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posted: 12/23/2012 1:00 AM

How to creatively integrate today's TVs into your decor

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By Michelle Jennings Wiebe
Tampa Bay Times

The family room used to be the main television viewing room. Now, more families want their TVs in bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and outdoors.

Televisions have become ultra-thin, so the possibilities have skyrocketed in how to creatively integrate, or hide, them in interiors. In addition, these "customized" features can add to the value of your home, if done correctly. Here are some of my favorites:

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Contemporary seamless design above fireplace

It is important to purchase or select your TV before the wall niche size is fabricated. This recessed niche is where your television will be mounted, and the television and side speakers can be recessed into a custom polished concrete cavity that was specifically sized to the correct dimensions. When you put a TV over a fireplace, make sure that you properly research the insulation and any other specifications needed to ensure that the television doesn't overheat from the fire.

Traditional design above classic mantle and fireplace

This style is also designed and planned on paper before any wall framing or drywall installation is done. This ensures that the television size again fits like a glove above the horizontal mantle of the fireplace. Molding and recessed shelves can be designed around the fireplace and television, the focal point of this family room. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, make sure that you are measuring everything for the right fit.

Automated drop down ceiling lift

Typically this kind of system is chosen when the homeowner wants to conceal the television when it's not in use. In this case, the television does not interfere with the view, or the look of the room when not in use. With a remote control, the television moves quietly and quickly into the ceiling.

Vanishing television mirrors

Seura offers a way to perfectly integrate and hide your television. There is no separate frame for the TV; it's seamlessly installed inside the mirror. Watch your favorite shows while the television is on, but once you turn the TV off by remote, it completely disappears. The television's viewing sizes from Seura come in 10 inches and 19 inches, measured on a diagonal.

Televisions built into furniture

It is also possible to buy or design furniture that has the television and other media systems built into it. Check out "Hi Can" by Dornob.com for examples, such as a bed that is virtually an "all-in-one-stand-alone-room" with everything needed to be entertained.

Fast facts about today's TVs

• LED televisions are very thin, perfect for wall-mounted applications.

• Low-profile mounting brackets are critical when trying to nestle a television tight against the wall.

• Purchase a universal RF remote, such as the Logitech-Harmony 900, to avoid having cable boxes and other electronic equipment visible.

• The size of your television will dictate how far away your sofa or bed should be for optimal viewing distance.

• The size of a television is measured on its diagonal from one top corner to the opposite bottom corner.

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