Sunday, February 6, 2011

Are TVs Ugly?

I guess my basic question is; Are TVs ugly? And by ugly, I am asking if they add to the esthetics of a room or are they simply a device that we use often and need? We have 4 TVs in our home, most of which get used for several hours every day (yes, my kids watch too much TV). But they are also an important source of news and educational information, as well as a form of entertainment (I saw a wonderful program about Green Building on PBS the other evening).

We have a TV in the living room, office, bedroom and family room. The most often used is in the living room and the least used is in the bedroom. The TV in the living room is set in a large wall nook and can be covered up with a large painting when we choose. But, because it is so frequently used, it is rarely hidden from view. I arranged the living room television in the wall nook for a couple of reasons, mainly to reduce glare created by light through the windows. But, this also made it easy to hide the TV. I had originally planned to build a mechanical lift that would raise the TV out of view and replace it with a bookcase. But, hanging a picture over it was a much simpler and cheaper option. I want a TV when needed, but I pretty much don’t want to see them otherwise.

It’s not that I don’t like TVs or utilize them; I just don’t think they add to a room. One of the things that I have to consider with every design is what will be the focal point of the main room, typically the living room. Today, that focal point is always an entertainment center of some type with maybe a fireplace taking second place. Some people place a flat screen TV over the fireplace, but I really dislike this arrangement. It just detracts from the beauty of the fireplace. Placing the TV adjacent to the fireplace and preferably in combination with a built-in cabinet with doors to hide it is a much better option.

The TV in the bedroom poses just as much of a problem. It’s just kind of big and ugly, yet I use it for a little while almost every evening. I recently saw a very nifty dresser advertised where a medium sized TV would raise and lower from within the dresser when needed. Very, cool, but I have no idea what the cost is. I have also seen beds where a TV raises up out of the footboard. Again this is cool, but I am not sure I would really like this option too much.

Another option would be to setup the living room TV to display a slow slideshow of paintings and photographs. While that would certainly add some wonderful visual interest, I just can’t bring myself to waste the energy. So, I am not sure if there is any better option than to design a home so that the TV can be hidden in a nook, built-in cabinet or entertainment center. It typically does not take much effort to do so and it does give you the option of not having to look at an ugly TV.

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