Like it or not, the TV is often a major focal point in our homes — and for good reason. We relax with it after a long day, bond over family movie nights, and gather to watch the big game.
But just because the TV is a beloved source of entertainment doesn’t mean it has to dominate your home’s design. Gone are the days of huge, hulking TVs that required equally massive entertainment centers to hide. Today’s units are sleeker than ever, making it easy to seamlessly work them into your décor.
Get creative with working your TV into your room’s layout, and you can create a space that’s more focused on comfort and aesthetics than maximizing your view of the screen. Here are six ways to do just that.
1. Create a gallery wall.
Surround your TV with artwork or shelves with an eye-catching display, and you’ll draw attention away from the screen when it’s not turned on. Simply mount your TV on the wall at its ideal height, then hang complementary artwork around it. Opt for a variety of different-sized frames to create an eclectic feel. Black frames with black-and-white artwork blend particularly well with TVs and won’t compete with your attention when you’re watching your favorite show.
2. Upgrade equipment and eliminate the bulk.
Your entertainment area can easily become cluttered with game consoles, cable boxes, and, of course, those dreaded wires. The good news is that today’s routers, modems and cable boxes also come in more compact and sleek designs. Contact your cable company for the latest models, go wireless where possible, and eliminate unnecessary equipment. (Do you really use that DVR player anymore?) Choose a media stand with solid back panels so wires are not visible.
3. Place the TV on a dark background.
No, we’re not suggesting that you paint your room black — but hanging your TV against a dark background is a clever way to hide it. For a TV that’s hung over a mantle, consider painting the fireplace a dark gray or black. If it’s in a built-in cabinet, you could paint that a dark color as well. Prefer to keep rooms light and bright? Keep most walls light and try just one accent wall in a deep navy or rich green to help camouflage the set.
4. Consider your furniture arrangement.
Sometimes simply rearranging your furniture will help to take the spotlight off of your TV. While you want to be realistic about the time you spend watching TV in your living room and make sure your setup makes that a comfortable experience, you don’t necessarily have to make the TV the star of your room’s layout.
Take into account the other activities that might take place in your living area and play with different layouts that don’t center around your TV. For example, keep the sectional facing the TV, but set up a conversation area with a couple of chairs and an accent table so you have another seating option that doesn’t face the screen.
5. Hide your screen with another screen.
Today’s TVs are so thin, it can be easy to hide them behind a screen. We’ve seen a lot of creative applications of this trick, from a vintage pull-down school map to a built-in bookshelf equipped with a thin sliding door. You can even create a faux window by hanging drapery over your TV.
6.Think outside the TV stand.
If you’re not mounting your TV on the wall, don’t limit yourself to furniture pieces labeled “TV stands.” Instead, measure your TV and search for unique furniture that can add style to your space while housing your unit. An antique hutch, a wide dresser, or even an art easel can hold your TV while giving your home more personality than a generic TV stand.
It can be tempting to place your TV front-and-center in your living room, but blending it into its surroundings is a powerful way to change how you use your space. You’ll be rewarded with a room that’s not only more visually pleasing, but also more conducive to conversation and quality downtime — and that’s something we all could use a little bit more of.
Erica Jackson Curran is a freelance writer who covers entertainment for Xfinity. She’s the founder of Parennial Travel, a travel site for millennial parents. Mom to a toddler son, Erica writes about her parenting adventures for publications including The Washington Post, Parents, and Romper.