Whatever Happened to the Music Room?
Whatever happened to the music room in homes? Perhaps it has been replaced by the media room, but for a musician at heart, just listening to someone else's music is not enough. The need for personal expression persists; hence we need that music room.
What exactly is a music room? It depends on who uses it and how it will be used. There's the budding rock star who needs total soundproofing in the music room to practice and develop a personal style without fear of disrupting the rest of the neighborhood.
There's the classical guitarist who needs space and walls for music to circulate and resonate melodically, though that space need only be small. The pianist needs a larger area than the guitarist only because the instrument takes up more space, but basically the pianist's and guitarist's needs are the same.
So how do we incorporate this music room in a house that is already short on space? If possible, a room unto itself is the best idea -- perhaps a guest bedroom that is not used but once every other year.
Is there a glass-enclosed patio? The glass will need to be covered so the sound does not just bounce back and forth in a clangy manner, but the patio might just be the right place.
If the glassed-in patio is an option, some carpeting would be needed to help absorb sound. The best covering for the floor is wood with an area rug over it. In this manner the wood floor gently absorbs the sound, yet allows it to permeate the room while the rug swallows excess noise.
The grand salon, formerly known as the living room, is a great place for a grand piano, as it enhances the look of the room, while being a wonderful place for guests to sit and listen to the musician. Almost every picture of the perfect living room has a grand piano in it. Not only is it a perfect location for the instrument, it is also a sign of success, wealth and culture.
Old homes almost always had a room designated for music -- a charming idea that has unfortunately gone by the wayside. Perhaps there's a budding musician in your house who would love to bring back old times.
Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of Mystery of Color.