Thursday, August 9, 2012

Home Decor :: Vintage Sheet Music

It's been around 3 weeks since our house flooded and while we've made great progress (new carpet is coming Tuesday! YES!), we still aren't back to normal around here. So, since we're still living in a mess of boxes and exposed cement floor, I thought I'd take a minute to do a post about my living room - back when it was pretty!

As many of you know, we live in a rental home, which means we are limited on what we can change about our house. We're also waiting to buy new furniture until we buy a home, so when we moved in I had to work really hard to use what we had.

I'm not sure if you can tell from the pictures below, but our living room is a really big, oddly shaped room. It took us 5 tries before we got the furniture arranged in way we didn't hate!

Between the fireplace (above) and the the black & burlap chairs (4th photo) 
is about 15 feet of empty space. It is such a strange design!

Yes, that is a crazy old, super heavy TV (below)! I know, I know... we need a flat screen. 
We are still living in the "dark ages" without HD TV!

The only new pieces of furniture we bought for this room were the coffee table (above) and the thrift store table (below) I re-did here. The black armchairs below are from our dining room table upstairs (we only keep 4 upstairs and this is the perfect space for the other 2. At Christmastime, our tree goes in this corner and the chairs go back with the dining room table.)

Our furniture was all cream and black (with some wood tones thrown in) which totally worked in our last house, because the walls were done in pale green wall-paper. But when we put our stuff in this house, it looked... well... blah. Cream walls with nothing but cream and black furniture was super boring! And it was made worse by the fact that the living room is halfway underground (which means less natural light). I knew we needed a bright accent color and for some reason I was feeling PURPLE! After adding a few throw pillows we decided we liked the look and I started searching for art.

And then I hit a wall.

Have you ever tried to find PURPLE art? Your choices are grapes, flower photos, fairies, butterflies, and unicorns. As exciting as those options were, I just couldn't see this on our living room wall...


So I went back to searching. I looked for weeks in stores and online... and then when I was almost ready to give up, I hit the jackpot! I stumbled upon this vintage sheet music on Ebay and fell in love!

Have you ever looked at any vintage sheet music? If not, you are seriously missing out! The term, "They don't make 'em like they used to" definitely applies here. These days sheet music is pretty boring (the cover that is). But 50, 75, and 100+ years ago the covers were absolutely GORGEOUS! They were covered in incredible artwork with some of the most fabulous color combinations. And the best part is... you can usually find them for around $5 - $10 each! I ended up with 3 different purple pieces for our living room walls....

Sophisticated Lady (Duke Ellington, 1930's)

Tell Me Little Gypsy (Irving Berlin, 1920)

... and the Zenith March Two-Step (Harry Lincoln, 1905)

The last one was the most expensive ($25) because it's rare to find a piece that's over 100 years old in great condition. But when I saw her, I just had to have her! She's wearing a robe and a crown for crying out loud! It was meant to be! And so, my dear sweet Daddy bought her as a gift to finish out my collection.

I got all 3 pieces matted and framed at a very reasonable frame shop downtown, and now they are happily hanging on my living room walls. I'm thrilled to have not only unique art on my walls, but a piece of history as well! It means so much to be able to give treasures like these a new purpose!

It's a good thing my husband loves history and antiques. The fact that these were vintage pieces somehow made him overlook the Lady, Gypsy, and Queen now living in his house! ;)

*Have any of you ever used vintage sheet music in your decorating? I have been amazed at the variety that's available! If you're looking to add a piece (or pieces) to a room in your home, I'd love to help! Please comment below with the color scheme or theme (for example - a circus theme for a nursery) you're looking for and any details that might be special to you (a girl or boy's name, a state, a country, an animal, or a song). I'll pick one or two of the comments and see what I can find for a couple of my sweet readers!


  1. How about something about Indiana, Georgia or Washington State??? Our family's 3 states...might be fun framed somewhere??? Way to be creative and on a budget!!

    1. Thanks Sarah! I'm looking forward to adding more when we buy a home!

      I will start looking for your States... who knows what I will find! :)