Wondering how to hide a TV? These savvy ideas will help you incorporate a telly into your living room without it dominating the decor scheme you’ve spent months planning.
If you’re still on the hunt for the best TV to integrate into your living room, or you’ve already got your telly sorted, you can either integrate it or disguise it.
Experts from Jysk explain more: ‘For most, the TV is a central part of the living room. At the same time, a TV in the living room has a difficult time functioning as a natural part of the interior design of the room.’
‘You can choose to let the television function as the eye catcher of the room, or you can try to hide the TV in your living room design. Ultimately, it comes down to your own style.’
So, we’ve come up with 13 smart living room ideas that disguise a TV, or simply integrate it so that it doesn’t take over. Now all you’ll have to worry about is finding the remote – or wrestling it off the kids.
How to hide a TV
1. Make it part of the decorating scheme
When your wall looks this good and your TV looks this streamlined, there is no point hiding it away. Why not turn it into a focal point, like in the modern living room idea shown above? Position a few houseplants around it and you’ll almost feel like you are outside.
Or why not place your TV in a recess so the screen is flush with the surrounding wall surface?
‘While this doesn’t hide the TV, it does make it feel much more seamless than if it were simply mounted on the wall,’ says Hugo Tugman, architectural expert from Architect Your Home.
‘The depth of a flatscreen plus the mounting bracket is likely to be around 200mm. So a recess can be difficult to form as it means cutting away so much of a wall. Instead, you can “thicken” the wall where the TV is to be mounted by dry lining with plasterboard.’
2. Hide it behind framed prints
Confident DIYers can have a go at making this fabulous cabinet. Mount identically framed pictures onto hinged MDF panels. Then fix batons to the wall. And there you have it, your own bespoke TV cover.
3. Buy a hidden TV cabinet
One obvious way to make sure your set doesn’t play the starring role is to hide it in clever living room storage like a tall cabinet. This cupboard from The Dormy House (above) is almost guaranteed not to date thanks to its Shaker look.
‘Make sure the TV shelf is at a good viewing height when you’re sitting down on your sofa,’ says furniture designer Russell Pinch.
If you choose to hide your set away like this, it’s a good idea to use a four-way socket bar behind the TV, inside the cupboard, so there’s only one cable leaving the unit and you don’t have to move it to unplug anything. Your cable hole needs to be about 5cm square to allow plugs to slot through.
4. Reduce its impact with a bold media unit
It won’t hide the TV completely, but you can at least deflect attention away from a wall-mounted flat screen by hanging it within a dramatic wall unit. This example combines rich walnut veneer, glass shelves and integrated spotlights that can be used to highlight bold accessories, not your telly.
By choosing a piece that blends with other furniture – in this case, the dining suite around the corner – its function doesn’t scream ‘TV’.
Budget won’t stretch or you have a small living room that won’t accommodate a piece like this? Try hanging your TV against a dramatic feature wallpaper instead.
5. Get a bed with TV storage
If you’re a box-set addict, you may well have a TV in your bedroom. Well, it beats waking up on the sofa at 2am with an imprint of the remote on your face.
But if you’d rather keep your screen under wraps – perhaps because you’re worried the kids might demand to have one in their bedroom, or you don’t want it cluttering up a dressing table or a chest of drawers – get yourself a bed with hidden storage for it.
This luxurious double bed comes in black or grey, but you’ll need to supply your own telly.
6. Hide your TV in a wardrobe
Another neat trick for hiding a bedroom TV is to find a space within bedroom storage like fitted wardrobes. Sure, you’ll have to sacrifice precious handbag or shoe storage, but it’s a price worth paying not to have a big black box dominating your space.
7. Buy a projector
State-of-the-art projectors offer amazing high-resolution picture quality, as shown in this open plan living room, and let you watch on a screen of 100-inches plus. It’s exactly like being in the cinema but in the comfort of your own home. And best of all, said screen doesn’t have to be on display the whole time.
You can project straight onto a bare wall if it’s flat enough, and apply a special reflective paint to improve the image quality further. However, for a premium experience, we’d recommend splashing out on a motorised projector screen that can be hidden away when you’re not using it. You can even use it as an outdoor cinema.
For a full-on home cinema like this one by LairdKing, visit the CEDIA website to find the details of custom installation experts in your area. You can expect to pay anything from £15,000 to £90,000, depending on your wish list.
8. Choose a TV that’s a work of art
Can a TV ever be pretty? Samsung seems to think so. Its Serif TV has been created with input from French design experts Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, who have paid just as much attention to how the TV looks when it’s not being watched.
They’ve even invented something called ‘curtain mode’ – a halfway house between standby and on. You can view a clock, set up a slideshow of photos, and access certain apps. Round the back, a woven fabric panel conceals the connectors, so your set should look good from every angle.
Serif comes in three sizes, the 24-inch set is £499, the 32-inch is £699 and the 40-inch is £1,199. To find your nearest stockist visit the Serif TV website.
Samsung aren’t the only ones to have reinvented a television as a sculpture. Bang & Olufsen and Loewe have super-stylish sets, too.
9. Hang a TV mirror
Overmantels has a great line of mirrors that incorporate TVs. Turn the TV off and it magically disappears, so that all you’re left with is your own beautiful reflection. This is a great option if you’re looking for living room feature wall ideas.
You can choose the TV model and size you want and they will tailor the mirror to fit. You can also connect your TV Smart, 4K, or add Sky, Virgin, a Playstation and whatever else you like. And even upgrade the screen in the future without needing to buy a new mirror.
10. Mix your TV with picture frames and shelving
If you’ve not got the cash to splash on new furniture, why not take a decorative approach? Surround the TV with a mix of framed pictures and shelving in the same colour as the bezel of the screen, as shown in this rustic living room idea.
‘To draw attention away from the TV, cluster artwork in a relaxed, uneven way around it with uneven spacing between,’ says Abigail Ahern, designer and owner of Atelier Abigail Ahern.
This will make your set look like a deliberate part of the display and is also a savvy storage solution for a small space.
11. Fit a sliding panel
It may look like a pretty country-style panelled wall, but the middle section of this bespoke solution slides aside to reveal an embedded flat screen TV. This is a great solution if you also have other media that needs to be tidied away, such as a collection of DVDs, CDs or vinyl.
To create this look, the TV is mounted on a wall bracket, then shallow cabinetry is built around it. If you have a surround sound system that you also use to play music, it’s worth asking your furniture maker if mesh doors can be created. That way, speakers are hidden but the flow of sound isn’t impeded.
‘We can create special mesh doors so that speakers are hidden but the flow of sound isn’t impeded,’ says Tim Newbold of furniture builder Domus.
There are also different types of brackets you can mount the TV on. ‘The most basic is a static arm, but you can also buy articulated brackets that mean the screen can be pulled forward or tilted for optimum viewing when the unit is open.’
12. Use a screen
One of the most simple and inexpensive ways to hide a TV is to put a decorative screen or room divider in front of it. The great thing about this solution is that even if you have a huge set, you should have no trouble finding a screen large enough to conceal it. This folding room divider is from Natural Living, where a similar design costs £160.
13. Buy a screen that’s just the right size
Don’t forget to check the size. A common mistake is to buy a screen that’s too big. Ideally, the centre of the screen should be just below eye level when you view the television. This is because when we relax our heads tend to drop a little, so don’t mount it too high.
‘If you have a screen that’s too large, it’s a bit like sitting in the front row of the cinema. You can’t view the entire screen comfortably without moving your head,’ says Gavin Sykes at Bang & Olufsen‘s bracket supplier STB Brackets.
‘The size of screen is not determined by the size of your room. It’s actually more important to consider where you plan to sit. Even if you have a huge space, you may not sit at the other side of the room to watch TV. So, as a general rule, you should try to sit four times the distance from the screen as the screen size.’
So there you have it – 13 reasons why your gogglebox needn’t have to ruin the look of your living space.