Design Dilemma: How to Integrate a TV into Your Decor
Have you ever seen a meticulously designed room that is absolutely perfect except for one thing — the massive TV that dominates everything else? Suddenly, the perfect mood is destroyed by the brooding black object that commands center stage.
Even if watching TV is an important part of your lifestyle, there’s no need to let a television take over your space. Let’s face it, TVs are not pretty and we all want to minimize the impact of a set in a living room, den or bedroom. Here’s how:
1.Â Keep your floor plan flexible. Design a layout that allows easy viewing of the TV when you want it, but that otherwise does not make the television the focus. You can successfully do this by creating a multi-function floor plan that provides room for a conversation area, a reading corner, and TV viewing. A multi-functional room IS NOT a room where all seating faces the screen in the center of the room — that’s called a home theatre.
2.Â Put the TV at a 90-degree angle to the main windows so it doesn’t interfere with the ability to look out and enjoys the views. A TV should never compete with real life.
3.Â Go smaller, not bigger on screen size. Large screens can swallow up a space. If you can, reduce the size of your screen a notch from what you think you need. The general rule is a viewing distance of roughly two to three times the screen diagonal. So a 40 inch screen is best viewed from about 7 to 10 feet away. For most living rooms, there’s not much need to go bigger.
4.Â Trade up to a flatscreen and then tuck it away. We’re fortunate today’s TVs consume much less space than they once did. They no longer look as bulky out on their own, but even better, flatscreens can now easily fit into wall and shelving units where they can disappear behind doors and screens.
5.Â If you’re hanging a flatscreen, hang carefully. Many people hang their sets over the fireplace but this still gives a TV a perhaps undeserved place of honor. Much better to keep a room’s focus off the TV by keeping the TV viewable but a bit to the side. Or, if you really want the TV over your fireplace and central to a conversation group, consider investing in a reflective screen that appears to be a mirror when the TV is turned off or a recessed screen that allows a panel or painting to be hung over the TV when not in use. If you do go this route, don’t hang your TV too high — hang it as you would art.
6.Â Consider creating a media room that will remove the TV from your living space. A special room dedicated only to TV watching can be the simplest way to solve the TV design dilemma.
7.Â If you can’t hide it, make it a design element. Invest in a sculptural eye-popping TV stand that is meant to act as a true design element in room.