Design Inspiration

Form and Function: Designing Around the TV

By Anna Popov

Design Inspiration

Form and Function: Designing Around the TV

By Anna Popov

Chic living room with Television
Photo Credit: Hameatzvot

Over the years, we at Interiors by Popov have encountered many design challenges that come back time and time again, project after project. Designing around a TV or screen is one of them. Televisions today are getting smarter, larger, and becoming more affordable. Many families now have a TV front-and-center in multiple rooms of their home. 

The challenge is to avoid making the TV the focal point of the room, whilst also being part of the main function of the room. You want to enjoy your floor space, your furniture, your decor, just as much as you want to enjoy the TV when it’s viewing time. Finding the right balance is often more difficult than a homeowner can handle alone. That’s where we come in. 

Change Your Focus: simple design techniques To Divert Attention

Photo Credit: Studio McGee

Photo Credit: Interiors by Popov

When designing around the TV, it is tempting to make the screen the focal point of a room, especially with today’s big screens. Find the biggest spot for the TV, and orientate the furniture to face it – done! However, a lot of people find that the TV ends up dominating the space (Moms everywhere, can you hear me???). We end up facing the television instead of facing each other or enjoying the whole family space. Instead, we at IBP strive to design rooms where people are our focus, and the television fits seamlessly in the background until it’s in use.

As we’ve said in previous posts, we’re all about creating functional designs, so we have to consider many different factors when establishing how a family is going to use a space. Our calculations involve the existing layout of the space, and design functions like optimizing views, utilizing floor space, and encouraging movement and conversation.

To create a versatile space, our designs favor L-shaped, circular, or semi-circular seating formations instead of straight lines that face only the television. In addition, we arrange furniture so that there’s sufficient floor space to walk around the seating, settle, and chat. Ideally, the arrangement will encourage socialization, while still providing access to the television when needed.

Balance: Give a streamlined look.

Photo Credit: Studio McGee

Whether designing a living room, den, recreation room, or parlor, if a television set is involved, we prefer to start by assessing the visual weight of the particular TV. As a large and complex element, leaving the TV to the last minute can throw off your entire design. That’s why we want to consider the TV right from the beginning and never as an after-thought. 

One of our favorite ways to stylishly incorporate a TV set is with custom built-ins, modern media cabinets, and/or a pretty, detailed console. We choose between these elements by considering existing architectural elements, such as windows, doors, molding, or hearths. Here at IBP, we think the best place for the TV is almost never right above the fireplace, except in a large space where there is ample room to sit and view the TV without cranking your neck! Instead, consider flanking it with the fireplace and arranging the set lower in the room. This will divert focus and allow space above for art or other decor. 

These design elements can create a streamlined look, reducing the television’s dominance in the living space.

Out of sight: Blend iN with the rest of the room.

Depending on the client’s design preferences, we can also take a closer look at strategies to cleverly disguise your TV, whilst providing storage for media equipment, a stunning mirror, or artwork. For example, mounting the TV on a dark wall feature like in the image above allows it to blend in with the room. We may also consider mounting the TV within an art setting or frame. In addition, the materials we chose in the vicinity of the TV can contribute important aspects of the overall look.

Another option involves modern technology to camouflage your television set until it’s needed. For those who really don’t want the TV in view at all, The Samsung Frame TV can be a great solution because it looks like a piece of art when turned off. Hanging art instead of a blank black box? It’s genius! See the image below.

Another option that helps a space look more polished, and reduce the TV’s prominence is hugging the TV right up against the wall. We use specialty wall mounts to achieve a fitted, streamlined aesthetic with hanging television sets. We are designing so many projects right now where we are working with theses exact considerations. Stay tuned for updates and check out this IGTV video of a space where we show you one of our recent TV installs!

Western Themed Living Room Showing off the Samsung Frame TV
The Samsung Frame TV in action! Photo Credit: juul.nieuwbouw.

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