Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Decorating Around a Grand Piano, Pictures of Pianos in Rooms

veranda.com, Barbara Barry Designs a Dream Home in Jackson Hole

Bosendorfer, Steinway, Mason and Hamlin, Kanabe, Yamaha.  I didn't know much about these names until the last few weeks.  But the home we are buying has a 1960 M Steinway sitting inside, and it needs a new owner.  We kicked the idea around for a couple of days, and even felt that we could really enjoy having it in our home, but ultimately decided to keep our cash for improvements to the house.

interiordesignmusings.blogspot.com, That's One Big Baby

Here are five things that I learned about grand pianos:

1. They cost at LEAST $10,000, but plan on 15-20k.  You could easily spend $50,000.  You can get one for $5,000 but it would be a Yamaha that is just functional--nothing impressive.

2. There are many many opinions about what is good to look for in a grand piano and what is worth the money.  Appraisals run around $200.  There is about as much factors in deciding to buy a grand piano as there are cars, only this decision is harder because pianos don't conk out after 10-20 years.  They get more valuable--if you have a good sounding one, keep them tuned ($120-ish per year), keep the finish in good shape, and pay attention to all of the moving parts inside.

3. They take up a lot of space, and pre-determine a lot about what you can do in a room and the feeling you can have.  I am excited to get an upright piano and open up many more options for furniture arrangement in our front room.  AND I'll have more money to do this with since we didn't buy the piano!

4. Keeping a piano away from an exterior wall is sort-of an old wive's tale.  You DO want to be sensitive to swinging temperatures, but this doesn't happen in homes that are less than 100-80 years old, in general.  Watch out for sun damage though near windows.  This devalues a piano to have the finish damaged.  Piano covers are meant to protect the finish and add some grace to the piano.

5. Having a good instrument for a child to learn on helps them to hear how good they can sound, and motivates them to keep improving.  My son is 8 and he is practicing almost every time he passes by my mom's upright piano now that we are living with my parents.  A grand piano might inspire your little musician.

picasaweb.google.com, 1994 -- Bay Window in Living Room  with Grand Piano

The look of a grand piano is timeless.  But you can bungle up the way they look in the room.  Don't let it take up too much space in the room, and make sure that the classical style of this instrument isn't clashing with any over-the-top rustic or country decorating schemes.

Carole Weaks piano

Here is a great post with tips for arranging your room and your piano within the room:

More thoughts about decorating with grand pianos:


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  3. Thank you for this post! I have been struggling a lot since we have inherited my in-laws grand piano. My style is DEFINITELY not fancy. I am more rustic and vintage-y. I am struggling! And it is black and I have no black in my home. The legs on my tufted linen sofas are cherry wood. Anyway, hanks for the ideas and insight! If you have had any more ideas since hen or could give any more advice, my email is tiffanyrueckert(at)gmail.com

    PS -- I went to BYU too ;) Live in Maryland now ...

  4. Yamahas are very good and expensive pianos. I am a musician and I paid over $12,000 for my piano 28 years ago (with a teacher discount). Replacement value today would be over $40,000. Check your facts better next time. I think you mean Knabe not Kanabe.

    1. Yes--I did mean Knabe :) Thank you for sharing your information with us as a musician and a long time owner of a Yamaha. I meant this post to be for beginning piano purchasers like myself. I based the price point of Yamahas, in comparison to other piano makers, on the classified listings in my area at the time of this post. Currently in the Salt Lake area classifieds, grand piano makers that are selling for less are Young, Samick, and Kimball. Of course, pricing depends on many factors such as size, age, condition, sound quality, rarity, etc. Not all of these ideas were addressed here in this post because it is for beginners. Congratulations on owning a piano that is worth so much!

  5. Nice decorations. I like the arrangement and space.

    A piano is not just a piece of furniture though. It is not true that Yamaha (as well as other companies that have a mass production) produce pianos that are "just functional". Comparing Yamaha with Steinway one should stick to the same category of pianos. Yamaha has a broad range, including also pianos that have relatively low cost (defined to a great extend by labor and handcraftship), whereas similar pianos of Steinway are produced in Asia by Kawai and have a different name (e.g. Boston). Several world renound artists choose and perform Yamaha, including Gould, Richter, Elton John and many more.