The Great TV Debate: Show or Stow?

The Great TV Debate: Show or Stow?

In the not-so-distant-past, most designers would have considered it de rigeur to hide the television. With the advent of flat panel screens and sleeker designs, however, the TV has come out of the closet and is celebrating its pride. While there are still stalwarts who would never put the pesky screen on prominent display, we’re of the mind that it’s largely a function of room use and personal preference. With design ingenuity, either approach can be stunning. Here’s how we’ve entertained the debate.

Manhattan Loft

Photo: Art Gray

For this Manhattan loft, we transformed a windowless “bonus” room into a sexy, cinnabar-lacquered media room. Since the whole purpose of the space was to engage with media ~ either of the printed or broadcast kind ~ we created a unique bookcase as the room’s focal point. Through the use of color, layout and lighting, we enabled the decorative objects to take center stage when the TV is off. Conversely, when the TV comes to life and the lights are dimmed, it’s all about show time.


Photo: Matthew White

For this slightly more formal Park Avenue living room, we chose not to give the TV pride of place. Since TV viewing was only to be a secondary function of the space, we made artwork the primary focal point and placed the TV in an exquisite cabinet designed by SPG Architects. Covered in a rich myrtle veneer, the wall-length cabinet houses a 50” plasma television, as well as all of the home’s audio-visual equipment. Seeing the TV rise on its electronic lift is a show in and of itself.

Metropolitan Home's Showtime House

Photo: Matthew White

For our room at Metropolitan Home’s Showtime House (see lead story above), we designed a chic and casual lounge space where the television is fully exposed. To correspond with the space’s low-slung, modern furniture, we mounted our TV very low on the wall. By placing the television off-center it allows an interesting assemblage of artwork on the wall above with an organic wood bench as an anchor below.

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