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PERFECTING THE PIANO ROOM

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  by Jennifer Jones

stylish piano room

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Have you ever dreamed of having an enchanting music room? Whether you have a gorgeous grand piano or a friendly upright piano, it is essential to create the perfect space to enjoy the melodies. A piano definitely becomes a focal point of a room and provides an inviting atmosphere. It not only is a musical instrument, but also a work of art. The piano should be showcased in a properly designed space that increases its appearance and the quality of the music. If you are planning to purchase a new piano or already own one, you should be aware of the appropriate room conditions for the instrument.

music room with upright piano

 

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The size of the music room depends upon the dimensions of the piano. Upright pianos work well in smaller rooms placed up against a wall and offers relatively few difficulties. Small grand pianos, that are typically less than 6 foot, are also rather friendly in a domestic environment. If you decided on a grand piano that is larger than 6 feet, be sure that you will have the appropriate room to accommodate this large musical instrument. The sonic energy that is generated by a sizable piano can create problems in a room that is too small to absorb the sound. In order not to overload the piano, a large open space provides the best quality music. Assuming the height of the room is 8 feet, a general rule of thumb is to have a space that is at least ten times the length of a grand piano. For instance, a 7-foot grand piano will be comfortable in a 15 x 20 foot room (15+15+20+20=70 feet) that is ten times the size of the instrument. Another helpful tip is to avoid rooms that have a size ratio of 1:1 and 1:2. For example, a square room that is 8 x 8 feet has a 1:1 ratio, and a rectangular room that is 16 x 8 has a ratio of 1:2. These types of rooms can build-up low frequency waves that make the low octave of the piano sound uneven.

cozy piano room

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Positioning is also an important key when arranging your piano room. Vertical pianos generally have no problems being placed up against a wall. Grand pianos are best enjoyed with the open part facing out into the room. This position permits the pianist to interact with people in the room and also enables the music from the instrument to flow freely throughout the area. Some homeowners position their piano in a spot that balances the architecture of the home, for instance in an alcove or bay window. However, much consideration needs to be examined about the temperature of the space that the piano will occupy.

elegant piano room

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It is extremely important to avoid climate fluctuations and control the temperature of a musical room. To be safe, it is a good plan to designate your piano to a room that is well insulated because it will help keep the space protected from temperature extremes. The ideal temperature for a piano room is 70-72° F. Temperatures that are considerably higher or lower can cause wood damage, tuning issues and weaken fragile glue components. Therefore, avoid placing the piano against exterior walls, fireplaces and vents. Windows and doors can also cause issues by allowing cool drafts or warm sunshine to affect the sensitive parts of the instrument. Although direct sunlight should never touch the piano, indirect sunlight can be beneficial by assisting in the prevention of mold and yellowing keys.

luxury great room with piano

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Humidity is also a considerable factor in how the piano performs and holds up throughout the years. The comfortable humidity range for a piano is 35-45%, but it is acceptable up to 55% humidity. The most important key is that the humidity remains constant, as to not warp wood and cause costly external and internal problems with the instrument. Condensation can cause damage as well, particularly to electric instruments, and can be prevented by insulating and keeping windows and doors closed when not in use. This will also help with the collection of dust, pollen and smoke, in addition to keeping the actual piano lid closed.

Once you have the proper conditions for your piano room, you can focus on the aesthetics of the area. Proper lighting has an important role in a piano room to effectively set a mood. Indirect and recessed lighting produces a theatrical effect and supplies ample illumination to read sheet music. In an effort to make the piano really stand out, many homeowners will place it on an elevated area that complements the design of the instrument. Hardwood floors are highly recommended thanks to their versatility and ability to enhance the music. Area rugs can be added to help adjust the sound and warm up the space.

loft piano area

 

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After the piano is in the perfect spot, furniture can be added to encourage guests to sit and relax. Comfortable chairs and sofas can help balance the cold lines of the piano and provide a welcoming atmosphere to enjoy music. Lighter colored pieces definitely display a brighter, more open feel, whereas darker furniture produces a more sleek and formal appearance. If your piano has a “bright” voice that can be mildly piercing, try decorating the room with absorbent objects such as wall hangings, rugs and carpeting. Hard surfaces help project pianos that have a more “mellow” voice. This wonderful space is also a great opportunity to display artwork, photography or collections. Just be sure to correct and secure vibrating surfaces such as loose shelves and picture frames.

Remember that a piano room is still a part of your home, so there is no need for over-indulging with a sophisticated showroom or rehearsal hall. Most homeowners want the space to be comfortable, inviting, and most of all, sound terrific. With the right setting, your piano can sound and appear sensational.

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