Funny article in the Wall Street Journal today on this topic. We know the premise is flawed, since - obviously - they all do something different. Especially the pedal steel. But good news: support for a music room. https://www.wsj.com/articles/when-y...-over-the-house-11582133019?mod=hp_listc_pos1 When Your Husband’s Hobby Takes Over the House Is your spouse’s collection of toy soldiers, Kiss paraphernalia or, as in our columnist’s case, guitars threatening to overwhelm your décor? Experts offer advice By Michelle Slatalla Feb. 19, 2020 12:23 pm ET THE OTHER DAY I wanted to sit down on the sofa, but as usual one of my husband’s guitars was lounging there. It was not part of the décor. As a thoughtful spouse, I decided to bring the instrument to him in the garage, which we have recently turned into “an office” to which he has been banished not only because he is a pest during my working hours. He was evicted from the main house because of his guitars. When we married, he had two. Now he has too many. I squeezed open the garage’s side door, pushed an old amplifier out of the way and gingerly tiptoed across a jungle floor of electrical cords. My husband was seated in front of a table that looked like it had a guitar neck built into it. “What the hell is that?” I asked, still surprised after all these years. “It’s a pedal steel,” he said, beaming. “Don’t tell me you bought another guitar,” I said. “No, no, no,” he said quickly. “I borrowed it from Steinberg.” I looked at him, conveying through subtle ESP my displeasure. “That’s why I put the other guitar on the couch,” he said. “To make room for this,” he added helpfully. “Because it’s getting kind of crowded in here.” I have been battling the guitar problem for years—guitars on the sofa, guitars in the kitchen, guitars on the bed, guitars in the bathroom. Guitars tripping me when I walk through a room. And now, despite all efforts to contain them in the garage, they are multiplying like Tribbles. As visually pleasing as guitars are, I don’t want our home to look like we live in a music store. I needed professional help. We’ve all been in homes that got overwhelmed by people’s quirky collections: painted lead soldiers from the Napoleonic wars, carved owls or vinyl records no one plays any more. How do I prevent that from happening at my house? “I just want to sit on my sofa in peace,” I said to psychologist Susan Krauss Whitbourne, an emerita professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst whom I called for advice. “But my husband’s guitars are taking over the furniture. This can’t be good for our marriage.” “Without knowing anything about your husband, I don’t know if this is a phase or if he plans to keep them forever,” she said. “He’s joined a dad band,” I said darkly. “Oh, I see,” Dr. Whitbourne said. “Well, that’s ultimately a good thing because it allows him to express creativity in ways he couldn’t before.” “Yes, but he can only play one instrument at a time,” I said. “That’s why I have only one grand piano, and by the way I keep it tucked away discreetly in a guest bedroom. Why does he need so many?” “There’s a lot of meaning that gets attached to objects,” Dr. Whitbourne said. “And if somebody has a lot of stuff, the best way to intervene is to work together to find a solution that doesn’t make him feel bad.” “You mean, instead of hinting that he has a problem?” I asked. “I guess I could try that.” “Try positive reinforcement,” she said. “Help him find a more appropriate way to store them.” In other words, take something that could be a décor problem and turn it into a feature. But how? I studied a guitar that was propped against my desk. Lacquered wood, shapely swan neck—it was a visually pleasing object. Yet it would not be enough to get wall hooks and hang his half dozen guitars in a row; I don’t want it to look like we live in a music store. For this I needed professional advice. “You want to make the guitars look like they are jewelry, adorning a room,” said Lisa Ellis, an interior designer in Athens, Ga. “If you hang them, think of them like art and arrange them so they look good proportionally next to each other.” Even more important, she said, is to make the other elements of a room complement the musical instruments. “Guitars have so much texture, and it’s good to play off that by using jewel-tone colors and other rich textures in the room, like grass cloth on a wall, plush velvet on a sofa or a wool carpet,” she said. For clients who own several guitars (plus a mandolin, ukulele and banjo) Ms. Ellis is designing a music room that also has armless chairs and sofas. “That makes it easier to play them than if you are sitting in a club chair where you can get carpal tunnel because you have to hold your arms weirdly,” she said. These were good ideas. But would I have to completely redecorate the house around the guitars? “All you have to do is pair the guitars with your piano,” said Laura Hodges, a Maryland-based interior designer whom I called next. “Think of the guitars as supporting players. Put one or two on stands next to the piano and a piece of artwork over it so everything’s connected. Then you’ll have a music room.” “A music room,” I repeated. It was a genius idea. I love my piano. From the Steinway piano factory where it was built more than a hundred years ago in Astoria, New York, it traveled to Chicago in 1916 to be sold, arriving just in time to grace the showroom floor during the grand opening of Lyon & Healy’s new downtown store. It is a beautiful instrument and deserves more than to be consigned to the corner of a guest bedroom, as if it were an afterthought. When I hung up, I went to find my husband. “How would you like a music room for your guitars?” I asked him. “In the main house?” he asked. “Yes,” I said. To transform the space from a guest room with a piano into a music room with a bed in the corner, I’ll attach three guitar hangers to the wall (including one for my husband’s ukulele—yes, of course he has one), put two more of his “axes” on stands next to the piano and place an armless chair next to a music stand. Luckily, it’s a big room. But the pedal steel thing still needs to go back to Steinberg.