In today’s homes, the television often acts as the central focal point in a living room or den. However, a large, blank screen can disrupt the aesthetic flow of a thoughtfully decorated space. With some strategic design choices, you can help your TV blend into its surroundings, rather than sticking out like a sore thumb. Read on for tips to decorate with intention around your television.
Choose the Right Size TV and Placement
When selecting a television, resist the urge to simply go as large as your budget allows. Carefully measure the wall or entertainment center you plan to place it on and choose the largest size that fits the space proportionately. A TV that is too small will look overwhelmed by the surrounding decor, but one too large can be visually jarring.
In most cases, placing the TV above eye level helps it recede into the background. Wall mounting at least 6 inches above your seated eye height, or on a tall entertainment unit, keeps the television from dominating sight lines. If placing your TV on a media console, choose one deep and tall enough to ground it.
Complement Your Decorating Style
Your TV does not have to be an eyesore if it does not precisely match your room’s decor. But consider a television style that fits cohesively into your color palette, finishes, and overall aesthetic. Cool metal and minimalist frames pair well with modern designs, while ornate antique-inspired TVs complement traditional spaces.
If your television has a plastic casing or other design that clashes, look into purchasing a slipcover to disguise it. Companies like Coveroo and TV Cover Art make custom sleeves that disguise unsightly TVs of all sizes and types.
Use Strategic Lighting
Properly illuminating the area around your TV helps prevent it from standing out. Ambient lighting directed at the walls draws eyes away from the screen, while task lighting behind it creates a subtle glow. Install sconces or directional lights on the periphery to wash the wall with a soft radiance.
Backlighting, installed along the top edge of the television or entertainment center, provides a delicate halo that blends the TV into the setting. This lighting choice works especially well for media units with open shelving. Opt for LED strip lighting to emanate an even glow.
Incorporate Architectural Interest
Visually interesting structures and elements surrounding the TV help incorporate it seamlessly into the space. If mounting your television on the wall, consider flanking it with architectural details, such as wall sconces, pilasters, or framed artwork. A panel of elegant wallpaper, tiles, or textured paint also distracts from the flat screen.
For media consoles and entertainment centers, look for units with articulated shapes and details. Doors with dimensional molding, tapered legs, carved accents, and open shelving take eyes away from the television. Placing objects like sculptures, vases, or decorative baskets around and underneath the TV also diminishes its visual weight.
Disguise Cords and Cables
A jumble of cords, cables, and wires trailing from your television adds to its eyesore factor. Make them disappear by running cords through the wall cavity or media console to keep connections concealed. Use cord covers or channels to disguise any wiring still visible from ceiling to floor.
Be sure to coil extra cord length neatly behind the TV or furniture. Use zip ties and clips to gather cords flush against the wall, and secure them in place so they do not sag over time. This instantly cleans up the look of your whole entertainment setup.
Utilize Surrounding Shelves and Wall Space
Filling the area around your television screen helps it visually blend in with its surroundings. Styling shelves of an entertainment center with decorative objects draws the eye. Collections of books, baskets, sculptures, vases, framed photos, and greenery incorporate the TV into a cohesive gallery arrangement.
If wall mounting your television, make use of the adjacent wall expanse to hang a gallery of artwork. Create an asymmetrical arrangement of framed prints and paintings to balance out the flat screen rectangle. Floating shelves mounted above, below, or alongside the TV also let you artfully style decor.
Add Window Treatments and Layers
Framing your television with layers of fabric helps it feel like just another composed vignette in your living space. Luxurious curtains flanking the TV add softness and texture while concealing unattractive wall sections. Cafe curtains only covering the bottom portion of the window prevent too much visual clutter.
Underneath a wall mounted television, try a stylish console table draped with a table runner that coordinates with your window treatments. Shelves and media units gain enhanced polish dressed with valances or swags of pretty fabric. Tie the space together by repeating the same colors and patterns throughout layered fabrics and accessories.
Greenery is a quick, affordable way to help your TV blend in with any design aesthetic. Place potted plants on media unit shelves or the floor on either side to soften sharp edges. Hanging air plants or a mounted terrarium on the wall above the television adds organic allure.
Try framing your flatscreen with decorative vines, either real or faux, trailing down the adjacent walls. For entertainment centers, setting a long planter box filled with foliage along the top conceals the TV naturally. The color and life of plants distract from the darkness of the television screen.
Hide the TV Entirely
If no other tricks for incorporation work, consider concealing your television completely when not in use. Sideboard consoles with doors, either solid or frosted glass, completely obscure the TV when shut. Sliding doors and panels mounted over wall-hung televisions make it disappear.
Another option is a retractable TV lift cabinet, which lifts your television up through the top of furniture when turned on — then lowers it inside to hide away when off. With the screen stowed out of sight, the cabinet simply looks like an elegant media console table. Close the lid, and your TV temporarily ceases to exist as a focal point in the room.
With a carefully chosen size and position, complementary decor, strategic lighting elements, and some concealment, your television can blend seamlessly into a well-designed living space. The right decorative touches will help that imposing black screen fade into the background when not in use. Follow these tips to decorate with intention, keeping your TV in harmony with the rest of your aesthetics.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I decorate around my TV without making it the focal point of the room?
Some tips for decorating around your TV without making it the focal point include:
- Mount it at eye level or higher on the wall so it doesn’t dominate sight lines
- Incorporate architectural details like wall sconces, shelving, or artwork around the TV
- Style shelves and side tables around it with decorative objects to draw the eye
- Add softening elements like curtains, valances, or greenery around the screen
- Use strategic lighting like wall washing and backlighting to diminish its presence
- Choose a TV size and entertainment unit that fits the room’s proportions
What colors should I avoid around a TV in a living room?
Avoid colors that strongly contrast with your TV screen, which will make it stand out more. Dark or saturated colors like black, bold brights, and dark saturated hues will emphasize the television. Lighter neutrals like off-white, light gray, and soft muted colors will help the TV blend in.
How do I decorate the wall around my flat screen TV?
Some ways to decorate the wall around a flat screen TV include:
- Hang artwork in an asymmetrical arrangement to balance the rectangular screen
- Flank it with shelving or architectural elements like wall sconces or panels
- Use decorative textured wallpaper, tile, or textured paint treatments
- Install floating shelves to display decorative objects, photos, greenery
- Frame with softening layered window treatments or cascading vines
What can I put around my TV to make it look better?
Some ways to enhance the look around your TV include:
- Potted plants, greenery on shelves to soften edges
- Styled vignettes with books, baskets, sculptures on media unit
- Ambient and backlighting directed at the walls, not the screen
- Media console with doors, drawers, shelves to incorporate
- Gallery wall, architectural details, sconces flanking the TV
- Cafe curtains or valence above, console runner below
How do I decorate a wall mounted TV?
Tips for decorating around a wall mounted TV:
- Hang at proper height – at least 6″ above seated eye level
- Incorporate molding, wallpaper, or architectural elements around it
- Add artwork, floating shelves, or greenery to use wall space
- Style a console table underneath with decor and runner
- Flank with curtains, valances, or soft layered fabrics
- Hide cords completely flush against the wall
So in summary, creatively using the surrounding wall space, adding layers of fabric and lighting, and flanking with decorative details can help a wall mounted TV blend into the space.
What can I put in front of my TV to hide the wires?
Some options to hide the wires in front of your TV include:
- A console or sofa table with a skirt or drape to conceal cables behind
- A basket, ottoman, or trunk that can hide wires inside
- A console cabinet with doors to enclose the wires
- Cable covers that match your wall color, tucked flat against the baseboard
- Furniture like shelves or end tables placed in front to obscure wires
- Carefully running cords neatly through wall cavities to keep connections hidden
How do you arrange a living room around a TV?
Some tips for arranging living room furniture around a TV:
- Place the TV at a focal point on a wall, corner or media unit
- Angle furniture toward the TV to create a conversation area
- Float furniture like chairs, ottomans away from walls to allow traffic flow
- Use a rug to define the sitting area while keeping sightlines open
- Flank the TV with matching side tables, cabinets or shelving
- Layer lighting throughout to avoid a ‘spotlight’ effect on the TV
- Style coffee tables and media unit with decor to draw the eye
The goal is to balance the TV in the space while creating comfortable zones for conversation and traffic flow.
How do you hide a TV in a living room?
If you want to completely hide a TV in a living room when it’s not in use, some options include:
- Use a media console or sideboard with closing doors to conceal it
- Install a sliding wall panel in front of the screen that blends with the wall color when closed
- Mount a pivoting wall mount that allows the TV to swivel facing inward
- Get a TV lift cabinet that lowers the TV into the cabinet for complete concealment
- Use a projector and screen that can be stored away or retracted when not watching
- Place furnishings like a bookcase or curio cabinet directly in front of the TV
So in summary, concealing the TV behind cabinetry, retractable mounts, or furnishings can hide it from sight when desired.
Decorating with intention around your TV involves carefully considering its size, placement, style, and how to incorporate it into your existing space and decor. Strategic design choices like proper lighting, layered fabrics, flanking artwork and greenery allow a television to blend in, rather than sticking out. Focus on using the surrounding wall space and surfaces creatively to balance out the imposing black screen. With some thoughtful planning, your TV can look like it belongs, instead of an eyesore. Follow these tips to help your television recede into an attractively designed background.