June 29, 2011

You Want Me to Put My TV Where?

There are lots of amazing things about the bonus Family Room on the lowest level of our home.  Quiet TV Zone of the house- check.  Walk in Basement gives lots of natural light- check.  Fireplace to cozy up to while watching movies on a cold winter night- double check.  We even like how this fireplace has the same style mantel as the one upstairs, which is located directly above it, and gives the house the feel that it is one continuous piece.  There are a number of problems with this room too though, (those lights, the cat door, the buffet just to name a few...) But the biggest problem is where in the heck, in this TV room, are we going to put a TV?

Picture from the Inspection.  We've since given the walls a coat of paint and added our "new" sectional.

You may remember from The Bungalow, that our last basement hosted ample space for a large screen and projector, which we loved.  Unfortunately the width of this room just wouldn't accommodate a projector and screen, so we we put that system up on Craigslist and used our profits to purchase a brand new 50" flat screen.  She's the new love of my husband's life. She always looks gorgeous and if you don't like what she's saying you can just change the channel.  I'd hate her if I didn't have a crush on her myself. 

You may not be surprised if you've read previous posts that our first inclination was to paint the whole built-in white, tear out the piece above the fireplace, and mount a TV above there.  I mean, that could be beautiful, right?  But as we have slowly realized with the rest of the house, it certainly wouldn't fit the Modern Lodge, West Coast Natural vibe this house has going for it.  And if we try to force this very distinctly architectural house to be something that it's not, it's just going to look silly.  Plus, we hear that expensive TVs above a heat source = bad idea. 

So back to the drawing board and a place to put the TV.   Here is the existing set up:

Did you miss it?  Yep, it's that tiny little 24" wide space that was built to hold a squat, tube TV back in the day.  They even made a little pull-out and swivel shelf for it, so that someone on the right side of the fireplace could view it, if they had a pair of binoculars that is.  This certainly will not work for our slender yet broad, lovely lady.  We've considered tearing out the vertical separator between the two columns on the right, which would give us the space to place the TV there on the left side built-ins.  Not centered so not ideal, but at least we don't have to take down the fireplace feature.

So as we waited for that project, we temporarily set the TV in front of the fireplace, and a crazy thing happened, we loved it.

This may be a bit controversial, but we are seriously considering insulating the fireplace, covering it up with wood to look like the rest of the built ins, and placing the TV here.  Hold on, hold on, let me explain myself a bit.  Here's the thing, we already have an amazing, gas fireplace upstairs in the Living Room, but unfortunately the one downstairs is wood burning. Back in the day we loved the idea of the wood burning fireplace at The Bungalow, you know, because it was "real."  But we quickly learned that a real fireplace means real work- buying wood, storing it, carrying it in, cleaning up after it, etc... We just didn't use it very much.  Especially once our little animal came around. Fire + 2 Year Old Monsters = Bad.  So, "Convert it to gas burning" you say- which was definitely the original plan.  But I don't know... the focus of the room for us really is the TV, and we want it to be in a place that we can have lots of friends over for a movie night or to watch the game and everyone can see it.  And just look at it again, it looks like it was made for the space.  

We would build it in a way that was totally removable, so years from now when we have that, "What the hell were we thinking?" moment, we can simply remove it.  In the mean time, I think I'm okay with curling up in front of the fire upstairs in the Living Room or up in our Master Bedroom, and curling up in front of the TV downstairs.

What do you guys think?  Do you think we're crazy, or did we come up with the right solution?  Would you place it to the left of the fireplace on the shelf?  Or tear down the mantel and place it above the fireplace?  Let me have it!


  1. Looks great! A log fire place in a basement (albeit yours is a walk out) makes me a little nervous. In our girls playroom, their tv is about the same height off the floor. If you don't mind a few fingerprints here and there, it's a perfect spot! Plus, great height for watching tv on bean bags!

  2. AnonymousJune 29, 2011

    All these great ideas, how do you do it????
    Is it genetic, hummmmmmmm!!!!!!
    Love Dad

    PS. I can't wait each day I get home to see what new post is up.

  3. Billy WhalenJune 29, 2011

    That's a tough call. I ran into problems with my new house as I went above the fireplace and I'm SO happy I did it. For one I have an old house and many of the stories online were split regarding the placement of the heat of a fireplace potentially damaging the tv.
    I even had best buy come out and tell me they couldn't drill the mount into the wall it without going into chimney (which if you had a fire could heat up that whole and make it's wait to the back of the tv. However I got a different company to come out and they figured out a way no problem.
    One of the things you'll read online too is that you will get tired of having to look up to watch. And I can honestly say how wrong they are. I honestly thing you guys would be happy with it.
    That's my vote - good luck.

  4. Thanks guys for the advise, I really need it! So far the comments on Facebook and the blog are about 50-50. You've successfully made me even more confused. :) Anyone else want to chime in?

  5. I am your old-school vote... I loved growing up with a wood-burning fireplace, and we still use it in the winters at family gatherings. Also, we don't even have a functioning TV, so my vote clearly won't count much there, but I'd vote you put it to the side! That way you can have both. Good luck on this one... one other thought would be putting it on the opposite wall... what's over there? Anywhere to mount it on that side?

  6. this is the future