With the Olympics our sitting rooms are set to become the battleground for a nation of armchair athletes. Jamie Hempsall reports.

While the choice and style of your television set is important, the way it is placed in your room will impact not only on how comfortable it is to watch, but also whether it ends up completely dominating it.

Flat screen televisions mean TVs are far less intrusive than a decade ago, despite screen sizes reaching near epic proportions.

Subsequently, the television has been released from the corner of your room and can be positioned more appropriately; enhancing your scheme, rather than vying with it. in a sitting room you need a focal point. Modern homes are frequently built without a replace, so your television can provide the natural draw. As a result they need to be sympathetically treated, especially when they come with a range of audio- visual peripherals such as satellite boxes and gaming machines. An ideal solution where there is no replace can be a long low, cabinet. These are plentiful on the market and provide the added advantage of not only housing AV peripherals, but also some storage for DVDs and games.

Try the Ying Yang low TV cabinet (£1,200 www. qingdao.co.uk) and the M150 White Glass cabinet (£1,499.99; www.triskom. co.uk). If you opt for a low cabinet remember in modern houses plug sockets are likely to be well above the skirting board, so check for a unit height of at least 60cm to be sure of a clean finish.

Triskom M150 White Glass Cabinet

Should you have the benefit of a firereplace, using the television as a second focal point can make the room feel unbalanced. The simplest solution is to wall-mount the TV over the fireplace. Employ the services of an electrician to hide aerial and power points to ensure the end resulting is clean and uncluttered.


TV positioned behind a modern replace

You can soften a wall- mounted television’s appearance and help integrate it into your interior design scheme by installing it in a wooden frame – there are many available on the market, or you could use the design skills of a local cabinet maker.


Bespoke wooden TV surround by Chiselwood

If you are wall mounting your television avoid the mistake of hanging the set too high. You want to be able to watch it in comfort without craning your neck (even with the advantage of a bracket that angles the set downward).

For rooms where you want the focal point of a replace to be unchallenged, a great solution is to create a false unit behind a modern flueless or electric fire and house the television on a rise and fall mechanism within this. Many cabinetmakers will be able to create a bespoke unit for you. Alternatively, there are an increasing number of standard units from the likes of Picture house Cabinets limited (www.picturehouse. eu).

Alternatively, you can hide your television in increasingly sophisticated pieces of furniture where the set is revealed on a rise and fall mechanism. Consider seeking out the Adam Style Demilune TV Cabinet, a neo- classical style piece in walnut and satinwood that makes a beautiful feature piece in its own right – before revealing the television within. (£3,853; www.jonathancharles.com- 01226 741811).


Jonathan Charles Demilune Cabinet in an Adam style is a beautiful piece of furniture in its own right.


It is often impossible to use remote controls for Audio- Visual equipment kept behind closedcupboarddoors. One of the simplest solutions is to use an infrared extender. 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 top of your cupboard. Seek out advice from professionals such as Seven Oaks Sound & Vision in Wetherby (01937 586886).

Jamie Hempsall, BIID, is an award winning Interior Designer