Guests are meant to believe the home’s occupants would never be so gauche as to glom onto the latest hit show. The TV is only brought out from its hiding place when the prying eyes of strangers aren’t about.
Admit it, you watch television. You even enjoy some of it and there’s at least one show that’s so ingrained in your routine that you PVR faithfully because if you miss it, it’s like forgetting to brush your teeth or walk the dog.
So why not work with the idiot box instead of tucking it away?
TVs of old were big, boxy and ugly, but people put them on display because they were a status symbol. Then decorators realized the sheer unattractiveness of the appliance was messing with their mojo and they convinced clients to hide them away.
Now attractive, sleek flat-screen TVs are coming out of the closet and existing in harmony with the rest of the home’s look. Most savvy decorators begin with a client by asking for details on how they live and use the rooms in their home. If TV watching is part of your life, then banishing the TV to a little-used corner isn’t a realistic way to live.
One way to blend a television into your living space is to choose a flat screen model that mounts on the wall. It might not be as simple as it sounds because the TV still has to be at a proper distance and eye level for comfortable viewing. But if you can work it out, a wall-mounted television looks futuristic even though it is obviously very “now”.
It doesn’t collect as much dust or take up valuable real estate on the floor. And there’s little danger of it getting toppled over accidentally.
If you don’t buy into the television-as-art theory, and you still think it’s an ugly addition to the room, you can alter an actual piece of art to slide over the TV when it’s not in use.
It contradicts the TV as a part of life approach but it’s a compromise. Choose a print or painting that’s larger than the television and install wooden braces to its back so the artwork covers the offending electronic. Cover the wood with a soft fabric or felt to protect the television from scratches.
Can’t decide whether to make a room’s focal point a fireplace or the television? You can choose both. Hang the TV above the fireplace or set it on the mantle. Place a few carefully chosen accessories nearby and there will be no question about which way the seating should face.
Set the television into a large bookshelf or on open shelving. Arrange books and other items of interest on the other shelves surrounding the television and it will look as if it’s right at home. Take care that this layout stays tidy so it’s stylish and not cluttered.
One family got very lucky when their big screen floor model TV happened to fit perfectly into a closet opening. The family room in their home was once a very large bedroom and by wriggling the television into the space, and hanging a wooden blind above it to disguise shelving for DVDs and other media, the TV looks built-in.
To some peoples’ eyes the TV will always be an ugly part of decorating life. But if you use a little imagination you can find a way to make the ugly work with your style and not against it.
Lisa Brandt is an author, decorating enthusiast and morning newscaster on 98.1 Free FM London. Visit her website: www.lisabrandt.ca