Television Taking Center Stage? Make It Disappear!

It’s a common problem in most living rooms.  How do you address the desire for a television in the living space without making it the focal point?  Flat screen televisions can sometimes fit into a bookcase unit, but the big black screen can still stick out like a sore thumb – mainly because it’s big and black!




A good solution in the case of the television in my client’s white bookcase was to paint the backs of the bookcases a dark paint color.  Just watch how the television virtually disappears!

dark bookcase paint color

Benjamin Moore’s Knoxville Gray 


What you really notice now is the fireplace, right?  The dark paint color in the back of the bookcase really ramps up the level of sophistication in this room.  Of course, there are also some new furnishings.  Here’s another before from a wider angle:




Working together, my client and I were able to take a rather dull space and make it spectacular.  This is what she recently said in a review she wrote on  

“At the initial consultation with Kristie Barnett, I’d describe my design needs as undefined. I knew there were aspects of my home that I didn’t like but I was at a complete loss on how to pull it all together cohesively. Kristie brought energy, enthusiasm, and so much creativity … I don’t have a defined style other than when I see something I like I just get it whether it is contemporary or traditional. I also love to incorporate family pieces/antiques into my home. Kristie helped me to pull all of those pieces into a stunning look that I am sure I could not have done on my own despite hours on Pinterest and Houzz and looking at years and years of Traditional Home and House Beautiful magazines. Not only do I love walking in my home every day but my family also enjoys all the touches she has made to their personal spaces as well …”

kristie barnett design

living room design after


Of course, one of my favorite parts of this design is how we were able to downplay the television with good paint color selection and placement.


Fido says, “Where’s the television?”


And speaking of good paint color selection and placement, don’t forget that Fall Front Door Friday is a week from today!  If you want a beautiful new front door color that is professionally chosen to work with your specific home’s exterior, contact my lovely assistant, Allison, to register for one of the last remaining spots on my schedule that day.

front door paint colors


And if you want to learn how to choose just the right paint colors and paint color placement, order my Color Workshop Video now!


  1. Connie Nikiforoff Designs

    I did a commercial project where I wanted the TVs to “disappear” when not in use. They had to be placed directly on a blank wall (it was a conference room and they did a lot of tele-conferencing). I also used a dark color on the wall. They loved it! It was one of those things I did where they say “I wouldn’t have thought of that.” Happy all around 🙂

  2. Linda

    If I didn’t know better, I would think your client was me! I also don’t have a defined style, but I know when I like something that I see – but I just kind of buy “willy nilly.” I have cut out (and now pinned) numerous rooms that I like, but can never put it together. I think I need to get some long distance “Kristie styling!”

  3. Susan Silverman

    Brilliant post!

  4. Paula Van Hoogen

    Just wondering…did you use some of her existing furniture (from other rooms) or is most of it new? I really love those modern armless leather chairs, can’t remember the name of them, tho I know they are classic. The use of cream instead of white in that room considerably warms the gray. I Love it, Kristie. Great work!

    • Kristie Barnett

      The sofa, rug, and the two modern chairs are new. The tables are also new, we got those at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. The single chair was in another room previously. Accessories were mostly existing.

  5. LibbyP

    Kristie, this is brilliant! I gasped out loud!

  6. Holly

    I was just talking with our contractor a few weeks ago about built-ins around our fireplace and how I did not want the TV over the fireplace. This is a great example that I’ll be able to show him. Thank you!

  7. Francie

    That is amazing, Kristie! It is a paint magic trick : )

  8. April

    I live in middle Tennessee, so I identify with many of your posts involving local clients or locations, but today I especially identify with this room! This is the exact layout of my living room – and I always struggle with furniture placement. Thank you for this beautiful blog!

  9. Colleen

    Wow! I just love what you do, it’s like you went into a room, waved a wand and poof! Beautiful! I wish I had your talent!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Aww, that’s so sweet, Colleen – thank you for the compliment 🙂

  10. camilla mcbride

    Wondering Christie

    Do you deal with a tv wall the same way when you have a corner fireplace and the tv is on the wal adjacent to it?


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