Finding the right piano for your home is an incredibly exciting part of the buying process and something that many homeowners often overlook or skip over. Because they are such large items of furniture as well as being beautiful instruments, the look, feel and impression that you piano gives off can define the room it is in.
From finishes to cabinet styles, there are many things to consider when finding the right piano for you, today we will be offering a few ideas on finding the right piano for your home as well as offering some inspiration from some fantastically placed pianos that are worth considering when researching your own perfect piano.
Without further delay, let’s get started or feel free to check over our pinterest board for some great piano inspiration!
How Do You Want The Room To Feel?
This is the first step in beginning selecting your piano, which is not to look at the piano, but rather the room it is going in. Would you like the piano to give off a more rustic feel? Or perhaps a sleek, modern feel to match the room it is going in. This is a great starting place to begin considering things such as finishes, fittings and perhaps most importantly, where the piano is going to go.
We have written before about this, however particularly for those looking at grand pianos, the size and feel of the room is the very first step of the buying process as if the room is too small to house the instrument, it will feel overcrowded and will detract from the beauty of the instrument. If you are debating between the idea of a grand or upright piano, we have a great guide to helping you get started here.
A few things to note here are also the physical limitations of a room. For example, it is NEVER recommended to place an acoustic piano in a space that either fluctuates dramatically in temperature (such as next to a radiator, in a conservatory or near a kitchen space) as the heat and moisture will cause the wood to expand and perhaps crack or weaken overtime. For those with underfloor heating or who are looking to place their piano perhaps next to a window or in direct sunlight, this is possible, however it is worth mentioning that you will likely either need a mat to keep the piano on, or a cover to prevent it from getting sun bleached.
When you think you may have found the right place for your piano, sit there for a while perhaps with a small bench or chair facing where you imagine the piano to be, this is a great idea as it will help you realise whether or not this is a place you can see yourself practising, for example if it is in a busy hallway, or tucked in a dark, tightly packed corner, you will likely be less inspired to practice or want to sit at the instrument when comparing it to a nice open space with lots of light.
What Colour Finish Would You Like The Piano To Have?
This is a highly subjective decision and something that can be all the way from very important to not important at all. As we have written about before, most acoustic pianos typically come in either: Polished Black, Polished White or for older or secondhand pianos, the most common finishes are satin woods or polished wood finishes. Of course there are some brand new pianos that can be made in wood finishes, however it is worth noting that this typically increases lead times and prices if you are ordering directly from a supplier. Read more about piano finishes here.
As mentioned, these finishes are subjective and with them bring a lot of character to the room, for example for those who are perhaps placing the piano in a darker or coloured room but still want it to stand out, we have found that white pianos can look simply mesmerising in these environments where black can sometime slip more into the background.
But similarly, if it is the clean and shiny look that appeals to you, then polished black is a lot more universal and generally considered more timeless regardless of trends. For those who do want the more bohemian or retro stylings however, some wood finishes can give a beautiful natural feel to the room.
Cabinet Design & Fittings
Another preference and whilst this may seem like a smaller factor over positioning and colour, has a similar effect and can really determine how the instrument feels in the room and the feel it gives as you approach it. This is mostly true of upright pianos, which can be built with and without front legs. Those with the front legs are what is generally known as a more ‘traditional’ style of piano cabinet. This is ideal for those wanting the traditional piano look, it makes the instrument appear bigger and more filling of the space it is in. The legs give the impression of stability and steadiness and often allow for the inclusion of castors for moving the piano if needed.
The flip side of this and an option that is becoming increasingly popular is that of a more ‘modern’ or legless design. These pianos still offer the same level of stability and structure as their traditional counterparts as the bulk of the weight is on the back of the piano, however exchange grandeur for a more sleek, minimalist and slimline approach. These instruments are still sensational in sound however we believe they fit a little more appropriately for the modern home.
On a smaller scale, the same can be said for the piano’s fittings, these are small metallic components typically found on the lid hinges, logos and castors. Generally speaking most pianos either have a more traditional looking brass finish, giving a classical - goldenesque appeal to them or in more modern homes, a chrome, or silver-like fitting offers a more modern, stylised look.
This is a really subjective one and not something that may immediately come to mind when considering interior design but is the paramount reason why we recommend every client to come to our showroom to try our pianos in person. However the tone of a piano can influence the room it is in when being played, for example for those looking for a rich, warming and more powerful tone when playing to match an atmospheric and perhaps darker room, the European tone of piano may lend itself beautifully to this. Likewise, for those looking for more of a daintier or brighter tone, an volume produced asian instrument may actually lend itself to this a little further. Learn more about the different piano tones here.
This is perhaps the single most overlooked part of piano interior design and something that all too often is neglected when finding your perfect instrument however can dramatically affect the room that it is going in. For example, you may have just purchased a stunning C.Bechstein or W.Hoffmann piano, which you are thrilled with, however chose not to opt for a matching piano stool…
…As a result, you will need to either drag over a kitchen chair or equivalent stool to the piano each time you use it, or simply leave it in front of the instrument. This jarring between perhaps a dining room chair and stunning piano can massively depreciate the impact the piano has on the room and give it a far less impressive feel as the attention is instead brought to the kitchen chair (as nice as it may be, it’s often not the impression you want to leave!) Learn more about how the likes of piano stools can also affect your playing here.
Keeping The Instrument Clear
There is nothing inherently wrong about keeping perhaps small nick nacks or possessions on top of your piano, it is your instrument after all! We would however urge caution for those looking to perhaps either place breakables such as China or vases on top of the instrument. As these instruments are played, the vibrations can cause things to slide and move around if placed on top, which if they fall can easily scratch, crack or damage the piano. Personally, we would always recommend keeping your instrument clear and tidy of any clutter to help it keep not only it’s alluring presence in the room, but also to keep it safe from harm's way.
We hope this quick guide has given you some food for thought when finding the right style, design, feel and colour for your instrument. Alternatively of course, you could go the opposite way and instead design an entire room around your piano! The choice is yours, however our experts and showroom team are always here to help. If you would like some further advice on finding the right piano for your home, or would like to visit our showroom, please either contact us or book your demonstration today!