designing around a piano



pianos, in the design world, can sometimes be difficult.

i find that very well loved pianos-- pianos that are the center of family gatherings, or pianos that are played often, whether they are played well or not-- have no trouble finding a really good spot in a home. some families are even lucky enough to have a whole room dedicated to the piano.

many of us, however, own pianos that we don't play very often-- we inherited them from our grandmothers, or our husband's mother, or we wanted our children to play but now our children are grown and we don't play but the kids don't yet want the piano-- these pianos are often troublesome to their owners. a piano takes up a lot of space, and it dictates the arrangement of a room-- because a piano can't go next to the windows (in new england, anyway) because of the cold, and they can't go near a heat source (because of the heat). and because they are often instruments that we inherit, the pianos we have in our homes are not always to our taste in terms of what they look like.

well, as i recently told a client, if you have a piano that you can't part with but that you don't love, design around that piano. put something beautiful on the wall above the piano that you do love. perhaps a pair of tall lamps on either end on top of the piano, or a sea shell from a well-remembered family vacation. put a cushion on the piano bench that makes you happy-- something that works with the rest of the room. make that part of your room feel like well loved space-- a place that you at least like to rest your eyes as you walk through the room-- even if the piano itself is not well loved.

who knows-- maybe if you like that space in your home again you will be drawn in and inspired to play a few notes.

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