Designing Around a Television

Last week, I placed a spotlight on televisions over the mantel as a practical design solution for including televisions in your home’s space planning.  As promised, I rounded up another group of solutions for designing around a television that do not involve a fireplace as a combined focal point.   Here are five great ideas!

1.  The Media Unit.  One of the most popular solutions for incorporating a television into everyday life is a with a media unit.  Whether it’s a freestanding piece or built-in shelving and cabinetry, a unit designed with entertainment in mind is always a smart choice.  There’s an added bonus gained storage that accompanies, for books, decorative objects, and favorite movies or games.

media built in bhg[2]


built in for tv bhg


2.  The Console.   Less bulky than a media unit is the alternative solution of mounting a flat screen above a console.  While the television takes up most of the space on the upper portion of the wall, down below there is storage for video equipment and other family necessities. 

tv above console  bhg


Choose a console that complements the style of your home, whether it’s traditional, cottage, or modern, and remember that layers of pattern, color, and texture in a space will help detract from the big black box!

tv over console bhg[4]


tv above console bhg


3.  The Niche.  This option requires advance planning, but if you’re working on a new build or remodel and want to include a place for the television, consider a recessed niche as a way to use architecture to create a frame for the television. 

niche tv mount bhg[3]


niche for flat screen


4.  The Shelf.   Smaller screens easily fit inside shelving units, especially those that are open in the back, and layering stylish objects on other shelves gives equal emphasis to meaningful decor.  Smaller screens can also be used on counters in a laundry room or kitchen to entertain while you cook and clean.

flat screen on bookshelf bhg[2]


tv on shelf


5.  The Gallery.    If you seek to minimize the dominant effect of a television in your space, one of my favorite ideas it to curate a collection of favorite artwork around the screen.  This solution allows for both entertainment and the injection of your personality through a display of personal artwork or photographs in a main living space. 

art gallery around tv bhg[3]


There are other solutions too!  Close off your television in an armoire, hide it under a piece of art; you can also disguise it or frame it like I mentioned here

What solution have you come up with in your home to design around your television?


12 Responses to “ Designing Around a Television ”

  1. Perhaps I’m the only person in the world who thinks TVs are ugly, since I have found almost no solutions to the problem of hiding our TV unless we’re actually watching it. Believe it or not, I have resisted buying a large flat screen because I don’t want to have ours visible, so we are still making do with a smaller TV that lives inside a cabinet with doors. We have a good sized, double sliding door closet that we could convert, but I would still want to be able to close doors to hide it – they would have to slide or fold away while we were watching (so no niche). We do not have space for one of the cabinets that lift and lower the TV. Any ideas would be most welcome!

  2. I decorated around my tv by creating built-ins out of pre-built furniture surrounding it. I installed a board and batten pattern that matches the rest of the room behind the television as well.

  3. Love this article! There wasn’t anyway to work in a TV well to our old family room, so we renovated the space to integrate a better view of the TV and more storage for all our other media junk…I mean media stuff. You can check out our renovation at

  4. I dont like TV’s either I have a Wall Unit (cherry),with curios on each side,has sliding doors that hide my tv..
    Close the door and curios house my pics and collection s……pretty to look

  5. Who makes the media unit in the first picture? That is exactly what we need. Not white, and not dark brown!

  6. Our flat screen TV is on a console across a corner facing out to the living area. Should I hang art work above the top of the TV on both sides of the corner, put a giant plant in the corner behind the TV, or any other suggestions?

  7. I have seen on decorating shows TVs that have a picture that covers the TV screen when it is not in use.

  8. I have to say that I don’t find TV’s ugly, I just find that they are hard to incorporate into most designs. They pretty much stand out unless they’re hidden from sight when not being used. Some great suggestions in this article, Kate.

  9. Rebecca: my friend masked her tv by making a custom frame to fit her tv in. She flips it open and it lays flat against the wall the when she is done she flips it over and it looks like a beautiful painting on a wall.

  10. just beautyful….very nice decorations..

  11. I will never have built in media unit or cabinet, I see pictures of the big square holes and think of all the money wasted on something that can now not be used with a newer flat widescreen, I just feel they are to limited and become easily dated. I like the consoles and shelves, they can be used again, and the gallery is really cute, there is little commitment to the look if you later feel that it is dated or want a change.

  12. After my comment the other day about not wanting an outdated cabinet I came across pictures of a cabinet turned into a console.

    I also don’t like the idea of building TVs into the wall; it limits your ability to move it or your seating arrangement, and possibly the size and shape of a new TV.

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