Living Rooms That Don’t Revolve Around the TV
Somewhere around the mid-aughts, it became common to buy an extremely large flat-screen TV and hang it on the wall, and then organize your living room around it. Until that point, buying a huge TV was more of a commitment since the bigger the screen, the bigger the back end.
The flat-screen changed all that. Suddenly, even huge TVs were only about 4 inches deep, and so they started appearing on walls above fireplaces, even built into their own nooks, and there was nothing around them. And when this happened, the focus of our living areas changed.
But some people still organize their living spaces around things other than the television, such as a conversation area or a fireplace. And even when there is a TV in the room, there are myriad ways of hiding it.
Provide a DistractionSometimes you don’t have anywhere to put the television except on the wall, facing the couch. One way to minimize a TV screen is to think of it as one part of a collection of things you might like to look at, and hang framed artworks around it.
Or you can hang the TV in a narrow space next to a bookshelf displaying beautiful books.
Hide It in Plain SightOr you can put the television inside the bookshelf. The books will do the talking when the TV’s not on. Here, a beautiful custom-built wall of storage houses books, magazines, records, mementos — and the TV. The speakers stay out all the time for stereo listening.
When the owners are ready to watch, they slide the wood doors back and there is a large screen readily accessible for watching.
In a long, narrow space like this one, you might need to take a different approach — put the television in a cabinet a little higher up, which will give you room at ground level for displaying beautiful things such as ceramics, books or flowers. The cabinet doors can be slid back when you’re ready to watch TV.
Go MinimalistThe owners of this appealing living room can watch Mad Men, and their other favorite shows, projected right on the wall. Don Draper would surely approve. If you don’t have a big blank white wall for your home theater, you can install a retractable projector screen.
Take It UndercoverThis TV is hidden behind a piece of custom woodwork that makes a thing of great beauty out of something prosaic. Note how the grain from the original pieces of wood flows across the doors, and how the cabinet is square rather than rectangular, like a big oil painting. Instead of a big black screen sitting above this fireplace, there’s a beautifully crafted piece.The other key here is that the chairs are facing each other — two of them have their backs to the TV.
Here, the TV cabinetry is designed to match the panels built into the box around the fireplace. When the doors are closed, they look just like the paneling that surrounds the rest of the room.The key to making this work, again, is the placement of the couches. When they’re set perpendicular to the fireplace like this, you’re not expecting to look at anything.
Choose a Different Angle
The living room couch doesn’t have to be positioned to look directly at the TV. In this Brooklyn, New York, duplex
, the TV is tucked under the stairs, along with some books, at an oblique angle to the couch, which faces out into the room in a friendly, conversation-inspiring sort of way.
Or hang the screen behind another couch.
Hang Some Art InsteadThis conservatory could easily have had a TV on the wall. Instead, there are a couple of elegant white shelves and a revolving collection of framed prints, without a television in sight.
Put It in a NookThe television here is tucked away to the right of the fireplace, inside a dark little space — there’s no door, but the positioning and the deep, dark cabinetry and its low position close to the floor de-emphasize the box. Sitting here, you first focus on the view through then floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and then on the fireplace.
Let It Pop — or NotIn this Sydney home there was nowhere else to put the TV except here — so it rises out of the cabinetry when it’s needed. It’s very James Bond, and in the wrong hands could have been a little tasteless.
Here’s the same room with the TV hidden.Tell us: Where is the TV in your living room? Is it the focus of the room or do you hide it? Share your ideas and pictures in the Comments.
This entry was posted in GMINJ
. Bookmark the permalink