Designing with Your TV + A Media Console Roundup
If there is one question we get asked more than anything it might be, “how do I work my TV into the design of my room”? And for very good reason. The TV is something that so many people want to have easy access to, yet they don’t want to see a massive screen on their wall every day. Beyond that, having your TV out in your living room/family room/bedroom in a very visible area might mean it is the first thing you turn on when anyone walks into the room and although we do love a good binge on netflix or a good juicy episode of the Bachelor, there are times when we wish it was a bit more “out of site, out of mind”.
So, we decided to do our research and pull together a few solutions for you. And, while there is no simple answer or solution to this massive TV-epidemic, there are some answers…. which is what we have on the blog for you today. So let’s get into it and talk about all the different ways that your TV can still exist within your room without it dominating it.
First and foremost let’s talk about a TV that has changed the “designing around your tv” game and made it much, much easier and far more beautiful. If you are new here or missed our collaboration last year where we designed four spaces around this TV then head back to those posts (greenhouse, boathouse, barge, and barn) to read more about each project but in short, this TV basically looks like a high-end piece of framed art on your wall and can act as one as well when it is not in TV mode. I mean, do you even notice it up there mixed in with all those art pieces?!
We photoshopped it above here (as it wasn’t quite yet available when we were doing this project) so that you could see what it would have looked like in Design Milk’s family room, but the frame of the TV comes in either a white, walnut, or black frame and with the way that it is constructed it doesn’t hang out from the wall and instead hugs the wall closely like any other piece of art would. Not only is it beautiful but it makes the TV appear far less like a TV when it is not in use so that you don’t have a big black box hanging on your wall.
It can live on its stand like it does above in the shot, or you can surround it with other pieces of art like they did in these gallery walls below. These shots are making a pretty compelling case for this TV and show you how easy it is to work it into your decor so that you have the TV right where you want it without anyone actually seeing a massive black box.
But, we get that not everyone is ready to purchase a brand new TV, nor does this specific TV work within everyone’s budget which brings us to our next solution.
The good ol’ hide your TV in a gallery wall trick. The concept is pretty straightforward, and although it has been done time and time again, it works which is why so many people still do it. We did it in Cup of Joe’s living room which was the first picture in this post and although we did place the TV in front of the gallery wall versus working it into the arrangement, the concept is the same in the fact that it helps to visually break up the black lines of the TV against a stark wall.
Above they treated the TV as if it was a piece of art and worked all the other pieces around it, playing the visual trick on your eye that the TV is part of the art wall.
Either way you do it, the art around the TV will help to not only fill the wall so that the TV doesn’t stand out as much, but it will also help to create some visual interest behind the TV which will distract from the black box that is staring at you.
Built in to a Bookshelf:
If you do have the resources, budget, or possibility of building your TV into your bookshelf then this is one of the best ways that we can suggest to help hide it.
Although it doesn’t totally disappear it is far less obvious than a massive TV that the room is focused around, and it also helps visually hide it if it is tucked back into a shelf a bit. A tip with this: you can install the TV on a long mount that pulls out from the wall quite a bit, which will allow you to pull it out and tilt whichever you want when you do want to watch and then you can tuck it back into the shelf when you aren’t watching.
Not only does this bookcase help to ground the TV but by adding in a few hits of black in the styling around the TV it helps pepper the color throughout the bookshelf again making it appear less visually heavy.
Hidden in the Wall:
If you want to take it one step further than the bookcase option then there are a few different options for completely covering the TV with a set of doors and building it into the wall or a piece of cabinetry. The image above shows a room that has a large TV above the fireplace but that is covered with two simple bifold doors which completely covers it up but still allows the room to enjoy the TV when and if they need it.
This room above got very custom with their TV cabinet and had the TV installed so that it could not only be covered but so that it could slide out and offer some storage in there as well for DVD’s and CD’s (remember those?!) And below they show how you can build it in and house it to the side of your fireplace behind some doors allowing it again to be totally hidden away when not in use. The age-old dilemma of “do we have a TV in our living room has been solved”. But… we’ve got more for you.
Sliding Doors or Art:
This solution leans a bit more modern and minimal in its approach but is the same concept as above. Here they mounted the TV behind a large sliding door which allows you to cover it when you don’t want it in use, and then if you do want to watch you can slide the doors to the side opening up the TV to the room.
Below they took it one step further by having the “sliding door” be a piece of art. Would this work in everyone’s home? Probably not, and it does work best here in a more modern setting but the concept and idea is a good one and something that could be applied to a room that leans more modern or in a house where you are able to build the TV into the design from the get-go.
Hidden in Furniture:
Remember when Brady redid his bedroom and showed us all how to repurpose a vintage hutch into what now holds his TV?
His TV is housed in this vintage MCM hutch that he found on Chairish and then to make it work for his space, the TV is mounted on a long arm which allows it to be pulled out and tilted towards the bed for viewing. When he is done he can push it back in, close the doors and keep everything (including all the cords) confined and concealed. He talks about it a bit more in his bedroom reveal post HERE. The same concept is applied below where they mounted a small TV inside an old secretary desk. A pretty great solution for those of you looking to completely cover it up and don’t have the ability to build something into your walls.
Hide on Dark Wall:
So, this next trick is something that we came along when we started doing some research, but from the visual proof below it seems to work pretty well. The idea is – make the TV less obvious by mounting it on a wall or surface that is the same tone as the TV, thus making it disappear into the wall.
Amber Lewis made a pretty compelling case for it here where she mounted it on a black tiled fireplace which visually makes the TV a lot less noticeable than it would have been had it been on a bright white surface like the rest of the walls in the house.
Here they used the trick but also balanced out the black on the fireplace and the cubby area to the right with its black shelves, chair and desk legs which really helps it to feel visually equal on both sides of the fireplace.
In our research for this post we also came across a few other options that although we didn’t find enough examples of to create their own category, we did think they were pretty helpful and were worth showcasing to you.
Above they used a set of curtains that were installed in front of the TV so that when they weren’t watching it they could pull the curtains below and voila – no TV anymore.
We’ve been seeing the idea above for quite a few years where you mount the TV to an art easel (which some companies now make specifically for TVs), but this one is a good option that showcases how it can be used in this space without feeling too heavy or jarring. Just be sure to turn the TV to a channel that has an old western movie on it right before your friends come over so that it blends with your decor like they did here 😉
This one is SUCH a simple solution and we love it. In this space, they mounted the TV on the wall and then used a vintage school pull-down map to cover it up. Keep the map pulled out when you don’t want to watch TV and when you do want to watch, just pull it closed so that you can see the TV.
And last but not least, these two options really only work if you have a new-build planned or are totally going to remodel, but we love how integrated these TVs have become into the decor. Basically, they built a false wall out from the drywall and then housed the TV behind that wall to conceal it. When they need to watch TV they can open it up but when they don’t, it can easily disappear into the wall.
And last but very not least, we have rounded up some of our very favorite media consoles on the market for those of you that may not necessarily want to disguise your TV and are fine having it out and in the open. With all of these, we checked to make sure that there was a hole in the back to allow for cords to come out of the console, and also that all of them have some sort of closed storage for you to stash your different devices behind. Let us know if you have any questions on any of the solutions above, and if any of you have tried the consoles we’ve rounded up let us know below in the comments.
1. Dang Low and Long | 2. Oberlin | 3. Metalwork Media | 4. Clad 3 Door | 5. Tamboured | 6. Windham Large | 7. Geometric Triple Door | 8. Kasse | 9. Antwerp | 10. Wooden Oval | 11. Aura Large | 12. Seno Walnut | 13. Rigby | 14. Darryl Carter Hampden | 15. Spencer 3 Drawer | 16. Modern Console | 17. Line Media | 18. Mostorp | 19. Shale 2 Drawer | 20. Mid-Century Console | 21. Audrey | 22. Blake Grey Wash | 23. Amherst Mid-Century Modern | 24. Stratford | 25. Workstead Beech Wood | 26. Modernist Wood + Lacquer | 27. Forma | 28. Posner | 29. Reflect Rattan | 30. Andrej | 31. Windham | 32. Ethnicraft Oak | 33. Allure | 34. Kersh | 35. Stockholm | 36. Stockholm