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flat-screen TV can add to the entertainment value of a family room. It can also be a looming presence that overwhelms all other design elements in a room and cancels out other uses for this living space. Dovetailing a flat-screen TV with other activities in a family room can be a challenge. A typical flat-screen TV that measures 40 inches diagonally actually consumes more than 1,000 square inches of space on a wall. But these large displays need not be the elephant in the room you can’t ignore. Keeping a sense of proportion requires making some design choices in advance of the flat-screen TV installation.  

Design for multiple purposes: In a room conceived entirely around television viewing, the screen necessarily reigns supreme. Sectional seating that can also accommodate non-TV activities around a coffee table and comfortable recliners for reading make the flat screen a more integrated element of overall design.  

Screen placement: A flat-screen TV that’s placed at a 90-degree angle to the main windows in a room doesn’t compete with the exterior view. This converts a room from a dedicated home theater with a plasma view of the world to a rounded living space where occupants feel comfortable doing activities other than watching television.

Bigger isn’t always better: A simple formula can keep you from overwhelming a room and viewers in it with an oversized Big Brother display. The diagonal measurement of the screen should not exceed three times the distance to the people in the room viewing it. Therefore, if occupants of the room will be seated six feet away, a screen with a 36-inch diagonal measurement is optimal for that particular space. 

Go light on acoustics: Nobody wants to live in a soundstage. Overdoing elements like thick padded carpet and heavy draperies in order to enhance the audio can also take the life out of the living space. Try to strike a balance by blending sound-deadening materials that are natural parts of a typical household, such as throw rugs and conventional curtains. Leave the industrial acoustical design to commercial theaters. 

Out of sight and mind: If you want to reduce the impact of 24/7 television and encourage other enriching family activities, consider concealing the screen inside a professionally mounted wall enclosure or home entertainment module. That big, blank screen staring at a room tends to get lit up—even when there’s nothing you really want to watch. A mounting configuration that encloses the screen when it’s not being viewed reduces perfunctory TV use and frees up the room for other possibilities.  

The most trusted name in Sarasota, Bradenton and Manatee County, Aqua Plumbing & Aircan handle all your home theater installations. Call us for more information on creative ways to blend a large-format flat-screen TV into your design scheme. 

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