Stereo Equipment and TV Blending into Decor

Disguising How-to

Let's face it. No matter how hard we try to get around it, the television is a big part of our decor. Add to this a collection of CDs and DVDs, and you're left wondering: Is there a way to contain this clutter stylishly? Here are several solutions for blending the television into the background.

Small Windows Above Shelves
Southern Living

Wall That Has It All

Instead of filling an entire wall with built-in bookcases, try adding a series of small windows above custom shelves.

Bright windows allow sunlight to filter in the room while built-ins provide ledges to display decorative items. Housing everything from the television and a stereo to a DVD collection, built-ins create order.

Keys to Custom Shelves
You'll want to inventory a few items before calling a carpenter to re-create these built-ins.

Measure the television. Don't forget about the depth; you'll need space for ventilation. Some electronic equipment emits heat, which could cause wood to warp.

Allow space for any other equipment you'll want to include in the built-ins. Do you have space for speakers, or could they fit into another area of the room?

Count your media collection. Leave room for new purchases. Allow space for items such as books and picture frames.

Plasma Screen TV

Think thin

Streamlined down to a flat, thin box, this revolution in the audio/video field has produced TVs that look more like framed works of art. Generally secured to a wall, plasma screens can be viewed from any angle and still maintain their clarity. These nifty devices can also double as giant computer monitors.

A plasma screen TV is expensive but it can be a good solution for a room where space is at a premium.

Antique Armoire Concealing Entertainment Center

Beautiful and Practical

In today's home, an entertainment center is not stictly confined to the family room. In a sitting room off the kitchen, an antique armoire is used as a display piece for a pottery and dish collection. A television is concealed in the bottom half of the armoire; demonstrating the practicality of dual use: display and hidden storage for these homeowners. This sort of accent furniture not only adds character, but also keeps the TV from being the focal point of the room.

Framed TV as the Focal Point

Why Hide?

Take a cue from these homeowners and display your primetime viewing habits with pride.

If your existing TV is just fine, then consider incorporating it into a large arrangement. Reminiscent of fine Japanese craftsmanship, style meets function in this living room entertainment center. As demonstrated here, the television is just one feature of the wall entertainment center. Lattice panels above and below conceal speakers and other media equipment. Bookcases are another great idea, particularly ones with adjustable shelves. Even hinged screens placed on either side of a large TV will soften its visual impact.

A Transport Mirror

Multifunctional Mirror

For these homeowners, keeping the TV totally hidden during quiet moments was paramount, as it can distract from a room's surroundings.

The Solution:
Technology can work in favor of a room's décor. At first glance, an oversize mirror hangs above the fireplace. However, when the set is turned on, the TV screen can be seen clearly through the mirror's transparent surface.

A Storage Unit to hold a 60-inch Screen TV

Maximize Floor Space

Build a large TV and its components into the corner of your media room.

It's not easy to put in a 60-inch big-screen TV without dwarfing everything else in the room. Yet, these homeowners found a solution in a custom built-in with a twist. Carpenters constructed a storage unit to house their 60-inch screen, surround-sound speakers, and components such as a DVD player

Crafted as a single unit attached to the wall and slanted ceiling, the built-in accomodates the TV, shelves for components on the left side, and custom slots in the top for speakers. The inside (behind the panels) remains open for ventilation. Trim details, such as the decorative recessed panels, make the unit an attractive focal point.

A Removable Frame to Fit Around Big-screen TV

Plan Ahead

With modern technology and updated cable systems constantly evolving, these homeowners realized that one size does not fit all. Installing a removable frame made to fit around a big-screen TV's edge created a flexible size for the television opening. Also, a removable frame gives the homeowner easy access to media equipment to allow for repairs or additional hookups. Double-magnets, which can be purchased at a hardware store, hold the removable frame in place. Down the line, these homeowners will not need to alter the entire built-in if they have to make adjustments.

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