If this is your dilemma, don’t despair! We offer tips on how you can (hopefully) convince your spouse to move his television viewing out of the living room. Failing that, you can compromise. Yes, the TV can stay in the living room. But no, it cannot be obvious, distracting or unsightly! Thankfully, home designers have come up with amazingly creative and stylish solutions for making today’s flat screen TVs blend right in with the room’s decor.
But first up, here are our suggestions for either “No TV in the living room!” or “Ok, the TV in the living room, BUT…!”
If you are adamant that the TV not be in the living room:
- Assure your spouse/partner that he can have his choice of a TV viewing nook elsewhere in the house.
- If he chooses your bedroom for that nook, collaborate in re-arranging the space so you can watch together or one can watch without disturbing the other’s sleep.
- Buy him his dream recliner for watching TV and move it into his chosen spot.
- Treat him to a tray of snacks (popcorn, chips, nuts, beer or soda) for his TV viewing times.
- Agree to move any clutter from your own “thing” (crafts, cooking/baking, music) out of the living room, too!
If you give in to having the TV in the living room:
- Convince your spouse/partner to have the TV stylishly hidden in an entertainment cabinet when not in use.*
- If space allows, install a sliding divider to enclose a section of the living room as a TV area.*
- Consider putting the TV in a frame that looks seamless with your existing wall or incorporating it into a bookcase.*
- Have your husband buy headphones for times he may want to watch a game or an action movie, but you’d prefer some quiet.
- Have him agree to tidy up his viewing spot every time he is done (snacks, glasses, mugs, ash tray, etc.).
*(see examples below)
Decor Inspiration for Living Rooms with a Flat Screen TV
1 – Create an appealing ambiance where the TV just blends in
This lovely example from New Darlings—a living room makeover using West Elm elements—shows how an appealing mix of well-chosen furniture and decor accents (plants, wall hangings, throw pillows) makes the TV go almost unnoticed.
2 – Create a TV cover out of a gallery frame
This sliding panel gallery frame from Pottery Barn is no longer available, but can give you ideas for customizing one. An ingenious way to make the TV disappear between viewing times!
3 – Make the TV part of a photo wall
Intentionally design a photo wall like this one from Kelly Elko with identically framed black and white photos and art prints. Then, plan out a grid pattern for the frames that will allow the TV to blend right in as one of them.
4 – Assemble a media console hidden by a DIY sliding barn door
Yes, believe it or not, this “barn door” is a DIY project we discovered at Shanty 2 Chic. A definite statement piece that serves the practical purpose of covering up that television so beautifully.
5 – Frame the TV
Another option is to disguise the TV unit as an artwork! This example from BHG shows a frame attached to the wall right around the mounted flat screen, making it blend in with the surrounding framed pieces.
7 – Create an eclectic mix of decorative accents
Take attention away from the television by assembling several other favorite pieces in an eclectic “art corner” of sorts, as shown here via BHG. The TV then becomes just another item on display.
8 – Design an asymmetrical gallery wall
You need not stick with a perfect grid to surround your TV with framed art. Going asymmetrical is very appealing, too, as in this example attributed to One King’s Lane (via Jenna Burger Design). You get to mix and match different frame mouldings and finishes, photos and art prints—with the TV tucked in among them.
9 – Choose a TV that really IS an artwork as well
Go really high-tech with Samsung’s new “Frame TV” available here (*Amazon affiliate). It functions both as a television and as a work of art—with virtually invisible cable connections, the option of a customizable frame that snaps on and off to change the look to match your decor, a no-gap wall mounting feature, even a motion sensor that switches on when someone is within range. Wow!
Now, with the TV so beautifully “designed away” in your living room, maybe the hubby will be awed enough into keeping your TV-viewing agreements (use headphones, tidy up clutter, etc.)! What do you think?