Flat screen TV & living room: How do I look?

ImageThat’s a fact of American life: The average television is on a staggering seven hours a day!

So, as a designer, one of the first things I review with my clients when helping them with their living room is to ask about their lifestyle and viewing habits, because that tells me about how much importance to give the TV in the design of the space.

So, how do you design such a space and integrate the TV?

The trick is to design a space that allows for pleasant, comfortable watching while ensuring that the room will serve its other purposes. The best way for this is to create a flexible seating arrangement and avoid turning the family room into a home theater, where everyone just stares at the television without interacting.

Let’s look at this closer:

1-   Set up a multipurpose floor plan:

Since the idea is to bring everyone together, here are a few tricks for setting up a TV without disrupting the environment:

–       Keep the TV at a 90-degree angle to the main windows. That way, it doesn’t interfere with anyone’s ability to look over and enjoy the views

–       Screen size: The biggest TV is not necessarily the right one for your space.  The general rule is a viewing distance of roughly two to three times the screen diagonal.

–       Acoustics: Use carpeting and drapes to absorb some of the sound but since the room will be used for entertaining as well as for watching TV, don’t overdo it with carpeting the floors wall to wall and covering every window with heavy drapery.

–       Lighting: Think dimmable lighting for the multifunctional room so you may use soft light for entertaining, and task lighting for reading or homework. 

2-   Should I hang it or hide it?

A good thing about flat screen TV’s is that they look good even when turned off, so they don’t necessarily need to be hidden behind expensive custom cabinets. But if you are worried your family will gravitate to the TV if it is in plain sight, house it in an entertainment center. It will also hide visual clutter.

If you decide to mount the TV on the wall, you will need to keep all other components in a cabinet below and run the wires behind the wall.

3-   Out of sight, out of mind:

If your family is in the minority that watches television infrequently, keep the set out of the family room altogether and instead move the TV in a separate space that can also double as a den or study area.  Close off the space with a solid wood door to keep it acoustically and psychologically separated from the rest of the home.

As always, feel free to call me if you still struggle with where to place your television within your home. I will be glad to help!


Brigitte Beltran is a Professional Interior Designer and certified Feng Shui practitioner, founder of FS2D Design Group, Inc. Her consulting firm is located in Miami, Florida. She can be reached at 786.223.8476 or via email at brigitte@fs2ddesigngroup.com. www.fs2ddesigngroup.com


About fs2ddesigngroup

FS2D Group is a Residential and Commercial Interior Design practice with a Feng Shui Specialization. That means we design beautiful interiors that will improve your life and support you with well being, growth and empowerment. By integrating Feng Shui into our design, we provide our clients positive life outcomes through the adjustments of elements that impact us. This design approach for the Western lifestyle is inspired from the Eastern Art & Science of Feng Shui.
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