We all have at least one, or maybe you have one in almost every room. I’m talking about the television, which has become the focal point to contend with in home interior decorating.
Men and kids just want it front and center so they can see it, women…well not so much. Finding a location that keeps everyone happy and keeps a room well designed is starting to get a little easier.
First and foremost, televisions are not the clunky beasts they used to be since technology continues to make them thinner and more picture perfect with each passing day. It’s important to get the best size for your room that is comfortable for everyone to see. Place the TV at eye level when the viewers are seated and use this rule of thumb to determine distance: Sit two times the distance compared to the screen size. For instance, if the screen size is 42”, then the seating area should be about 7 feet away.
The best seating arrangement hits the TV straight on, but we all know that most room layouts do not allow that unless you have a theatre room. The new flat panels do have a larger viewing angle, so the person seated to the side isn’t going to compromise much. These screens also are available with arms to help you angle them if absolutely necessary.
Any interior designer will tell you that the TV should not take away from other focal points in the room if it is not the primary viewing area. However, not all rooms are able to accommodate the seating arrangement with the TV to the side due to architectural factors like fireplaces or windows. Putting the screen above the fireplace really should be avoided as it is too high for optimal viewing, but if you must, there are a few solutions.
This area is another where the angling arm is a good idea if you tend to watch movies or sporting events for long periods of time. Many furniture manufacturers are addressing this problem and have created shallow, wall mounted cabinets that incorporate doors- the doors split open to reveal the TV, and when closed they are decorative enough to look like cabinetry or art.
I have also seen a new innovation that works best for new construction where the TV is recessed into the wall, and a faux picture frame is installed over it. With the push of a button on a remote, you can have a painting drop into the frame to cover the screen when not in use – the frame is wired to be activated by remote control. There is a lot of good information regarding this at www.vutec.com, which specializes in flat panel motorized art.
In the same vein, there are rods available that roll up and down a wall tapestry that covers the screen, but there is the problem of the tapestries curling. There is always the solution of an attractive cabinet or console, and with so many on the market there are plenty to find for your style. With these various options, there should be a suitable solution to make even the pickiest of home decorators satisfied.