Friday, February 29, 2008

A Dilemma

Let's say you were building a house that looked something like this:


Where would you put your piano?

The physically possible options are these:

1) In the corner beside the fireplace. Will look somewhat wedged in and be subject to damage from temperature variations.

2) Directly beside the fireplace on the other side. Same objections as above.

3) Centered on the long wall between the living room and dining room. May look bizarre because it is straddling the two rooms.

4) On the wall opposite the front door. It will fit here but with only a couple of inches to spare.

5) In the dining room. Piano and bench jut out about three feet from the wall, so that would make it functionally impossible to put a table in there (though the room could be converted into a kind of den, with a desk and bookshelves occupying the rest of the space).

Suggestions? Votes?

49 comments:

Chaotic Joy said...

My spacial intelligence is nonexistent. I cannot read a map and I cannot look at this blueprint visualize at all what the rooms look like. So I can't help you here Bea. But as my sense of design is as impaired as my sense of space, you're not missing out on much.

Good luck!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Make the dining room into a den/music room.

canadacole said...

I vote for the last one. It looks like you have a good sized breakfast nook so you don't necessarily need a dedicated dining room...

gretchen from lifenut said...

Wherever you put it, make sure it sits on the structural floorboards perpendicularly, never parallel. You don't want to weaken the floor, even a little.

I'd go with #5, unless you already have formal dining room furniture. Then I'd go with #3. It's a very open space, so there aren't two separate, well-defined rooms.

wheelsonthebus said...

Dining room. No one eats in the dining room anymore.

Jenifer said...

If you are not putting a table in the dining room right away that is where I would put it. It would make a nice den area I think.

Maddy said...

Not under the telly next to the fireplace [that's where mine is!]
Best wishes

Mouse said...

My first thought was, "What piano?" So obviously it blends into your current setting.

I'll be a little different and say that my first choice would be #4 (especially if you don't have anything else you can see fitting there just right) and then #5 (if you think you'll use the breakfast nook almost exclusively) and then #3.

Heather said...

We never use our dining room as a dining room, so I'd vote for converting the dining room into a music room/den. Unless you have no other place to eat, but it looks like you have a breakfast room.

Kit said...

It looks like your front door leads into an open plan hallway. If this is wide enough, my suggestion would be to put a half height partition wall along part of it, which the piano could back onto, maybe with open bookshelves for something decorative above....or else go for 5!

Jen said...

I love looking at floor plans! Don't really have suggestions on your piano, the wall opposite the front door, backing to the kitchen? I think that's #4 seems okay.

I'd be inclined on the other hand to actually use the dining room for eating and make the breakfast room the den/play/computer space. We finally started using our dining room for every day a few years back and now I don't know why we didn't before!

Mary Jo said...

My house does not have an eat-in kitchen. In fact, it doesn't really have a stand-in-front-of-the-refrigerator-and-snack kitchen. So the dining room is the heart of the house. We bought the biggest table that could fit in the room, and in 24 years have always rejoiced in our wisdom. The table is the house altar. Almost all homework has been done on it. It comfortably sits 10, which is exactly how much I need for 4 daughters, their 4 guys, my husband and myself.

I would put the piano in the living room away from the fireplace. I admit our piano is under our stairs and is used as a family mail/paper center as much as a piano.

cinnamon gurl said...

I would definitely not want to put my piano next to the fireplace. What about against the wall just above the "Grt" - will it fit there? Is that option 4? If so, I think that's what I would vote for.

If you don't want a formal dining room, it might be nice to make that into a den... but I like eating in our dining room so I vote #4 I think.

minnesotamom said...

#4 if it will not impede traffic

#5 otherwise

I like Kit's idea if you're not opposed to breaking up the space a bit. And it depends if you have an upright or a spinet, as the wall would have to be pretty tall to accommodate an upright.

Jess said...

That blueprint is small and I suck at visualizing so I had to rely solely on your description of pros and cons. I'd go with 5 unless you really want that dining room, in which case I'd go with 3. And also, I expect photos of whatever you decide.

Lisa b said...

I get so excited about the potential for new homes but then so overwhelmed with these kind of decisions.
No help from me then, but I am excited to see what you decide.

Beck said...

Would it fit right above the "GRT"? That would be an okay spot.

Bea said...

Joy, Jess - I KNOW! Building a house involves nothing but trying to visualize entire rooms based on floor plans, one-inch samples, etc. It's killing me. (Hence my need for advice!)

Sue said...

Well, we're not formal diners, so I've always used my formal dining room spaces as music room/library combos. I would put the piano on the interior wall between the kitchen and the dining room. Maybe not the best set-up visually, but it will protect your piano from temperature changes on the exterior wall.

Gwen said...

I know someone whose piano is on the wall between the living room and dining room (their floor plan is very similar to yours) and it doesn't look at all bizarre, but it depends on the size of the space, I think. I have lived in my current house for almost 4 years and used my dining room .... okay more than 4 times. But not much more.

Karen said...

ditch the dining room, eat in the nook!

Magpie said...

Spinet? 9 foot Steinway?

I think either #1 or the dining room.

Rose Daughter said...

Wish I could help you, can't read plans and figure them out. The living room sounds good, though when I practed piano I wish it were out of the way, a bit more private. But ours was in the living room.

Sus said...

i like kit's suggestion, but it's a shame to break up a nice open floor plan. i don't know much about too many things, but i do have a degree in interior design: do #4, hang some great (horizontal) art over it, and put a nice lamp and dish on top for keys, etc, to make it part of a nice view from the entry. only ditch the dining room if you truly don't think you'll use it.

Luisa Perkins said...

We realized we only used our dining room about twice a year, and our kitchen is big enough for those big holiday/family occasions.

So we converted the dining room into a den/music room, which works brilliantly for us.

I can hear the kids practicing while I'm cooking, and can yell out constructive things like "C sharp!" and "3/4, not 4/4" at will. Very handy.

Moondance said...

I vote for using the dining room as a music room. Unless you entertain formally alot. The kitchen eating area looks big enough to use as an informal dining room.

Music is the food of love, so it belongs in the dining room, right?

Christina said...

Relative to blueprint, would you consider placing the piano at an angle in the upper or lower left corner of the great room?

If I'm reading your blueprint correctly, it looks like the great room and entrance hall are completely open to each other. Thus, I think you could afford to "wall in" the great room with a piano without sacrificing too much of that open feeling at all. I personally find the back of a piano as visually compelling as the front (assuming it's an upright), and this way it would work like a functional sculpture. You could also put a large, upright plant like a Ravenna or Majesty palm in the triangular area that you would create by placing the piano at an angle, which would hide the back more (if that would bother you).

This way, you'd still be able to keep your formal dining area, while keeping the piano away from an exterior wall and, more importantly, the fireplace.

painted maypole said...

we have this question in every house we move into. ;) i say the wall opposite front door or the dining room (will you really use your dining room as such? do you already own a table for this room?)

Ren275 said...

My initial thought was the dining room. With the breakfast nook, do you really need a "traditional" dining room? Good luck!

Suz said...

I looked at the plan, imagined the space and think that the dining room is your best bet.

bren j. said...

Opposite the front door might work. It's far enough away from the fireplace not to be too directly affected by the temperature.
I just saw on a program the other day the suggestion of switching the two rooms around - having the dining room in the 'living room' and the living room in the 'dining room.'
What about giving the piano bench the dual-purpose of being a dining room table bench?

ewe are here said...

Not near the fireplace if you plan to use the fireplace for the reasons cited...

Dining room would be my vote under the circumstances...

Omaha Mama said...

I think opposite the front door, if that's the space right above 'Grt' that is the wall shared with your kitchen? Seems like it would be nice right there, right where you come down the steps. Seems like you do entertain family now and then, and it's nice to have a dining room. Good luck with that! I hope you find the perfect spot. I love your floor plan, you must be so excited!

nomotherearth said...

Of your choices, I like opposite the front door best. But I also like the idea of informal eating in the kitchen area and have no formal dining room. But then, we don't dine formally here.

Carrien said...

on the wall opposite the front door. Pianos should be placed against inside walls only because the temperature changes against an outside wall are more drastic and can cause warping and damage. So to me it looks like that's your only option if you don't want to risk your probably pretty and expensive piano.

flutter said...

I am on board with turning the dining room into a music room

Marian said...

Such are the weighty dilemmas that keep us up nights.

I'd convert the dining room for other functions and put it there.

Our digital piano (a little bigger than an upright) is squeezed into our bedroom, though it did time squeezed in with the table in the dining room. Sometimes the kids come in and wake me to the sound of pounding notes...

something blue said...

Oh to have a piano and a fireplace! I would welcome the challenge. I'm sure whatever you do it will be fantastic.

Janet said...

I'm going with #4, mainly because I can't read the floor plan very well. We tucked our piano into a spot with only a few inches to spare and I love how it looks, as if it were made to live there.

Casdok said...

I also think the dining room!

Kyla said...

I think 4.

allysha said...

I say the last option. Or,(I don't know if this is possible, because maybe I'm not reading your plan right but,) could you place it across from the fireplace on the opposite wall? My parent's have a similar arrangement and it works out nicely there...

kelly bee said...

anywhere other than #1 or 2. i say scrap the formal dining room and make it a music room/playroom.

Mary G said...

Angling things often looks great; I'm with Christina. Or you could use it for a divider between the living room and dining room -- if it is, as I suppose, an upright, you put your plants, etc, across the back.
Floor plan looks very interesting. I'll bet you're excited.

Antique Mommy said...

None of those are good options. Since you haven't started building yet, is there any chance, any chance at all, that you can push out the wall of the great room a couple of feet to accomodate it? Remember, you are going to have to live with it.

Bea said...

AM - We're at maximum width for our lot, so we can't make the house wider. We could add width to the wall above the "Grt." by putting an entryway between the living room and the dining room. I'm not really an open concept person, but I can't quite make up my mind to do it. I measured and that wall is exactly three inches wider than the piano.

Angela said...

It sure isn't easy deciding where to put things when you move.
I change things in the house all the time, but not the heavy things. So good idea deciding where to put the piano now

kittenpie said...

I say wall opposite the front door. That's the first place I thought of.

Jess said...

You really should try and put the piano on an interior wall if you can. It's really much better for the piano.