One big challenge for an interior designer is how to deal with the huge 50″ elephant in the room. Yes – your TV! We all have one, we all enjoy spending time watching our favourite shows; it’s part of most our family lives so we need to put it somewhere. From a designers eye the TV is simply a giant black expanse and it’s always challenging to find a solution that works for both the design scheme and family life.
A number of creative solutions are available to minimise the TV within a design scheme. Thankfully with the advance of technology most TVs are now slim and almost flat – but they are big!!
Consider which room in your home you will be watching TV. If you have the luxury of a number of living spaces I think it’s sensible to designate one space for the TV and leave one space without. I love having a quiet living space in my home without the noise and distraction – a restful place to read and chat. Of course if you have a dedicated media room in your basement then this blog is not really for you. You have already have the optimum solution!
I know opinion is divided but I’m firmly in the camp that the TV should NEVER be above the fireplace. This is an absolute no-go for me! A fireplace is great focal point in a room – please don’t spoil it. From an ergonomic perspective – for most fireplaces – this would also mean the TV is placed way too high for comfortable viewing. In a similar vein you should avoid putting your television in front of a window. I’ve seen massive TVs in bay windows and it has such a negative impact on the space.
Scale is important when choosing a television. If you have a small cottage or a large Victorian villa then scale your television appropriately to the size room.

Dark Walls

This is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to disguise a wall mounted TV. If the walls of your space are finished in a dark colour the TV will blend into the background compared with a light coloured wall where it will be highlighted.

 

Balance

Symmetry is an important element in good design. If you have a wall mounted TV, in an alcove for example, then to balance out the impact place a similar size and shape object in the other alcove. This will lessen the visual impact of the TV. You might chose a piece of art or a print in a dark frame. Symmetrical shelving has been used in the below image to great effect.

 

Custom Joinery

If you have budget and space for custom joinery then one option is to build a custom unit where the television can either be set back or concealed behind doors. The unit can be tailor made to your space and can hide all the media items you use but don’t want to display. This is custom joinery from Neville Johnson (www.nevillejohnson.co.uk).

NJ TV Cabinet

TV Lift

A slightly more expensive option is a piece of bespoke cabinetry that incorporates a TV lift. This effectively raises and lowers the TV on demand and when it’s hidden it just looks like a piece of furniture. As with anything bespoke you can ensure that the piece is in keeping with your scheme.

Secret Mirror or Artwork

A more expensive but effective option is the secret TV concealed behind a mirror or painting. These look just like a regular mirror or painting when switched off and are offered with a wide variety of frame styles to match your decor. I really like this idea and it works well behind sofas and above consoles – but a note of caution – don’t hang you mirror TV above the fireplace!!

I hope these ideas have given you some food for though for your next refurbishment project. I’d love to know if you have any other creative solutions.
Now, pass the remote…