Practical Versus Pretty

One purchase could wreck a room.

That’s my fear.

Let me explain…

My nine year old took two years of group keyboard class and has now transitioned to private piano lessons.  When he started keyboard class, our investment was small.  We bought him a keyboard which he kept in his room.  It served him well for two years and he has enthusiastically kept up with his practicing.  And on those days when he wasn’t so enthusiastic, he still would practice without too much complaining!

When he began taking lessons on a piano instead of the keyboard class, we knew at some point we would have to invest in an actual piano.  He has started complaining that his keyboard doesn’t have all the keys and he also needs to practice on piano pedals.  I started investigating different piano dealers.  We (and by we, I mean my husband), thought it would make sense to only look into used pianos at this point.  But I thought most of the used pianos were either too expensive for what they were or too ugly to even think of buying!

Then the other day, my neighbor informed me she just looked at a piano that en elderly couple in the area was selling.  She heard about the piano through her daughter’s piano teacher, who not only played the piano but told her she was crazy if she didn’t buy it!

My neighbor decided against the piano because she wanted a black baby grand and this piano was a brown upright.  Actually, I shouldn’t say “upright”.  It’s actually a “spinet”.  Needless to say, I know nothing about pianos.  Anyway, not only did the piano teach recommend buying it, but she had her piano tuner/repairman look it over.  He told her a few keys stuck and it needed some minor work plus 2 or 3 tune ups.  The seller is asking just $250.00 for the piano.  With the moving, repairs and tune ups, we are still talking a little over $1,000.00 but that is still much less than I have seen online and in piano stores for used pianos.  I must also remember that this is a learning piano.  My son is only 9 and although this is his 3rd year in piano/keyboard, I cannot justify spending a boatload of money on a piano.  Not that I have a boatload of money to spend, but you know what I mean!

Aesthetically, the piano is in great shape.  The wood is not scratched and looks well taken care of.  It has simple lines and the wood color will work with my living room.  It is actually a beautiful instrument.

But, like I said above, this purchase could wreck this room.   I am happy with the layout and the overall feel of my living room.  The piano will most likely sit on the far wall where the tree and globe are now.  You won’t be able to miss it.  Do I want it to be such a focal point?  I don’t know.  I could imagine a beautiful baby grand in that back corner.  It could enhance the room and become a beautiful focal point…but let me tell you, that is not going to happen.   In this case, I have to choose being practical over being pretty.  I do want my son to have a piano, so I have to be a little more realistic.

If I don’t want this new focal point, my only other option would be to squish the piano along the wall where I just updated my Target lamp vignette.

It can fit on this wall with only two inches to spare.

But do I want it there?

I just don’t know.

But what I do know is that I have a very happy 9 year old

who is finally getting the piano he has been asking for.

So I guess the inconvenience the piano will cause me

will all be worth it when I look at his precious smiling face!

Do you have a piano in your house?
Is it pretty or just practical?


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  1. I think pianos are gorgeous and it will be lovely where the tree is 🙂 I will inherit my mother's (which was my grandmother's and is the ONE thing on my must-have list from my Mother's) baby grand one day (hopefully a long long time from now) and WISH I could get John to take lessons. I say go forth and purchase your piano. It will be lovely! PS. the other crazy thing I wish I had is a grandfather clock 🙂

    1. Thanks for your input Amanda. Actually, I dropped the check off this morning and it will hopefully be delivered next week. I guess I was just getting cold feet when I started writing this post last night! How wonderful that your mom has a baby grand – and grandfather clocks are so pretty too!

  2. Boy, do I hear ya! After twenty-six years of having my kids' stuff dictate my decorating, they're all grown up and moving out! Lucky for me they visit every few days, so I don't have to be sad about the empty nest. And it's kind of wonderful to decorate for me for the first time. The wood of this piano is beautiful, and I know you'll decorate it (and around it) beautifully. Giving up your perfect decor is painful. Watching your child as he loves playing his piano is priceless. But, still, I do hear ya! Maybe it will go down easier if you take lessons, too. You'll see your new piano in a whole new light. Good luck, and I look forward to seeing what you decide. I know it'll rock!

  3. That is a nice piano. I actually think the baby grands take up too much space. We do have a piano, my old one from high school. I never play anymore. Our daughter plays it occasionally when she is here, but we dream of getting rid of it someday.

  4. Congrats on your purchase! I think Pianos are a nice touch in a room, whether it is used or not. My parents had a pretty Wurlitzer in our living room while I was growing up and I loved to tinker with it, despite having formal lessons. I love your location choice too.Have a great weekend!

  5. I think it would look fabulous on the tree wall, Shelley! Seriously – a piano has such character. It's not just stuff, it's a useful item and it'll bring you so much joy to see your little boy using it. Andrea at Oak Ridge Revival just posted the cutest picture of her son practicing the piano in her dining room yesterday…did you see it? Good luck….I hope it works out for you to buy it!

  6. When my mom died, I had her piano moved from Tennessee to Maryland. It's not fancy, but I love having it i my living room. I agree with the other comments; the tree wall looks perfect. Our living room has doors, thankfully! I must admit I am happy to be able to close them when my 11 year old is playing Stairway to Heaven for the 50th time in a day! And this is coming from a Zeppelin fan:-)

  7. Centsational Girl painted a piano just like this one. I think she used chalk paint. You can check it out. I feel for you on this one because I am visually obsessed, too. You probably should get it.

  8. I would definitely add a piano. I love them. I took lessons as a lil boy and quit. I regret that today. I wish I would have perservered. I cannot wait to see how it looks. I see my BFF Amanda says get it too. xo

    1. Ron, I bought it today – hurray! It's funny, every adult that used to take lessons but quit regrets it today. That's something I always remind my son on those days when he is not so motivated! Thanks for the encouragement!

  9. I decorated around and with a piano for years while our 4 children were younger and all took piano. It's definitely worth it and you made the right choice to purchase used. Pretty soon you'll have trouble remembering the room without it! 🙂 Still loving that Target lamp!

  10. Hi Shelley! Ive been there with this dilemma and inherited an old upright piano that I thought ruined my room. It did make my kids happy for about 7 years, then I donated it once they realized no one ever played it. Emily Clark put hers in her hallway..I don't know this is a tough one. Your living room is gorgeous!!!!! good luck!xo

  11. Shelley, I think the piano will add so much personality to your room because it tells the story of your son. And the fact that he likes piano is wonderful, oh my goodness there's so much literature out there right now about the positive affect of music on a child's brain development and learning. If I were you I'd do some pinterest searches and take a look at rooms with pianos so you can feel better. You've got great taste and you'll work it into the room once you get it. Leslie (Gwen Moss)

  12. I think you're good parents who love their son very much.. As for the piano I think it will look just fine no matter where you put it..I played piano when I was a little girl but never stuck with it (mistake) but I still love them. My dream has always been to own a baby grand but that ain't ever going to happen unless I hit the lottery.. LOL

  13. I love a piano in any room and I would love to have someone who could play. Put it front and center and enjoy him. Thanks tons for joining The Scoop. Hugs, Marty

  14. We were in the exact situation you are…..we did end up buying a 'used' piano for the same price you are spending, only yours is much prettier ! Our piano now sits in our main living room, and although it really doesn't 'match' what is in there, it looks beautiful ! And it is worth any inconvenience, which there isn't really any, to see my daughter, and hopefully one day, my son, sit at it and play….. A piano really does 'go' in any room – I think it adds something to a home.

  15. I think the piano would look lovely in the room where the tree is. I actually think it might look better than the tree, because that is the first thing that catches my eye is the tree. I mean that in the nicest way. I think you will love it, and so will your son!Debbie

  16. I can't wait to see your new piano. Just think, you could have a cocktail party with lie music to celebrate!

  17. Hi, I'm visiting from The Scoop… I think the piano would look lovely where the tree is. I do have a piano in my home and because I didn't want it to be a focal point either, I ended up placing it behind my sofa. It does double duty as a sofa table.

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