Custom Music Cart (Or How I Got My Living Room Back)

February 07, 2020

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When you live in a tiny cottage, rooms often become multipurpose spaces. Unfortunately, it's not always pleasing to the eye. Here's how we solved one dilemma that allowed us to have a music room and living room all in one. 

Alesis Soundboard on a Custom Music Gear Cart

So if you've followed me for any amount of time, you'd know that in addition to being a writer, who's obsessed with crafting, DIY and home decor, I'm also the proud mama of two very talented singers and musicians.

It all began when I enrolled them in a musical theater class when they were both in preschool. Back then, they attended class once a week and practiced a bit in their spare time.

However, over the years, their hobby- turned passion and then profession - became more and more consuming.

And in turn consumed more and more of my tiny house.

The takeover started small.

My grandmother's gorgeous antique upright player piano was the first to arrive and it looked great in the living room. Built sometime in the early 1900's, its style was a perfect match in my little beach bungalow, a very welcome addition.

The girls would gather around it to rehearse, then tuck their sheet music in the bench and then retreat to their rooms or the basement to play.

Lovely.

Of course, things got a little more complicated when the ukulele, the guitars and bass showed up. That sheet music didn't have a bench, so it was often strewn across the floor...and the guitar stands didn't go with my decor. At all.

But like all good mothers, I managed. We found hooks and straps to hang the instruments on in the hallway and I relegated the amps to the basement.

I was able to contain most everything. Until.

Until the sound system showed up.

Music Sound System Mess On the floor

The sound system - with its speakers and mics and control panel and wires...and wires and wires and wires. There were seriously cords everywhere.

Ok, not everywhere. Just in my living room. My beautiful, red and white, charming, cottage style living room. That had now been turned into a mock rehearsal/ recording studio.

And one that never, ever got cleaned up.

All those pictures of my sweet room that I've been showing off for years? Yeah...the cords are there. They were always there. Just out of the camera's eye, but never out of my sight and man oh man, it bugged me to no end.

We looked online and in shops for a cart of some kind to corral the mess, but we never found anything that would tuck all that equipment out of the way. Well, out of the way enough for me.

Then one day my sweet DIY guy said, What if I built them something to organize everything?

And I said, If you could make something that would fit in the cubby under the bookshelves that would make me very, very happy.

Bookshelf Cabinet

And with that, he got to work.

To be honest, it was a tall order. The space was not very big, but turns out with some creative carpentry and extremely careful measuring, there was just enough room to make it work.

DIY Custom Wooden Music Gear Cart

I'm talking about fractions of an inch, but somehow, someway in less than an hour, that guy had built a rolling cart that housed everything neatly and accessibly and hid completely out of sight.

Alesis Soundboard DIY Cart

Happy mama, happy babies.

Music Cart With Wheels

There are compartments to house the speakers, a place for the board, cubbies for all the wires and extra shelves for their computer, music books and mics.

The guy thought of everything.

It has wheels, so it just rolls out of the cubby when they need to plug it in to rehearse, plus the cords stay more organized this way...almost as good as my desk trick. No tangles and no tripping.

Wooden Music Cart DIY

When they need it, they just open the cabinet to access it and when they're done, they put it back and the rehearsal space turns right back into my charming living room. Presto chango.


Now I have beautiful music and a beautiful view.

Cottage Living Room Entryway

Much better.

Wouldn't you say?

  1. I am super impressed! Give that DIY superman a prize! Cords are the bane of most ladies who care about their homes. This solution is definitely a win-win. xoxo

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    1. Thanks Donna! I could not stand those cords and the space is so small that the stuff was usually stretched out across the entire room. You should’ve seen it with the Christmas tree in there, too! Whoa! I’ll pass your compliments on to my superman. I totally agree, he really does deserve a prize! ❤️

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  2. Wow Kim, I'm amazed! This is genius and you get your beautiful room back not to mention sanity. Hubby deserves a bug reward. The design is brilliant.

    I never thought about all the things that must be in the house for the girls to do what they do. Did I think magically they just sang?

    It looks like a piece of furniture. Mom needs to be happy too. Enjoy having space back.

    Cindy

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    1. Thanks Cindy! He'd actually been suggesting a cart for years, but I kept putting him off, thinking that the cart would be just as much of an eyesore as the equipment. Of course, after more than 25 years with this guy, I should've known better. When I asked him to see if it would fit in the cabinet it was really wishful thinking, but in true form, he came through!

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  3. Fantastic idea, and I know, must have made all the difference in the world to you!! Your DIY super husband gave you the best Valentine ever, huh!?;-)

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    1. Totally agree, Constance! Best Valentine ever for this decor obsessed girl. 😉

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  4. You DIY man is a keeper. That is amazing. Looks great and gives you back your cottage room.
    Happy Friday and have a great weekend.
    xoxo
    Kris

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    1. Thanks Kris! I totally agree...and I know you have one, too! Happy Friday my friend!! xo

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  5. Kim, that looks wonderful...so totally organized! The best kind of project!

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    1. I couldn't agree more, Linda! Thanks for peeking!

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  6. Whau! Totally impressive!! You have a super husband!! We have cords showing a lot around our place :(

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    1. Thank you, Angela, I was super impressed when he brought it in the house. He was honestly in the garage for less than an hour. Super indeed!

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  7. I agree, a much better look. Your hubby did a great job. You should be so proud of your girls. They are awesome! Everyone is now happy, including mom...

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    1. Thank you, Linda. I am very proud of them…and very happy to have a neat room again.

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  8. It's perfect. Hubby did great! And everyone can be happy now!

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    1. Thanks Mari! It's a neat solution for sure.

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  9. How wonderful! He deserves an A+ and a gold star!!! Wish my hubby was that handy. He is great at "making do" with stuff...the end product is not always so lovely though:)

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    1. Thanks Cheri! He really is a great DIYer and he's kind of a perfectionist which works out well for me (who's also kind of a perfectionist). 😉

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  10. Kim, whenever I looked at your beautiful room, I wouldn't have dreamed that there was anything out of place. Now, I know how impressive your DIY skills (and hubbys) are. What a great answer to an age old problem. How do we disguise the toys? The only thing I am more impressed with than your DIY skills is how talented your sweet girls must be. You must be one proud mama..Happy Friday..xxoJudy

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    1. Thank you, Judy. I really do have a very talented family. I’m actually the least talented one in the bunch. They’re all much more creative than I am, especially when it comes to DIY. I’m the dreamer and my husband is the doer! And I certainly can’t sing!! But if you need something hot glued, well then, I guess I’m your girl! 😉

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  11. Impressive. It works out so well that it can be tucked away.

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    1. It literally JUST fit, Lorri. If those speakers were even a hair bigger, it never would've worked. Lucky for sure...

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  12. Oh my goodness. That's so neat Kim, in more ways than one :D Goodness gracious talk about measuring 200 times at least to get the perfect fit. Win-win all around and you have one very smart hubby

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    1. Lots of measuring, that is for sure...and thank goodness, the measuring was right. It JUST fit!!

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  13. I would say that is genius!!! We had that same thing in our living room when our girls were growing up and performing in churches, weddings, etc. I sometimes miss hearing their voices lifted in sweet harmony. As they married and moved, life focus changed. They still sing together once in a while-but just for fun now. xo Diana

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    1. I have no idea where this will go, Diana, but like your girls, those harmonies are a pleasure to listen to right now. I just didn’t love the mess that went along with it. Thank goodness for a handy guy!

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  14. That DIY guy of yours is incredibly innovative. I just love your little cottage. Wondering if you'd like to participate in my new series Living Large In Little Houses? On Fridays I show a small home with a questionnaire on living small. Email me.
    Brenda

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    1. Thanks Brenda! Oh, I'm so flattered, I'd love to participate! Thank you!!

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  15. Wow! Kim I think you and your husband are a great DIY team. Your husband is so great with his carpentry work and built such a nice organizer for all of the music things. You have such talented girls and you must be so proud of them. Hope you are enjoying the weekend. Julie xo

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    1. Thanks Julie! He learned a lot from jobs he worked in high school and college. Since he's a desk guy during the week, this is his creative outlet. And thank you, about the girls, I am...very! Hope it's a great week! xo

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  16. Wow, that's amazing! My hubby is wonderful in many ways, but not with anything DIY.

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    1. Thanks Melanie! He's very talented when it comes to DIY, there's no doubt.

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  17. Hi, wow, I love the idea. High Fives to your guy!
    Thank you for sharing, always happy to read ideas on storage.

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    1. Thanks Carla! He did a great job…and it was a tall order.

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  18. Kim how awesome! Your husband is very talented! And your girls have amazing voices ❤️

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    1. Thanks so much, Christina!! I will pass on your sweet words to them, they'll be thrilled!!

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  19. What a great solution! As a wife and mother I've always tried to balance my need for beautiful and visual-clutter-free spaces. So many people with so much stuff! Your solution checks both boxes and I know you're happy! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It's worked out so much better, Stacy! I really am happy now...and so are the singers. Win-win!! Thanks for peeking!

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  20. Wow, Kim, that's absolutely PERFECT!!! One question though....do the girls actually put their music stuff away now? I came up with many solutions for my girls when they were living here and they still dropped their stuff EVERYWHERE! :)

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    1. Unbelievably, the do, Debbie!! They still drop other things everywhere though. Maybe I just need more carts!! Ha!

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