TV VERSUS THE FIREPLACE - where to place them ?!

TV versus the Fireplace - The "Where to place them" Conundrum

You purchase a TV, and the moment you leave the retailer, it's value atrophies. This is no different than your computer, or I-whatever, gadget, etc., but however quick their value decreases, they have become a prime focal point in great room spaces!
Fireplaces these days have increasingly have had to "figure it out", how to showcase their presence along side "the TV".

Traditionally, a television was placed wherever there was spare space on a wall or in a cabinet storage opening. The fireplace was always the king of focal points. Today, this deliberate arrangement, or lack thereof can be a tricky solution to develop when helping a client during a renovation.

Home floor plans are also changing. We are moving away from traditional floor plans. Not so often are builders showcasing a separate a more formal space for the dining room, instead home offices are being planned and of course the infamous great room: kitchen - living / family room combination. In general, with great rooms there is less wall space for fireplaces and televisions to be placed.

So, with the above stated... And if you have a client who wants their flame + comfort experience, where the H-E, double hockey sticks do we plan the T.V? 

Great rooms are often multi-purpose type spaces - it's used for several functions, which further complicates the "competition" between the T.V and the fireplace. Which should you prioritize? Do you plan them both to on the same wall? Top / bottom? Side by side? Other?

There are several solutions, which often depend on the users of the space, the size of the walls, the orientation of the room (and a TV!!) and whether the space in question is formal or casual in nature?

The following are 5 tips that can help provide functional + visual balance between the fireplace and T.V. :

Photo credit: Debbie Golub of Design Shop.  This room is screaming to have the T.V. Above the fireplace mantle. Storage has also been provided on either side which can also house the T.V. For an alternative solution ! Comfort + size will dictate. On another note, how great is this great room ?! Let's be honest....

Photo credit: Debbie Golub of Design Shop.

This room is screaming to have the T.V. Above the fireplace mantle. Storage has also been provided on either side which can also house the T.V. For an alternative solution ! Comfort + size will dictate. On another note, how great is this great room ?! Let's be honest....

1. It is critical that the distance between the T.V. and the sofa or chair is sufficient. You want to ensure you are not straining your neck when viewing the T.V. Provide enough distance, so when watching a Kardashian marathon for 10 hours, plus, plus the distance allows for neck + eye comfort !!

2. Frame + install your fireplace low towards your finished floor. A Zero clearance fireplace (a fire safety thang - and, yes, research will be involved!!)  closer to the floor or one that can sit on the floor will allow your T.V. to be mounted closer to your eye level, which is best for viewing comfort. 

3. Install a mantle between the T.V and fireplace or create a recessed alcove into the home build out design to inset the T.V (furring out the wall around the television) you will create an advantageous physical separation between the two features … We love the look of having the front face of the T.V. align with the front face of the finished adjacent wall. Tips for this tip: ensure you have blocking in the wall to support the T.V. + all associated ecoutement... and, make sure there is a couple of inches of breathing space on all sides surrounding the T.V. 
Let's be honest, the man of the house will likely want to go bigger, sooner than later - you will need some room for growth !!

4. Remember to have the necessary backing boards/ anchors (blocking!! Yes, mentioned above) installed to support the weight of the television above the fireplace. We recommend bringing in a pro to complete this portion of the install. Also, please, please, please ensure all cables, wires, etc. are concealed !! There is nothing worse than having a dramatically designed T.V. / fireplace elevation designed carefully by Design Shop and having crap cable management!!

5. Wiring is tricky. Note ALL necessary electrical needs that are to be used above the fireplace. Cable outlets, electrical outlet, a grommet to connect the cabling from the T.V. to the game, docking stations, etc.

Questions, comments, inquiries? Let us know - we love talking shop !!


The Design Shop Girls


Bathrooms on budget with colossal personalities !!

We all have been told repeatedly that the most involved, expensive and pay it forward renovations for the home are the kitchen and bathroom spaces. But what is rarely spoken of, is that if planned creatively and proactively (wink, wink.. hire a seasoned INTERIOR designer), your renovation can stay on track and you can avoid bankruptcy, foreclosure and emptying your wallets !!

So, with the above statement said, How the h*ll do you update said spaces while still infusing massive personality and innovative design moves into your new and improved space !! Brilliant question you / we ask ...

Here are a few steps in the process that will keep you and your designer on track with budget vision and timeline...

1. BUDGET -  TALK ABOUT IT! Don't be afraid to communicate this integral baseline to the entire project. Do your homework. Think hard about your needs (and wishes) for the space. What are your expectations? What's your vision? What is your timeline (are you securing an interior designer at the 11th hour and rushing everything)? Are you satisfied with your current floor plan and layout? Is there anything in the existing space you are open to salvaging? And, on and on.... Don't worry, it's not that daunting of a task and your designer will help facilitate this dialogue... But the end result will help your designer know if your expectations are indeed in line with the budget, or if you are completely out to lunch... Design Shop will say this politely of course .

2. Keep as many mechanical, plumbing and electrical locations in place. Every move of said system can add dollar bills to the final construction costs. Wee moves or slight adjustments are typically not the biggest deal, but a complete reconfigure of the plan WILL add up.

3. Concept - the design story!!  Yeah, yeah... the perceived "hooey hooey" part of the design process, but this is where and when the magic happens with the overall vision of the design (please don't use the word theme - a decorator may be ok with this "term", but an Interior Designer will throw up in their mouth.. Just a heads up!).

The concept behaves like a thesis statement when writing a paper. It filters ideas, decisions and the body, ensuring the overall "story" is consistent and uniquely yours!
When it comes to staying on budget it allows you and your designer to choose the appropriate finishes and materials, fixtures, etc., that are congruent but most importantly we can make decisions about when,  where and how much you can splurge with your selections! There is always a way, you just need to have the right brain power to put this creativity to work.

4. Form should always follow function, specifically in a bathroom space, and one should allow for a variety of tasks to be performed in this multifunctional space. Your designer may ask you seemingly odd questions... ie: (sorry Ben Hopper), do you shave your legs in the shower? Show us how? These question may lead to your designer to suggesting a bench detail or an elongated or segmented alcove in your shower wall. Maybe one alcove storage opening is intended for shampoo and whatnot storage and maybe another segment is perfectly placed for you to prop your foot up to shave your legs!! If you are going custom - truly make it yours.

Enough Design Shop verbage for today... Now it's your turn, let us know what you think of our blog entry. Share, comment or hit the cute little red heart !!

The Design Shop Girls