Decorating Around The TV | 20 Elegant, Inspiring Ideas

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Recently, I had a request to do a post on what to do with the durned TV? And since it’s the eve of THE biggest TV day of the year— Le Super Bowl, I thought it would be perfect timing to tackle [ahem] the beast.

It really wasn’t that long ago that decorating around the TV was not only a problem, but sometimes a really big problem. The TV was big, boxy and the only solution was to stick it in an armoire or have it sitting out on something. Remember?

southern-living-idea-houseSouthern Living Idea House

I remember in the early days of my career [mid-90’s] I found myself in many a home that seemed to be made entirely out of windows. And where there weren’t windows, there were doors or stairs. No walls. One time, on an initial meeting in one such home, I suggested to the prospective client that she consider covering up the windows flanking the fireplace. After-all, there were about 30 other windows. We could then install two matching cabinets and one could house the TV.

She looked at me like I had three heads and then I never heard from her again. haha.

However, in other projects, we did on occasion cover up a window to put in a built in. Nobody missed the window, but the pay-off was huge!

Now, of course, we have our beautiful sleek flat screens. We no longer need the bulky equipment or if we do, it can go in another room. Still, we’re not completely satisfied because now we have the option of putting the big black thing on top of the fireplace.

Focal point?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Let’s explore the options for decorating around the TV.

Or rather incorporating our TVs into our home decor.

 

20 awesome ideas decorating around tv

 

To start with, we have two obvious choices.

  1. We can see the TV at all times
  2. We have the option of hiding the TV

If we’re hiding the TV or seeing it at all times, it can still go pretty much anywhere. That’s great!

Here are some of my favorite ideas for hiding the TV over the fireplace

TV enclosure with printsBlue Egg Brown Nest

I love these folding panels using the art prints. When closed, it looks like pretty prints over the fireplace.

I am not fond of that fake art that rolls up or something like that.

rl-goins-tv-screen

Above and below is the fabulous work of Raymond [RL] Goins These are hand-painted scenes that he turns into a flat screen TV cover.  Just gorgeous and they truly are a unique work of art.

puja02

amyhowarddaily.comAmy Howard

A fabulous earthy, rustic TV surround

platt-buildersPlatt Builders

Traditional pocket doors in a built-in fireplace surround house a flat screen TV

maitland-smith-tv-cabinet_1_xLooks like a William and Mary-style highboy, right?

Nope. Not really.

By Maitland Smith

maitland-smith-tv-cabinet-2_xPretty cool, huh?

kips-bay-bunny-williams-mark-d-sikes-tv-cabinet-dining-roomBunny Williams via Mark D. Sikes

This is from the Kips Bay Showhouse from 2009. Bunny used a Victorian cabinet to house a small TV

e25909e2ff48103cf44634cb84c91519Shelterness

Another screen with art prints

katrin-cargill-tvKatrin Cargill

A free-standing cabinet perfect to house a wide-screen TV. Of course, you can use any kind of cabinet you wish. And it can even be a bookcase because we no longer have to deal with the big box. That’s a big help!

phoebe-howardPhoebe Howard

An antique Swedish or French Secretary could be used to house a TV

brooke-giannetti-tv-bookcasesGiannetti Home

Fabulous living room with a built in TV over the fireplace

mark-d-sikes-tv-libraryMark D. Sikes

I love how unobtrusive the TV is in this traditional library

lynn-nigro-lonnyLynn Nigro in Lonny

thomas-o

Thomas O’Brien

This appears to be three free-standing cabinets side-by-side

traditionalhome.com-kitchen-tv-cabinetDee Dee Taylor Eustace

This has to be one of the nicest TV installs in a kitchen I have ever seen.

da52aaf26fbc94f090ee72447dbd5980-1280x1280Anna Dorfman

Yes, I realize that there’s no TV. ;] My point here is that a dark wall is going to hide the TV far better than a pale one. That’s something to consider.

Decorating Around the TV with Art

The rest of the images will incorporate the TV into a wall of art

ContentImage-19-218409-JILLDANYELLEINTERIORDESIGNLIVINGROOMTVGALLERYARTWALL2Jill Danyelle

little-green-notebookLittle Green Notebook

Check out her tutorial on how she refinishes that Parson’s console!

coastal-living-room-furniture

Erika Powell

Coastal style. The table in the foreground is actually a ping pong table!

l4hElgt0oIbxMatthew Kowles for Lonny

IMG_3862-Reduced_zps33faf7a3Hunted Interior

A gas fireplace. I like how the black ceiling and dogs balance out the TV. The strong rug also plays into the balance of this composition. Very well-done!

hunted-tasselsHunted Interior

Table skirts are coming back! But this time they are tailored and chic!

anna-bond.comAnna Bond

This looks like a dining room but I think it’s really her office. Cool!

living-room-bronxville

My living room.

What do you do with your TV? Is it out in the open or behind closed doors?

If you watch the Super Bowl, please enjoy it. Quite frankly, despite being from Indiana, I couldn’t care less; never understood the game and don’t get its appeal. but then again, I’m sure that there are many who don’t understand why I enjoy writing a blog! :]

xo,

laurel

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  • Kim - October 30, 2016 - 8:41 PM

    Hi Laurel – this is a great post. Really beautiful ideas. One question – When you have to have the fireplace and the TV on the same wall, but don’t want to put the TV over the fireplace (because it is too high for decent viewing), any suggestions on how to handle? Thanks a lot!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 30, 2016 - 9:05 PM

      Hi Kim,

      Even if it’s too high, there is a bracket which allows the TV to tilt forward for easy viewing. Just one idea. Otherwise, without seeing the room, I wouldn’t be able to come up with a workable solution. ReplyCancel

      • Kim - October 30, 2016 - 9:07 PM

        Thanks a lot for your response Laurel. Helpful.ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - September 14, 2016 - 5:58 AM

    In term of how to hide the cables – we had a nightmare persuading our builders this could be done – they kept saying it couldn’t (typical builder response to everything pretty much) but fortunately we came across this synch box – http://www.sync-box.com – which allows you to recess the electric socket and TV ariel outlet in the wall so it’s all behind the TV – it does mean channeling cables into the wall so best done before plastering but I love how it allows the TV to float on the wall like a standalone picture (we’re in the UK but I’m sure you can get something like this for the US). We’ve also done away with our sky box and our DVD player by buying a Samsung ultra smart TV – we now buy movies and store them with Amazon Prime and can watch everything being shown on TV when we want using the on demand services we have here in the UK. So the TV is on the wall by itself with two pretty chairs either side of it. If I’d had the budget I would have invested in a mirror TV and put a console under it, but the chairs are more of a feature and as it just floats by itself it all looks very pretty – absolutely no cables!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 14, 2016 - 8:32 PM

      Hi Kathryn,

      Yes, we have all of that here too. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • carol - September 13, 2016 - 4:31 PM

    This is a late post so no-one may see it. I don’t get in any of these photos where the TV is not in a cabinet where the cable box is. The TVs over the fireplace or mounted amongst art work still need a cable box or a DVD or whatever. Found this while searching for TV cabinets or armoires and I like the secretary idea the best. The fold down (for writing letters, ha) could be where you store the cable box and dvd. Will start looking for those. But I’d love to have someone weigh in on where the extra tv paraphernalia is hidden.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 13, 2016 - 7:10 PM

      Hi Carol,

      Laurel here. I see everything! haha.

      In this day and age the cable box can be in the next room, but of course, you’ll need an AV guy to hook it all up. It often goes in an adjacent closet. Or it can be anywhere in the house, I believe. That is not my area of expertise, but I have seen it done this way.

      And even DVDs are dying out.ReplyCancel

  • Margaret Meara - September 1, 2016 - 4:51 AM

    I found this information very helpful. The designs are beautiful and extremely functional. TV is part of our lives but I am of the old school and find them, and their components, rather unattractive. The ideas for concealing them when not in use are excellent, particularly the distractive elements around the cabinets themselves…all integrated into the whole. Loved it! Thank you, Laurel (I am not a decorator but have always enjoyed making my living space workable and yet, beautiful.)ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - September 1, 2016 - 10:18 PM

      I’m glad that you enjoyed it Margaret. Thanks for stopping by!ReplyCancel

  • Amy Gladstein - August 28, 2016 - 2:38 PM

    Been inhaling your blog these past few weeks but I am a bit stumped by this installment. Are these rooms where the TV is an afterthought? I don’t see how you can sit and watch them in any of the photos! I love some of the hiding places but how often does a household hide a TV in a family room? More and more people are watching less and less TV on actual televisions but when they do, they are bigger and bigger….ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 28, 2016 - 11:14 PM

      Hi Amy,

      No, not an afterthought at all. And you’d be surprised. Many of my clients do want the option of hiding the TV but you will notice that not all are hidden.

      Since you don’t like any of them do you have a better idea? I’m open to suggestions.

      ReplyCancel

      • Amy - August 31, 2016 - 9:04 PM

        I very much like the design of most of them and YOURS in particular. I was thinking more about the funtionality of the television itself. Even the rooms where the tv is in full view, it doesn’t seem watchable.. But what do I care, I work in the radio business!!! I am in the process of painting my house so when my Amoy room is done, I will try to remember to upload it for you.ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - August 31, 2016 - 9:41 PM

          haha! That’s funny Amy. Some guy just wrote me and wanted to know how to make a big TV less noticeable. I told him to paint the room dark and you’ll hardly notice the TV!ReplyCancel

  • Margaret Meara - May 23, 2016 - 2:47 PM

    Can you tell me the manufacturer of these wonderful yellow chairs in your living room?ReplyCancel

  • Susan - February 11, 2016 - 7:35 AM

    There is a TV in the Anna Dorfman room and it’s silver–hiding out, in the open. That’s pretty much genius design, imho.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - February 11, 2016 - 9:55 AM

      Holy crap!!! You are right! Hiding out in the open! But it’s also a testament to the fact that a dark wall really does hide the big black screen so much better! Good catch, Susan!ReplyCancel

  • anne davis - August 26, 2015 - 5:45 PM

    Great post, as usual. I have an issue with a TV that I can’t seem to solve. I’m moving to a larger apt. with an alcove for the bed. I watch TV in bed late at night. I want a TV that sits in an open bookcase so I can turn it 180 degrees. But where do all those cables go. Hiding TV cables seems to be an ongoing issue with me.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 27, 2015 - 9:24 AM

      Hi Anne,

      By open, do you mean the back is open, like an etagere? If there’s a back, a hole can be created in the back for the wires to slip through and voila, they’re gone. If no back, that is another matter. I googled it and hit images and here’s the link. There are lots of articles written about how to do this, so maybe one of them will work for you.

      http://bit.ly/1EkKqGnReplyCancel

  • Shannon - February 8, 2015 - 7:24 PM

    We have a tv cabinet that looks like a sideboard where the tv is on a track so it can be exposed or lowered inside. It’s nice to be able to tuck it away when we’re having company or a party.

    By the way, here’s your missing source for the photo above – Erika Powell at Urban Grace Interiors.
    http://urbangrace.com/#!/images/our-work/portfolio/46ReplyCancel

  • Janet Barclay - February 5, 2015 - 4:45 PM

    Our TV is out in the open, but I have to say that I LOVE the photos where it’s hidden behind artwork! Your blog really makes me see how much my place needs a major do-over…ReplyCancel

  • Laurel Bern - February 5, 2015 - 2:29 PM

    J’adore Phoebe. I don’t know why, but Phoebe Howard makes me wanna speak French. lol

    Oh, I have a TV in my bedroom too! Quite frankly, I could live in my bedroom and now that I have a macbook… well, never mind. ;]

    I think it’s best to have a black ceiling in a room with at least a nine foot high wall. Ironically, of course, the dark ceiling will make the ceiling appear even higher. But on a lower ceiling might feel too heavy.ReplyCancel

  • Autumn Leopold - February 5, 2015 - 1:53 PM

    I love that room by Phoebe Howard as well!ReplyCancel

  • Autumn Leopold - February 5, 2015 - 1:50 PM

    So many great ideas and I love that black ceiling! I would never have the courage to do that! I also love putting art around a TV as well. I may use that idea in my bedroom (yes, I have a TV in my bedroom that we rarely use).ReplyCancel

  • Sheri' DeGeer - February 2, 2015 - 11:28 PM

    Your living room gets my vote!!! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - February 2, 2015 - 1:09 PM

    Brilliant post! I love nearly all of these ideas… except the table skirt lolReplyCancel

  • Kathryn - February 1, 2015 - 3:07 PM

    I love the idea of using a collection of prints to make a pretty screen over a console so it’s not too high up. Your room is the best! Thanks for all the inspirationReplyCancel

  • E - February 1, 2015 - 11:33 AM

    Love the many ideas for concealing the medium we can’t do without. And agree too regarding the Superbowl, just don’t get it.ReplyCancel

  • Vickie @Blanche & Kate Design - February 1, 2015 - 11:01 AM

    So many inspiring ideas for mounting that thing we can’t live without. I loved the Mark Sikes space and, like you, that kitchen installation was fab!ReplyCancel