Once considered an eyesore, flat-screen TVs are now a focal point in contemporary living rooms. But how do you stylishly hide all those unsightly wires and accessories? See how top designers put TVs on display without sacrificing style.
"My main goal with the television console was to find something chic with open shelving to store the components," says designer Naomi Stein of Design Manifest. So, Naomi had her carpenter build a component holder and then attach it to two black Ikea dressers. Asian hardware adds a level of sophistication, and a gold toe kick provides visual weight to balance out the TV. She completed the transformation by hanging a shelf with sculptural gold accessories above. "I didn't want the television to be the only statement on this wall," she says. "Instead, it's one piece of the puzzle." Photography by Courtney Apple
According to designer Danielle Fennoy of Revamp Interior Design, the biggest design challenge associated with this 600-square-foot studio was maximizing the space. With only one wall deemed suitable for the TV and media components, Danielle customized a 25-foot-wide cabinet to house the flat-screen TV and hide what she calls "the ugly stuff" (cable box, DVD player and gaming console) — "an absolute must for any room."
Designers John Fernandez and Jennifer True of Fernandez and True Interiors knew that this hip, modern loft was a perfect opportunity for technology to take center stage. "With television designs looking sleeker and slimmer, the battle for hiding them is becoming a thing of the past," says John. They chose a simple entertainment center to hide the cable box and cords behind sliding doors, allowing the TV to blend with the industrial lines of the old factory windows. Photography by Sherwood Cox
For designer Jamie Herzlinger, incorporating a client's television into the design of the living room just makes sense. Jamie says, "Our TVs now have recipes and can answer phones. Why not acknowledge the world of high-tech in our designs?" With this in mind, she designed a console to both frame the television and anchor the room's clean lines.
For this Wall Street bachelor pad, designers Greg Glidden and Francine Gardner of Interieurs wanted a design that's crisp and contemporary, yet warm and earthy. A neutral color scheme and luxurious textures — like cashmere, silk and linen — create a cohesive aesthetic, allowing the flat-screen TV to blend in seamlessly above the fireplace. They finished off the space with a custom credenza to conceal the wires and provide additional storage. Photography by Michael Grimm
Most of Jamie Herzlinger's clients call upon her to create spaces with dual functions. When this happens, she likes to "make a stunning setting for the television," as opposed to trying to hide the TV behind doors that will remain open. Here, the custom piece becomes part of the architecture of the room, with ample shelving and cabinets for storage.
Photographer Bentley Waters has divided her time between New York City and the Hamptons for the past 10 years. So when she does have time off, she likes to spend it with her family at her home in upstate New York. "One of the first things we invested in was a 42-inch flat-screen TV and surround sound," she says. "The TV and speakers are mounted into the wall, which takes up minimal space and leaves more room to lounge." A sleek wooden credenza houses the components below and unifies the warm tones of the room.
To spice up your TV area, designer Erinn Valencich suggests creating a feature wall with picture frames of various shapes and sizes. Here, the flat-screen blends in with other pieces to create a nice eclectic mix above a modern media storage unit.
Finding Your Niche
More and more, Julie Thigpen of Modern Chic Home gets requests to mount her clients' flat-screen TVs above the fireplace. To keep the space clean, Julie designed a cabinet to conceal all of the necessary wires and media components. The built-in fits neatly within a niche adjacent to the TV, and the custom shelving offers a display for books and accessories.