Sensible TV placement
Learn techniques for making sure that the TV is in the right place when placing a TV in a family room or living room
Twenty years ago, my parents bought a new house. I remember walking through it in anticipation of seeing my favorite room, the family room. Our new family room was cozy, with space for a large couch and a couple of lounge chairs. I was excited about the space, but I had one question: “Where does the TV go?” Today, I spend my time designing new homes, additions, and remodels, and I am still asking myself the same question. To find the answer, I first figure out the television’s role in the home.
Although the TV is not at its ideal viewing height, seating near the rear of the room helps to mitigate its higher position.
Use caution if or when placing the TV over the fireplace. It should be positioned as low as possible for viewing comfort, but not too close to the fireplace. (The TV owner’s manual may have recommended clearances.) At a minimum, keep the TV at least 18 in. above the top of the fireplace opening. If remodeling, you can place a thermometer at the proposed TV location while a fire is burning and check the reading against the operating temperature range listed in the TV manual.[/caption]
In most traditional homes, a fireplace is centered in the family room, and it serves as the primary focal point. This placement, however, doesn’t always make sense. If the fireplace is used only a few times a year, it shouldn’t be the center of attention.
Similarly, the amount of time that the TV is used should determine how central it is to the room’s furnishings. The role of the television in family life has changed a lot in the past 20 years. If the TV is used daily, it should be the primary focus within a…