Ask The Decorologist: Where To Put the TV?

It’s a common question. Oftentimes, it’s a struggle to determine just where to put the TV. Especially when you have a fireplace – should you put it above, beside, somewhere else?

I provide ongoing mentoring and advice to the Expert Psychological Stagers who have taken my course over the last few years. We share info and advice via a private Facebook group. A few days ago, one of my graduates posted a great question.

She said:

“I have a new client who wants to update their house and make it more transitional/current. The TV is large due to her vision problem. I’m not sure where to put the TV other than on top of the mantle. She is resistant for many reasons. How can this fireplace be updated without tearing it down? The fireplace wall is brick with the hearth running the length of the wall.”

Here is a picture of her dilemma:

white brick fireplace wall

before

There’s no wall space for the TV, and it is H-UGE.  Notice that the fireplace brick wall is the same color as the rest of the walls. Quickly, responses and advice from the EPS™ stagers filled the EPS™ Facebook page. I think these ideas might help some of you when determining where to put the TV:

Carly says:

“If the kitchen cabinets are black, I would suggest painting the brick wall a soft black (like Sherwin Williams Iron Ore) and mounting the TV over the fireplace- it will help the TV disappear. Sounds bold, but it would look great. I’d then place a cozy chair where the TV is and replace the metal around the fireplace with black surround.”

black-fireplace

 

See how the dark paint puts the focus on the fireplace? A TV would blend right in, eliminating its obtrusive nature.

Carly even has a personal experience with this idea! She said,

“I generally don’t like the TV above the fireplace, but sometimes it can’t be avoided. Here’s a recent before and after of a fireplace I painted dark to camouflage the television.

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-10-33-09-am

Carly Ripp

 

Notice how the fireplace stands out, but the TV doesn’t. It’s important to keep as much focus on architectural details as possible.

Next, Tracie had a suggestion:

“That fireplace looks far too high to mount a TV above it, especially one of that size. I’d suggest moving it to the left, where the sofa currently is, and have the homeowner get a properly sized base to put it on. Get rid of the love seat, center the couch on the fireplace, put the chair and ottoman where the TV currently is, and get a smaller chair for the left side of the fireplace.”

 

Tracie’s furniture placement ideas were spot on – that’s something we cover extensively in the EPS™ course.  I put together this inspiration board to visualize where to put the TV in this space, and how to place the furniture.

where to put the tv

inspiration board by The Decorologist

 

One thing I love about my EPS stagers is that they think outside the box! Maggie Settler of Pittsburg Staged Homes had a great idea for where to put the TV. She said:

“This is a crazy, off the wall (literally!) idea- what if you put the TV in front of the fireplace, on the hearth. Remove the screen and use a board to fill the actual hole (painted the same color as the brick),then position the sofa/chairs to face the TV. Since this is not for staging, it might look better if there was only one focal point, since the TV needs to be large for the client to see it.” 

Great idea, Maggie! Kinda like this:

where to put the tv

Lifehacker

Stephanie brought up a practical question for this design. She asked, “I like this idea, but how would you disguise the wires that have to reach an outlet or cable box?”

No one wants wires sticking out from their television. They are distracting and make the room feel messy and undone. Maggie had a solution to this problem. She said:

“What about a little (2”) platform for the TV to sit on? The cords could be inside of it and then run off the side to the plugs. Or, just put them inside a tube painted the same color as the brick so they wouldn’t be as noticeable, like this.”

 

cord cover

 

These cord covers keep cords under control and out of sight!

These ideas are great, right? I also added a few ideas, along with some photos of rooms with similar architecture that I have worked on:

I would probably paint all the brick WHITE like the trim, rather than wall color – brick is architectural, and treating it like trim is the way to go. I love a painted brick wall!  And why not paint those ceiling beams beams? Here’s an example of something similar I did in a room much like the problem room:

kendall charcoal beams

The Decorologist, Melanie G Photography

A fabulous large piece of art over the fireplace will be important – I’d go big and vertical because the ceiling is vaulted. An iron lantern style light would be great, too.

It’s not exactly the same layout, but here’s a recent project I’ve been working on. We had the beams and french doors painted Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore and installed an oversized lantern in the middle of the room.  A great piece of art is the focal point on the large wall space above fireplace, while the television is tucked into the bookcase on a pivoting stand where it can be easily viewed.

dark beams in vaulted ceiling

The Decorologist

 

Have you found interesting solutions of where to put the TV?  If you love creating and recreating spaces, maybe it’s time you sign up for the Expert Psychological Staging course – we’d love to have you!  Find out more about our upcoming course here.

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19 thoughts on “Ask The Decorologist: Where To Put the TV?

  1. Kay says:

    The hearth idea only works if you don’t want a fireplace. I like the second idea best, mainly because the TV, even cleverly concealed, over the mantle is too high for comfortable viewing. That rearrangement would also allow the Christmas tree to be placed in the window corner, which would look far more beautiful.

    I can’t stand a TV in our living room. We have a separate room (in our less than 1500 square foot house) set up for the TV. An unused bedroom works perfectly.

  2. Lynn says:

    Great ideas! We have our TV set in the built-ins to the left of the fireplace, but we’re struggling about what to do with the vaulted wall above the fireplace. The surround is a gorgeous stainless steel, flush to the wall. We keep going back and forth about what to do above – tile, paint with a large piece of art (the one there now is small and just a placeholder), mantel ? My husband keeps saying we should put the TV above the fireplace, and I keep resisting!

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      In your situation, Lynn, I think I might do the tv above the fireplace and keep the firebox dark – either the color you have it or a charcoal color to minimize the tv. If you don’t want to do that, a fabulous vertical art piece will be a great focal point!

  3. Sarah says:

    My living room is a work in progress, but we put the TV on a wall away from the architectural focal point, the fireplace. When you walk in the room, you’re facing the fireplace, so the TV is less prominent. Also, the sofa faces the TV for comfortable viewing. I intend to put more things on the wall to surround the TV and help it stand out less…and something under it, too, to hide that cord.

    Paint colors specified by The Decorologist (except the hvac intake vent–forgot to tell the painter make it the wall color).

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Oh wow, thanks for sharing, Sarah! It’s great to see how your room is progressing 🙂 I would definitely do a credenza or buffet-type piece of furniture beneath the TV to ground it and camouflage cords. Looking good!

  4. Paula VanHoogen says:

    Kristie,
    This article alone has changed my mind about opening a new ( my own) FB account to jump back in to your FB page with all the other stagers. These ideas are great! I really love the variations and the number of choices it would give to present to a client!
    VERY HELPFUL POST! !! Thank you!
    Paula VH.

  5. Sarah says:

    Lynn, I think the TV would fit in well above that modern fireplace! Off to the side, it looks a bit off-balance. It’s not a huge TV, so you could put some smaller art above it to make it blend into that section.

  6. Jean says:

    Honestly, most families watch a whole lot more television than they do watching flames in a fireplace. I don’t see the point in trying to “hide” the television set. I would want my seating to work best for the activity done most in the room. I would put the couch directly across from the tv – best for tv watching – on the wall where the couch is now and put the couch with its back towards the kitchen. You could see the tv from the kitchen too. Then I would put one comfy chair close to the fireplace (where the xmas tree is now) for reading and fire watching. Get rid of the loveseat.

  7. Phyllis E says:

    I do not understand how anyone can comfortably watch tv when it is above the mantel—it is like having to sit in the first row of the movie theater to watch a movie–no one wants to sit there because you have to strain your neck the whole time! Can anyone honestly tell me that they actually find it a comfortable location for viewing (while sitting down, and not standing up, that is!) I am not a stager, but if I was considering buying a home, I would NOT want to buy a home that did not have any other option for tv placement other than over the mantel, so I think stagers ought to realize what a turn off a tv over the mantel might be for many potential buyers. (Plus–I think it looks tacky, imho, making the TV such a major part of the focal point of a room–guess I’m just not that into glorifying electronics, LOL. I’d rather have some artwork there.)

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Phyllis,
      It seems uncomfortable to me, too, but I think many people are watching that high TV from a recliner or a reclining sofa so it’s more like they are laying and looking up anyway! I prefer making the tv a secondary focal point, with the seating addressing the fireplace and the tv (like the inspiration board shows).

  8. Christina says:

    Be careful about placing a tv across from windows. The glare off the windows will make viewing the tv very difficult. You’ll end up having to add window treatments just to make the room usable.
    I’d start to figure out the function of the room first – how many times a year does the homeowner use the fireplace? Does she like how the fireplace looks now? In my option, the hearth is really out of scale for the room and takes over.

  9. Susie says:

    Interesting…a problem that has been tormenting me for almost a year, as we plan our new home. The architect convinced me that over the fireplace would be fine. But it bugs me – too high, distracting, etc. finally this weekend my husband and I decided to nix the formal dining room and make it the tv room and save the fireplace for a quiet reading area. For us, the entertainment space outranks the formal dining space, but not a quiet fireplace space. Good input from your EPs group!

  10. Roberta says:

    Great post! This confirms exactly what I was thinking of just last night…to paint the piece of furniture that my tv sits on so it will blend rather than stand out! Thanks for the color suggestion too. As a home stager, the very first question that is asked is….”Where would you put the tv? I usually create a space with a table and piece of artwork to create a visual as I am not a fan of tv’s over the fireplace either.

  11. MarySue says:

    Here’s a crazy(?) idea: What if they put the TV against the back of the kitchen cabinet peninsula (on the far right in the photo)? It seems like that would address all the issues.
    One question — people ‘s remarks here lead me to believe that some of the comments include pictures, but I don’t see any pics. Any idea why that would be? Am I missing something?

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