Having spent a good portion of my childhood in Nome, Alaska, where there was not a TV to be found, I didn't become a fan of television until my late 20's. In the years since I have been making up for lost time! I adore HGTV, Fine Living, the occasional design series on Bravo, MSNBC for news, and CBS for our Sunday viewing of the Amazing Race. So the television has become an integral part of my daily life, like so many. This reality can often present significant design challenges when decorating a room that will house a television.
Some designers believe that televisions are best when out of sight. My take is that an 'exposed' television is just fine, it's an honest approach. I do, however, appreciate it when there is an effort to place the TV in a well thought out manner that allows it to work with its surroundings. Too often it is instead a huge piece of equipment, stacked atop piles of other equipment...taking over a space as if a truck has been parked in the room! You've seen this, right?
Several good options for TV placement are to mount it on a wall, tuck it into a built-in bookcase, place it on a media cabinet or within an armoire. I particularly like the armoire option if a television is to be placed in a bedroom. When not in use it is significantly more restful to have the TV hidden in bedrooms.
The TV in our family room redesign is the result of a debate between my husband and I. He wanted larger, I wanted smaller. This is the compromise, mounted above the fireplace. Once the furniture and accessories are in place the TV will cease to be such a large focal point. A benefit of the larger TV is that it is also easily viewed from the kitchen and nook. A possible incentive for me to spend more time cooking, while watching a favorite show?
The layout in this family room is ideal. Here one sofa faces the TV, which is set on a media cabinet. Another sofa faces the focal point of the room, the stunning fireplace. The TV is not the main feature of this room, yet it still functions wonderfully as a space to watch a movie or catch a show.
Placing the TV into a bookcase is also an excellent option, if the room has built-ins that can accommodate one. Here (in a "before" photo of a client's family room that is currently being transformed) the TV can be swiveled out from the bookcase for perfect viewing while lounging on seating in the opposite corner.
Until next time, happy TV viewing!