Piano Placement

Following my last post on Fantasy Pianoslet’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!


Fantasy Pianos

As a pianist, I was so excited when designer Angela Radley invited me to the ASID Los Angeles Chapter event at Steinway Piano Gallery in West Hollywood for a presentation titled “Piano Knowledge for the Design Professional”!

I started taking piano lessons when I was little. Limited by the space, I have never owned a grand piano. It was amazing to see how pianos can be custom-designed to have different ‘looks’. Most of us can only imagine owning one of those unique beauties. Here are some of them from the Steinway website: (clicking on the images will take you to the product pages for more details.)

Henry Z. Steinway

Henry Z. Steinway



150th Anniversary

Sound of Harmony

John Lennon

The S.L.ED by Karl Lagerfeld

There are many more gorgeous pianos on the Steinway website. If you do a search on the Internet, you can find more custom pianos done by Steinway & Sons but not on the official website.

The piano I absolutely love is the beautiful antique piano in the 2007 Taiwanese film “Secret”. I don’t know the maker of the piano, and I don’t think it is a real antique.

(Photo from Mr.J Facebook Page)

The piano is now in Mr.J French-Italian Restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan. The decoration of the restaurant is base on the movie.

I would love to have projects that incorporate pianos into the design. It would be awesome if I get to design a custom piano and the space it is in. What’s my dream piano for myself? I am not greedy. A basic Yamaha baby grand will be wonderful.

Yamaha 5' Grand Piano