Unique and Unusual Ways to Display Your TV

It can be a challenge to find the right spot for the television in today’s open-plan homes, lofts, and rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows. In these cases, putting the TV against a wall can mean your seating will have its back to the rest of the room. Or it can mean you have big problems deciding whether to situate furniture to face the TV or face the view.

What if you could just get away from the wall and place your TV out in the middle of the room? Well you can! There are just a few essential elements to doing this successfully and having it look like it was meant to be.

Avoid placing the TV in the corner of the room or on a small furniture piece. Just like in your living room, you could mount the television on the wall, as long as the spot you choose will not interfere with your artwork or other décor. You could also hang it from the ceiling on mounted brackets.

Here are the three essential elements to float your TV away from the wall.

1. Hide the back of the TV with cabinetry.
2. Place all your components inside the cabinet.
3. Use a power strip inside the cabinet so all cables and cords are contained inside the cabinet. You will then only need to deal with a single power cord emerging from the cabinet.

The cabinet in this photo fits the bill. Beautiful on all sides and plenty of room for components, cables, a power strip and cords. By keeping it no taller than is necessary it defines the TV and dining areas without dividing the room.

Tip: Floor-mounted electrical outlets are your friend. If you are installing a new outlet, place it right under the cabinet, and allow space under the cabinet for the plugs because they will stick up from the outlet a couple inches. Create an access panel in the bottom of the cabinet so you can reach the plug.

In a living room like this, with floor-to-ceiling windows all the way around, walls for the TV are hard to come by. They’ve built a box to house the TV which matches the cabinet below. They are close enough to a wall to possibly have a wall outlet to plug into, but with all of those windows, they may have used a floor plug.

Hiding the back of the TV makes seeing it from outside no worse than seeing the backs of chairs or other furniture. Again, it is essential that your cabinet has room to house the components and their cables. Tip: If you don’t want to see all of the extra components — dvd player, cable boxes, and so on — keep the doors of the cabinet opaque. You can install a device called an “IR repeater” (pronounced “eye-are-repeater”) under the TV screen for each item you need to run with a remote. The IR repeater is very tiny so you can mount a few of them under the TV screen to run multiple components.

A TV holder like the one in this photo hides the back of the TV and is nice looking from behind. It will not hide all of the cables, so I would recommend this type when you have just a minimum number of components. I would be tempted to place a box on the base of this that housed the components and their cables with a power strip inside. It is ideal to have no more than one power cord emerging from your cabinet.

Tip: If you cannot install a floor-mounted electrical outlet, then use the best cable cover you can get to hide the cord and make it lie flat on the floor as it runs to your wall outlet. Remember you are using a power strip inside your cabinet so you only have to hide one cord. I’ll say more about this later.

People have been using motorized lifts in TV cabinets at the foot of a bed for years now. Look closely, and you can see the panel on the top of the cabinet where the TV comes up. The only difference in floating the cabinet in the main living area is that you can’t hide the cord under a bed.

Hiding the cord cover: If you can’t find a cord cover that matches your floor, here’s an idea. Self-adhesive contact paper comes in woodgrain and a multitude of colors. Buy contact paper that matches your floor as closely as possible and use it to wrap the cable cover. If you have carpeting, the cable covers are made of fabric with Velcro strips running the length of both sides. Make one out of wool or heavy felt to match your carpet as closely as possible.

I know some people don’t like to see cord covers, but ask yourself what bothers you more: a cord cover, sitting with your back to the room, or facing the wall instead of the view?