In years past, there were three posts about how to hide the TV and one that focused more on the TV technology. So, the three posts are now two posts. Please enjoy the technology post here, which is very funny, especially if you watch the video near the top of the post.
Since television became widespread in the 1950s, hiding the TV has been a common decorating issue.
Before I go on, there is a related post that covers much of the history of TV and its innovations – through 2022. And it also has some ideas about how to hide the TV. It’s a sister post.
However, this post focuses on how to hide the TV and sometimes decorate around the TV.
Often the best and easiest way to hide the TV is to hide it in plain sight.
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. ;]
In other words, the wall gets painted a dark color to make the TV less obtrusive.
The idea is to make the TV blend into the surroundings. So, let’s begin with that idea.
From a job I did in Chappaqua, NY, in 2008! The Wall color is Benjamin Moore – Gentleman’s Gray, one of the Laurel Home Paint Collection colors.
@VanessaDeighton – Instagram – hidden TV in plain view
It wasn’t that long ago that decorating around the TV was not only a problem but sometimes a huge problem. The TV was big and boxy, and the only solution was to stick it in an armoire or have it sitting out on something. Remember?
I remember in the early days of my career (the mid-90s), 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– or it was open. No walls.
One time, during an initial meeting in such a home, I suggested to the prospective client that she consider covering up the windows and 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. I believe I mentioned another prospective client around the same time, who looked at me with just as many heads.
However, in other projects, occasionally, we covered up a window to put in a built-in. Nobody missed the window, but the payoff was huge!
Now, of course, we have our beautiful sleek flat screens.
There’s even a new TV that rolls up. Again, please go to the post (The living room TV as we know it is over) to check out the rolling TV and read what I think about it.
We no longer need the bulky equipment; if we do, it can go to 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.
Maybe. Maybe not.
Let’s get to the good stuff and look at various ways to hide the TV.
Fabulous living room with a built-in TV over the fireplace. They could do a Samsung Frame TV in the niche. They could also’ve done bi-fold or sliding doors. But, this is fine too.
See what the Giannettis did in their own home. It’s astonishing!
Below is another TV that is hidden in plain sight.
I love how unobtrusive the TV is in this traditional library.
Let’s explore other options for hiding or decorating around the TV.
Here are some of my favorite ideas for hiding the TV over the fireplace
I love these folding panels using the art prints. When closed, it looks like pretty prints over the fireplace.
Another screen with art prints
And one more with the same idea.
McKinley Residence, designer, Suzanne Kasler, Atlanta, GA – via Southern Living
And another view when the screen is shut.
I have long admired the work of Raymond (RL) Goins.
Raymond [RL] Goins These are hand-painted scenes that he turns into a flat-screen TV cover.
@NivenBreen on instagram hide the TV @RLgoins
Another view of the same gorgeous room.
Raymond Goins Design – via Facebook – gorgeous TV screen
This screen is like the one above with two additional panels.
RL Goins Red Coromandel Chinoiserie Screen
And the last one, I adore more than I can say.
RL Goins – exquisite Verre eglomise mirror
Let’s look at some other ways to hide the TV.
This is a more unusual treatment but perfect for this rustic home.
Traditional pocket doors in a built-in fireplace surround house a flat-screen TV. One word of caution regarding pocket doors. Sometimes they break or get stuck or are just hard to work. So, what happens is that they are always in their pocket.
Hence, what is the point? It is much better to use either a bi-fold or sliding door. Or if a small TV, just two doors might be fine.
Looks like a William and Mary-style highboy, right?
Nope. Not really.
By Maitland Smith (but discontinued, I believe)
Pretty cool, huh?
An antique Swedish or French Secretary could be used to house a TV.
A free-standing cabinet perfect to house a wide-screen TV. And it can even be a bookcase because we no longer have to deal with the big box. That’s a big help! Of course, you can use any cabinet you wish.
One of the best-known ways to hide the TV is in a case where it comes up when summoned. For another image of this cool room, please check out this post about radiators and hiding them.
via Dwell.com – James Wagman – Architect – hide the TV – behind a sliding panel
This is beautiful for a contemporary setting, but it could be adapted for a traditional room, as you’ll see in a bit.
via Dwell.com – James Wagman – Architect – Panel over fireplace – conceals the TV
However, it looks kind of plain. You could do some large-scale art on the flat panel.
UrbanartCN on Etsy – large scale art
Clever design by Tom Stringer – Via Traditional Home
This is reminding of the post about hidden doors.
Photo – Gordon Beall – Traditional Home – Meredith Vieira home.
I’d love to see this closed. I bet that the panels are very pretty. Lovely fireplace mantel. It looks very similar to some of these we were looking at.
If the TV were integrated into the wall, one could lean a lightweight piece of art over it. Or, anchor it down like we were discussing if it’s heavier art. OR, create a sliding system with the art, as we saw in the other post.
Dee Dee Taylor Eustace
This has to be one of the nicest TV installs in a kitchen I have ever seen. I don’t mind it being open.
I’m totally in love with this integrated panel with storage behind it.
And one more which is very cool.
Veranda- Design Peter Pennoyer photo – Christopher Mason
No TV, but there could be. Fabulous millwork!
Let’s go back to hiding a TV in plain sight.
Via Rainonatinroof.com – Definitely check out Jenna’s post. She gives a detailed tutorial on how to do this. And there are several more photos.
One of the best ways to hide a TV in plain sight is to paint the wall a dark color.
Decorating Around the TV with Art
The rest of the images will incorporate the TV into a wall of art.
Check out her tutorial on how she refinishes that Parson’s console!
Coastal style. The table in the foreground is a ping pong table!
This one’s fun; if you can’t afford art, draw boxes on the wall!
Please also check out this post where I did a little gallery wall and incorporated it with a TV.
And there are also some tips for making the wires disappear.
please pin to Pinterest for reference
I hope that gave you some great ideas for hiding the TV or integrating it beautifully into your decor.
What do you do with your TV? Is it out in the open or behind closed doors?
And, for the latest innovations in TV, please check out the sister post, here about how the living room TV has changed – completely.
Please check out the newly updated Hot Sales page!
All interesting BUT after months of research I still cannot find a solution to the TV in the main living area in an open concept home. We are building a home and it only has 1 wall- 19 feet- to house the TV and a propane fireplace. I just cannot make it work. If I put the TV above the F/P, you have to worry about the damage the heat could do to your TV not to mention the viewing height. Nothing like a stiff neck after watching a movie and let’s face it , most of us watch the TV nightly.Put it off to the side and it looks like 2 big black boxes, horrible and even the Frame TV looked odd because of it’s size.[55 or 65”]. I’m feeling I have no choice but to forgo the F/P. Also you can’t decorate the mantel, seasonally, I mean who would take down your work every night?It seems to me, none of these ?s get answered, perhaps that is the answer. Would love any ideas.
Would you be able to do built-ins on either side of the fireplace? With cabinet doors that close over the TV so the side-by-side effect of the FP and the TV only show when you’re watching it? Might have to use a smaller TV though.
Thought of that and have pinterested to death. I find it makes the wall closed in and the doors are a pain even when you use piano hinges. Also the TV is at an odd angle for watching, almost like 2 focal points.
Oh dear I accidentally closed my long comment and I have to do something else. There are zillions of solutions for all of that. Special mounting, heat deflectors Some are here. https://www.efireplacestore.com/fireplaces-tv-coexist.html
But, please google your objections. I guarantee that each of them has a solution.
The TV should be about 6″ above the mantel so you’ll have room for your decorations. Maybe recess the TV. The mantel and stone surround will provide some protection and there are heat deflectors. All TVs can take at least 90 degrees and some up to 120. Keep your fire on the small side.
Hope that helps.
Laurel, I enjoy your blog very much. Coffee and my apple makes 1st thing Sunday morning a real treat! I am using many of your suggestions in our new home, can’t wait to be in it. A slow process at this time.
I am familiar with the above web page and have found it very helpful but in NS there are a number of different codes that we must abide by. With that in mind the TV above the mantel would at best be at 66 inches from the bottom of the screen. Makes for awkward neck positions. I’ve looked at recessing and the same would apply. I also don’t like the 2 big black boxes look. I know, very fussy!
I have been experimenting with some sort of bookcase, tv in the middle and another bookcase but don’t want it to look messy.
We were at the house today and what a view we have in the backyard, a river and the sound is devine!