Hello, wonderful A Blissful Nest readers, it’s me again, Cecilia from Home with Keki. Today we’re going to tackle a design issue that’s been on my mind for a while now. I’m sure you’ve seen great ideas on Pinterest, in blog posts or magazines, on how to decorate around a TV. It’s a common question. How do you decorate around your TV? Should you decorate with a TV gallery wall? Should the television be the sole focal point on the wall? Well, I’m here to set the record straight.
About a decade ago it became a popular design trend to add a TV gallery wall. Why? Because people thought big black TV’s were ugly and weren’t a great focal point in most rooms. Nobody wanted an unsightly black box in the middle of the room, so TV owners across the globe started adding gallery walls around the television set.
Go ahead, Google “TV gallery wall” and you’ll see some people didn’t know where to stop. They kept adding and adding and adding to their TV gallery wall until you barely noticed the TV anymore. Or worse, the TV didn’t blend with the look and it seemed odd and disjointed in the decorating scheme. Sometimes the art covered the wall mounted TV and sometimes the TV covered up the wall decor.
How to Decorate Around a TV:
Okay, so don’t get me wrong, ten years ago I might have tried to hide the TV behind too many decorations too. Flat screen and wall mounted TVs offered plenty of opportunities to attempt to get the TV to “blend in” as part of the gallery. I probably would have added art, family photos, maybe the letter C in galvanized metal…don’t laugh.
But, I’m the first to admit a TV gallery wall worked–the TV wasn’t the focal point anymore. But the objective to hide the TV wasn’t always practical. In fact, it often caused the viewer to get distracted by everything around the television set. A cluttered wall of hodgepodge became the focal point of the room (not a great look). As the years have gone by, turns out more people are realizing the cluttered look doesn’t work. That is why, today, I am going to give you the biggest tip for decorating around a TV:
Subtle. Muted. Minimal. Classic.
Less is where we are headed in the design world when it comes to decorating around a TV. Rather than distract from the TV with a lot of bells, whistles and clutter, simply include the TV in your existing design scheme. Of course, decorate around the TV only IF you feel you need to. Maybe you have a large wall (but not a large TV), a large room, white empty walls, or simply, the desire to spruce up your TV wall, in which case go ahead and decorate around the TV.
With that said, when designing a TV gallery wall, it’s best to always keep it simple.
1. Use the Same Style Frames in Your TV Gallery Wall
Using frames that are the same color and style, ensures the TV gallery wall look is cohesive. The TV becomes the showcase of the design, rather than looking poorly hidden. Any color frame will work but keep them consistent with the style of the room itself. Match your frames to the room, rather than trying to match them to the modern look of the TV.
2. Aim for Lighter Colors to Make the TV the Focus
When decorating around the TV, remember the TV should be the focal point. It’s particularly effective to use frames and art in light, neutral colors. Remember, wall mount TVs are black, so competing with another dark or bright piece of art makes the wall feel chaotic and confusing. Neutral frames and light artwork will look more purposeful and deliberate.
3. Aim for Symmetry and Balance on the TV Wall
No more of the excuse, “Oh, I will just put this here to cover that old nail hole.” A balanced look will appear calm and well thought-out. A wall where items are hung haphazardly feels confusing and unsettling.
You don’t necessarily need to hang item in the exact same sized frames, evenly on either side of the TV, but measure your wall so items are consistently spaced. Don’t overdo it or add too many items to compete for attention.
4. Use Shelving or Built-Ins to House Your TV
If you have a handy partner or the money, add shelving or built-in bookcases around the TV. YUP, built-in shelves were very popular before the 1990’s. Then, the trend dropped off and people were literally tearing them out of homes. I cringe at the thought of all the beautiful original 1920’s built-in cabinetry and shelving that was torn out.
Well, guess what? People are now paying thousands to install built-in shelving. Builders are also adding them to new homes, leaving a large, centered space for a nice-sized flat screen TV. I truly believe this time around the built-in trend is here to stay as generations have come to appreciate the craftsmanship and the convenience of extra storage. The built-in bookcases are a great space to show off decor from books to photos (and of course, the television).
Consider building around the TV as your room design. Then, when you’re ready to make your new shelving look great, come back here and learn how to style those amazing built-ins.
I know this post was a little different than my usual decorating tips or “5 ways to” series, but I wanted help A Blissful Nest readers make the right decisions when decorating around a TV. Fortunately these days, with flat-screen TVs and wall-mounted TV options, the profile is low. TV’s don’t need to take over the wall or the room, but they should blend in. If you want to have a TV gallery wall, keep it subtle.
Let’s face it, the big black box in your living room isn’t going anywhere. Rather than fighting to distract from it, or figuring out how to hide the TV, work with the TV in your design. Use these tips to ensure your TV looks great as part of your gallery wall.