How to Use a TV as a Room Divider

What's with all of this hiding-the-TV business? Televisions are more beautiful than they've ever been before, thanks to the worldwide growth of aesthetically-minded electronics. So let's show that baby off! Yep, right in the center of your wide open studio loft: Your flat-screen makes a great room divider—if you know how to use it.

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Want to use your big, beautiful TV to split up living spaces in your lofty space? We don't blame you. Using the TV to divide two spaces—like say, the living room and bedroom—means you get to enjoy your swiveling flat screen in each "room."

But if you want to pull it off, and keep your apartment looking clean and kempt, stick to these guidelines:


1. Go wireless where you can.
We're eager to see the day when TVs are completely wireless. But until then, you can start phasing out as many cords as possible. Invest in a wireless streaming set-top box. While you're at it, why not stash your rarely-used DVD player in the closet while you're busy streaming Netflix?

2. Attack necessary wires with one big cable wrap.
Even if you wage a war on your set's cables, you'll still have to seal with at least a few unwanted wires springing from behind your TV. Wrap them all up into one cable wrap to visually de-clutter your cable spaghetti. Try a commercial solution like the Westinghouse Flex Wrap ($12.56) or GE's Spiral Wrap ($5.40). Or, just DIY a wrap with garbage ties or a cable lacing technique.

3. Secure it down.
With a TV out in the open away from the walls, you're increasing the chance it might tip over. That risk approaches almost certainty if you have small children in the house. Position the TV so that it's at least 3 inches to 4 inches away from any edge. Then, secure it down to the stand, bench or bookshelf below. Use earthquake straps or childproof anti-top straps to hold it down (they're not as unsightly as you might think).

4. Clean it regularly.
When your flat screen is against the wall, you can let the dark, static-y backside get as dusty as it wants to be. But now that its rear view is on display, make sure the whole TV stays clean. Use a coffee filter to pick up dust, then wipe it down with a lightly damp cloth (take care to avoid getting moisture inside the TV's vents).

5. Hang a backing.
Don't want to check out your set's rear view every day? No problem. You can incorporate another room divider along side it without giving up the TV-in-two-rooms versatility. We love the sliding panel in The Flip Around Home Entertainment Center (pictured directly above).



(Images: Jobinco.com, The Flip Around Home Entertainment Center)

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Taryn is a writer, maker, designer, and editor of lifestyle blog Formal Fringe. She lives in an apartment in Atlanta with her fiancé, their Boston Terrier and lots of serving dishes.