Sep 08, 2017 - 12:21 PM
My short answer:
Yes, it's fine if you do it in a way that doesn't make the TV the focal point of the living room. I qualify this assuming that in addition to a living room, there's a TV room or some room more casual and/or conducive for watching a TV.
The reason I'm in favor of it is I'm a believer in actually using living rooms. I don't think they should be some taped off room reserved for special occasions. If it's going to be used, chances are some of its use is watching a TV.
The open concept scenario:
A lot of homes are built with open concept. Smaller homes have one main living space. This means the living room doubles as the entertainment/family room. In this case, you really have no choice but to put the TV in the living room. Moreover, it should be placed in a way that's great for watching TV.
This means mounting it above a fireplace, while a popular TV location in living rooms, isn't the best idea.
Caleb Denison wrote a thoughtful piece on mounting a TV above a fireplace here. In a nutshell he's against doing so for four reasons:
1. The heat from the fireplace can damage the TV.
2. It's not very comfortable to crane your head upward to watch for a long period of time.
3. Flat screens should be viewed head-on, not from an angle (for best viewing quality).
4. It doesn't look good (a very debatable opinion).
Fortunately Caleb understands mounting televisions above a fireplace is very popular these days and so he makes several suggestions to mitigate the problems he pointed out. He suggests:
1. Sit further back. This minimizes the angle and the strain to your neck.
2. Use mounting hardware that can tilt up and down to adjust angle of the TV.
3. Get an OLED TV which is fine to watch from an angle.
4. Don't watch with a fire going (like people will follow this advice).
Personally, I don't think a television mounted above a fireplace looks all that bad, but I think it also depends on the style of the living room design. It looks better in modern or contemporary design. It looks worst in a rustic or cottage design (to provide 4 examples).
My bigger objection pertains to comfort. I don't care to have to look up to watch TV. For that reason alone I prefer it set lower on a television stand.
TIP: if you have one living space, there's no reason you can't conceal it in the space in some mounted storage cabinet or built-in cabinet.x
The formal living room scenario:
If you have both formal living room and another more casual living space such as media room or family room, it's a judgment call.
If you like the idea of a formal living room that's not to be used for entertainment; watching TV specifically, then by all means don't place a TV in it.
I don't understand that though, and it's not that I love TV and watch lots of it.
My view is that rooms should be used; not be a museum. That's just my personal opinion. It's neither right nor wrong.
Placing a TV in a living room doesn't mean the room can't be used for more formal occasions or special events or having company over. Even with a TV there, if placed in a non-intrusive way, it can work just fine.
You could conceal it in built-in cabinets or some high-tech motorized shelf that descends down inside some hutch or decorative storage unit.
If mounted, you can place it in a handsome storage unit with swinging doors.
The fact is it's not either/or. It's what meets your home life needs and can you find a way to best serve your living room preferences.
Concealing it is a great solution, even if you only have one living space.
Must-have 2 televisions scenario:
If you live on your own, you don't need two televisions.
But if you live with a partner and/or kids, one television isn't always going to be enough. Sure, you can retreat to some nook with iPad and watch Netflix but sometimes you want to watch the big screen.
There are four of us in our house. I don't relish watching what my 5 and 2 year old sons want to watch. This means two televisions are a must in our household.
Again, we don't watch copious amount, but we do watch a bit in the evening and it's often at the same time our kids want to unwind with some television.
Unless you have 2 casual living spaces, if you get two televisions, one is likely going in the living room.
At the end of the day it depends on your personal preferences, living situation and of course how much TV you watch.
And no, this is not a momentous issue, but an interesting one nonetheless.