As School holidays begin and Summer Sales are in full swing TVs are often top of the shopping list. Interior Design Jamie Hempsall considers how to show yours to best advantage
You have no doubt scoured the reviews and visited the High Street to find your ideal new TV, but before you commit spare a thought for where you will put it. The way your set is positioned in your room affects not only on your viewing comfort, but the role a television will play within your room.
The flat screen revolution means that the TV has leapt out of the corner of the room and can now be placed pretty much anywhere (or indeed within anything); this means the TV can be used to develop your interior scheme, rather than just vying with it.
A sitting room needs a strong focal point; modern homes are often built without a fireplace, so your television can help provide that grounding. As a result its placement needs careful consideration, not least because of the tremendous amount of peripherals (such as satellite boxes and sound-bars) that you also have to place.
If you are installing a television in a room without a fireplace then a long low, cabinet can be perfect. These are handy not only for storing additional pieces of AV equipment, but to hide the cable spaghetti junction that seems to appear behind most televisions.
Since 2005 sockets have had to be mounted a minimum of 45cm above floor height to make them more accessible. If this is the case in your home and you do not want to see a set of plugs, then ensure this is either housed behind your television set or that any unit is at least 55cm high.
Alternatively, with mid 21st Century classic now very much in vogue, modular shelf and library units are making a practical return in eye-catching designs. This allows you to build an entire scheme around your television and still hide the hideous cables down the back of a large unit.
If you do have a fireplace, you need to ensure the room does not become unbalance be introducing a vying focal point in the guise of your television. The simplest solution is to wall mount the TV over the fireplace. Employ the services of an electrician and a skilled decorator to recess aerial cables and power points, thus ensuring the final look is clean and uncluttered.
You can soften a wall-mounted television’s appearance and help integrate it into your interior design scheme by installing it in a matching wooden or painted frame – there are many available on the market, or you could use the skills of a local cabinet maker who can design one that matches or contrasts with other elements in your room.
When deciding where you hang a television, you need to consider the position in which you will be sitting to avoid hanging it too high up the wall; a common error in home installations. You need to be able to watch in comfort without craning your neck (even with the advantage of a bracket that angles the set downward). To avoid drilling unnecessary holes in your wall make a paper template of your television and hang on the wall with Blu-Tack. Get potential views to sit in their usual position and decide what height is most pleasant to view. Use the template to mark holes on your wall in relation to your bracket and hang accordingly.
Whilst the TV is generally a staple in any sitting room, you may still want to ensure that it has no impact on your interior scheme. About the only way to do this is to take an “out of sight, out of mind” approach and hide your television in a piece of furniture where the set is revealed on a rise and fall mechanism. Your local upholsterer should be able to come up a simple upholstered box, perfectly suited for your scheme, yet at a price which will still allow you some money for the odd summer holiday trip out.
For most of us the TV has no option to be on display. However, many people like the satellite box and DVD player to be hidden away, the dilemma being how to operate these via remote control without having the unit doors open. One of the simplest solutions is to use an infrared extender (or “magic eye”). These usually work by attaching infrared LEDs to the front panels of your boxes, which are then connected to a receiver discretely mounted in the door or on the top surface of your cupboard. Then simply aim your remote at the receiver to operate your equipment
Multi-award winning interior design consultancy Jamie Hempsall Ltd.