Having a lot of tech gear doesn't necessarily mean your home has to look like an aisle from Best Buy. Parne's Swedish apartment exhibits a strong affinity for tech gear, but overall the tech is secondary to a strong sense of overall design throughout, with each electronic component thoughtfully situated for use, while blending into his living room space.
You could play a little game of "Where's Waldo" with Parne's living room, as showcased over at Swedish home theater site Minhembio. But instead of looking for a striped adorned fella, you could try to hunt out the assortment of tech gear he's hidden throughout his colorful living room, a thoughtfully stylish room that wouldn't look out of place in a past issue of Domino magazine (RIP).
White Jamo D 6SUR speakers fit nearly perfectly on each side bookcase, while another white Amphion Helium 520C sits underneath a Pioneer PDP-436RXE plasma television. Note the power and HDMI cable runs in a white housing that nearly blends into the wall (positioning the TV close to the shelf reduces the noticeable presence and distance the cable travels).
Parne set up one bookshelf to sit at a slim-narrow height to house his Apple mini HTPC (controlled from his Apple iPad), cable box and Pioneer Blu-ray player without excess space above, while an all-white Velodyne SPL-800i MiniVee sub sits below. The final effect is all his components look tailor made to fit within the designated space rather than the typical hodgepodge presentation many home entertainment centers present when planning is an afterthought (we've seen all too often home component Jenga, where devices are stacked precariously).
Not until you peek would you know a Pioneer VSX-920 receiver sits hidden behind a sliding shelf. When possible, reduce the presence of illuminated devices by storing them behind doors when possible, especially larger audio components. Just remember to permit enough air flow, since these devices tend to run hot when pushed.
Ideas to Steal from Parne's Living Room:
[via Minhembio, photos: Parne]
Color match: Consider matching the color of your components to match the shelving and/or background walls to blend their presence. Parne's setup offers 3.1 sound, but don't overwhelm his space, hardly noticeable.
Wall mount your TV, use furniture to conceal cables and cords: Parne's plasma TV isn't huge, but it's still a pretty large electronic in the scheme of a modest sized living room. He's positioned it at an ideal viewing height, while also using his bookshelves to hide the cabling. Additionally, note how he's paired a framed print at about the same height as his HDTV to balance out the TV's presence, almost neutralizing it as a complementing picture frame due to the similarity in height/size.
Size your shelving: Oftentimes bookshelves can be adjusted for position and height. Take advantage of these options and reduce excess space above your components in the same way Parno has with the narrow shelf for his Apple mini, cable box and Blu-ray player. The narrow shelf makes his setup seem almost custom sized, tailored to his components.
Showcase your beautiful tech, hide everything else: It's generally agreed a Technics SL-1210MK2 is a beautiful sight. Not so much with the typical black box stereo receiver. Consider hiding away components that don't need to be seen or used often, especially electronics that create ambient light pollution and can affect home theater viewing.