How to Camouflage the Television in Your Living Room
Not sure what to do about that giant TV in your favorite space? Consider hiding it.
Scroll through enough photos of beautiful interior spaces, and one thing becomes almost instantly clear: None of the people who live in these places own televisions. That's not really the case, of course, but it certainly seems that way at times. In reality, it may be that there was a designer or stylist on set who removed the TV for the sake of the photo—or better yet, the designer hid it in a clever way. "While today's TVs continue to get flatter, they're unfortunately becoming bigger," explains New Orleans-based interior designer Melissa Rufty of the challenges these pieces of technology pose. "That old saying 'bigger is better' is never music to a designer's ear when it comes to TVs. Making matters worse, we're also seeing more requests for TVs in every room—not just the den. So, we've had to get creative on how we go about concealing them, especially in the more formal spaces of a house."
Rather than battle with what to do with the TV in your most-utilized room, here are some ways designers recommend keeping it entirely out of view (or hidden in plain sight).
Create a niche in the wall.
"With the newer, smaller-profile TVs, we'll carve out a niche in the wall so that the wall and TV are flush," Rufty says. "This frees up an arsenal of options from which to conceal it. By creating the flush niche for the TV, the wall can instead be used as an art wall when the panels are closed. I've used Asian screens on hinges, and a framed botanical series mounted on folding panels to conceal the TV." For a recent client installation above a stone fireplace, she used an old architectural wall panel—which was put on a lift system and controlled by a remote—as the disguise.
Incorporate the television into your gallery wall.
Interior designer Elizabeth Stuart says, "I personally like to hide TVs in plain sight. It can be mounted on a wall with artwork all around it, and it ends up looking like art itself." A recent trend in TV design lends well to this: Specific televisions come with an "art mode" and customizable frame that can be mounted flush onto the wall. When it's not in use, you can choose to display a static image that works with your home décor.
Hide the TV within your furniture.
Rather than hiding your television in bulky furniture like a large armoire, Stuart recommends using a customized console. "I have a beautiful French console and had it customized to hold the TV so it's completely hidden, and you can't even tell it's there," she says.