“Dear Prairie Hive,
Help! This corner is the best spot in our living room for the television but the tall ceilings and low TV stand make the corner seem bare. Any tips to design around this awkward corner space (shelves? Wall décor?). We’d like to keep the entertainment unit sleek and avoid a bulky TV cabinet.
First of all let me say that I love your wood floors and brick fireplace with the curved hearth! If you plan on keeping the current unit, I would go ahead and push the left side back so that it is square with both walls. Often, furniture placement feels unintentional when the angle is shallow. If the television needs to be angled for viewing, use a swivel mount to enable moving it while watching.
Since this is such a tight corner and the fireplace and mantle are a more natural focal point, I would plan on coordinating with the mantle decor rather than fighting it by creating a cohesive look for both areas. The other alternative would be to install a large piece of art just under the paint color change, but I would only recommend that if you can create a similar vignette on the right side of the fireplace for symmetry. Try something like a basket collection over the fireplace and leading over to the wall above the television.
Optimally the television would be lowered about 6″ so the horizontal lines will not line up with the lines of the mantle and hang it with a swivel wall-mount unit. This would allow freedom in choosing a base cabinet to house the electronics. A mid-century or clean lined cabinet on tall legs gives the sense of space with less bulk. Consider going with a lighter finish to coordinate a bit more with the mantle or a medium toned wood finish, a little darker than the floor but with no red in it.
If the goal is to visually separate the media unit from the fireplace area, choose a true corner unit in a painted white finish. Stay with somewhat traditional or transitional lines to complement the style of trim and mantle woodwork. Then an opportunity arises to place a large round basket to corral toys or a stack of colorful floor pillows between the television unit and the brick hearth. This allows separate treatment for each space. Install a large statement piece above the mantle and flank it with tall floral arrangements, thin lamps or elaborate candlesticks. Really emphasize those choices so the fireplace area becomes the immediate focus.
Image from Ballard Designs
When using an open unit, try to incorporate a few different textures. Perhaps stacking the media units would allow room for some folded blankets or a basket to corral remotes when not in use.
Image from West Elm
Image from Crate and Barrel
Once you’ve decided on exactly how you want to tackle this area, focus on the feel or design aesthetic you desire. Casual and natural, transitional, modern or eclectic. If another home resident (smile) wishes that the components work without opening doors, try frosted glass. My remotes have always functioned through the glass and then you have the best of both worlds. Plus an additional texture has been introduced without having to bring in other items.
I would also be sure to include many textures. I try to bring in something natural like woven baskets, glass, metal, and wood. Think decorative boxes, pillows, blankets, books, and vases or figurines. The Jonathan Adler animals are great for this and things like this are more readily available now or create your own version. Target is a great resource if you prefer not to scour around vintage shops and garage sales.
Let me know what you think! I hope I’ve not inundated you with too many choices, but depending on the other ares of the room, I would tackle this a few different ways. I hope you at least know where you’d like to start. Thanks for asking, this was a pertinent question for many.
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