Design Crashing: stickandstrum

Late last year I got an invitation from some good friends of ours, Shane and Shauna, to help them select finishes for their new business adventure, stickandstrum.

Stick and Strum AcademyI was beyond excited and loved the challenge of working on a tight budget.  It brought me back to my healthcare design days.  Any way, Shane had been teaching music for several years and decided to follow through with his dream to open his own music academy.  So stickandstrum was born.

Back in December Shane sent me pictures of their soon to be studio…



it was a nice place but definitely lacked some personality.  So after talking with him a bit, looking at his Pinterest board, and trying to get a feel for what he likes I created a couple of concept boards on Polyvore and sent them to him.

Music Waiting Room

This was the one that ended up winning both of our votes plus Shauna’s.  The idea is that even though stickandstrum is a music school it would look and feel like a recording studio.  We wanted each of the students to feel special and that they were coming for more than just a “music lesson”.  With a little bit of my help and a ton of Shane and Shauna’s creativity I think we created that.

ss5We chose to go with darker colors on the walls and trim to create a more intimate space and to tone down the bright colors that we wanted to use in the furniture.  Most of the furniture is from IKEA.  Shane and Shauna headed over to Atlanta one day and loaded up a truck full of supplies for stickandstrum.  Shane also took advantage of his collection of poster and used them as artwork throughout the space.


Shauna found the coffee table in the attic space above the studio.  She gave it new life with white paint for the sides and legs and chalk paint for the top. Because what kid doesn’t love letting the world know their thoughts?

Noah Noah’s mom couldn’t resist.

The challenge for the waiting was creating enough sitting room for several parents and a couple of siblings to wait during lessons.  We came up with the idea of adding this bar (not a bar you serve drinks at)  to one of the walls.  It created seating for four and makes a great place for someone to set up their laptop or work on some homework… all without taking up much space.

Shauna found these cool boxes, painted them, and filled them with games to keep the kids entertained… or the adults.  
ss12 ss13

This is command central (a.k.a. Shauna’s desk) and what you see when you first enter stickandstrum.  I’m pretty sure they have something cool planned for the wall behind the desk… I just can’t remember what it is.

Directly behind the lobby and waiting room is this giant chalkboard calendar that Shauna created.  I love it!  This is perfect for visual people like me.  They plan to set up a store in this room and also have a guy who does guitar repairs that sets up here.
ss1We chose to use color on the walls in the back area.  The picture above is Shane’s office/teaching room and it showcases some of his guitars.
ss15Further back in the studio is a garage area which makes the perfect space for group lessons and concerts.  Part of Shane’s teaching philosophy is to do more than teach a person how to play an instrument.  He wants to show them how to create and play in a band and them give them a stage for their concerts. How cool is that?

Noah tested out the drums in the group drum area.  I could totally see her rocking some drums some day.  What do you think?
ss3 ss2On the other side of the garage is the stage where students can perform and rehearse. The area is designed so that the group lesson areas can break down and seats be added for concerts. Stickandstrum even prints and sales actual tickets for their concerts. Can you imagine how special this makes the students feel?  I think it’s awesome!

I hope you enjoyed my first Design Crashing adventure.  It was so much fun helping Shane and Shauna bring their dreams to life.  I have loved following them throughout this whole process.  You can follow along to on Facebook, Instagram,  and Twitter.  And if you live in the Birmingham area and are looking for a place for your child to get plugged into locally check out stickandstrum Academy.  They offer private and group lessons for all ages (even adults) in guitar, piano, bass, drums and ukulele.  Shane is one of those talented people that can play a boatload of instruments and also has other teachers on staff.  There is even a Kids Camp this summer for children ages 4-9.  If Noah and Esther were old enough I would probably be considering it because I have no doubt they would have fun.

Ok, now for the fun confession part of the post. Did you take music lessons growing up?  What instrument did you play?  I never took individual lessons but was in the band in Middle and High School.  I played the flute.  I’m by no means going to say I was great but I enjoyed it… plus I learned how to read music while I was at it.  Too bad that doesn’t officially count as a second language.

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3 thoughts on “Design Crashing: stickandstrum

  1. Trista

    This place looks so cool! Where is it? I rocked the clarinet and saxophone in middle and high school!

  2. Pingback: Farewell 2014 | Color Transformed Family

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