Following my last post on Fantasy Pianos, let’s look at placing a piano in a room based on what I learned during the Steinway presentation I attended.
It is important to know what kind of care a piano needs. Steinway has posted some clear instructions on their website. Some important room conditions to consider before figuring out the placement for the piano are:
- Controlled temperature and humidity: The most favorable environment for your piano is a relative humidity ranging between 45% and 70% and a constant temperature of approximately 20˚C. Sudden fluctuations in temperature must be avoided as the tuning and regulation might be influenced negatively.
- Never in direct sunlight: preferably against the inside wall of a room and not close to windows and outside doors. Sunlight fades and dry out the wood.
- Never next to stoves, radiators, fireplaces, or heating outlets: heat will dry out and damage the wood.
- Never in front of, on top of, or under air vent!
With a grand piano, some people prefer looking at the keyboard end while others like the side the lid opens to or the ‘tail’ end. Most of the time, we are limited in the ways we can place the piano due to the room layout.
I found some photos from HOUZZ as visual aids.
These two photos show the pianos facing different sides to the seating arrangement. It is not preferred to have the piano next to the fireplace, but it is not a problem if the fireplace is not being used. In the first photo, it looks like a false fireplace front with mirror in the opening.
This is an example of what not to do. The piano is next to large windows and a working fireplace.
I think it is just me. I do not like having accessories on the piano.
I really like this one with bookshelves around the piano. It is convenience to have the music books close by.
If the area has a high ceiling, add some soft, sound-absorbing surface material to soften the sound.
In this modern interior, the white wall provides such a dramatic background for the black piano.
Theses two photos showing creating an alcove for the piano. I think it makes the pianist feel important. When not in use, the grand piano is like an art piece being showcased.
It is important to have 2′ – 3′ for the chair in front of the piano. I prefer to have the pianist facing or have his/her side to the audience. For a solo performer, it is important to engage the audience. It is also because I feel uncomfortable having my rear facing people.
The last photo is personally my favorite way to place a piano.
This is my dream studio!
Well done, Michelle. Great photos to illustrate your points!
Thanks, Angela! Knowing all the do’s and don’t’s may bring more headache next time we try to fit a piano into a room.
I don’t play, but I do plan on it someday. My neighbors have a piano in the window and it does block a lot of light, but in their small apartment I’m impressed they’ve made room for the baby grand.
And it’s not just you. I hate the accessories on top, too.
Good to know I am not alone on disliking accessories on the piano. I don’t mind a couple of things on the flat part above the keyboard but definitely not on the lid.
People will find a way to fit whatever is important to them into the space. It made me smile to know there are still people making a grand piano a priority in their home.