Hiding the Idiot Box

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Aug. 3 2009 11:46 AM

Hiding the Idiot Box

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Especially if you live in a multi-thousand square foot space, chances are you're not fooling anyone with that armoire in your living room. Winter clothes? Sacks of whole grain flour? Mmmmhmm. We all know what's in there: a 36-inch Sony flat screen and all your Friday Night Lights DVDs in the drawer underneath. I'm all about hiding unsightly entertainment packaging (DVD racks and CD towers, be gone!) but just when did become so gauche to have a television front and center in one's living room? New televisions are so sleek and anonymous: A nice foil to all kinds of decorating. Here's how I'd treat the idiot box:

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1. On a cabinet/credenza . And not necessarily one of those modern ones because they don't offer much contrast to the TV itself. I also find wall-mounted pivot brackets a bit ungainly when viewed from the side, so unless you need the screen at a perfect right angle to your head at every moment, why not plop the set down on a cabinet and hide the cable box and DVD player underneath (and notch out a hole in the back of the cabinet for cords)? They now make tiny new remote sensors to help in this regard. Hang paintings and other artwork on the wall behind the boob tube and it will all but disappear.

2. Surrounded by books on an etagere . I know, something like this won't fit a jumbotron, but books just make everything cozy. Cords hang easily down the back and with proper styling (tchotchkes, pottery, small paintings hung on the face or leaned just so), the TV becomes another object. If you have a built-in bookcase situation, Apartment Therapy gives tips on incorporating flat screens here (check out the color-coded organization!).

What I don't like? TVs sitting on a fireplace mantel or obscured by one of those weird 2-way mirrors. The former is too in-your-face, the latter too novel.

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