Where should I put my new TV?

This is  my most dreaded decorating question because my answer never seems to please people.There is nothing subtle or appealing about a big black rectangle dominating a room, and that is what happens as TVs become larger. My first instinct is to come up with ways to hide the TV except when it is in use.

 Mahoney Architects & Interiors: More than cookies in the oven... contemporary family room


 James Wagman Architect, LLC - Apartment - Riverside Dr eclectic living room
These are  perfect solutions as far as I'm concerned.  Close the doors and the TV disappears and the room becomes more about living as a family and less about "control by the box".  


When you place a TV above the fireplace you create two black rectangular "holes" .  How attractive is that?  In a perfect world we would all have media rooms and then the TV could dominate all it wanted to, but most of us don't have the luxury of a special room for TV viewing.   

  Putting design aesthetics aside, there is an even more important consideration for TV placement that leads me to  never suggest placing it  over the fireplace -it  is just too high for sensible viewing.  When your chin is perpetually jutting up in the air, there is constant strain on your neck - it's an unnatural position.

When viewing a TV, you want to be able to look at it from a level angle, without that constant neck craning. I suggest sitting down in your chosen viewing spot and finding  the spot on the wall that is parallel to your gaze. Place a piece of tape on the wall at that point to mark where the  centre of the screen should be. You can adjust up or down between 6-12 inches without  causing discomfort. That usually means  you will need some type of  low cabinet to hold the TV and all its "stuff". Here are some suggestions for various layout problems.

Interior Design Los Angeles | ASD Interiors contemporary living room

Often small rooms demand that you  be creative in your room layout to even fit in a TV.   Mounting the TV behind furniture is a good solution. If more seating is required when you have visitors, it is simple to move the two chairs around to create a more theatre style setting.

Ehrenclou Architects contemporary living room

When you have a fireplace in the room and you need to fit in a TV it is often a very difficult challenge because you often end up with competing focal points. You then have to decide what you will do to ensure one stands out more than the other. Using a darker colour or larger scale for the TV cabinet  or  using  both are good solutions. In the room above the fireplace is light and no attention is drawn to it .  The TV wall is darker and more commanding.

Lindy Donnelly traditional family room

 Built in cabinets  that contain a swivel shelf that allows TV viewing from various angles often solves design dilemma. This solution by designer Lindy Donnelly is a great example of a practical and sophisticated design.

La Dimora Design contemporary family room

 This room is beautifully designed.   Usually TV units have the appearance of "making do" but this unit adds to/ strengthens the overall design of the room.

 

Amoroso Design contemporary family room

 I like the clean lines of this cabinet.  It looks like it has sliding doors which must be opened to have access to technology when the TV is on.

What happens when there is no other solution except putting the TV over the fireplace? If you are remodelling or doing a new home build, you have some control over the height of the fireplace. In the room depicted below the fireplace is kept low and simple and a niche was created for the TV. 


Waterfront Penthouse contemporary

Is there ever a time when a TV works over a fireplace?  I would say yes if all the seats were reclining and stylish!


 
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