A flat, wide-screen television requires a different approach when decorating the wall around it than when decorating around an old-school TV. The bulky sets of the past could never be mounted on walls and incorporated into wall art or onto thin, sleek shelving systems. If you don't want the TV on display when it's not in use, you have clever options for disguising it.
Accent with Art
Complement the shape of a flat screen TV by surrounding it with framed art, whether it's mounted on the wall or placed on a console table. If the TV frame is black, use black frames with white or gray matting and black-and-white photos or silhouette prints for a cohesive look. The TV fits perfectly with the artwork when it's turned off, becoming a colorful focal point when it's turned on.
Hang the framed art both vertically and horizontally to add interest, using multiple frame sizes for the art. Place a console table under the display to help anchor the design. If the TV is resting on the table, add dimension with sculpted art and arrange framed art around the TV's shape on the wall behind.
Customize with a Frame
Make a sleek, modern flat screen TV fit comfortably into a lodge or western style living room by putting a rustic wood frame around it. The frame makes a TV mounted over a fireplace look more like a mirror when not in use or a piece of art.
If you lack woodworking skills or don't want to have a custom frame made, look for a frame that is slightly larger than the TV and use it as more of a decorative border. Go for a frame in a bold color if your style is more modern or eclectic.
Surround with Shelving
Design your own custom entertainment center by surrounding a flat screen TV with built-in shelving. Add interest by varying the height and width of the different shelves, allowing the widescreen TV anchor the arrangement. Surround the black box with colorful books, sculptures and objets d' art in various textures of glass, ceramic, metal or wood.
If you prefer a more symmetrical look, a pair of identical bookcases to either side of the the TV offers a similar look to that of built-in shelves. A flat-screen TV can even be strategically mounted in the opening of a large freestanding shelf system, appearing as if it was part of the decor.
Hide and Disguise
One way to make a wall mounted TV practically disappear is to paint the wall behind it black. Use brightly colored wall art or white accents on a mantel shelf to draw the eye and further distract from a TV not in use.
Some TVs are cleverly hidden away behind sliding or folding panels. A large antique cabinet or armoire adds character to a contemporary living room, especially when it opens up to reveal its modern technology inside.
Contrast, Balance and Rhythm
Go with an ultra-modern black-and-white color scheme in your living room, mounting a black widescreen TV on a crisp, white wall. Hang white drapes on nearby windows with a black Greek key pattern on the edges. Place a black console table under the TV, accented with a tailored white skirt and black border trim. Play up the geometrical shapes by hanging a row of empty black picture frames above the TV.
A symmetrical display can balance the look of a large TV mounted on the wall or over a fireplace. Flank the TV with twin wall sconces and add two tall, dark sculptures on each side of the fireplace hearth.
Take some of the focus off the TV by mounting a large decorative mirror or painting nearby. Layer the room in repeating colors, patterns or shapes on fabrics and accessories to create rhythm and keep the eye moving throughout the space.