Help with pulling together a living room with a baby grand

vbmamaJanuary 19, 2014

Hello all - I've been lurking around but this is my first post. I am hoping the experience can help the newbie here! This is our second home we have owned and just moved about 5 months ago. Our first home I didn't do much "decorating" since I was consumed with raising babies and working full time. I still work but the kids are a little older. This house is also easier to decorate because it's bigger with more possibilities.

Anyway, I am starting in the living room. We didn't have a separate living room before so we had zero furniture for it. I've been wanting a piano for a long time so finally got one! You can kind of see where I am going with this room (ignore the mess and clutter!!) but I am kind of lost in the details now. This room is ending up a tad more formal than I really am but probably because of the piano. I am learning about different styles - I tend to be traditional but I like the rustic/industrial twists.

Most of the house has the light color flooring so I am trying to cool down all the yellow in the house (you can see I am trying out gray in the hall).

The wall color is SW Aqueduct, the chairs are Target, and the rug is Ballard's gray sisal. The music cabinet and gray typing table were Craigslists finds and the artwork came from an antique store. I did cover the piano bench myself. Not sure if the typing table will stay. It was taller than I thought it was going to be. May need different side tables.

I am struggling now with:

1) furniture placement - do I need a loveseat? Where should the furniture go? I had the chairs in front of the windows at first but that leaves three empty corners. I do plan to put in a bookshelf (or two) somewhere but the piano makes the space awkward. The piano needs to stay there since the lid opens into the room and it is away from the windows and floor registers.

2) Curtains - I find myself gravitating to gray again but I think I need something bold that won't compete with the chairs or piano bench (I found Thomas Paul Aviary in Maize but it's expensive. I am willing to make my own curtains although I am a novice)

3) Lighting. There is no overhead light - just lamps that turn on with the switch in the wall. The lamps in here are my old Target/Walmart ones LOL I was thinking some kind of tripod light behind the piano but after that I am not sure. This room's windows face due east so the only good light is in the morning.

Any suggestions are welcome. I really appreciate the input and guidance! Am I heading in a good direction?

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Let's see:

a)I would love to see a softer printed fabric on the two chairs -- maybe in a simple colorway that would work with the wall color. Plus a softer colored rug .....

b)Furniture: Angle the loveseat across the far corner -- facing into the room. Add a small table on each side with a lamp. Add a larger softer (maybe botanical) artwork above it -- one with the same colors as the walls. This arrangement will draw viewers into the room.

c)Then place the two chairs side-by-side facing into the "listening area" -- with their backs to the door. Place a small table or cabinet between them.

d)Place your pretty green cabinet between the windows. Add a tall thin mirror (you could paint the frame in softer gold or white or the same green) You could add a short round lamp to the top.

e)Add lighted floating shelving on the two walls on each side of the doorway as you look at the main door. Perhaps in a soft gold??? Add books and metronomes.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 10:35AM
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Lots of potential here. I like teacats suggestions. I would also consider moving the piano so the keys are facing out into the room and not the wall. The piano seems sort of squished up in the corner right now. I'd move the tall lamp in the corner to another location.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 10:44AM
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Not sure why, but I see the piano on the other side of the room, as if you just slid in straight across to the other corner. However, maybe the light is not great for the longterm care of the piano?

Is the rug there to stay? If so, it is such a different style than the piano. I would definitely get a different rug with some nice contrasting tones.

Definitely curtains. Hard to say which ones as it depends on if you get a rug.

Someone recently had this same dilemma. I will try to find the post.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 10:58AM
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I found it. Here you go. Might help?

Here is a link that might be useful: Other Post with Large Piano

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 11:03AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

For acoustics, your placement of the piano is just about perfect now, but I might move it to the corner opposite (immediate left corner)as you walk into the room. The long side of the piano should be across the corner at about a 45 degree angle as you have it, but it will also work if it is a little straighter along the wall. That gives you a good space for furniture and listening as well.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 11:24AM
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I agree, as soon as I saw the photo of the room I thought more of the furniture should gravitate towards the center of the room.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 11:45AM
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I can see this artwork (in a larger size, stretched canvas, unframed) on the main wall above the loveseat that would sit across the far corner ....

Here is a link that might be useful: -- van gogh -- almond branches

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 11:52AM
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Actually for function the hinged side of the piano lid should be toward the corner, as it is now, or flat against the wall with the curve in.

The sofa, in particular will have to balance the mass of the piano--the mass of a piano is high off the ground which is what makes them a bit difficult to work around.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 1:05PM
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Thanks all for the comments so far. Let me see if I can respond:

teacats - the chairs I bought first because I liked them and they were on sale! This was before we had even started looking at pianos (I originally thought we were just going to have an upright). I can't really return them so I think I have to work with them for now or maybe move them to another room in the future, if possible.

I was disappointed in the rug color - it was a lot darker than the picture online. I still might be able to return it but I'm contemplating that one. It's a nice rug. I may be able to use it in the dining room instead.

I was unsure on having the backs of the chairs to the door - you think that would work? The room is about 18' long x 13' wide.

Your suggested artwork is very nice as well. I'll keep it in mind!

pipdog - I thought about the corner by the window as well but that means the lid opens to the wall and its in the light and by the furnace register. The lamps aren't staying - they are just temporary for now!

aktillery - thank you for that post. There are some other options to consider there. I need to figure out how to make a floor plan to scale so I can see if the room is big enough to have the piano more toward the center. I'm afraid for the piano by the window. My parents' black piano faded over time because it was right by a huge picture window (and still is)

cyn427 - I'm having a hard time visualizing what you mean. The corner to the left as you walk in? Seems like the piano would stick out in front of the door but maybe I'll have to try it. It's only 5' long (it's a baby baby!)

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 1:18PM
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Oh and another big question - what color for the loveseat (assuming the rug stays or I get another one that is fairly neutral).

Gray? Beige? Maybe even Navy? I'd rather stay neutral with the loveseat so I can just accent the room around it.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 1:51PM
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I like the basic white twill or linen settee with medium brown simple feet (the brown works with the tone of the piano) .... maybe with a small vintage painted coffee table (in the same tone as the walls or maybe white)

Here is a link that might be useful: Ballard Designs -- Hudson settee

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 2:04PM
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Would an ivory/cream/beige work with the white/gray stripes in the chairs? This is where I start doubting myself. I tend to get too matchy matchy because I am not confident in finding things that just "go together" :)

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 2:16PM
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Just for inspiration -- here's a pin board with photos of rooms with grand pianos .....

Here is a link that might be useful: Pinterest -- pin board of rooms with grand pianos

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 2:38PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

The third column, sixth picture down (dark grey walls with white-framed grey upholstered chairs) on that link shows a practically perfectly placed piano. Most of the others are placed more for aesthetics than for listening quality.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 4:27PM
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Vbmama, I got a lot of layout help in that other thread for my living room with baby grand. I think your room might be similar in size to mine and your piano looks just like mine too! Lol!
What are the dimensions of your room and rug? Also size of doorway and windows? I can adjust my layout easily to give you a drawing to scale if you like.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 6:53PM
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Thanks for the offer! The room is 13' 3" x 18'. The door is 4' wide right in the middle of the wall. The windows are about 34" wide each including the trim (27 without) with 66" of wall between the trim on the windows. The rug is 8x10. The chairs are 24X26.

Thanks again - can't wait to see!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 8:35PM
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here you go vbmama, your room is slightly larger than mine, so i think you have a lot more options. also it helps that you have an entire solid wall to work with too. i just placed your furniture in the same spot they are currently in, shifted the piano more in the center. depending on what else you want to put in there, it looks like you have lots of room to play around.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 9:18PM
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