Sometimes I come across an upcycled object that captures my attention immediately. And this time it’s a piano. Not an object you would think of right away used for upcycling. I don’t play the piano although we had a piano at home when I was a kid and my dad was quite good at playing it. In a way I still regret that I didn’t learn to play the piano, I guess playing tennis was more my thing at that moment. The piano is one of my favourite instruments.
When I got an email showing a shiny black piano upcycled into a sofa, I was amazed and had to show it on upcycleDZINE.
Piano has a sentimental attachment
The creative mastermind behing this sofa is Gary Sanders. He is an English designer living in Vienna | Austria. Gary has been featured before on this blog with an upcycle design called Flora and Florence. Both beautiful lamps. And now something completely different and very impressive, a Piano Sofa.
Here Gary talks about his piano furniture project…
What’s your relationship to music?
As someone who enjoys playing music (non-professionally of course), whether it be strings, skins or keys, I´m always keen to play something and therefore have a certain respect for musical instruments.
How did you come to upcycling a piano?
When I saw for the first time a concert-piano abandoned and destined for the waste disposal site, I couldn`t help but think that an object built with such craftsmanship and age (a time when things were still built to last!) should not be so easily discarded. Almost immediately I could envision a form of seating and decided to salvage the piece. It was clear to me that something of this size would involve more work and care to achieve the best possible outcome. In between working on other projects I slowly gave careful thought on the development of the piece.
“In my designs, it is important to me to get the visual connection to the original object. Just as important to me is the user-friendliness and function of the product as well as the timeless attractiveness. For me, a design is only successful when all these factors come together and the customer is satisfied.”
Was this the first time you used upholstery?
Thankfully I didn`t act on initial ideas I had for the construction of the armrests as I was not entirely satisfied and this brought me into the realm of upholstery which at the time was something entirely new. Research into furniture-fabrics, garn, seams, upholstery materials and eventually inner-construction was necessary. It was a challenge and a joy!
Does this project open up new chances?
Having immersed myself in this new area of furniture design many new opportunities have opened up for me and many concert-pianos offered that otherwise would be destined for the disposal. Being that pianos need a great deal of care in keeping them tuned, many owners simply give up on them. Simultaneously they feel a sentimental attachment to them either because they have brought so much joy over the years or have been handed down the family for generations. What better way to salvage a long loved piece of heritage than to transform it into a new, purposeful piece of designer furniture that remains a memory of the joy that it has brought over the years.
Photos © Gary Sanders
Thanks Gary for giving us an insight into this fantastic project. If you want to see the Piano Sofa you should visit his studio in Vienna.
I really think it will be even more impressive in real life.