Televisions, DVD players, CD radios, and their technological cousins are an almost inescapable part of decorating these days. The problem is that they only come in one style, Ultra Modern. Covered in flashing lights and function buttons, with a chrome finish that glints in the noon day sun, they stick out like a sore thumb in just about any decorative scheme you create.
You could always go with a Geek Sheik Modern design, and use the style of the electronics as a strategy in and of itself, however if the constant buzz of futuristic technology doesn’t make you feel “at home” in the space, you have to find another way of dealing with these eye sores.
Since the beginning of electronics people have found them ugly. The most common way of dealing with this has generally been to simply hide them away. The creation of a media industry has also given rise to the production of armoires, TV cabinets, and glass shelves, which provide various levels of discretion for your tech toys. These come in a variety of finishes ranging from refined red oak to chintzy plastic, and can even have a rustic raw log quality. This makes it easy to take the attention off of the electronics allowing you to focus it wherever you want.
The drawback to storing everything away is that it is difficult to enjoy it without opening the door. Remotes often won’t work through a wooden cabinet making the stereo useless, and you have to be able to see a Television to get any use out of that. This makes your media less accessible, and limits the functionality of the space.
Rather than hiding your electronics behind an oak door, you may want to leave it out in the open and just decorate around it. There are various ways to play down the modern look of these items including covering them up, re-facing them, or simply drawing attention away from them.
The invention of Ultra thin media products has made this especially easy. A flat screen television is much less imposing than traditional sets, and can be placed virtually anywhere you like. A simple drop cloth or curtain can cover the screen until you are ready to use it, and the addition of accent pieces to either side will draw the eye away from it. The same is true of stereos, DVD players, and most popular devices.
With a little simple construction you can even have an 8”-12” shadowbox installed in the wall. A sliding panel made of matched wood, frosted glass, or another decorative material can hide this box seamlessly in the wall. If you go this route however, you should be certain to have a pathway installed for wires to reach cable and electrical outlets.
Put it somewhere else!
Technology is an amazing thing, and even though it isn’t always attractive it does offer many new opportunities. One innovation that is rapidly becoming main stream is the use of wireless sensors. These allow you to have a device in one room, connected to another device in a second room, and run by a third device in yet another room, without any wires.
Using this kind of technology, you could easily place a stereo receiver in a media / computer room, but place small unobtrusive speakers al throughout the house. Using a wireless remote system you could even control the music without having to get up and walk all the way to the receiver. Couples this with a receiver that can hold several thousand hours of music, and you may never have to get up again.
You can’t run and you can’t hide, technology is here to stay. But it doesn’t have to dominate your life. Using a few clever tricks it is quite possible to create a sophisticated and elegant space, without sacrificing your favorite toys.