There’s nothing worse than having a beautiful sitting room where you have painstakingly thought out every detail only to ruin it all with an ugly mass of trailing cables and sockets when you rig up the telly. The dvd player. Oh and the cd player. Then there’s the amp and the X-box. Or is it a Wii? Not to mention the fact that you also need storage for the discs, the games and the films. And did I forget the speakers? And possibly even those bulky videos for the more, er, retro among you.
Manufacturers are cottoning on to the fact that design is an increasingly important part of our lives and if we’ve spent a fortune on the décor and furnishings, we don’t want to let it all down in one corner for the sake of some clever storage ideas.
The problem is not the televisions themselves, which, compared with the old fashioned boxes with the massive cathode ray sticking out of the back, are positively tiny. Many of us have chosen to mount the flat screen tv on the wall, but unless you have a very big room, so that everyone can sit in front of it, not everyone can see. This means you will need an extendable arm so that the screen can be pushed back into an alcove or against the wall when not in use.
But as more and more of us decide to set up home cinemas in the living room, mounting the telly on the wall is only half the problem. You’ve still got a find a way of housing all the rest of it. And its cables. This has led to some very stylish (and pricey) storage systems.
Now yes, the first thing you will notice is that a lot of these are very expensive. Sorry, did I say very? I meant ear-bleedingly expensive. The point is not that I am suggesting you should all rush out and drop squillions of pounds, but that I am showing you what is out there. Perhaps you can take some of the ideas and adapt them to your own circumstances with the help of the local handyman.
You will probably need the help of said handyman anyway as the first thing you will need to do is hide the cables in the wall if your funds don’t run to an all inclusive storage unit. There’s a special machine that sucks up the dust as it channels out the wall. Then you (or your handy person) pushes the wires in, plasters over the top and covers with a coat of paint. Bingo. Floating telly. Then you need to decide what sort of shelf/box/stand you need for all the stuff that goes with that we mentioned earlier. One solution, if the TV is in an alcove, is to have shelves from floor to ceiling with the TV on an extendable arm between two of them. Then you can arrange everything on the shelves around and it looks like you meant it rather than just made the best of it.
Or, if you don’t want shelves in the alcove you can simply fix the tv to the wall and put some shelves underneath for the dvd player and sky box.
The other point to bear in mind is that soon, Ikea is coming to the rescue with the Uppleva. A television and stand created to hide the cables and be an all-in-one unit. Sadly it doesn’t appear to be coming to the UK until next year but you can watch this little YouTube video if you want to find out more.
So those are the practical solutions. Here then, for the tech heads are the fantasy ones:
Mediacentre for Porada
Temp TV Wall Unit
Cattelan Italia Play A
M.IS.S (Music, image, sofa system)
Somehow you know that if there’s a super-advanced technological design needed that Philippe Starck won’t be far away and so it is with the MISS. A sofa that has speakers in each arm and a projector in the back to provide the full on surround-sound cinema experience. In front of the sofa you have a container for the audio-visual system, although you can use your own flat screen if you already have one. Finally you will need a rug in front of the sofa to hide all the cabling.