Couching Human, Hidden TV

According to Wikipedia the Family Room is:

“…an informal, all-purpose room in a house similar to a living room. The family room is designed to be a place where family and guests gather for group recreation like talking, reading, watching TV, and other family activities.”

Let’s face it – in most homes, Family Room is synonymous with TV Room.  There is no shame in this! We are a big television household, though lately I’ve taken to the bizarre habit of “listening” to the TV without watching –  my infant son should not be exposed to the screen until the age of 2 years, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. But I digress.

As the flat paneled HDTV has become nearly ubiquitous, interior designers and ordinary homeowners accommodate the evolved appliance in a variety of ways. Strategies include wall mounting (often above a fireplace), framing and lighting it like a work of art, integration with built-in cabinetry, or simply resting the set on top of a console of some sort. Some who don’t want the television to be the focal point of the room even hide it behind a wall hanging, false wall, or allow it to pop up from a console below. On the extreme end, some family rooms are designed to deliver a sophisticated home theatre experience, complete with surround sound, dramatic lighting, etc.

Here are some of the most thought-provoking integrations of television sets in family rooms that I’ve come across, categorized by the degree of centrality of the TV in your at-home family activities. Click on the image to view the source (and associated credits).

1.) Minimal watchers/TV hiders

(House Beautiful)

(Elle Decor)


2.) Moderate-heavy watchers/TV displayers

(Metropolitan Home)

(Decor Pad)

(Apartment Therapy)

A few additional tips regarding optimal placement:

  • The ideal viewing angle varies depending on distance of your furniture to the TV (and vice versa), and the size of your set. Crutchfield has a helpful page on calculating this:
  • Avoid very high placements if the room is small – for the same reason you avoid sitting in the front row of the movie theater
  • In general, the lower the TV is placed, the less prominent it will be in the room
  • Symmetrical design elements (e.g. built-ins, windows, etc.) flanking the TV can help tone down its prominence in the room
  • Observe your room in a variety of light conditions, and ensure that you are minimizing glare (this is especially important with plasma TVs – LCD or LED might be a better choice for a very bright room)
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Kelly Rogers


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