The Considered Living Room, or Why You Should Kill Your TV

The Considered Living Room, or Why You Should Kill Your TV

Nancy Mitchell
Jun 22, 2015
(Image credit: Vanity Fair)

It used to be that the hearth was the center of the home, the spot that everyone gathered around at the end of a long day. Then along came central heating, and then the television, which has usurped the fireplace's role as the center of the home. But the days of tube dominance may be slowly drawing to a close. There are plenty of other ways to consume media — and plenty of reasons your living room might be better off without the box.

Before I continue, a disclaimer: the television plays a different role in everyone's life, and maybe yours isn't something you're willing to give up. Maybe watching Game of Thrones every week is how you and your housemates bond, or maybe movie nights are a really big deal to you. In that case, TV on. But if your TV has a less important place in your life, maybe it's time to reconsider its dominance in your living room.

(Image credit: Lonny)

One argument against TVs is that they're a bit unsightly — although new flatscreen designs are helping to change that a bit. You can even mount your TV in a gallery wall, almost as if it's not there. But you'll still know it's there, and therein lies the problematic thing about TVs — the tendency, if you have one, to arrange your living room like a place for entertainment, and not a place for people. All too often, the placement of the television comes first, and then all the seating gets ranged in an awkward semicircle around it. Which is fine for well, TV watching, but not as fine for enjoying your space and each other.

(Image credit: Domino)

I've noticed, lately, that what a lot of the successful living rooms I see have in common is the lack of a TV. This allows for the creation of all sorts of cozy and interesting conversational groupings — a group of seating round a fireplace, a daybed across from a sofa, or my favorite, two sofas across from one another. Conversations, even among quite a few people, always feel so wonderfully intimate on two sofas across from one another.

(Image credit: Milk Magazine)

So take a moment and think about what it might be like to go TV-free. And if you find that you're not ready, you can always do something just as good — arrange your living room for people placement, and let the TV placement be a second thought.

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