“Hiding the TV” has historically been designers’ #1 problem, as well the subject of many blog posts, articles and nightmares. Like chemists working in a lab on a variety of potions for hair loss or wrinkle prevention, we designers have come up with many “contraptions” to hide this box of wonderful entertainment, but the problem has never been truly solved. Sure you can put the TV inset behind custom barn doors, surround it with art, have it pop out of a typically not so attractive credenza, or even lower from the ceiling. But in all cases either the TV or the contraption still draws attention and screams “I’M A TV.” It’s a big black box that ruins vignettes, dictates room layouts, and yet holds hours of our entertainment. For many people, it’s a decorative necessary evil. No longer. Samsung’s new TV, The Frame, called “The Most Beautiful TV In The world” is here and their bold tag-line is not overselling. It’s true.
What does a beautiful TV even look like? Take a look at these examples where it is styled out in different settings.
Yes, that mountainscape photo is actually The Frame.
Here, below they hung it above the mantel AND IT LOOKS GOOD.
A super colorful art wall houses The Frame in the middle. In case you are just jumping into this post – The Frame, is Samsung’s new TV that looks like art (that you choose) and these photos are selling it.
I gave an audible gasp (of joy and relief!) when I saw it for the first time in person. It’s that good.
I can proudly say that I am The Frame‘s new spokesperson and was given the opportunity to design four spaces for a film series all about “Reframing” your space with that beauty.
When my agents brought me this amazing opportunity I knew I would say yes. I would be leaving my family for two weeks to be in upstate New York, designing 4 spaces (sites un-seen), in 12 days with a crew I didn’t know. But I couldn’t say no. The product is genius in both beauty and function, the locations were stunning, the ad agency and director are innovative, the creative design freedom was so enticing, and the other “co-stars” (amazing bloggers/influencers) were all talented people I wanted to meet and work beside. I knew it would be crazy, but I said yes signing up for the experience and creativity.
We were SCRAMBLING the entire time (many moments of panic), but as you can expect it was also so exhilarating. It brought me back to “DesignStar” and “Secrets From a Stylist” days where I ran on adrenaline, with 16 hour work days and only breaks to shove food in my face (and get touched up). It needed to be fast. It needed to be within budget, and since my name was on it, most importantly it needed to be REALLY, REALLY GOOD.
With the help of a lot of talented people – production design team, art department, Brady, the other influencers, and our favorite stores who loaned us gorgeous pieces so we could stay within budget – we pulled it off. I am extremely proud of the designs, the job, the experience, the photos, and the films that were created. As a “content creator” who’s job it is to put new ideas and images out there, this is dream content.
The concept for this series is all about Reframing your space – taking an unexpected space that isn’t typically for living and transforming it into a beautiful living space for gathering, and yes, watching an unexpectedly beautiful TV that looks like a piece of art. This TV reinvents TVs in beauty so we wanted to show it in a space that was also rethought, or “Reframed” in this case.
We turned a rubble-filled greenhouse into a Scandinavian summer allotment (today’s film), a barge into a gallery space, a run-down boat house into a family summer cabin, and a 120 year old barn into a multi-use living and entertaining space that was inspired by a hotel style lobby/bar. In 12 days. You can sense my adrenaline just writing it, no?
Watch the film and then stick around to read about the process and see the photos. It’s different than any video series I’ve ever done. You’ll see why when you watch, but I for one LOVE IT.
Let’s dive in.
Project 1: The Greenhouse. We are going to Reframe this gorgeous, but totally unused greenhouse.
For each film/design I partnered with another creative mind to transform the space. We collaborated on the design inspiration and my team executed. The first one was with Niki Brantmark of My Scandinavian Home. She is even more lovely than her Instagram feed (which is so very, very lovely). Her blog focuses on Scandinavian design and she shoots and posts home tours that represent the warmth and simplicity that is the Scandy style. She brought the idea of an “allotment” to the table. It’s essentially a little shed, greenhouse, or gardening space that people in Sweden turn into little summer homes or living spaces in the daylight months. Friends might come and stay there or maybe it’s just for naps or afternoon reading. It’s basic and simple, but charming. I think all of the Scandy-philes (if Franco-phile exists, so can the Scandy version, no?) in America would go for this. I certainly did.
The greenhouse itself was beautiful, full of total natural light – a designers best friend. It just needed some work to make it our dream allotment.
We didn’t have time to plan much, but in order to execute it so fast we did a rough layout.
There are two rooms that are open to each other. One would be a dining corner, seating area, the corner for The Frame, and the other would be a kitchen and daybed. We created a mood board full of some inspiration images of all white, Scandy rooms, with some rustic woods and refined elements and lots of Scandy classic furniture.
We were on the same page in every way, and finished each others style sentences. I had done a bit of the prep from LA so it’s not like we were actually sourcing everything in 1 day from upstate New York, but the styling had to be fast and furious and we were still shopping for things end of day, on day 2.
First task was to demo out the existing greenhouse shelf structure, which I’ll admit was not something we did physically but huge thanks to the art department (Robert and Andrea) for executing some seriously physically laborious tasks.
They had only hours to get it all out before we had to start installing the floor.
We wanted to freshen up the space without taking away the charm. Welcome to the everyone-who-has-bought-an-older-home’s dilemma. The solution was new flooring and painting the cinder block wall, but just cleaning up the chippy paint window frames, not repainting them.
The dirt floor couldn’t be lived in, so first we laid down 12″ pine planks, painted a bright happy white gloss.
They laid down subfloor to even it all out (wood planks going the opposite direction, with some cement to keep in place), then started laying the planks and painting the walls. If you have an exterior space like this, getting inexpensive pine like we did is a very good solution. You’ll need a saw and maybe a youtube video or two, but it was fast, cheap, and easy. And it doesn’t have to look perfect since it’s meant to look a bit rustic.
Meanwhile we were shopping for plants because, while this wasn’t technically a greenhouse, we wanted some elements of nature inside, as well as out.
We planted that tree in the middle – into the earth so it would live. It also helped block the structural pole that couldn’t be moved. Once the space was white it felt HUGE, and bright, and amazing, and frankly every Instagrammers fantasy room. Sure, there was north/south/east and west light all at the same time so shooting it without being streaky was hard without 30′ scrims, but the sheer amount of light was something you could taste.
Oh can I mention this? The first three days we were there it was 95 degrees outside, and as humid as Florida which made it 115 degrees inside the greenhouse. Not ideal, but better than raining 🙂
As we were designing we chose which Customizable Frame option for The Frame we would select. We debated between the Beige Wood (blonde) and White (see both below). Ultimately we went with White because the space really wanted that cleaner look, but the Beige Wood is great too. It’s so simple, clean, thin, and modern. A phrase that I said over and over on and off camera is “this is what we’ve all been waiting for.”
We had 24 hours of tweaking and then we brought in the TV. Listen, while maybe someone staying in a Swedish allotment might only read, cook delicious organic produce, and never need to be entertained, when you are here you get to watch this 🙂
After 2 days we were done and ready to shoot the finals. Niki and I had a sweaty blast pulling this all together. Without any further ado, here you go:
It turned out so beautiful and simple, but with a lot of warmth and happiness. It’s calm and quiet but with a lot of texture, so that it feels so inviting but not cluttered. I ask myself every single time I am almost done with a project – “do you want to be the person that lives here?”, and I’m so happy to say YES. I want to be me up there right now. Even if this isn’t exactly what I would do in my current home, in a space like this it’s exactly what I would want.
That day I took that shot (above) with my iphone probably 50 times – Over and Over. I would stare at it while in hair and makeup or at night. Sometimes I wonder if photography is my true secret obsession. I just love the space and I’m so happy that we have some photos that represent it. You know, for my scrapbook. The brightness, the light, the trees, the greenery outside, the nature coming in…it’s just so simple and yet inviting.
Time to discuss why we are all here – that TV. I’ve hyped it up and you might wonder what is so good about it. Here you go:
The Frame is a very high quality TV that plays movies, cable, netflix binges, etc., not to mention that it is 4k Ultra High Definition. But what makes it special is that when you aren’t watching it, it looks like a piece of art. It has an art mode, with dozens of pre-stocked images from the Samsung Collection and more that you can purchase from in the Art Store (support these artists, folks).
Here are a few of my favorites from their collection that can be used on The Frame TV.
The art is good – paintings, illustrations, photography, digital art – from both emerging and famous artists. It even has some curated selections from galleries like Saatchi Art and many others who will continue to add art. You’ll need to watch the film to see how to switch from art to TV mode, but trust me that it’s so easy. One button. So when you are done watching a show, instead of turning it off and having it be that black box, you press one button and it displays your selected piece of art (full bleed or matte options). The TV has a built in Motion Sensor, which means if you leave the room, or go to bed or away on vacation it turns off completely, saving you power, and then when you come back into the room it will automatically turn back into art mode.
The Frame has a few different Customizable Frame options for the outside – charcoal black (which comes standard), as well as White, Beige Wood, and Walnut (an additional purchase). They are all thin and modern and I love and used all four of them throughout the project, so stay tuned because you’ll see them in action.
This TV can sit on its studio stand (as shown in our greenhouse) with the cord running through the leg (GENIUS). For most of us who would want to hang it, it mounts flush to the wall. I do mean FLUSH, like a piece of art. It doesn’t stick out those awkward 4 inches and the frame on it is so thin that it really looks like a framed piece of art. It also has a simple tabletop stand (see above) for credenzas and for those not into mounting.
Speaking of the art on the TV, you might have noticed that each picture has a different piece of art on the TV. We swapped a few different options in just to show you how different the space can look just by switching out the art on the screen and how beautiful the piece is.
What made it so great for this particular project, in a greenhouse, is that it has a brightness sensor when it is in “Art Mode” that adjusts based on the level of light in the room. One of the reasons that we chose this greenhouse as a location is because of the natural light, right? Typically too much natural light makes it hard to see a TV screen, but when in Art Mode it will read the ambient light and adjust the brightness of the artwork so it always looks as close to real printed/painted art as possible (not a backlit screen). And I have to say, when it was in Art Mode the art could not have looked more realistic.
The TV itself is amazing, the image quality is perfect and the navigation is easy. It’s all the high quality you want in the technical and entertainment fields, with loads of viewing pleasure. But now it’s in a beautiful body that disguises itself as a piece of art when you aren’t watching TV or movies.
As a mom it makes my life easier – that black box taunts my kids during the week when they aren’t allowed to watch it (fine, there are some thursday night “special occasions”). As a designer it makes my life easier because I no longer have to design a room around how to hide a huge TV – it can sit in a living room, above a credenza, and you can be so proud of your new piece of art in your beautiful living room. Plus it’s a crazy crowd-pleaser/conversation starter when you pick up the remote and turn on “Handmaids Tale”. People will be shocked/impressed. Trust me, I did it for 2 weeks with unexpected extras (stay tuned for that film/makeover).
The profile of it is so thin, and the mounting on the back is just like a piece of art – a cleat that it sits on. Also, if you don’t want to put the electrical through the wall (say, if you are renting) you’ll only have to see two cords – the power cord and the tiniest, barely visible cord that connects to your device and everything is controlled from that device. We hid the cable box in these shots – there wasn’t a outlet in the greenhouse so we put an extension cord out the window. But you can see how that cord goes down through the leg of the studio stand.
The studio stand was the right choice for this space because there really wasn’t anywhere to mount it on the walls, since they were all glass. It’s a great option if you don’t have the wall space but have the floor space. It’s low for a reason – eye height when you are sitting down. It’s a very simple option for when mounting isn’t one.
If you are in the market for a TV please consider this before you get one that potentially will look like that black box when it’s not on. Brian and I go back and forth on TV’s – knowing that with two small kids we are seriously taking the emphasis off of screen time and trying not to watch it in their presence. But when Saturday mornings roll around we watch a show with the kids, and now family movie night on Sunday has actually become such a special time (pizza and ice cream). We want the option to watch TV when we need/want to but we don’t want to feel like it’s dominating our lives or sitting there staring at our kids.
This is the perfect solution where it exists but is not in our face. And you can even upload your kids art (or any digital image of your own) so we are going to have it be where we highlight one of their pieces each week so they are proud of what is up there instead of wishing it were Paw Patrol.
Now for the rest of the tour. Welcome to our Scandinavian inspired Allotment.
I think that I can say hands down this was one of the hardest spaces to shoot ever because of the amount of harsh light that a greenhouse gets. We tried coming at 6:30am, but the film crew needed to finish their beauties, so Brady and Kelly tried to get what they could throughout the day with the light just blazing in, causing total unevenness and shadows. Then when it was finally sunset we got kicked out. So a huge thanks to Kelly and Brady for dealing with crazy photo conditions. Sunny at least looks happy even if the light is not even, right? There were a few times where a cloud came over and we were like ‘QUICK SHOOT!!!!’
Design-wise this space was the simplest. The country-scandy-style is actually one that is easy to design, but can get a little expensive (Ikea has some pretty great options). We mixed classics (Saarinen/Thonet) with some newer pieces (that round rug) and some antique paintings which helped it feel more European and old-world.
The two rooms were divided by living/dining and in the smaller space bedroom/kitchen. They were obviously very open to each other and while no one would ever actually live or sleep in here, it felt very livable and bigger than a lot of apartments that I’ve lived in. You can see here that we painted the bottom half of the wall a slightly darker ‘white’ than the floors but on the same color card, so it was just a deeper tone.
Niki really wanted that classic Flag Halgyard chair and I was so excited when we found a version of it at France and Sons. It’s huge in scale so we ended up nixing the ottoman because it would have run into our new planted tree, but in this shot it would have looked good. Pairing it with a chunky nature inspired side table, that Article lamp, and Article sheepsskin rug was a hit. I wish we had styled the rug more horizontally in this shot (trying to get so much done during the moments of the sun not blasting in). That pop of black helped edge it up and you can kinda see it throughout the space.
On the other side of the dining room we had this gorgeous credenza.
This Madera sideboard piece is from Article as well (they loaned it to us for the shoot and I will be eternally grateful because I love their stuff so much). We styled it out with a collection of vintage pottery bottles, a chunky knit basket, and a vintage painting.
Moving into the bedroom/kitchen we have more layers and more accessories (I’m obsessed with the kitchen).
I myself, might pin the heck out of that shot. So many soft neutrals, aged finishes, and warmth in an almost all-white space.
We salvaged the shelving and turned it into the sink (and found the sink on the farm).
We rigged that rope shelf above while relying heavily on the art department to make sure that it actually was level and would hold stuff. Thank you, Art Department (historically the hardest working, most under-appreciated people on set). I was half art-department / half on camera talent for this, but they came in to do all the heavy lifting so we weren’t dripping in sweat and ruining our manicures. In a perfect world that faucet would be older, but strangely I think it was really old because it was on the cast iron sink and weighed easily 80 pounds.
We picked the fruit from the fruit trees and borrowed a bunch of pretty dishes from Canvas Home (Maxwell from Apartment Therapy’s line). A lot of vintage glassware, flatware, and boards were rented from prop houses in the city. The email coordination which included a lot of ‘not that one, but the one with the rounder handle’ was not so hilarious. Shopping in a city for a designer 2 hours away is a challenge and they thought we were nuts with how picky we were, but it turned out so beautiful, so thank you 🙂
As I mentioned Niki runs this blog all about Scandinavian design so she had so many images that she was inspired by for this design. This one was really nailed it and we both couldn’t stop taking photos and insta-stories of it.
Lastly, the bedroom. Originally we had a cot for the bed, but once the space was demo’d out we realized we had room for a twin platform bed, and why not make it more cozy and comfortable? We shoved it in the corner like a daybed against the wall and layered a million cozy textures on top – but all in neutral tones. How inviting is that space?
Often a lot of whites can get lost in a space without a lot of natural light, but in this one which is flooded with it, these whites added so much warmth and texture, yet didn’t feel cold or stark. The base was a Target comforter (my favorite linen one – not duvet, mind you but comforter) then we layered on Pom Pom textiles which are all stunning. We added another nature inspired side table (read: white washed stump) and found that sweet lantern on the farm.
When we were done we thought, there is no way this could look better. Designing a greenhouse in a few days was incredibly fun and creatively very satisfying. No client, just natural light with classic, refined yet rustic pieces and The Frame.
We chose this image on The Frame as our piece of art because it was so quiet and simple. As big fans of still lifes in-general this one really spoke to us. The first episode of “Reframe This Space” is done and now I can’t WAIT to show you the other three. I thought this would surely be my favorite but I’m not convinced it is (there may be a tie happening).
A huge thanks to Niki Brantmark of My Scandinavian Home again for being so lovely, fun, and easy to work with. So many of us know about each other but so rarely get to work with each other outside a quick event. It was nice to spend 3 full days and 2 nights with this lady.
Stay tuned for the Barge in a couple weeks … It’s WILDLY different. If you are into this look we rounded up all our resources (or similar). Most importantly, if you are in the market for a high quality yet beautiful TV that doesn’t look like a TV, you know where to find it. HERE.
1. Chair | 2. Stump Side Table | 3. Sheepskin Rug | 4. Lamp | 5. Credenza | 6. Stoneware Bottle | 7. Milk Jug (similar) | 8. Black Basket | 9. Seat Cushion | 10. Black and Gray Pillow | 11. Charlie Big Pillow | 12. Montauk with Tassels | 13. Montauk with Tassels | 14. Zahra Hand Woven Pillow | 15. Linen Duvet Cover | 16. Eva Throw | 17. The Frame TV | 18. Montauk Large Euro | 19. Helena Throw | 20. Natural Rectangle Basket | 21. ‘Untitled Self Painting’ by Ashley Pelletier (similar) | 22. ‘Dancer Painting’ by Deborah Robins (similar) | 23. Baya Handwoven Baskets | 24. Halston Mugs | 25. Coffee Maker | 26. Mirror (similar) | 27. Stoneware Creamer | 28. Black Planter | 29. Black Bud Vase | 30. Bistro Table (similar) | 31. Bistro Chairs (similar) | 32. Woven Round Rug | 33. Wooden Dish Rack | 34. Dinner Plate | 35. Dish Cloth (similar) | 36. Black Walnut Wooden Spatula with Hole (similar) | 37. Walnut Wood Spatula (similar) | 38. Simple Walnut Wooden Spoon (similar) | 39. Walnut Wood Spoon (similar) | 40. Metal Pitcher | 41. Porcelain White Pitcher (similar) | 42. Water Glass | 43. High Ball Glass | 44. Oliver Napkins | 45. Rediscovered Flatware (similar) | 46. Wooden Bowls | 47. Extra Large Acacia Wood Paddle Cutting Board (similar) | 48. Round Acacia Serving Board (similar) | 49. Rectangle Wooden Cutting Board (similar) | 50. Modern Weave Handled Basket | 51. Jute Runner | 52. Carmel Oversized Throw (for sink apron) | 53. Apron
***Photos by Kelly Merchant
What do you think? If you are in the market for a TV does The Frame appeal to you?
*This post is in partnership with Samsung. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that help us create quality content for you. xx