We’re pressing play on these smart design tricks.

Hidden TV by Medium Plenty
Bess Friday

Let’s be honest: Having a television as the focal point of our living room or bedroom is all cozy movie nights and streaming marathons… well, until you turn off your favorite programs. Then, in what feels like the blink of an eye, you have a big, black screen totally cramping your design style. Not only is it an eyesore, but in a world where we spend so much time staring at a screen, it can be a total bummer to feel like an entire room is dictated by yet another one.

So when Oakland-based design firm Medium Plenty was tasked with decorating a 4,500-square-foot, Mediterranean-style house for a family of five, they took matters into their own hands. The firm ​​created a clever design to hide the clients’ television in a flush wall cabinet wrapped with Elworthyhas Studio’s Botanica print. The result? Hiding your television screen in plain sight. “We always advocate for concealing a television whenever possible,” explains Gretchen Krebs, designer and co-founder of the firm. 

Cabinet Hide TV by Medium Plenty
Gretchen Krebs of Medium Plenty swathed a cabinet in floral wallpaper to hide a TV.

Bess Friday

Of course, Krebs isn’t the only person to cut down on screen time. Nowadays, both designers and dwellers are looking for creative ways to conceal their televisions for a well-appointed, analog abode. But according to Jan Clausen, principal interior designer of Clausen-Collaborative Interior Design, this design tactic is a clever, time-honored hack that’s finally having its big moment.

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“Concealing televisions is not a recent trend; 30 years ago we concealed televisions in [dressers],” she explains. “When flat-screen televisions were introduced, there was an era of excitement around the new fresh look of a television, and we displayed them. It is a natural progression to find a clever way to integrate the television into the room, without allowing it to be the focus of the room.”

Clausen recently incorporated this trick into the great rooms of the villas she designed for Stanly Ranch in Napa, California: She recessed the television into a textured stone wall and placed a framed piece from a local artist on a sliding rail, so the work can quite literally be moved to cover the screen.

Sliding Artwork Hide TV at Stanly Ranch
Artwork on a sliding rail covers a TV in this open living space at Stanly Ranch.

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“In an open-plan setting where lounge seating, dining, and kitchen areas are shared, the television should not overpower the room, particularly in a resort environment like Stanly Ranch, surrounded by picturesque agriculture and vineyards,” Clausen explains. “By concealing the television, the space maintains its harmonious balance, drawing your attention to the beauty of nature and the company around you.”

Not only does the use of stone and art create a focal point that “enhances the ambiance,” but Clausen also notes that the television screen is strategically placed to the very side of the wall. (Translation? Even when the television is on, it’s not commanding too much attention.)

While recessing your television into a wall might be the most sophisticated way to copy the trend, there are plenty of easy and affordable alternatives. For a budget-friendly take, Krebs recommends experimenting with your room’s color palette. “Dark paint or moody wallpaper behind the television can really also help reduce the presence of the screen,” she says. 

Art TV at Stanly Ranch
The artwork blends in with the rest of the room.

Auberge Resorts Collection

Want to turn your entertainment setup into a major design moment? “Add a frame around the television to conceal the bracket and electrical connection,” Clausen recommends. “Simple hinged doors could be added; doors could be painted; you could add natural wood, artwork, or a mirror.”

Of course, there is always the option to ditch the television screen altogether—which might be a fitting choice for some spaces. (Clausen, for example, is a big proponent of keeping screens out of the bedroom.) However, if you do find yourself craving a snuggly streaming session, you can get the best of both worlds with a portable projector. “We also have a lot of clients going the projector route, which allows you to have flexibility with your walls if you’re able to conceal the screen and projector equipment well,” Krebs says.

Regardless of which approach you take, here’s your cue to kick back, relax, and enjoy the show when you want—but also to relish in a stunning space after the credits roll.