Smart Ways to Hide Your TV

January 23, 2015

Smart Ways to Hide Your TV

I grew up wanting my MTV, binging on Saturday morning cartoons, and counting the moments until next week’s installment of “Melrose Place.” Though my taste in shows has changed, my love of watching TV has not. Still, that doesn’t mean I want to give my humongous flat-screen any more visual prominence in the living room than it already has. I could offer lots of virtuous reasons for my decision — I don’t want my family to turn into couch potatoes, for starters — but really, it comes down to aesthetics. Though fabulously tricked out, our 52-inch set is ugly.

Luckily, a well-designed room and a big TV can coexist. To help to find the happy balance, I turned to Bay Area-designer Sarah Coombs. Here are her expert tips on minimizing the appearance of (or outright hiding) your flat-screen.

Option #1: Cover it up.

Fact: The easiest way to take the focus off of your TV is to hide it, and the easiest way to hide it is to put something in front of it. Your options are wide open. If you’re a DIYer, try installing interesting-looking panels or doors that close so that you can conceal the set in between your “Real Housewives” marathons, or hang a removable piece of art in front of the TV. Coombs suggests this even easier option: Just hang a large pull-down map above the TV and yank it down when company comes over. “Bonus style points here for creating a hip, vintage vibe, too,” she adds.

Don’t know a drill bit from a dowel? Either place a decorative screen in front of the TV, or stash the set inside of a larger piece of furniture with doors, like an armoire.

Option #2: Embrace black.

Not every homeowner wants to go through the trouble of tucking away the TV when downplaying it can get the job done. If you plan on leaving your television set visible, try embracing it and its jet-black frame and screen.

Coombs suggests painting the wall the TV is against a dark color, like a deep blue or ebony. It’ll double as camouflage. “Even if you don’t do dark paint or wallpaper on your walls, be sure to incorporate black into your room somewhere, say through textiles, lamps or art,” she adds. “That big black screen will feel more purposeful if there’s black in your overall color scheme.”

Option #3: Work the TV into the room.

Sometimes it’s best to go with the path of least resistance. In this case, that means arranging the room so the TV feels like a natural part of the decor. To do this, Coombs includes an oversized wall-mounted flat-screen as an element in a gallery wall and surrounds it with other similarly shaped objects, like framed artwork.

Some creative homeowners have even hung an ornate frame around the TV, effectively turning it into a piece of wall art. If you go the TV-as-art route, Coombs suggests placing a table below the set that holds decorative objects, like plants, vases, or sculptures. “Those objects will make the TV recede visually, and give you something pleasant to look at, too,” she explains. “There’s no need to stick to standard TV cabinets, either. Any good-looking console will do.”

For TVs on a stand, consider prettying up the surrounding space: think a spiffy-looking cabinet or table to set it on, visually interesting objects on either side (Coombs like bookcases), and some wall art above. “The object here is to give your eyes a lot to look at, so you won’t focus on the TV,” she says.

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