While working on the Big Book of Small Cool Spaces, I was in and out of some amazing small homes. While most of the pictures and ideas went straight into the book, there a few that I got to blog from the cutting room floor. This idea is the most elegant solution for a television that I've seen to date. I don't even have a television, but if I did, I'd do it like this....Kelly Giesen is an interior designer on the upper west side who designed, scavenged and built this entire television housing from scratch. There was no fireplace, nothing. There was only a flat wall. Kelly, a huge collector, found the mantle at an antique shop and had it built onto the wall. Meanwhile she had already made sure that all the proper wiring was in place (cable, electricity, speakers, etc).
The flat screen was then installed into the opening with another, tighter frame installed around it afterwards. With the television in place and all the wires and boxes hidden behind a door down below, Kelly then had the whole thing painted, so that it disappeared into the wall and looked like it had been there forever.
Here you can see how she built out the original mantle to fit the monitor, but the whole thing is still very very slim. In addition, I found the height of the monitor to be very nice. It's not in your face, doesn't overpower the room, and it's at a really comfortable height for watching when sitting down.
She also did the same thing in her bedroom, but hasn't installed a television yet. Here you can see what it looks like before a TV goes in. You can also see her other decor trick, which is to use a fireplace screen to hide the monitor when not watching. The screen is backed with plexi mirrors, which hide but still reflect lots of light.
All in all, I found this a great way to include a television in a beautiful living space without compromising the decor OR the ability to watch the thing when you want to. Enjoy!
Edited from a post originally published 3.27.09 - JL