When browsing collections of interior design photos, one would get the impression that most homes do not have a television. On the contrary, television watching is often a large part of the lifestyle of many families. In fact the new flat screen models are so popular that old style televisions that still work well are being kicked to the curb at a pace. The dilemma, then, is where to place these large new appliances that do not appear in glossy interior design photos. The first item on the agenda of this sticky décor dilemma is placement of such a large item that is regularly used but which we apparently do not want to become a focal point. Perhaps this concept that we must pretend we do not have a television or rarely watch it is becoming a somewhat passe idea. modern televisions are quite sleek, making them a stylish element of the overall interior design of the room or rooms where they exist. For viewing comfort, the television should be placed at eye level so that when you are relaxing in your comfy but stylish chair or sofa, your head is level with the middle of the screen. Ideally, you should be able to view your programs looking straight ahead, not looking up or down.upscale casual living room in masculine colour palette with contemporary stone clad fireplace with adjacent flat screen televisionThis last statement is at odds with the phenomenon that we so often see where the television is placed above the fireplace. What could be more uncomfortable? This arrangement looks great in design photos but is simply not good design. How can it be? Good design leaves the home owner comfortable in their own home, rather than forced to sit in an uncomfortable position in order to conform to a skewed design idea. The only somewhat successful adaptation to the placement of the television above the fireplace is to mount it on a stand that allows you to angle the set down to a comfortable viewing position. Other than that, the viewer must lie on the sofa to view the television comfortably. This works if there are very few (two) viewers, one on each sofa. If the mantle itself needs updating, this is an opportunity to adapt the fireplace, itself, so that it is lowered so that a television can be placed correctly above the firebox. A rectangular, narrow firebox of sleek design placed near the floor will allow much better placement of the television if you simply must place it above the fireplace. This is much better than placing your set above a tall mantle. Above a tall mantle, the set should be installed in a recess so that the set can be tilted down to help the viewer use the set in some comfort. Placement of the set within cabinetry to one side of the fireplace is a far better idea. This allows more straight on viewing. The set can also be placed on a bracket so that it can slide forward and be angled to the best advantage of the viewer. stone clad media unit wall with dark wood insertfor flat screen television, open shelving, and low storage consoleThe next issue is the actual size of the unit to be purchased. Many people express the wish for a bigger television. I, personally, have never heard anyone say that their screen is too big. There are some constraints on size that should be followed, though. It depends on the size of the room, as does the purchase of the other elements that go into any interior design scheme. What you are watching is also a factor. Whether you are watching high definition, how far away you are sitting, affordability, and personal taste all come into play in the making of this decision.

Screen sizes and general viewing distances:

26″ screen = 3 to 5.5 feet

32″ screen = 4 to 6.5 feet

37″ screen = 4.5 to 7.5 feet

40″ screen = 5 to 8.5 feet

46″ screen = 6 to 9.5 feet

52″ screen = 6.5 to 11 feet

58″ screen = 7 to 12 feet

65″ screen = 8 to 13.5 feet

70″ screen = 9 to 15 feet

When planning a home theatre, place as many seats as you can looking straight at the screen, rather than fanning seats out to the sides. It is far better to arrange the seating in rows even when there is room at the sides because the best view is from the centre of the screen. The second row of seats can be raised so that viewers can see above the heads of those in the first row.upscale dramatic and relaxed comfortable family room with television wall tiled floor to ceiling, tan leather sofa, and edison bulb ceiling lightingIncoming light should be controlled with blackout lined draperies or blinds. Eye strain can be caused by glare from incoming windows. Drapes do not need to be black fabric. They simply need to be lined so that light cannot stream through them. In rooms that do not have fireplaces, a flat screen television can be installed low on a wall directly at eye level. This will prevent the television from becoming the focal point of the room. Wiring should not be left exposed. It should be hidden  and an electrical outlet installed behind the unit. The actual wall can become the star of the project if it is covered in beautiful wallpaper or textured in an interesting way. A dark coloured wall surrounding the television  goes a long way to making the television less obvious. It also enhanced the look of the television, itself.contemporary living room with grey sectional sofa and wooden wall accent wall covering behind television media unit

Many homes these days are very small. The home owners still want a large television. The size of the television can be balanced by surrounding it with artwork that creates a design element of nearly equal size to the television. The colour scheme of the overall room uses balance in a subtle way to draw the eye around the room, to the various elements, and away from the television. In this manner, the television does not overpower the room decor and the home owner does not feel obliged to hide the television.charming small living room with off centre flat screen television with art wall around television and subtle geometric motif area rugFitting your flat panel set into a partition wall or a column are great ways to minimize the visual effect of owning a television. In the past, media cabinets and armoires did take up significant space in a room design. A sliding flat panel cover which conceals the set when not in use is another popular adaptation. Flat panel televisions take up much less space than televisions of the past.  Many homes these days are very small. Media cabinetry today must conserve space, as well as provide media storage, television viewing and display accessories.large wall to wall media unit in dark wood with flat screen television, pieced hide area rug, large white sofa, and dark sofa table

Call Mulberry Interiors now at (905) 849-6423 to book a consultation. We look forward to working with you to increase your enjoyment of your home.


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