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8 Artful Ways to Minimize (or Completely Conceal) the TV

Studio Ore Fulham Rory Gardiner Remodelista Kitchen

If my two boys had their way, there would be a giant TV in every room of the house, each set up to play Fortnite 24/7. I exaggerate, of course. They would probably want at least one of the screens to stream YouTube videos (the dumber, the better) and another one programmed to a sports channel. While I’ve given them free reign to decorate their bedrooms as they please, having a supersized television front and center in our home is not something I’m willing to compromise about. Ours, a reasonably sized flat-screen, lives discreetly in our den.

If you don’t have a separate room for your television, there are other ways to camouflage the black hole of attention spans. Here are some useful methods to minimize the presence and look of TVs.

1. Place it off-center.

I know there are lots of homeowners who like to install the TV above the fireplace. I’m not a fan of this placement: First, you’re making the TV the focal point of the room and, second, it’s not optimal to have to crane your neck to watch a show. Instead, consider going off-center and low.

Photograph by Carl Bellavia, from Two Young Architects Tackle Their Own Brooklyn Townhouse.
Above: Photograph by Carl Bellavia, from Two Young Architects Tackle Their Own Brooklyn Townhouse.

2. Surround it with visual interest.

Place the TV right in the midst of a collection to distract the eye with objects more interesting than a black screen—e.g., books, souvenirs, personal photographs.

Photograph by Hervé Goluza, courtesy of Camille Hermand Architectures, from In Paris, a Grand Apartment Gets an Update for a Modern Family.
Above: Photograph by Hervé Goluza, courtesy of Camille Hermand Architectures, from In Paris, a Grand Apartment Gets an Update for a Modern Family.
Karin Montgomery Spath New Zealand Studio Kitchen Open Shelves Divider, Photo by Matthew Williams
Above: Photograph by Matthew Williams, from A Glamorous Studio Apartment in Auckland that Feels Like a One-Bedroom, Hack Edition.

3. Insert it into a niche.

Remodeling? Consider having a niche built into the wall to hold your TV for a streamlined, no-profile look.

 Photograph by Catherine Tighe, from The Architect Is In: Seeking Sunlight in Chelsea.
Above: Photograph by Catherine Tighe, from The Architect Is In: Seeking Sunlight in Chelsea.
Studio Ore Fulham Rory Gardiner Remodelista Kitchen
Above: Photograph by Rory Gardiner, from The Uncluttered Life in London.

4. Camouflage it.

Go dark with the wall—and your TV will simply recede into the background. Below, moody brass cabinets echo the dark reflective quality of a television screen.

 Photography by Matthew Williams, courtesy of Workstead, from The Craftsman-Made NYC Apartment, Workstead Edition.
Above: Photography by Matthew Williams, courtesy of Workstead, from The Craftsman-Made NYC Apartment, Workstead Edition.

5. Cover it up in a wall of cabinets.

The old-school way to display your TV: built-in media cabinet and shelves. The more modern method: Built-ins for your flat-screen that look more like a wall than a piece of furniture.

Photograph by Matthew Williams, courtesy of Workstead, from The Artful Shoebox Apartment, Workstead Edition.
Above: Photograph by Matthew Williams, courtesy of Workstead, from The Artful Shoebox Apartment, Workstead Edition.
Top-floor Brooklyn townhouse addition family room designed by Bangia Agostinho Architecture. Pia Ulin photo.
Above: Photograph by Pia Ulin, courtesy of Bangia Agostinho Architecture, from Brooklyn Makeover: A Homey Townhouse with a Modern Garret.

6. Hide it in a cabinet or armoire.

Here’s a way to hide your TV that’s more affordable than custom built-in cabinets: a stand-alone cabinet or armoire. Plus, if you move, you can take it with you.

 Photograph by Leanne Dixon, from Before and After: A London Victorian Transformed.
Above: Photograph by Leanne Dixon, from Before and After: A London Victorian Transformed.

7. Install a gallery wall around it.

Integrate your flat-screen into a gallery wall. With its rectangular shape, it will look right at home next to a grouping of framed art.

Mid-century Media Console Acorn West Elm
Above: The Mid-Century Media Console is $1,399 at West Elm.

8. Use a projector.

Minimize the TV … to no TV! Replace it with a projector—and problem solved. No unsightly television in view.

 Photography by Davide Galli, courtesy of Archiplan Studio, from In Mantova, A Romantic Apartment with Remains of a Late Renaissance Fresco.
Above: Photography by Davide Galli, courtesy of Archiplan Studio, from In Mantova, A Romantic Apartment with Remains of a Late Renaissance Fresco.

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