Thanks to the riveting presidential election and that gut-wrenching World Series (bravo Cubs!), it’s likely we’re glued to our TVs for even more time than the five hours Nielsen says we already watch daily. So it explains why the proverbial "small screen" is now large, or even gigantic, and so important in our daily lives that it often takes center stage in our rooms—and our luxury interior design practice! Every client we work with has concerns, requests and issues that revolve around their TVs.
Bottom line, we’ve found that TVs are as important to our clients as sofas and beds—which are statistically the two most used pieces of furniture in a home. But unlike sofas and beds, televisions spur an age-old debate: should it show—or not? A Google search for “how to hide a TV” returns a stunning 150 million hits at this writing. And a recent article in the Chicago Tribune quoting us - "7 Ways to Conceal or Reveal Your TV" - sheds further light on this topic. Fortunately, TVs have come a long way in the last decade and are now so well designed that they look good enough to “live” almost anywhere. So deciding whether to leave them out in the open or hide them depends on the homeowner’s preferences and the aesthetics of each space.
We see it both ways, and personally prefer not to hide a TV. We like to leave them exposed in most situations because so many of our clients want to be constantly in touch with what’s going on, or crave the background noise. But no matter how sleek or handsome today’s TVs have become, we still don’t want to make them the center of attention in a room. So they pose challenges for us as interior designers. But fortunately, there are dozens of clever ways to camouflage TVs or design around them to make them less obvious in a room. Here are our four favorite strategies:
1. Slide it out of sight: Custom millwork can make it possible for a homeowner to have it both ways. We’ve designed many systems that accommodate equivocal homeowners that opt for bespoke storage and shelving systems as an elegant way to hide their TVs. For a recent project, we designed a custom cabinet in a family room with sliding panels that mask the TV for more formal occasions. Interesting artwork on the panels make sure they do double duty by anchoring pieces from the homeowners’ art collection.
2. Try artful concealment: We’ve often screened TVs with art—even gigantic ones. Take the formal living room above, which functions as a grand salon. We masked a large screen TV by insetting it in a wall then mounting an epic painting (by artist Ed Paschke) on a runner system that frames the installation. For those who don’t own an enormous artwork, VisionArt makes a system that hides a TV behind a motorized, remote-controlled retracting canvas, complete with a frame in every decorative style imaginable. Or you can take a bespoke approach with this system. When we couldn’t find something that appealed to one of our clients in VisionArt’s stock art offerings, we had a giclee print made of a painting they already owned and used that in the frame.
3. Make it a show-stopping room anchor: When a homeowner wants to leave their TV exposed, we build bespoke wall systems that make them an anchor in a space. In an open-plan loft, we designed and fabricated a large-scale shelving system that establishes the activity program for the largest space in the home by incorporating a hearth and big-screen TV. The ability to blend both activities–watching TV and enjoying a fire—was the most important “want” on the client’s wish list.
26 Oct 2016