Living Rooms That Don’t Revolve Around the TV
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.
Sometimes 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 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.
The 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.
This 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.
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.
The living room couch doesn’t have to be positioned to look directly at the TV. In thisBrooklyn, 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.
This 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.
The 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.
In 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.
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.