Note: This post originally appeared on the Boston Design Guide Blog! Check it out by clicking here!
Just like real estate, location is a top consideration when it comes to televisions – especially in a multi-use room where most of us watch TV. Your display should fit the room. Whereas some people just focus on selecting a “gi-normous” flat-panel television, I think it is important to consider the design elements in the space and integrate the display accordingly. Remember the following bits of advice:
- No law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires mounting a television over the fireplace.
- Don’t ruin your relationship with your significant other by arguing over-size or locations for your TV.
Although the spot above your fireplace could be a good location for your television, it may not be the look you, your spouse, or your designer envisions for the room. So, how should you handle the sometimes-delicate balance between design aesthetic and a good location for a flat-panel TV?
Glad you asked! Many options exist, so be creative and enlist the help of a home entertainment firm experienced with custom installations. In the alternative, you might try “rock, paper, scissors” or a grueling thumb-wrestling tournament with the winner getting to decide. In the meantime, here are five things to consider when thinking about TV placement:
Option 1 – Acceptance
A flat panel television may not be the most beautiful thing in the world. The good news is that many of today’s televisions do look better – maybe at least a seven I’d say. Besides being extremely thin like me (big lie), the edge bezel is almost non-existent on many of the newer models, meaning more glass and a nicer overall appearance. Learning to accept your TV is the least expensive option. Just learn to embrace the look and then have your TV installed on a quality mount or on a cabinet by a professional so that no wires or cables are visible and it is at the correct height, etc. There a wide variety of mounts available, from fixed to fully articulating low-profile options.
Option 2 – Here’s Lookin’ at You
Whether turned on or off, this TV from Seura looks fantastic and blends nicely with your decor.
Here’s an idea! Just buy some really expensive fabric and drape the TV with it. I call this “Swag-o-Vision.” When you want to watch a movie, just carefully remove the fabric and…Ta-dah!
Ok, this is a clearly a silly idea, but wait… what if your television didn’t even look like a television? What if your television transformed itself into an attractive framed mirror as soon as the “Off” button on your remote or iPad was selected? Such options are readily available. Seura makes fantastic displays that become mirrors when powered off, and they have over 100 frames available in various styles and shapes as long as it is a rectangle. Seura TVs are available from a 32” to a 65” and I’ll add that they are nice folks and build a premium product. Yes, you will pay more for one of their sets, but this option may be a great idea for your room.
Option 3 – Night at the Museum
Perhaps you don’t love the mirror idea and you really wanted artwork over the fireplace or at another location in your room that would also be a good spot for your display. No problem, you can have both! We can take care of that by using a moving frame that holds artwork, hiding the TV until you’re ready to watch. The entire frame can move out-of-the-way vertically or horizontally, or your art can roll up out-of-the-way to reveal the screen. Personally, I like a painting of a television to hide the television, but I’m a rebel. I like the products available from Media Décor, and you can click here to see some of the art frame options available.
Option 4 – “TV? We Don’t Need No TV!”
Like the line above from the 1948 film, Treasure of the Sierra Madre referencing proper law enforcement identification, and later used in Blazing Saddles of course, you could decide to just go without. NO TV? Many of you are likely surprised that a TV, music, and smart-home professional is suggesting this option.
Please allow me to explain. How about considering something larger than any readily available flat-panel that provides an amazing viewing experience, and then just disappears? Just call me The Wizard of Awes.
Just add a projector and a retractable screen. Problem solved! People sometimes fail to consider projection systems and think they only belong in a dedicated home theater. Today’s projectors and screens may be a great choice in certain rooms, even multi-purpose rooms. Screens are available in many sizes, allow the viewing of different video formats, and can retract up into your ceiling or a soffit when not in use. It’s tricky if you ask us to hide an 80-inch TV, but we can hide a large retractable screen without ruining your view.
One of our current projects involves a luxury hi-rise condo in Boston with great views. You can see the State House and skyline from there, but not Russia. The resident’s view will be clear when not watching a movie or TV, because the 120” screen will retract at the touch of button. The projector can be hidden in some applications as well, and some projectors can be ordered in custom colors and boast sports car-like curves.
Option 5 – Need a Lift?
Another way to get your TV out of sight is by using a motorized lift to move your TV effortlessly in and out of a cabinet, the ceiling, the floor, or even out from below your bed! Yes, that is going to set you back a pretty penny or two. Mechanisms can also swivel the display, so different configurations are possible depending on the project requirements. Furniture with lifts pre-installed are available, but may not suit your specific purpose or taste. One popular option is a cabinet at the foot of the bed with a lift for the TV.
When planning a location for your display, don’t forget wires and cable requirements along with thinking about where the other components of your system will be installed. Be creative, and reach out to professionals to help you integrate video, music and other products into your home with style, no matter what your décor.
Steve McDonough is Vice President at Elite Media Solutions of Wellesley, MA. You can learn more by visiting their new website and blog at EliteMediaSoutions.com, or email Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org
Elite Media Solutions of Wellesley, MA is your source for music systems, TV, video, home theater, motorized shades and automated window treatments, lighting control, and home automation. We also provide quality seating and AV furniture for your home. Serving Boston and the surrounding areas, including Weston, Wayland, Bedford, Wayland, Norfolk, Dover, Sherborn, Needham, Hingham, Natick, Framingham, Newton, Brookline, Concord, Canton, Medfield, Lexington, and Cape Cod. Call us at (781) 237-2929 to discuss your next project with us.