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I mentioned in another thread that I was saving up for my first home, and I’m finally in the housing market now. By currently owning a 7-foot piano in an apartment, the first thing I think about when I see a new home is where should my Steinway B go? In the living room? Can I put it upstairs?

The reality is that the housing market at Bay Area is crazy right now and I could only afford a 3-bedroom Townhouse even if I stretch my budget. The layout of many homes were not designed for having a semi concert grand. A 7-foot will occupy a third of the living room, or half of the bedroom.

Now I wish I bought a model M instead of the model B! Sure I can physically fit the model B in any living room but that means I can only fit half of other furniture. I won’t have this problem with a model M. But maybe I will miss the deep bass of the model B. I’m so glad that I didn’t go crazy and buy a 9 foot at that time!

I’m currently putting both my Steinway B and Yamaha N3X in my current living room and it looks like a tiny piano teaching studio. I’m fine with that right now since I only live here temporarily but I don’t want that to be the case in my long term home. I’ll probably sell my N3X and buy a slab like Kawai ES920 or something.

I have dreamed about owning a 7-foot piano (especially a Steinway B) for 3 years. I don’t know if I would be happy when I bought my house and found I can’t fit a 7-foot piano. I didn’t care as much about a house as a 7-foot piano. When I bought my B I really felt this as a milestone in my life. I don’t want to part with it and now it’s time for me to find a good place to house it. It’s tough!

Last edited by Harpuia; 06/28/21 02:51 AM.

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Originally Posted by Harpuia
Sure I can physically fit the model B in any living room but that means I can only fit half of other furniture.

I solved this problem by not having any other furniture. Unless you count my upright piano. The main room is the piano room.

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Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by Harpuia
Sure I can physically fit the model B in any living room but that means I can only fit half of other furniture.

I solved this problem by not having any other furniture. Unless you count my upright piano. The main room is the piano room.

As a piano nerd I don’t need a TV or a coach. I just can’t imagine that would be the long term case when I have a family (I live alone now).


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The downside of low interest rates is house prices are ridiculous. But the upside is you don't actually have to pay for the house to buy it. You could just do what everyone else does and get the bank to buy you a house you can't afford.

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Priorities! I put off buying a piano for years so that I’d be free to easily relocate. If I’d bought one when I was younger it’d probably have had bikes leaning on it. My college roommate and I had a pool table in the living room, and half the time it had laundry piled on it. By the time I got a piano I had one eye on future downsizing and bought something short. Kinda wish I’d bought a longer one. At the same time, it’s in a pretty big room and I’m still not sure I’d want to give up 2 feet for a longer one. Hindsight is 20/20, as the saying goes, And foresight isn’t always great.


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Does it need to be a Steinway? The Hailun 218 is a pretty good piano for only US$25k.

Alternatively, the good thing about buying used is that you can sell it again in a few years for a similar amount to what you paid for it. So you could get something more modest like a Yamaha C7 or whatever, and trade up as circumstances change.

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Originally Posted by Harpuia
As a piano nerd I don’t need a TV or a coach. I just can’t imagine that would be the long term case when I have a family (I live alone now).

Single with no commitments then smile. In that case why not just have the piano and forget the furniture? No one is going to argue with you!

When I bought my first flat straight out of uni, the first thing I moved in was my audiophile hifi system. I planned the living room around that and made sure the flat I bought would fit my vision of that space.

Surely it's a question of just shopping around till you find the right house with the right space configuration? Might be harder but you only have to account for your wants smile.

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Originally Posted by Harpuia
Now I wish I bought a model M instead of the model B! Sure I can physically fit the model B in any living room but that means I can only fit half of other furniture. I won’t have this problem with a model M.
I think the above is a major misconception. A model B is only around 15" longer than an M so, at worst, it will make only a small difference in the amount of furniture that can fit in a room. In terms of additional floor space, a model B is kind of like putting a small end table at the end of a model M. What may be true is the since pianos take up space in three dimensions, the B will give the impression of being much larger than an M in a given space. But the bottom line is that the floor space increase for a B vs. an M is tiny.

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But the bottom line is that the floor space increase for a B vs. an M is tiny.


Not necessarily. Depending on the room, you might be able to fit an M but literally not be able to fit a B. And this is even more so the case for a room that is not a dedicated piano room but doubles as a living room.

As to the original post's comment.... I had only owned upright pianos or digitals. Once we bought our house, I bought my first grand piano. When we were house hunting, I was very clear about prioritizing a house with a layout that would make it possible to have a grand piano. Of course, houses are a lot less expensive here compared to CA., so we were able to buy a single family home that has a front room (living room) as well as a family room.

I still wouldn't want to cram a Steinway B (or Yamaha C7 etc.) in here. It would fill up the whole room and make it much harder (or impossible) to have piano parties and play with other instrumentalists.

OP, I think the only solution is for you to move somewhere where houses are cheaper so you can afford a house that fits your piano! grin

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 06/28/21 08:07 AM.

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Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
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But the bottom line is that the floor space increase for a B vs. an M is tiny.
Not necessarily. Depending on the room, you might be able to fit an M but literally not be able to fit a B. And this is even more so the case for a room that is not a dedicated piano room but doubles as a living room.
You didn't include my clear explanation of why what I said is true. The B is only 15" longer and that's just a fact. So it's also factual that the extra space needed is only 15", less than the distance between your elbow and fingertips.

Of course, if the living room is incredibly tiny(like 8' wide and the piano has to fit along the width) then a 7' piano wouldn't fit. Or if one already has a lot a furniture and is not willing to rearrange it or get rid of even the smallest item the larger piano might very occasionally be a problem. It's more likely that, for some, a longer piano might look too big visually because it occupies three dimensions.

My living room is 12' x 18', and I can easily fit my 7' piano, sofa and two chairs in that space.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 06/28/21 09:51 AM.
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As long as you can physically fit the piano, get creative! Maybe bean bag chairs instead of a big couch. We haven't owned a TV for the last 9 years and do all our streaming on an iPad. Hopefully your future wife understands how much this piano means to you.

I think there's a big difference between buying a smaller piano to begin with and having to downside to a smaller one and then having that comparison... you'll always be missing the B if you replace it with an M.


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Originally Posted by Harpuia
Originally Posted by Sonepica
Originally Posted by Harpuia
Sure I can physically fit the model B in any living room but that means I can only fit half of other furniture.

I solved this problem by not having any other furniture. Unless you count my upright piano. The main room is the piano room.

As a piano nerd I don’t need a TV or a coach. I just can’t imagine that would be the long term case when I have a family (I live alone now).

Big flat screens can be mounted on the wall. Put in some versatile seating options instead living room furniture and your Steinway can share the great room which becomes the central activity room. Trade or sell the hybrid for a pro level 88 key slab. Do include tables or counters to hold drinks, keys or stuff because you sure don’t want people putting stuff on the Steinway’s lid.


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If you want to eventually have a relationship, I don’t think a living room with piano and a couple of bean bag chairs would be an appealing configuration to a potential partner.


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I agree with what pianoloverus said. The Model B is only 15'' longer than the Model M but the Model M has to compromise on the design and sound. There are 2 feet of difference between a B and a D but I don't perceive that much of a difference regarding to the sound.


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Originally Posted by twocats
I think there's a big difference between buying a smaller piano to begin with and having to downside to a smaller one and then having that comparison... you'll always be missing the B if you replace it with an M.

This very much. When I stepped up from digital to acoustic I couldn't imagine going back and after having a semi-concert now I know I would be sad if I had to downgrade.

Assuming ~3' of space for a bench and another 0.5' buffer that would require 6'x11' of available space. Average bedroom sizes are 11'x12' (according to goggle at least) which would only be 1/2 way consumed by the piano - leaving space for sheet music storage or a couple of small chairs. Most living rooms or dining rooms are at least as big as a bedroom. So in general you can usually force a piano of that size into anything other than studio. You might have to "get creative" as twocats said. Consider using under the piano for some storage if necessary (which might help with overly loud acoustics as well).

The practice rooms in my college were all very small and the grands took up 80% of the room with no room for anything other instrumental practice (those rooms had uprights instead). They were acoustically treated to deal with that small space - so that's something to consider. But if they could fit a grand, most places could fit a grand.

So you "can" fit a piano in many places, but "do you want to" is another point entirely.

My spouse doesn't play piano, but does support my interests (within reason) and one of the top-tier questions we've always considered when house/apartment hunting was "Where will a piano go?". We have on more than one occasion said no to a place because the layout wasn't good enough. We 'could' have fit it, but other factors made it non-ideal. It wasn't aesthetically pleasing, too close to the kitchen, too difficult to get the piano to said room, the TV would have to be right next to the couch, etc. In those cases we kept looking. We were always able to find something that worked for us.

Originally Posted by Harpuia
I don’t know if I would be happy when I bought my house and found I can’t fit a 7-foot piano

Then it might not be the right house for you.

With the crazy home buying surge I've seen lately I think some people have gotten their priorities backwards. You need to find a house that works for you and not the other way around. Especially if you are considering buying it and committing to it long term! Would you consider buying a beautiful 1 bedroom house when you have a family of 5? Probably not. Saying "I must have enough space for a S&S B" isn't really that different from "I must have at least a 2 car garage" or "I must have an extra room for an office" or "I must have a large backyard". All of those are additional constraints placed on a home beyond it's basics to make a house work for specific people. Maybe they have an interest in cars (garage), work-from-home or stream (office), or like to relax outside (large backyard).

That being said, there are almost always compromises when house hunting - so it will be up to you to decide where in the list of priorities the piano lies (especially relative to commute/location). For me (and I'm assuming many others on the forum) that is actually pretty high up on the priority list. So you shouldn't feel bad saying no to a house/apartment if it doesn't work well enough for your interests.

Another tip though...make sure you know ahead of time what is good enough for you. If you cannot say "yes" when you see something that works then you will probably miss out in a competitive market.

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As a Bay Area homeowner for a few years, I reflect that for me it was a hard process, a journey I had to go through:
- see lots of homes
- make a lot of offers and always be out bid
- keep raising expectations of how much to bid
- keep considering how to compromise / adapt to different homes
- until I finally found a great home and was in the right frame of mind to win

I am entirely happy with my home, but at the start of the process I may have overlooked it, or certainly bid too little.

How might this apply to you? As you see homes, bid and loose, your piano priorities may change, or not. But at some point it will all fall into place. You just have to go on the journey.


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Anyone who wants to continue to live like they're in a dormitory can use the same space saving tactics!

Get your grand and bench up in the air, with some risers like these, and then you can use the space underneath it! Toss a futon down there, or a desk or something. thumb

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It isn't just the 15" while at rest. There are corridors, doorways, and stairs to consider. Some of that might put a hard cap on what you can expect to move into the house.

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Originally Posted by Maestro Lennie
It isn't just the 15" while at rest. There are corridors, doorways, and stairs to consider. Some of that might put a hard cap on what you can expect to move into the house.
For most homes and apartments I don't think corridors and doorways will be a problem assuming one doesn't put the piano in a bedroom that's reached by corridors. Outdoor stairs are a problem for any grand but experienced movers can certainly handle them. If one lives in a walk up apartment or want to put a grand on the second floor of a house that could certainly pose problems.

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It's kind of silly to quibble over what will "fit". Most houses are configured differently, and everyone likely has a different pain threshold as to how tightly they're willing to shoe-horn in a big piano.


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