How To Make Your TV Wires Disappear Once and For All

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Hey Everyone,

A lot of you have been asking me how to make their TV Wires Disappear

And, while we’re at it; the TV. Let’s make that disappear too.

You know… we’ve become so spoiled.

Cue the flashback effect……..

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Remember this?

“You’ve come a long way baby…

to get to where ya got to todaaaaay…

you’ve got your own cigarette, now babeeee…

You’ve come a long, long waaaay….

Yes, indeed. If you have no idea what I’m talking about. It means that you were born after 1965 and missed out on a lot of fun. But, we can make up for that. (you must watch the link below)

Here… a little extra fun while you’re sitting on the beach.

Don’t forget your Metracal! hehe… but just for lunch!

You see, for me, it all hearkens back to the big ol’ box.

Black and white, of course.

Well, today, we don’t have to deal with that issue anymore.

A TV can go anywhere. But you already know that much. But, it’s never enough, is it? ;]

Folks often ask me…

Well… what do you do with all of the wires? How do you make them disappear?

How should I know? You call an AV (audio visual) guy. That’s how I do it.

It’s electricity and I don’t mess with that.

The wires go in the wall, or get snaked through furniture. But you need a pro to do that.

In the meantime, we do have a big flat black thing on the wall.

 

So, how do we make the TV disappear too?

 

My mother said it so well…

It’s like a marshmallow in the snow.

Or in this case, a piece of licorice in a tar pit.

Sorry; it’s late.

In other words, to make the TV less obtrusive, the wall gets painted a dark color.

 

Neal Family Room - Make The TV Disappear

Like this room we did NINE years ago!

I mean, is that easy or what?

 

But, what if I don’t want to have my entire room dark, Laurel?

 

Well, it depends.

I’m not big on accent walls for no good reason.

But, a TV in front of a wall is a good reason. ;]

 

Here’s an example of a dark accent wall over a fireplace. There’s no TV, but there could be.

What’s interesting is that when I first looked at the image, I thought that was an opening on either side, but those are mirrors! The rest of the walls in this room are white.

Another version of a TV on a dark wall with an art wall surround via West Elm.

I made my own TV art wall using art from Artfully Walls.

I love this company! They have a nifty app that lets you pick the art or you can use their suggestions. And then you can move it around the wall as you see fit. Genius idea and very easy to use.

And I just discovered a gorgeous collection of Art on Anthropologie by Artfully Walls. So pretty!

I took it a little further and took my wall off-site (picmonkey.com) and put in a cool antique buffet I found on Chairish.

Also, please check out Minted. They also have a very cool collection of beautiful original art prints.

 

Williams Sonoma Home

William Sonoma Home

 

(Oh! Sorry to interrupt, but it looks like they’ve continued their huge sale for one more day. All of the W-S brands including Pottery Barn and West Elm)

 

Or, you could put the TV in a bookcase and paint the back of the bookcase a deeper color.

 

Barbara Westbrook

Someone asked me what to do when one doesn’t want to put the TV over the fireplace.

Good question!

Well, we need to go back to 1998 when we were still putting the TVs inside armoires.

Yes, it’s off to one side, in this case. Love that painting over the fireplace mantel!

But, remember the ol’ TV swivel? That works.

 

And here are a bunch of pretty pieces to put a TV over, in or on.

 

We have choices now. Thank God!

 

 

And for a lot more ideas about what to do with your TV, please enjoy a post from quite a while back. There are lots of great ideas here.

And this idea blew me away!

Please enjoy the rest of your weekend and/or vacay.

****And also, please don’t forget to check out the hot sales pages.***

There’s a new gorgeous bed and bath page

And for those interested, I updated the clothes too. Lots of pretty new things for late summer into fall…

Yeah… I know… I know…

xo,

  • Diane - September 2, 2017 - 11:22 AM

    Hi Laurel! I love your blog. I only recently discovered it and can’t get enough of it. Can we talk about other wires and light switches and outlets? Specifically lamp wires. How to hide them? I can’t stand seeing wires hanging under tables or along the floor etc. I have a lamp on my mantle that I love but the wire hangs down along the wall. I understand this is a first world problem but still. And outlets? Say you paint your room a beautiful deep color then you have these tacky white outlets and light switches glaring at you. What do you professionals do about this?
    Maybe this could be another post. I hope you’re feeling better, after your recent health issues.
    Best wishes
    DianeReplyCancel

  • Lorri - August 30, 2017 - 2:04 PM

    As someone with neck issues, a TV placed high doesn’t work for my neck health. I once saw a study that said the optimal viewing position is at eye level or slightly below.

    I really like TVs on consoles because they are at eye level and the wires are hidden behind the console. Love the idea of a darker paint on the walls.

    Bunny Williams says that people should put the TV in their living room and not hide them away in a small room. She says if it isn’t in the living room, then you will never use your living room.

    I don’t know. I’m sensitive to sound, so I don’t want to sit in the living room and be forced to listen to someone’s loud sporting event. If it’s in a room, I could close the door and be in peace in the living room. I also prefer TV seating to be facing the TV head on, and that would look insane in living room intended for conversation.

    The issue of what room to put the TV, assuming you have a choice, would make a great blog post.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 30, 2017 - 4:54 PM

      Hi Lorri,

      Everyone is different and has different needs/expectations. So, while you don’t like the TV up high and others have said that it’s no good, maybe for some it’s not. They might be laying down and looking up. Maybe the TV is on a bracket designed to be seen from a lower position.

      Or possibly, they live alone and conversation isn’t an issue.

      I don’t believe in right or wrong when it comes to things like this because the second I say this way is wrong, someone’s going to refute it. And quite frankly, I believe that everyone is right.

      My job is to give options and then folks can make up their own minds which option works best for them, including which rooms. I’ve had clients who have a TV in virtually every room.

      That’s their business. :]ReplyCancel

  • Eileen - August 28, 2017 - 3:00 PM

    A crazy thing just occurred to me and I may try it. Have been wanting a TV in my living room which we would seldom watch, just when we have company (otherwise it’s the TV in the bedroom we watch and only in the evening). I’d like it to disappear not just for appearance, but so that it isn’t a temptation to turn it on randomly.

    I have a fireplace with a deep mantel, and a great big oil painting is propped against the mantel simply because we haven’t finished painting and we haven’t re-hung all our artwork. Painting is in a minimal wood frame and not very heavy. It really looks ok just leaning on the mantel. I could install a TV on the wall behind it that is a little smaller than the painting. Lean the painting against the wall on the mantel and cover it up (well, except in a side view). Then put the painting on the floor, leaning against the wall, when I want to watch TV.

    The only thing that doesn’t work is the electrical cord. The outlet isn’t very close. I suppose the TV could be unplugged most of the time though.ReplyCancel

  • Susan Davis - August 28, 2017 - 9:46 AM

    Laurel,
    Answered my own post on what I missed, at least I think so! Thanks for being such a great designer!ReplyCancel

  • Susan Davis - August 28, 2017 - 9:44 AM

    Dear Laurel,
    I think I missed something. The last post I got was that you were going to be gone a while, and now you are back? Great news! Love your posts…but have I missed any posts and how can I find them?
    Love Gentleman’s Gray!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 28, 2017 - 11:52 AM

      Hi Susan,

      No, that wasn’t me who said that they were going to be gone for a while.

      But… it’s possible that you were not getting posts because it was discovered after I found my own email from the blog (yes, I subscribe too!) in freaking SPAM!

      Looooooonnng story short. We had to go through incredible machinations to “authenticate” the list. Don’t ask. Just don’t. It’s beyond absurd. And what irks me the most, is that I’m adhering to the rules 100% unlike the zillions of spammers who purchase lists.

      The upshot is that hopefully, all of the emails that I pay for, will end up in their recipients in box.

      And yes, I pay for every subscriber whether they receive the email or not. They do receive it, but it’s in their spam folder which is like not receiving it!ReplyCancel

      • Susan Davis - August 30, 2017 - 10:18 PM

        Thank you for your reply…..actually I was thinking you were going away for awhile aka the blog I received, was that you were getting a new kitchen…that is where my emails from your site fell off the grid….so, is there a new kitchen in your future or is that spam too…..curious.
        Thanks
        SusanReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - August 30, 2017 - 10:35 PM

          Hi Susan,

          Oh dear. To be clear. You have not nor will you ever receive any spam emails from me. My email subscription list is 100% opt-in only meaning that everyone on it subscribed of their own accord.

          The spam issue is quite complex and technical but has absolutely nothing to do with anything I’ve done. It has everything to do with people who purchase email lists and then send out emails to people who did not sign up for them. However, I worked with mailchimp to hopefully come up with a cure to the fact that many of my emails were being sent to spam even though they are not. It is a very common problem for all bloggers, no matter what. If everyone would adhere to the rules, then there would not be a problem. But too many do not.

          As for the kitchen, I am not sure if I can handle that right now. If you go back to mid-July, you’ll see why. (look for the hospital curtain)ReplyCancel

  • GL - August 28, 2017 - 5:50 AM

    Well, Laurel, I too have a revolutionary suggestion. Don’t have a TV. That deals with the problem with no expense whatsoever. We’ve never had one and never missed it.

    For those who have to have one, I’ve only ever seen two good ways of making the thing disappear visually. One is Patina Farm’s method of putting it in a niche which is then covered by folding panels of Gracie chinoiserie wallpaper. The other is the blog The Endearing Home’s solution of having pretty well all black and white decor — black & white buffalo check curtains, occasional furniture with creamy-white base and dark wood tops, black and white media centre stand with black TV on top, and black, grey & white artwork above that, black frames with white mats or small-scale prints for other art above a black and white fireplace, a dark almost-black leather sofa, and so on. (I think the decor has changed since, and is now less effective at making the TV part of the scheme.) The other essential is not to put the TV on the fireplace wall at all — as one of your readers says, it spoils the atmosphere of the fireplace anyway.ReplyCancel

  • Eleanor - August 27, 2017 - 7:20 PM

    I nabbed a gorgeous armoire off Craigslist for the tv…I love the idea of painting the back of it dark to minimize the tv since it is open much of the time. I am planning on painting it eventually anyway since the wood tone clashes with other woodtones in the room. I was reading about mounting ours over the fireplace previously and discovered two products that might help someone who does decide to do it. Mantle mount is a product that brings the tv down when you want to watch, preventing the neck/spine issues that can come about because of having it too high. I have heard PTs I work with voice concerns about this. If your room and tv are big enough, then you may not need this. Next, Ballards makes a lovely wall cabinet for Tvs.ReplyCancel

  • Camille Bock - August 27, 2017 - 3:39 PM

    Laurel what paint color is that in your room from nine years ago just gorgeous! ThanksReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 27, 2017 - 4:38 PM

      Hi Camille,

      Well… I’ve been asked this before and the truth is I don’t remember. And don’t have a record of it anywhere. And this is the other thing. Blue is very difficult to photograph sometimes and the photos were quite dark, so I had to color-correct like mad and brighten a lot.

      On my PC, the colors looked even more washed out. On my mac, the old photos that I edited look super yellow.

      So, I don’t know what you are seeing. But… the blues in the fabric and rug had a fair amount of green in them. Not enough that you would ever say that they are teal, but on the warmer side of blue as opposed to an indigo which has more red in it.

      BTW, I see this ALL the time, where people call Indigo a blue that has green in it. It’s not. That’s Cerulean Blue. And this leans towards that. Indigo is a blue that veers towards purple slightly.

      So, I usually say that this is either Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue or Gentleman’s Gray. These are grayed down Cerulean blues and both gorgeous. The latter is not gray at all. They are both in my paint collection. Of course, please always, always test before painting, because color is light dependent.ReplyCancel

  • Caroline @ The Hyphenated Home - August 27, 2017 - 12:06 PM

    I truly hate TVs over fireplaces. For those who like TV, it makes the TV much too high to watch comfortably. For those who like room decor, I feel like no matter how beautiful the fireplace is, the TV completely takes away from it and makes it feel like a compromise. Over a console table as part of a gallery wall is definitely the best place to go, or as part of a bookcase/library situation.ReplyCancel

    • Ruth - August 27, 2017 - 8:58 PM

      This. A thousand times this. The over-the-fireplace ‘solution’ for the television must die.
      I’m convinced that even if it’s off, and are actually having a conversation, people would still glance up to see what’s on. It’s just like having a phone out on the desk, even face down, which increases distraction (Seriously, there’s research on this with students. They retain less info.)ReplyCancel

  • sharon s - August 27, 2017 - 11:48 AM

    I hate seeing a tv…..I am now back to the hydraulic lift idea in a console. Also loved what brooke giannetti did with the tv behind a gracie wallpaper applied to panels.ReplyCancel

  • Joanna - August 27, 2017 - 11:21 AM

    I choice to not put my tv over the fireplace because I think the mantel is the focus and star of the room. Instead, I put my tv over a media centre that has slat doors ( Pottery Barn). When closed, you don’t see all the accouterments of your media world. I bought the thinnest tv possible so it’s flat to the wall and had the wires feed through the wall so none are in sight. Now, the tv in my great room in no longer a source of contention between hubby & I.ReplyCancel

  • Cat Robson - August 27, 2017 - 11:17 AM

    Yep, mirror TVs are ‘a thing’ and they get my vote. Another favorite of mine are TV lift cabinets – sideboard style cabinets with a lift that brings up the screen when you need it and lowers it when you don’t.

    Thanks, Laurel!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 27, 2017 - 11:21 AM

      Hi Cat,

      I have seen those TVs in cabinets. One thing though. You can’t have anything on top of the cabinet, or you have to move it, of course. ReplyCancel

      • Joanna - August 27, 2017 - 9:21 PM

        Lift tv cabinets are a great idea although they do limit the size of your tv. We had one for our 45″ but when my hubby wanted a larger one (64″) we had to move it onto the wall. 1 cabinet lift for sale….😉ReplyCancel

  • Jen - August 27, 2017 - 11:17 AM

    Installing a wall mounted tv can be problematic if over a fireplace. At least in my area, fire safety regulations prevent cable installers from doing a wall fish near a fireplace. It’s a poor choice ergonomically, and I’m not aesthetically drawn to a tv as the focal point.

    I’ve had success with art near the tv. A Rothko print that echoed the dark rectangle shape of the tv was a nice pairing.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 27, 2017 - 11:19 AM

      Hi Jen,

      I guess, the fireplace wall, could be furred out with sheet rock and then the wires won’t be going near any flames. I can understand why that could be a fire hazard otherwise.

      And now, with the new art TV’s we can have our TV and watch it too! lolReplyCancel

  • Nancy Randolph - August 27, 2017 - 11:11 AM

    OMG, Metracal! You made my day….ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 27, 2017 - 11:18 AM

      I know… I nearly died. Remember the metracal cookies? hahahaha I didn’t finish watching it. It was a bit strange. ReplyCancel

  • Andrea Martone - August 27, 2017 - 11:09 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    We’ve been fortunate to be able to use a tech company located here in Westchester to run all the tv equipment to a special cabinet in the basement and no wires show for our big family room tv.
    I did want to let you know about a fabulous new tv by Samsung that I’m installing next month in my formal living room above my fireplace .
    It’s called “the Frame”. It lays flat on the wall and looks like a painting – you can actually select matted “artwork” to appear when you’re not watching. Take look. It’s a game changer.

    Love your blog !ReplyCancel

    • Phyllis E - August 27, 2017 - 4:41 PM

      Yes–That is the tv I was talking about in my post below (I was the first to post a comment here, late last night (actually in the wee hours of the morning here on the east coast–I had trouble sleeping, ha, ha!) I think you are so right about its being a “game changer”, Andrea! I predict that years from now, we will all have similar types of TV’s, that turn into art when they are off, and we will be laughing and wondering how we ever put up with those ugly “big black holes” on our walls!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 27, 2017 - 12:34 PM

      Hi Andrea,

      I’ll need to check out the Samsung. There have been companies that have done the art over the TV as a retro fit. This sounds like it might be different? Or at least, it comes with the TV from the getgo.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 27, 2017 - 11:16 AM

      Hi Andrea,

      I just checked it out. Looks great! They are quite expensive for some people. But I guess not as bad as some options. I love the gold frame I saw on one of them.ReplyCancel

  • Carole Baker - August 27, 2017 - 7:26 AM

    Seems to me that a TV over a fireplace mantle is too high for comfortable viewing. Can’t watch for too long without getting a crick in the neck. So, isn’t it better to have the TV not so high off the floor? I prefer that the oh so intrusive, big black screen, staring out of the wall, is camouflaged. TV’s invariably dominate a room. But, how to do this?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 27, 2017 - 11:06 AM

      Hi Carole,

      There’s a bracket that tilts the TV forward for comfortable viewing. I did not know that some 12 years ago when flat screens were just becoming affordable for everyone. ReplyCancel

  • Margot - August 27, 2017 - 3:32 AM

    Would be interested to learn and see more about mirror-faced TV screens and how designers integrate them into rooms.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 27, 2017 - 11:04 AM

      Hi Margot,

      I have not heard of this, but then, there would need to be a pretty frame around the TV too. I need to look into that. Not sure that I see that happening! But who knows?ReplyCancel

  • Phyllis E - August 27, 2017 - 1:40 AM

    Laurel- I recently stumbled across a new tv by Samsung that might make some of the aesthetic problems of the “big black hole on the wall” tvs a thing of the past; it is called the Frame TV, and, when not in use, it looks like a framed piece of art, (supposedly!) An idea whose time is long overdue!! ( maybe you could link it to Amazon (where I think I first saw it) for affiliate sales; you’d probably a bundle, lol!)

    Years ago I saw a show on hgtv where Candace Olson installed some sort of expensive glass/ mirror system over the tv– I think it was a mirror when the tv was off and then was seee-through glass when you watched tv. I’ve never heard of that system since. Have you ever heard of that?

    I personally detest seeing tvs above fireplaces– they are just too uncomfortably high up there and they destroy all the old world charm and ambiance of a fireplace to me. Just the fact that you (and other designers) would even recommend the option of painting the wall behind the tv black so that you don’t notice the tv as much SAYS IT ALL- – the darn tv is ugly, lol!! However maybe this new Samsung Frame tv will change some of that!! (But I say it is still too high above a fireplace!!)ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - August 27, 2017 - 11:02 AM

      Hi Phyllis,

      They have had such a TV for a while now but I don’t think it was inherent in the TV model. This sounds like something different. I’ll need to check it out.

      As for the height, what you’re supposed to do if it’s too high for comfortable viewing is put it on a bracket that allows the TV to tilt forward. Problem solved. They sure do think of everything. Sometimes. ;]ReplyCancel

      • Phyllis E - August 27, 2017 - 4:33 PM

        Yes, the Frame is different from what you are thinking of, I believe. It has a different lighting effect in the “art mode” so that it looks like a real matted art, photograph, or a painting–it isn’t supposed to look just like you are showing a slide up on the tv. And it comes with a real wood frame and is mounted more closely to the wall. They had some famous designer design it. It does look like real artwork in the photos and videos–not like a slide on a tv. (I think the Kindle “paper white” has some sort of similar technology; mine does look more like real paper.)

        Right now, it is pretty pricey, but I imagine, as with all things technology, the price will come down each year and other companies will jump on the band wagon.ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - August 27, 2017 - 4:39 PM

          Thanks again Phyllis for the info. I always learn from you guys too!ReplyCancel