Where to Put the Television in Any Room
There is a subtle science to interior design – especially proper TV placement. If you simply throw your television in a corner, you will likely be stuck craning your neck, disturbing your decorations, turning up the volume too high or any other combination of inconveniences. While most people get along just fine not putting too much thought into where their TV lands, there are still a few tips you should keep in mind to get the most out of your living and entertaining spaces.
Determining the Right TV Height and Distance
When it comes to proper TV placement, height and distance are the most important elements to consider. It is easy to become preoccupied by fitting every piece of furniture into a room layout or mapping out your dream home theater without considering the personal comfort of the arrangement. There’s no reason to fret — these reminders will help you avoid such a slip-up.
First, the television height should be at eye level for someone who is sitting down, not standing up. If the TV has to be higher up on the wall, the screen should be angled down so it’s still at eye level. Otherwise, a mounting low on the wall or on a short piece of furniture is preferable, so when you’re seated your head will line up with the middle of the screen. It’s much more comfortable to look straight ahead instead of up at the screen.
One of the most common interior design mistakes is buying a piece that is out of scale with a room. This goes for your television as well. It’s one thing for a TV to be the focal point of a living space, but it’s another entirely if it dominates the room at the expense of the rest of your décor. Try not to cram a big TV into a small room, not just because it will dwarf your decorations and furnishings, but also because it will hurt your eyes.
The viewing distance you should strive for depends on the size of your TV, if it’s high definition or not and the layout of the room. Carefully calculate where you place your television or entertainment cabinet. Station it an appropriate distance from where you will be viewing the screen so watching TV will not lead to eyestrain.
For example, with a 26-inch screen you only have to be 3 to 5 feet away. However, a 40-inch screen requires 5 to 9 feet of space for ideal viewership. Then when you upgrade to a TV that’s 65 inches, you should be 8 to 14 feet away from it.
If Your Living Room Has Several Windows
A living room with multiple windows is a beautiful thing to behold, but it can also make TV placement a bit difficult. If you’re struggling with where to put the TV in a living room with lots of windows, the simplest solution is to install window treatments. Opaque drapes can be very helpful, and draperies with liners will definitely remove the glare on a TV in a sunny room. Roman shades or woven wood shades will do the trick as well. The window treatments you choose will depend on the design scheme of the room.
For those who want to know if they can put a TV in front of a window, generally it is best to avoid it. Try not to place your TV in front of or opposite a window, especially one that faces west. You want to cut down on the level of glare and the amount of light shining on the screen as much as possible. Whatever room you’re designing, it’s important to note the direction natural light will be coming in from when deciding where to put the TV.
How to Handle a Room with a Fireplace
Knowing where to put the TV in a living room with a fireplace can be particularly puzzling. Is it OK to mount it above the fireplace? Would it look weird off to one side? Should you put the television on the opposite wall just to be safe, or would this make the layout of the room too strange?
If your fireplace isn’t very tall, it might work to position the television over it. This will allow the fireplace to remain the focal point of the room and heightens the coziness of the living space. Of course, it helps if you’re able to angle the screen down a bit for easier viewing. For anyone building their own house or remodeling a room to include a fireplace, if you plan to have a TV above it, you should install a low, rectangular fireplace. This will enable the most ideal TV placement.
However, unless you really have your heart set on having a television above your fireplace, you should avoid placing it there if at all possible. Looking up at a TV over the fireplace will hurt your neck, and the screen will probably be at an off angle. Instead, you should consider putting the TV next to the fireplace. This may sound a little weird, but this positioning will guarantee the TV is at the right level, and you’ll be able to feel the warmth of the fireplace while you’re curled up watching a movie.
If you do decide on a TV to one side of the fireplace, it should be angled toward the viewers.
It is not advisable to put your television on the opposite side of the room as your fireplace. This will create competing focal points and make it exceedingly challenging to arrange your furniture in a way that doesn’t ignore either of them. The only remedy would be investing in seating that swivels around or is lightweight enough to be turned when you want to change your focus.
Positioning the TV in Your Bedroom
Popular opinion can be pretty divided on the idea of a television in the bedroom. Some people say it negatively affects your sleep cycle, while others don’t see the harm. After all, it gives you the flexibility to watch a different show than your partner or children, which is great for unwinding after a stressful day. There is no one best place to put the TV in your bedroom, but there are a few ideas you could try and suggestions to remember for later.
The easiest thing to do would be to place your TV on top of a piece of furniture. This could be a tall dresser or a favorite furnishing of yours, and it should be right across from the foot of the bed. In less spacious bedrooms, put the television inside a cabinet or on some other piece of furniture that’s proportional to the area. Avoid placing the TV in the corner of the room or on a small furniture piece.
Just like in your living room, you could mount the television on the wall, as long as the spot you choose will not interfere with your artwork or other décor. You could also hang it from the ceiling on mounted brackets. If you’re feeling crafty, you could select a smaller TV model and put it on top of an adjustable post at the end of the bed. This will allow you to rotate the screen or lower it when not in use. You could mount the TV on the wall on an adjustable arm close to the bed, or those who are creative could even incorporate it into a room divider.
Don’t give yourself a neck ache trying to sit up to see a movie. Get a support pillow or prop chair for your bed to enable you to watch TV more comfortably. If you have an adjustable bed, reconfigure your flat mattress to accommodate your viewing. Consider installing surround sound in your bedroom with speakers close to the bed or on the nightstand so you don’t have to crank the volume up. You could also purchase a pair of wireless headphones if your partner has to go to sleep earlier than you do or they want to do another activity in the same room as you.
It’s wise not to watch TV in total darkness, so when you shut off the screen and the lights your body will be ready for bed. To combat the feeling of mental alertness a TV in a dark room can bring, use a table lamp to create a soft glow in the room or install a dimmer switch so you can change the level of lighting in your room.
Where to Put the Television in a Small Home
Perhaps your house or apartment is a little short on square footage. If it makes you happy, that’s all that matters, but you may still feel like a TV doesn’t exactly fit into your floorplan. There are plenty of ways you can camouflage a television in your living space to keep it from feeling awkward or getting in the way.
Place your television on top of a vintage desk or inside an attractive wardrobe — bonus points if the furniture is in a bold color. This will add personality to the room, catch the eye more than a traditional media center and distract from the TV itself. If your living room features low seating, you can tuck the TV inside a console table so it can still be watched when you’re lounging, but it isn’t front and center in the room. You could even try mounting it on a swing arm for greater design versatility.
One genius idea for helping your TV blend into a room is creating a gallery wall around it. Surround your television with paintings, prints and photographs and either mount it on the wall or put it on top of a short piece of furniture. If you want to take this one-step further, you could accessorize it with table lamps, plants, candles or any other decorations you have on hand. That way the TV will just look like part of the group.
Stick the television in your bookshelf among your books, if it’s small enough, or hide it in tiered shelves that hold collectibles so the eye is drawn to the collection. You could also consider dwarfing the TV with an impressively big piece of artwork in the background or beside it.
Another handy trick is to position the TV against a dark-colored wall or patterned wallpaper. You can paint the inside of the bookshelf or cabinet it’s in, if you want, so it will blend in and not look out of place. When all else fails, simply put the TV in the largest living area you have, even if that ends up being an unexpected place like the kitchen. Positioned inside a small niche in the wall or your kitchen cabinetry, it will fit right in with the rest of the room.
Further Design Tips
The best interior designs incorporate your TV from the very beginning. That includes positioning it near the electrical outlets and internet hookups it needs. You should also go into any television installation with all the cables necessary or the correct type of fasteners for hanging it on the wall.
When wall mounting, you should take time to prep beforehand. Is the wall suitable for TV mounting, or will installation damage the wall? Create guide holes for securing your fasteners and check to see if your mount and TV will be level. You have to ensure your television is plumb before you put your tools away, as this position is likely to be permanent.
It is best to buy entertainment furniture that will coordinate with the rest of the furniture in a room. You could consider custom cabinetry to seamlessly incorporate the TV into a living space and make it as unobtrusive as possible. Another idea is to reimagine a favorite piece of furniture, such as an armoire, as media storage. You may need to rework its doors or install shelves inside, of course, but then it could hold a television along with your DVD or Blu-ray collection.
Your home might already feature recessed areas designed for flat-screen televisions. However, if your TV doesn’t fit into these premade openings, don’t be shy about calling a carpenter to enlarge them or create another recessed area that better suits your needs. If you have a larger, old-fashioned television, you can still utilize it in a way that doesn’t feel out of place with your contemporary living area. For instance, you could place your traditional TV on a short shelving unit at an angle, then position your couch perpendicular to it for viewing.
Through this article, you have learned where to put the TV in a living room or bedroom, as well as design tips for working around fireplaces, windows and smaller spaces. If you are still at a loss as to how to tackle your unique situation, visit one of the Davids Furniture showrooms. Our interior design experts are ready to answer any questions you may have and suggest furnishings that will fit your needs. We have locations in Harrisburg, PA and Mechanicsburg and we would love to help you in whatever way we can. Contact us today!
page updated 2/24/2020