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November 14th, 2014


That modern Interior Design dilemma – how to disguise the television

It used to be so simple. The pulling power of a fireplace as the central focal point of the room for warmth largely determined the layout of sitting rooms across the country.

Then along came central heating, releasing the family from a huddle round the open living-room fire (sitting around a radiator was never going to be an attractive proposition). And then came along a second change that was to dominate the sitting room in a concerted and concentrated way: the television!  The television isn’t just the dominant medium of the second half of the twentieth century, but also often the object that determines the shape of a room and the direction of its furniture, particularly as the screensize has continued to increase.

1950′s families gathered around the TV as the new focal point of the sitting room

1950′s families gathered around the TV as the new focal point of the sitting room

It’s probably split us all into several camps – “those determined not to have a television in their sitting room”, “those who need one in the sitting room, but really do not want it to dominate the room” and then “the television above the fireplace camp!”

The traditional fireplace still has a lot of pulling power as the main focal point

The traditional fireplace still has a lot of pulling power as the main focal point
Image found on Houzz.com

 


Image found on Houzz.com

This blog focuses on the middle dilemma – we might love to spend our spare time watching television – or to turn our living room into a home cinema room, but that doesn’t mean we want the focal point of our living room to always be the television.

Luckily, now we have new, flat and slimline televisions, there are plenty of ways to hide a flat screen television – with a bit of imagination…

1) Create a stronger focal point to detract from the television

Artwork, or an attractive mirror make a much better focal point for any interior design scheme, than a large television. In this example the potential dominance of the television is nicely balanced by the surrounding artwork and the addition of the interesting floorlamp.

Creating alternative focal points to disguise the TV

Creating alternative focal points to disguise the TV
Image found on DomaineHome

Offsetting the television to the left in a built-in unit is another easy and inexpensive way to make sure it doesn’t dominate the room. A white television can also look great in the classic white built-in shelving unit.

TV offset to the side

TV offset to the side
Image found on dgxywl.com

2) Hide it behind a sliding panel

In certain settings another easy way to hide your television is behind sliding doors or a panel. This can work really well in period properties where the paneling already exists.

Here, a sliding panel to match the architecture of the room disguises the TV when not in use
Here, a sliding panel to match the architecture of the room disguises the TV when not in use
Image found on CentsationalGirl

3) Buy or create a cabinet

These can be traditional, modern, mechanised or fairly plain and simple. Often a local carpenter is the best option to create something bespoke that works for your setting. Here is an “in progress” shot of a traditional audio/visual unit that my carpenter is currently bespoking for a client.

Bespoke "in progress" audio visual unit

Bespoke “in progress” audio visual unit

Friends of mine use this more relaxed option with a vintage feel for disguising theirs…

Both are favourites as they keep the television at an “ideal” viewing height versus the “above the fireplace” option.

Vintage cupboard for television storage

Vintage cupboards are another option for television storage

Vintage TV cupboard, the doors could slide in?

Vintage TV cupboard, the doors could slide in?
Image found on belgianpearls.blogspot.com

4) Disguise it as a mirror or a painting

This solution has developed significantly in the last five years with both mirrors and artwork now looking very convincing when they disguise a television. Many specialists offer a large range of options for the frame and are happy to bespoke solutions. Have a look at Suera.com or Kensington Home Technology for ideas.

"Mirror Television" Image found on Pictureframe.TV

“Mirror Television”
Image found on Pictureframe.TV

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