A movable panel works like an on-off switch for television viewing

Now that flat screens are so popular, the question is how to hide these wall-mounted units when they’re not in use.

That’s where homeowner Casey Reinking of Sunnyvale, California, wanted help. He didn’t want the television to dominate his open-plan kitchen/family room when he had company.

Interior designer Pamela Pennington came up with this handsome solution: a storage and display unit with closable TV niche.

The TV is mounted at armchair viewing height above a 12-foot-long, 21-inch-high maple cabinet containing a DVD player, stereo, tuner, and CD storage drawers. A 38- by 48-inch sliding panel moves along tracks in the square maple columns that frame the niche.

Perforated metal screening on the back of the sliding panel allows heat from the TV’s electronic components to escape.

Design:  Pamela Pennington Studios, Palo Alto, CA (650/813-1797).

Resource: Paint on wall is Treasure Hunt by Kelly-Moore Paints (item KM540-D; 888/562-6567).