How to Set Up a Living Room with a Vertical Piano

Although far smaller than a grand piano, vertical, or upright, pianos are dominating items that consume a considerable amount of visual and physical space, making them difficult to place. Depending on the make and model, these instruments can have very distinctive coloration and ornamentation, forcing you to use them as the centerpiece of your design. In addition, placement of pianos must show consideration for the functional use and maintenance of the instrument--e.g., seating for pianist, room acoustics, humidity, exposure to sunlight. If you have a piano that is overpowering your living space, consider donating the instrument to a non-profit, church or educational facility.

Things You'll Need

  • Cleaning supplies
  • Measuring tape
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Pianos
  • Furniture
  • Furniture covers
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes

Make it physically easier to move the piano into the room by removing all of the existing furniture or pushing items in the room to the side; restoring the room to a blank state makes it easier to determine the best new room design and eliminates the temptation to force the piano into the limitations of the previous set-up.

Clean the room and furniture to prevent releasing dust and dirt into the air while moving the piano into the room. Sweep, mop, vacuum and polish the floors as necessary.

Measure the perimeter of the room along the floor board. Sketch a floor plan of the room and write the measurements on the sketch. Mark the floor plan to indicate doorways, windows and emergency exits. Label the space where doors and windows swing open, and take up floor space; this sketch will make it easier to picture different arrangements without moving furniture all over the room.

Add furniture to the sketch--e.g., sofa, love seat, table, piano. Place the piano along a well-insulated wall, where it will not be exposed to excessive sunlight, heat, moisture or cold air; environmental changes can ruin your instrument. Do not be afraid to place the piano against a well-insulated exterior wall. Increase the stability of the piano's temperature by leaving a 1 foot space between the piano and the wall. Make sure you leave space for a piano bench or stool.

Review the sketch to ensure there is adequate space to walk through the room. Move furniture into the room according to the sketch. Omit unnecessary furniture that takes up space--e.g. end tables, trunks, standing fans, unused furniture.

Walk though the room and note problems with flow and lighting--e.g., not enough space to walk around the couch, not enough space to sit behind the piano, too much sunlight on the television. Look for items that stick out, such as a contemporary lamp in a country-style home, clashing colors, mix-matched throw pillows. Rearrange based on the problems you noted. Take notes that detail the reasons for each change to keep track of your design decisions.


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