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decorating around a tv set with dark blue tongue and groove wall panels and white custom joinery in living room

12 Stylish Ideas for Decorating Around a TV Set

Today I’m dropping all of my designer-approved ideas for decorating around a TV set. Because, let’s live in our truth now: TVs are pretty ugly. OK, so not all of them are an ‘overt your eyes’ situation, but they’re not exactly gifts from the design gods, are they?

Most of them are these gigantic black boxes taking up a large chunk of real estate in your living room. And because most partners (I’m looking at you, gentlemen) convince their other half to get the biggest size possible, it just makes the challenge of concealing them even greater.

Sidenote: guys, if you get the massive TV, your partner gets to have the bed PILED UP with cushions. It’s only fair. We all know a bed without at least 10 pillows and cushions is a crime against design.

But back to the matter at hand: ideas for decorating around a TV set. Specifically, we want to style around the big black box so that the tele becomes a supporting player in your living room, as opposed to the main attraction. If you have any other ideas on how to hide a TV (or conceal it at the very least) I’d love to hear about them in the comments below this post.

wall mounted tv above white and timber rustic entertainment unit

1. First Things First: Always Wall-Mount the TV

Before I even drop my fave ideas about TV decorating with you, we must first address the mounting debate. I’m sure you’ve already guessed, based on the heading above, which side of the fence I’m sitting on. But I would like to explain why.

TV’s on walls look a thousand times better. It makes them less of a focal point in the space already because you’re not seeing the legs of the TV stand. You’re not seeing cords hanging out the back of the TV. And lastly, having it on the wall makes the room and the TV zone in particular look larger. It’s a win win on all fronts.

And here’s the thing: the arms you use to mount the TVs these days are so varied. You can fix the TV so it doesn’t move. You can fix the TV so it can move up and down (if the TV is mounted high on the wall, for example). Or you can mount it on an arm that allows you to move it up and down, left and right. This allows you to see it from all angles in the room.

Here is a more in-depth article about mounting your TV and the common mistakes to avoid.

decorating around a tv set with gallery of black and white artworks

2. The Gallery Wall Illusion

I’ve given you 10 amazing gallery wall ideas on the blog before (see them here). But you might not have thought to set one up around your TV set. I’m pretty obsessed with this idea because it looks incredibly chic, especially if you choose to have the frames and art in a curated black-and-white theme. The divine Homey Oh My has showcased this idea perfectly above.

The TV pretty much fades into the background here. And yes, I know the TV itself is one of those sets where the screen displays art when it’s not on, but it would look just as divine if it were a regular TV sitting on the wall.

It wouldn’t look as successful if all the frames and images inside were different colours, but it can still work if you limit the amount of main colours in the art to three or four. As long as it feels like a curated collection you can make this TV decorating idea work wonders!

decorating around a tv set with long brown timber floating tv unit with shelf bedside tv

3. Floating Unit & Side Shelf

This is a good place to start if you’re fearful of really doing something major around your TV set. It’s also a really nice idea if the living room in question is a little small. Larger spaces can go for more complex joinery (we’ll get to that) but small spaces can benefit from keeping it simple: a long floating until under the TV.

Now this one is a bit of a choose your own adventure. You can opt to have the TV directly centred above the unit below it, or you can have it sit to one side and then install a smaller floating shelf to the left or right. The image above from BoConcept is a nice example of this idea playing out.

Of course, whether you go for the floating shelf beside the TV all depends on whether the wall in question is big enough to take it. But this is a really well-resolved wall now.

temple and webster green tongue and groove feature wall behind mounted TV set

4. A Little Tongue and Groove

This is the first of a few feature wall ideas I’m going to show you, and boy is it a delicious one. Not only because of the paint colour used, which is so on-trend right now, but also because of the tongue and groove wall panels.

Sure, there’s no mistaking that there’s a black TV set on the wall, but painting it a colour like green makes it feel less start. A black box on a white wall is so visually jarring. A black box on a green wall feels a lot more soothing. And then you can take those two colours and ensure they feature in other moments around the room. Taking this approach will have the TV make more sense in the space. 

The above image is via Temple & Webster and you’ll notice some additional ideas for decorating around a TV set here. Mounting it above the entertainment unit allows you to style up the top too. And who doesn’t love a few gorgeous vignettes on a TV unit?

black tongue and groove feature wall painted black with mounted tv set in boho living room

5. Paint the Wall Behind Black

I’m a bit obsessed with dark walls (as showcased in this post), so I love the concept of a dark panel behind the TV. What this does is completely camouflage the TV set and allows the eye to appreciate other elements of the room first. This will work with a few darker colours that aren’t black (try Dulux Domino or Ticking), but I love the look of the TV disappearing altogether when you use a super-dark paint (like Porter’s Paints Aniseed).

The photo above via Emily Henderson does double duty: it showcases the black wall idea but also incorporates the tongue and groove panels I’ve already mentioned above. Pop some lighter colours timber furniture and rugs in the space for contrast and you’re good to go!

samsung qled tv installed above white fireplace

6. Install it Above your Fireplace

Concealing a TV is done best by bringing in another focal point. If you have a fireplace, you’re already halfway there. Placing a TV set above a fireplace makes the entire section of the wall a wow moment. And if the fire is crackling, all eyes will be on it. Don’t be afraid to try a TV on the wall near a fireplace either.

As you can see above in the image from Samsung, it makes for a fabulous design moment when you style up the mantle too. The image above showcases Samsung’s QLED TV, which again further helps to reduce the ‘big black box’ effect a regular set brings with it. But even with a regular box this fireplace idea still looks stunning.

tv sitting on a vintage brown timber sideboard in white living room

7. Use a Non-Traditional TV Unit

If you’re on a budget and things like a fireplace or shelving are out of the question, fear not. Concealing a TV can be done simply by upping your TV unit game.

Choosing an outta-the-box TV until like in the image above from Amber Interiors will have the eye focus on it rather than the TV set that sits above it. So consider alternatives to the regular TV units you see in stores and you’re going to bring a whole new dimension to your living room.

This is a really affordable idea for decorating around a TV set. And here’s the even better news:

I have a whole roundup of 45 sensational sideboard and buffets here for you to check out if you need help.

decorating around a tv set with plants lots of plants on wall around tv

8. Conceal the TV with Plants

Now let me just admit something to you right here, right now: I am terrible at keeping plants alive. That’s why I’ve showcased realistic fake-looking plants on the blog before, as well as this nifty Kmart hack which showed you how to create an eye-catching plant wall using artificial greenery.

Whether you’re like me, or consider yourself a green thumb, either real or fake plants will work when it comes to decorating around a tv set. They won’t conceal the TV completely, of course, but you can see above in the image from Reddit just how sublime all that lush plant life looks. 

If nothing else it provides a nice sense of contrast to have that living stuff next to the electronic item.

tv on dark grey feature wall with crown moulding in log cabin

9. Use Wall Mouldings

I love the idea of using crown moulding and similar design features to conceal the TV, or at the very least detract from it. This idea above via Emily Kennedy Photography also used the dark wall approach as well, so you get two decorative moments for the price of one.

I not only love the colour of the wall behind the TV set, but I adore how the squares of the timber on that wall take your eye away from the big black tv box. There are other black elements used throughout the room as well (like in that divine pendant light) so the whole room feels incredibly well-resolved and the TV doesn’t stand out as an eyesore. 

timber panel feature wall decorating around a tv set ideas

10. Timber Panel Feature Wall

Doesn’t the image above from Entire Home Furniture showcase the beauty of timber panels perfectly? I love this idea for decorating around a TV because it feels so wonderfully organic.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about homes moving in this direction. Because there is such an influx of tech entering our homes, we’re naturally looking to bring in some earthy materials to make us feel more at one with nature.

This is a great way to do it, no doubt about it. And honestly, if you’re a little bit crafty and don’t mind some DIY you could do this yourself. I’m in no way DIY-savvy so I wouldn’t even attempt it.

white custom joinery in living room decorating around a tv set white vj panels

11. Install Custom Joinery

I’m finding myself using custom joinery more and more on design projects lately. Clients want it, and I’m all for it. I even used custom joinery recently on my home office makeover and it looked so amazing.

Custom joinery gives you exactly what the name suggests: a custom solution in your living room. Not only does an idea like the one above from The Heart and Haven conceal the TV set, but you get tonnes of storage and shelving to decorate on as well.

I also love that the image above picks up on the idea already mentioned further up: using tongue and groove (or VJ) panels. It just goes to show you that you can mix and match a number of these TV decorating ideas and get a phenomenal result.

living room concrete feature wall with round marble coffee table and fake plant

12. Try a Paint Effect on the Wall

I’m so obsessed over the concrete feature wall above. Why: because it’s from my Camberwell design project and it turned out so beautifully (if I do say so myself).

It was a tough one convincing the client to let me paint a concrete feature wall in her home, but she finally trusted me to go ahead with it and I am so glad she did. In the end, she was just as elated with it as I was (and still am now).

A paint effect can be a great way to take the harshness of the TV set away. And because there’s a lot of darker browns, greys and black in the space, the TV set looks right at home.

ikea tv unit hack using timber panels and small ladder stool

Concealing a TV: How do you do it?

Which of these ideas for decorating around a TV set have you implemented at home? Or is there a nifty trick you’ve used that I’ve not listed here? You know I’d love to hear from you below. Drop me a comment and share all of yout TV decorating ideas with me and other TLC blog readers. Image via Ideal Home.


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Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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12 Responses

  1. Love this site. Great new ways to add your TV and not notice. The new way to do a Mood Board and site to use. Thank you, Thank you so much for that. Looking forward to Tuesdays.

  2. Hi Chris,

    Great tips! I have just purchased a 1 bed apartment with a small living area leading out to the balcony.

    Would you consider painting the TV side wall black in such a small space, or leave it white?

    Great blog!

  3. Hi Chris. please help! I have a large flat screen TV on a large sideboard which is waist height. Which is across the area that most people have their fire. So its the longest flat wall as we dont have a fireplace. Lots of space either side of it tho. Should I make the room look more intersting by placing other units either side at the same level or Build upwards. The only other item in the room is a new large oatmel sofa and one chair. Not even sure what colour to paint the walls.Help me make look more pleasing and intersting please. Many thanks Kay

  4. Hi
    I just love your designs. I have an Beige/oatmeal Sofa with the same self print cushions. I am about to start decorating. I have a blank canvas. I’m a bit afraid of colour. I wan to keep it light and fresh. Please help. Kay. kcjones96@hotmail.co.uk

  5. As usual great ideas, the main point being to detract, detract from the big black box, I espec. love the little display boxes above – you are a real sniffer decor hound you always manage to find some amazing stuff to inspire us – thanks a bunch

    1. OH Anna you’re too kind. I love my TV, of course. Couldn’t live without it. But it is a huge black box and I think it’s nice to work with it and find interesting ways to help it blend. Hope you got some good ideas here 🙂

  6. Lovely ideas Chris,but out here in the real world,with no refection on your taste,most of us live in houses a little less than perfect and not all of us relate completely to the contemporary astheit you do so well..In our house three televisions have given way to one and that remaining screen lives inside an antique chest on drawers, picked up at auction for half the price of a contemporary peice..When closed an elegant peice that anchors a sitting room as well as being an extremely functional peice of furniture.

    1. I love the idea of putting the tele inside an older piece – thanks for sharing this idea Jonathon.

      And trust me when I say that I do live in the real world lol. If you read some of my other posts I champion vintage and second hand finds. And boy is my home less than perfect.

      Thanks for commenting!

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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