Sound Design: Harmonious Home Music Rooms

By Iyna Bort Caruso

Libraries beckon with books, home theatres lure with films, and music rooms summon with sound. For centuries in aristocratic households, music rooms were de rigueur, and a musical education was a cultural imperative. People met to play in rooms that took their decorative cues from the world’s great concert halls.

Today, dedicated music rooms are rare, according to Frank de Biasi, a New York-based interior designer whose residential portfolio includes projects in Europe, the US and the Middle East. De Biasi says instruments are often integrated into studies or media rooms, or treated as objets d’art.  

In residences where homeowners do dedicate space for acoustic experiences, the music room has been rebooted for the 21st century. Rooms are designed for multiple functions – from an intimate cocktail party  for ten friends to a performance space for a hundred guests. For one client, de Biasi designed a space whose upholstered walls and dark stained finishes give it a nightclub feel.  

At a Corte Madera estate, outside of San Francisco, music is part of the property’s DNA. Once owned by concert promoter Bill Graham, of Grateful Dead fame, the estate now has a new residence designed by architect Sim Van der Ryn. Known as the Guitar House for the way a long corridor and music room are reminiscent of the instrument’s silhouette, the home is co-listed by Isobel Wiener and Danielle Chavanon of Sotheby’s International Realty. “The spirit of Bill Graham lives on,”  says Wiener. For Chavanon, “The way the passion for music is expressed in the property absolutely gives it another dimension.” Indeed, for some homeowners, a music room may be the way to make their house pitch-perfect.

New York-based writer Iyna Bort Caruso has contributed to The New York Times and Newsday

North Carolina

Painstakingly restored to its former glory over the past fifteen years, this classic historical estate features an impressive music room with English-inspired craftsmanship.

$2,199,950 Property ID: JQS5V4 |
Premier Sotheby’s International Realty
Giles Barker +1 704 322 7747
Charlie Williams +1 704 737 7741 


This extraordinary property located in a  cosy seaside city is a modern architectural masterpiece. Owned by a celebrated singer  from the region, the house exudes musical  energy. The first floor incorporates several  open spaces, including one solely dedicated  to performing and entertaining.  

Price upon request  |
Baltic Sotheby’s International Realty
Līga Kohtanena +371 29 411 250 

Corte Madera

Rarely is a home designed with such a perfect combination of ecological materials and modern sophistication. This unparalleled offering is the product of the owner’s vision to create one of the largest ecologically responsible homes in America. The main residence boasts a professional music studio designed for the pleasure and comfort of both musicians and audience.  

$29,000,000 Property ID: 0087426 |
Sotheby’s International Realty – San Francisco Brokerage
Danielle Chavanon +1 415 706 5804
Isobel Wiener +1 415 730 5556 


This striking property blends classic architecture and modern amenities to create a warm  and welcoming residence. It was designed for entertaining and referred to as The Casino in  1897, when it was built. Its focus on the arts, and especially music, is most evident in the large living room, which contains a stage with hand-painted backdrops, a piano and other features associated with musical performances.

$1,180,000 Property ID: YJQCHN |
William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty
Robin Linares +1 860 662 1138
Allyson Cotton +1 860 227 6016 


Twenty minutes from the heart of Seattle, this traditional Georgian mansion was built for modern living. Details such as barrel-vaulted ceilings, massive crystal chandeliers, herringbone floors and leaded-glass windows enhance a remodelled chef’s kitchen and fully equipped sound stage for music enthusiasts.  

$4,500,000 Property ID: Y2CWT5 |
Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty
Chris Doucet +1 206 819 4663 

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