also recommend our Crosley wood record player (from UO), I feel like it would fit you and your followers’ aesthetic!

  28. Jacqui says:

    My first proper job was in a record shop, I bought a great Technics turntable and a wee sound system with some of my first money at 18. I collected lots of records. That was 1981, I still have that turntable, bought a new sound system last year and I still have a lot of records. It is indeed great fun. I love remembering the times when I first bought a record that I loved and played day and night. Music is so evocative.

  29. Kala says:

    Love this! Makes me want to get a record player in time for Christmas! Do you mind sharing where the table is from? It’s beautiful!

  30. Alda Cobb says:

    My husband was a DJ in college and I feel this in my soul! Although his “1s and 2s” left our home over 10 years ago, his record collection remains with an inexpensive record player I gifted him. We have a 6yo and 19mo, and our favorites are old school hip hop songs. It makes us want to bust out the cardboard and break dance! They sound so…pure…?? He also plays classical and jazz piano, so we listen to a lot of Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis, and recently introduced Dizzie Gillespie to our oldest since she’s playing the recorder in first grade. Absolute LOVE!!

  31. Cassidy says:

    My husband has a huge record collection Fromm his high school and college days but we ditched our record player/enormous stereo system that went with it years ago during a big move. Now I know what I’m getting him for Christmas! Thanks!

  32. Pam says:

    Top favorite holiday album for kids of any age (even adults!) : John Denver & the Muppets A Christmas Together. I promise they’ll love it!!

  33. Stacey says:

    Must get Ella Wishes You A Swingin’ Christmas for the holidays!!

  34. Shannon Beaty says:

    Brenda Lee’s Christmas album with “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” is the best!! Every song is so fun! Well, besides the one about the bell. I can hear the scratchy vinyl intro in my head…

  35. Lisa says:

    My Dad had quite an extensive collection of originals: all the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Linda Ronstadt, Niel Diamond, Black Sabbath, Christmas albums, I could go on. An absolute favorite memory, going back as far as I can remember, is flipping through them on the shelf and choosing just the right one to play, volume up! When I visited my parents after their cross-country move, I asked where the player and the records were. My Dad said he SOLD THEM ON CRAIGSLIST and was pleased to report they sold minutes after he posted them. Of course they did! Some guy got the deal of his life!! I almost vomited. I hope he enjoys them like we did! This post made me think, what’s stopping me from passing on the tradition to my kids? They don’t have to be my Dad’s or originals! Looks like we’re going shopping. Slow clap for your sponsered posts, y’all are masterful!

  36. Laura says:

    Saturday morning are for Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits on Vinyl in our house! (Or as I said to my husband when I didn’t know what album we listened to: “the one with all the hits on it”. ????????????

  37. JoniB says:

    The Sound of Music was forever playing on our record player while growing up because it was my mom’s favorite. Then it became the Beach Boys or Elton John. When we got to the more up-to-date stuff we then had to listen in our rooms.
    Ahhhh, thanks for the memories!

  38. Alison says:

    Hi! We love ours. I recommend Etta James and Lois Armstrong. We mainly purchase vintage/used records and like the spontaneity of picking something out. Our kids are around your age and really enjoy the old Disney records (story pages included to follow along a must!) Enjoy :)

  39. Arielle says:

    I love keeping an eye out for records at thrift shoppes, habitat Restores etc. sometimes they’re as low as 50 cents- 1 dollar! Try to eyeball if they’re flat and don’t have scratches. But worth the “risk at that price!

  40. Jamie Marabillas says:

    My husband suggested a record player a few years ago and I thought he was crazy. After we got, we absolutely love hanging out listening to vinyl and finding used albums from our youth or favorite artists. There has been such a resurgence in vinyl it is great to see others enjoying it!

  41. Karly Garnier says:

    Start thrifting for old Christmas albums! (Elvis, Bing Crosby, kids albums) Some of my favourite memories are of listening to Christmas records while baking, decorating the tree etc.

  42. debra shatto says:

    Great use of space for your needs, a music room sounds like a fitting room for your family. I fell in love with the table that your record player is sitting on, could you tell me it’s source?

  43. Nicole says:

    Growing up my dad would play Beast of Burden EVERY time we were getting ready to go out to dinner. I love that whole album (some girls) and it’s so nostalgic to me. We love our record player dance parties with our little ones.

  44. Courtney M says:

    When I think of vinyl, I think of Frank Sinatra or Mitch Miller around the holidays and Billy Joel or The Rolling Stones just about any time. Some of my best family memories are from being gathered around the Victrola. Enjoy every minute!

  45. Bailey says:

    The first gift I ever gave back husband was a record player! We love it and gave it a very special space in our home as well ☺️

  46. Meredith says:

    My 15 yr old daughter was bitten by the vinyl bug and got a record player foor her room. We have been picking up records at thrift stores, I love the old Christmas albums from the 60’s, random ones like Hawaiian music (think 1960’s luau!) and if you’re lucky? You can get an entire set of Barbra Streisand at a goodwill! ;-) I think we have a few modern ones as well… cutting an album in vinyl is pretty standard these days.

  47. Liz says:

    I grew up with my Mom taking me to the Art Museum and to the Symphony concerts for kids. So, I love the classics.

    A good one for kids is Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev. Anything by Segovia (guitarist). There are many classics which are very soothing to put on and relax.

    I remember my parents getting record collections (Reader’s Digest?) I wish I saved them when the family home was sold.

  48. Julie says:

    we love playing vinyl at our house! thrift stores and my childhood collection is how we got our current supply, but one of our favorites is The Nutcracker! we put it on and dance away and it’s so much fun. we do need a new one though, so thanks for the link up!

  49. Lindsay says:

    Anything Nat King Cole is so dreamy on vinyl. And Christmas! Holiday music is so much more magical when played on a record player.

  50. Sarah says:

    I am SO excited to see this space come together! You have somehow made me feel a sense of nostalgia for this room already. I can just hear the records playing in the background while your family is doing a puzzle together. I can already picture your friends and family wandering into and relaxing in the music room during the Christmas season while Chris plays the piano. You are always so inspiring with your ideas and vision and I adore how your home is geared toward spending time together and being present.

  51. Sylvia Waller says:

    With the Holidays coming, must haves in my collection, Michael Buble Christmas Album and A Charlie Brown Christmas. I also love the oldies christmas albums with Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby and others.

  52. yasmara says:

    Oh my, don’t get me started. My husband is a serious vinyl collector with thousands of records. We actually buy new albums on vinyl because most bands release a digital download along with the vinyl record. I bought the new Wilco album on pink marbled vinyl!

  53. Mara says:

    We love thrifting and have found so many amazing albums. However, my most favorite find was on Facebook Marketplace. We got our daughter two (mint condition, with original posters!!) Fleetwood Mac albums, Rumours and FM, for Christmas last year for $5 each! We also found the United album with Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel (Ain’t No Mountain High Enough) on eBay! I received Patsy Cline’s Sweet Dreams album as a gift (love her!) and really cherish it. Albums are such great gifts to give and receive!

  54. Bren says:

    If you ever find it, Bedknobs & Broomsticks for the girls. The most entertaining album! It is the whole story read by the characters, with music. A classic.

  55. Ellen says:

    I gave my husband a record player for xmas last year. He got his record collection out of storage and it has been SO much fun. I will advice to pay a little more for the record player, buy a decent quality player because it makes a WORLD of a difference in enjoying the music. The speakers on those ‘suitcase’ players are really not good. I decided on a Audio-Technica and connected it to a external sound system. I’m SO happy we choose that one, I know for sure my music-lover husband would get so annoyed by the music quality of those ‘suitcase-players’. But they sure look cute.

    • Christina says:

      I was also curious about the sound quality of models with built-in speakers. All the record players I had growing up had external speakers.

  56. Julie Dawson says:

    I grew up listening to the “high fi”, singing my heart out in the living room. The only rule was to be careful to not scratch the albums and to put them back into their covers gently. I learned to like so many different kinds of music. IMHO: Eva Cassidy, John Denver, Linda Ronstadt and Willie Nelson are great easy listening.

  57. Kate says:

    My husband is a big U2 fan/collector and they only release special versions of songs on vinyl. Maybe some of your other favorite artists to the same.

  58. Megan Shannon says:

    Christmas music on vinyl is the best!

  59. Norah says:

    You gotta get Rolling Stones – Some Girls. The record cover itself is so cool (cut outs!) And every time I play it I’m surprised that I know and love every single song

  60. Halle says:

    “Georgica Pond” by Johnnyswim is a must-have on record!

  61. Amanda says:

    Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” is always playing on ours, along with Paul Simon’s Live album “Concert in the Park.” There are so many good songs that you never have to skip!

  62. Marci says:

    We also have a music room with guitars, bass, piano and guess what…a record player! No TV allowed in this room. We love it. Great choice!

  63. Katie says:

    So fun! Christmas records are my favorite to play…Charlie Brown, Bing, anything older and crackly feel extra special. So excited to see how this space comes to life for you!

  64. Candice says:

    Gotta have Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, Once Upon A Christmas!

  65. Summer says:

    Growing up, Christmas decorating wasn’t allowed to begin until my mother put on her most beloved record of “A Partridge Family Christmas Card”. Even though they were before my time, it has created such nostalgia for me, and I have continued the tradition with my own children. Having that on vinyl would add a whole new level of sound!

  66. Anee says:

    So dreamy!! Makes me want to start a collection even though I am not really into records!

    Loved Faye’s boots. Do they come in adult size?! :D

  67. Eliza says:

    My husband got me a record player for the holidays last year after me asking for one for years. We had one growing up, and I had such fond memories of playing records, the sound of the needle touching down on the record, and the slightly scratchiness of the music playing. We only have about 20 albums in our collection so far, but it’s growing! Faves: Miles Davis, Kind of Blue; Mumford and Sons, Sigh No More; Van Morrison, Moondance; Bob Seger, Greatest Hits. :-) I think that the gift of music or books is just the very best!! Hope you all enjoy your music room so much. I’m enjoying watching you start to transform this home!!

  68. kimmy says:

    you need the kacey musgraves holiday record!

  69. Christina says:

    Welppp, I clicked purchase on that record player before even reading the whole post. Haha!!! CLJ, way to go on the ad posts! Consider me influenced.
    This one is gorgeous and will go per.fect.ly. in a certain pretty little nook in our basement bar area. I recently bought this little lamp (link below), but needed *something* else to balance, and this will do the trick nicely. We have stayed in a couple hotels over the past year that had record players in the room with vintage records, and absolutely loved it! What a nice touch. Happy Thursday, y’all!
    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0742D9X4G/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  70. Angela says:

    We have a record player and our family loves it. While I am all about art, the hubs is all about music so he loves introducing our girls to all his favorite artists and the authentic sound you get from records. Music is truly personal, so I can’t really say you should buy Red Hot Chili Peppers simply bc they are a family favorite here, but I WILL say that you should absolutely get a Christmas or Holiday hits album…especially one with kid-like songs. My girls love when we put one on during the holiday season and make hot cocoa and sing along to Frosty. So many great memories to be had over music. My husband and his brothers still reminisce over the music their mother played at the holidays.

  71. Jen says:

    My daughter got one her 12th birthday a couple years ago and loves it. She only has 3 or 4 records (including The Greatest Showman), but she plays them nearly every day.

  72. Kristina says:

    I follow @myndid on Instagram and have always loved that each Advent season she and her husband gift each other records. It’s such a fun way to grow your collection and get some of the advent calendar fun for the adults too!

  73. Karen says:

    Oh my, LOVE THIS! And a record player has been on my wish list for a while now….our front living room has been empty since we’ve moved in (3 years now), and I’m fine-ah-lee pulling the trigger on furniture/decorating. It will not have a TV, so I’ve felt a record player/music is the perfect way to draw us in. For years I lugged around a milk crate of my mom’s old records….and now they’re MIA. I’ve searched all over the house, which lead to a garage clean-out with my husband (still no luck!). I’m so bummed b/c I know-know-know I would have never gotten rid of them……this has inspired me to look again :)

    • Julia says:

      You got this! Find the treasure!

      • Bailey says:

        My husband is an avid collector. We find some real gems on eBay! I find that a lot of albums have really beautiful artwork. I’m interested in seeing if you use the albums in the styling of the room when it’s complete. I’ve been trying to figure out a beautiful way to do that for a while now. Have fun! It’s an addictive hobby!

  74. Jessica says:

    We have had my husband’s grandparents’ record player since we were married. He’s handy so he’s been able to keep it in top working order. Our favorite is listening to Christmas albums we’ve collected from thrift stores during the holiday season!

  75. Jess says:

    We have a bit of a record player addiction. My husband and I each brought more modern ones into our relationship and since buying our house we’ve collected 4 vintage stereo cabinets complete with record players. It’s totally fine and not at all a problem ha!

  76. Ryan says:

    I always listen to my bon iver records on drizzly mornings- it’s a must have for me!

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