Television: Art Piece, Conversation Piece, Or Visual Blight
The purists would say: television behind doors, they are to be watched but not seen. Not by dinner party guests, anyway. We all watch TV, probably too much TV. But it is becoming the stand out visual queue of each room in the era of casual design. As we get away from the paneled libraries with books up to 15? high lining each wall and find them more for decoration, the question remains….What about the TV?
American Telvision viewing statistics are a fundamentally interesting part of this debate:
Percentage of households that possess at least one television: 99
Number of TV sets in the average U.S. household: 2.24
Percentage of U.S. homes with three or more TV sets: 66
Number of hours per day that TV is on in an average U.S. home: 6 hours, 47 minutes
Percentage of Americans that regularly watch television while eating dinner: 66
Number of hours of TV watched annually by Americans: 250 billion
Percentage of Americans who pay for cable TV: 56
Number of videos rented daily in the U.S.: 6 million
Number of public library items checked out daily: 3 million
Percentage of Americans who say they watch too much TV: 49
With this much Television Viewing, who has time to put the TV behind doors. We celebrate it as a culture and as the American way of life want bigger, better, and HD!
So this brings us to hanging 60? giants on the wall of the media rooms, yes, the den is now the Media Room in most households. A good designer can still find interesting ways to make this fit in with life in the dinner party set. One of the tricks I use is called VisionArt www.visionart.com This is a great way to incorporate artwork, original or printed giclee media into the TV scene. The artwork is down when TV is off, and rolls clean away when TV is on. The beautiful frames surround the flat screen and can be either installed in the wall or on the wall.
Another option is a wall cabinet with bi-fold doors to hide the TV when it is not in use. In the kitchen I use flat screens that are on mechanisms to retract back into the upper cabinet base. In the bathrooms, two way mirrors cover flat screens behind the mirror leaving you an area to shave and watch the morning show simultaniously. When these televisions are off, you don’t even know they are there.
So the question is a personal one, to hide or not to hide. Talk to your designer to discuss options to celebrate or alliviate the television revolution.