We were recently gifted with a beautiful antique buffet by my parents-in-law. The piece is quite traditional, and I wasn't sure how it would integrate with my more modern decor, but I wanted to give it a try. I asked my husband to bring the piece over one weekend while I was out of town, and to my delight, when I arrived back, it was sitting in its place in our living room, with little floor protector pads under each leg. What I didn't notice, however (not right away, anyways), was the GIANT new television that was sitting on top of the piece, perched prominently in our living room. Obviously, Mr.CottageModern figured that if I got something new for the living room, he should too. So began the quest to try and "disguise" this black beast, and make that side of the room look nice despite it. Avoiding the issue, this is what that area has looked like for the past while:
This space had really become a junk collector with a big blank wall behind it. All of the component cords showing underneath drove me nuts, but that was secondary to the huge television that dominated the arrangement. Last week, I was a guest presenter to a lovely group of women on the topic of "Designing on a Budget". One of my budget design principles is to 'shop your own home' to refresh and revive your space, so I decided to take my own advice and do that here.
While the television hasn't magically shrunk in size, now there are some pretty things to "distract" the eye. I moved the art piece to a new wall, and added a mirror (it had been lying on my floor, in a box for months) to reflect light in its place. A chair was moved from another area in the room, and pillows were added for an injection of color.
I moved a lamp from another area and placed it on the opposite end of the television. Together with the art as a backdrop, it adds some weight and height and helps balance the scale of the T.V. A stack of books, frames, and other collectibles, including a vase from my Ernest Miller pottery collection (my favorite things) help to personalize the arrangement, while trying to take some attention away from the other video components.
Finally, I cleaned up all of the hanging cords, and added some larger pillows and a ceramic stool under the buffet for extra "seating" when guests are over. I would say that while not "perfect", this area is definitely improved from what it was, and the television is somewhat less of a distraction. The best part--it all cost $0.00--budget design at its finest!