Decorating with a TV

wall storage
Today, the television has become the focal point for most family rooms. We've got ideas for placement, surrounding decor, and how to store those unsightly components in a great-looking way.

Fresh Frames

Most modern televisions are placed at a focal point in the living or family room. Mount a sharp-looking frame around the screen to lend America’s favorite evening companion a touch of class. Add a coat of paint to the frame to brighten up the black screen during off hours. You can hit the antique shop for a weathered frame, shop craft store sales for the right fit, or simply build your own (home store lumber departments will cut the wood for you).

Classic Built-ins

If you don’t want the house television to dominate the whole living room, consider incorporating it into a classic wall of built-in shelving -- this corner design allows both the TV and the fireplace to take front and center with just the swivel of a chair. Televisions come in standard sizes, so even if you upgrade to that swanky new smart TV, you’ll be able to switch it out easily assuming you don’t take a huge leap in size. Baskets, drawers, and shelving camouflage components.

Eclectic Mix

If your television is just one of the many things you like to look at on the wall, why not add it to a whole eclectic roundup of art pieces? Mount shelves and framed prints on the wall, including photography, watercolors, and funky found frames you can brighten up with a poppy color. Then, add in the TV as if the square shape is just another piece of work to fit into the mix.

TVs and Fireplaces

It's grown popular to mount the television over a fireplace mantle (check with the manufacturer that it's safe to place your set there. Fireplace heat doesn't make much of a difference on the wall above, so you should be fine). We love the added flair of the hinged beaded-board doors around the flatscreen.

Hidden TV

Maybe you don’t use the television often. Or, you want it out of the way to encourage conversation. Perhaps you just don’t like the look of a giant black square on the wall. To solve each of these design problems, you can mount a panel on sliding doors to obscure your TV while you’re not digging into your favorite show. You can also recess the television into the wall and mount a photo on a hinge to hide it.

Shelving Surround

If built-in isn’t in your budget, lots of home stores sell modular shelving that you can build around your own custom entertainment center design. With this solution, you can fill the space with more than just a black box, adding in some color and personality with books, art, found objects, and plants.

Corner Cabinet

Make good use of one of the most underutilized parts of a standard room layout -- the corner -- and save the prime real estate for books, conversation, or the fireplace. You can tuck away the television in a cozy corner, with either a wall-mounted unit or a freestanding floor model. Add books, personal art, pottery, and other personal touches to make this your own cozy viewing nook.

Second Fiddle

Don’t be afraid to make the television a minor player in the room. This family room is used for more than just watching TV, so the set is tucked away in the corner where they can pull up a chair and watch whenever they’d like without the technology dominating the room when guests are over and conversation is flowing. Note how the art on the right of the fireplace balances the walls nicely, and the gorgeous mirror flanked by the black hanging lights brings the look together nicely. Plenty of personal details in a room prevent the TV from taking over the design.

Hide the Details

When you mount a flatscreen television on the wall, remember that's only half the storage solution. You'll need space to place the components such as your AppleTV or DVD player, and you'll want to hide those ugly cords and wires. A simple shelf might be your solution -- a place to mount the bulkier components -- then place a cute cart or storage unit below for hiding wires and storing games and movies.

Picture This

Your screen shouldn't be the most prominent piece on the wall, even if it is a large screen. Mount a line of shelves along the wall above or below, and fill them with family photos, trip mementos, plants, antiques, and anything else that reminds viewers of their life outside the screen world.

Hide the Wires

You don't have to open up a wall just to hide a tangle of entertainment center wires -- not with so many great-looking storage containers on the market these days. If you don't have a media center with handy shelving and holes for the wiring, you can craft your own solution with woven baskets, available at most home or crafts stores. If the weave is wide enough, you can snake wires inside through the bottom, and plug into the outlet below -- or even above -- your television set.

Set It Down

Though wall-mounting a flat screen is all the rage, there's still a whole lot of design mileage to be had from placing your TV on a great-looking entertainment center. Here’s where you can get creative, too: Consider adding a new coat of paint and some custom holes to snake out the wires on a thrift-store dresser, armoire, or vintage metal gym lockers. It's a custom look, and the ultimate form of recycling.

On Occasion

If you only watch television on special occasions, consider hidden TV storage. A concealed panel inside this window seat opens and a TV pulls out. For an off-the-shelf solution, place your set on a rolling cabinet or casters, so you can wheel it out of the room into a closet or other storage space. That way, you can use the room for all sorts of purposes, and there's no dedicated space that's always eaten up by the tube.

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