Placing A Grand Piano

A grand piano in a room immediately adds elegance. Let’s look at different ways to place a grand piano in a room.

It is important to know what kind of care a piano needs. Steinway has posted some clear instructions on their website. Here are some important room conditions to consider before figuring out the placement for the piano:

Controlled temperature and humidity: The most favorable environment for your piano is a relative humidity ranging between 45% and 70% with 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 dries 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. The top should always open into the room for the best acoustics.

Here are 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.


Some people like having accessories on the piano. But it implies the instrument is not frequently used. A grand piano looks the best with its lid open.


With bookshelves around the piano to hold the music books, it is convenient.

If the area has a high ceiling, add some soft, sound-absorbing surface material to soften the sound.


Theses two photos showing creating an alcove for the piano. This makes the pianist feel important. When not in use, the grand piano is like an art piece being showcased.

Sometimes, the stairway frames out the best location for the piano.

It is important to have 2′ – 3′ for the chair in front of the piano. A pianist may prefer to be facing or have his/her side to the audience. For a solo performer, it is important to engage the audience.


How Do I Light Thee?… let me count the ways!

Lighting Design Basics

There is so much to know about lighting design.  By focusing on a few points the great look you desire can be achieved.

Balance – The best way to find balance in lighting is to triangulate fixtures in a room.  If you have recessed lighting but still want seating level lighting, add lamps in key areas and visualize a triangle.  A floor lamp next to a comfortable chair and table lamps on side tables or night stands make this easy.

1 Stop Lighting

Mood – Make sure that lighting isn’t too bright by adding dimmer switches for chandeliers and recessed lighting.  This inexpensive feature gives you many options for setting the mood in a room.  Under, over and in cabinet lighting are other great ways to accent and enhance the beauty of fine furniture and accessories in a room.


Efficiency – Today’s efforts to light a space without consuming too much energy are important, and there are several ways to achieve this.  Following are just a couple of energy-saving ideas on how to light a space:

  • Use lighting controls such as dimmers and occupancy sensors.  Dimming a light fixture by 25 percent uses less energy and adds to the life span of the fixture.  Occupancy sensors that turn the lights on or off when you enter or exit a room can save up to 20 percent in energy use as well.
  • Use fixtures which consume less energy such as LED’s.  LED lights can greatly reduce the amount of watts used without reducing the quality of light produced.  These types of lights are more expensive but are virtually maintenance free with 50,000-100,000 hour life spans. They can be dimmed and come in very attractive recessed trims. Well worth the investment.
  • California energy code now requires that 50% of lighting must be ‘green,’ which is comprised of LED, halogen and/or fluorescent, with the remainder being incandescent.

A professional interior designer can provide advice on lighting and typically has a licensed electrician or specialized lighting designer as part of her/his team.

Contributed by Julie Gerns, CAPID

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