Fireplaces and Televisions

fireplace 1I think every designer has come across a client who wants to have it all {and we're not talking an endless budget here.} We're talking a room that is both warm, inviting, and functional. But in our 21st century lifestyle where we have gadgets galore, where do we put the TV in a room with a fireplace? Every room has a focal point which is usually determined by an architectural feature like the fireplace.  So the natural thing to do is to design the room to work around that fireplace.  So that raises the question for most families, so what about the TV?  It wouldn't make sense to split the interest and design the room with two focal points, unless there is enough space to create two separate seating areas, so this brings up a few things to consider.

Placement being the biggest concern.  Is the fireplace low enough to accommodate a tv placed above it so you won't get a giant kink in your neck while watching your favorite movie?  Case in point, the photo below:

fireplace 4This is a gorgeous room  meets two of the three criteria mentioned above.  It's warm and inviting.  And if you're sitting at the bar or making a snack, the TV is mounted at a height that will be perfect or you.  But snuggled up on the sofa?  It would probably feel like sitting in the front row of the IMAX theater.  The good news in this situation, there's enough space to bring it down a little to a more comfortable viewing height.

fireplace 3What will the main purpose of having a TV in the room be?  Some serious marathon viewing of your favorite show, or mainly quick news updates while preparing meals or working on a project? If so, another thing to consider is scale.  The one in the photo below is great because it is in keeping with the style of the room.  Sleek and not too big.

tv-fireplace-de This basement family room is a great way of showing a side by side layout.  This would be a great solution for a fireplace with a high mantle as well.

HDIVD1601_basement-after_s4x3_lgThis last photo is an example of how a room can have a dramatic feature like a fireplace on one wall while the TV is placed on a different wall.  This works if you're not planning on a big crowd.

hdivd1411_livingroom-seating-after_s4x3_lgLIV happily