When designing a room, the television always seems to be “the elephant in the room”. You want it there and you want to be comfortable to sit and watch it, yet you don’t want to design your entire room around it. What do you do? Try to hide it? Make it inconspicuous? My advice is that it’s there to stay, so let’s just work with it!
Unless we are creating a true media room where the only function of the room is to watch the screen, we need to take all of the room’s functions into consideration. What else is the room used for? Family gatherings? Reading nooks? Children’s play areas? What about a television in the kitchen or the bedroom or bath??
Here are my 5 Tips to Designing WITH Your Television…
1. DO mount your television at eye level. Whether it is directly on the wall or on top of a TV console, do your neck a favor and hang it at a comfortable height! Why bother putting it in the room if it’s not going to be comfortable to watch? I’ve seen too many people watching a TOO big TV that is TOO high and you are sitting TOO close!
2. DO make use of creative storage options. This only works if the doors open and close conveniently and preferably self store when open. You don’t want your guests having to dodge around the swinging open doors of your “secret” TV hideout! Be creative! I’ve used chests as coffee tables that have a top that raises to reveal a television!
3. DO incorporate the television into a bookshelf or wall unit. (If it’s at eye level!)
Or, use some pictures and curate around it! Sometime you just have to “own” the television and put it on the best wall for viewing. Making a gallery wall including the television helps to make it look like it belongs there. I am not a fan of the trend to “frame” the television. Putting a picture frame around a television does not turn it into a pretty picture!!
4. DO put it over a mantel.
Okay, this one is a little tricky. I usually recommend against mounting a television over a mantel unless it’s a last resort. That being said, there are a few good reasons to do it – very often a mantel is a room’s focal point, so this just gives it a dual focal point! A few things to watch out for if you choose to go this route: Make sure the mantel is not over 4 feet. The viewing angle over 4 feet is just too high (and 4′ is even a stretch!) Also, make sure the heat and smoke from the fireplace will not damage your television!
5. DO make sure that you are sitting at the correct viewing distance for the size of the television.
Okay, time to do some math. Proper TV viewing is 1.5-2 times the size of the DIAGONAL measure of the TV. For example, if you have a 42″ on the diagonal you should be sitting 5-7′ from the television.
What other design dilemmas do you have? Send us a picture and maybe we can help!