As a belated Christmas gift, last weekend Heath mounted the TV for me.  For us, this is one of those pesky projects that (in the grand scheme of things) is pretty easy and affordable to accomplish but, for one reason or another, never made its way to the top of our to-do list.  Though I don’t know why, as the end result has made a HUGE difference to our GDH. Just to jog your memory, here’s what our TV setup used to look like.

Boring TV

And here is what it looks like today.

midcenturydesignwithflatscreenIt’s like people actually live here now! The project took about an hour and half  to complete from start to finish. That time span includes Heath putting the TV up, me deciding it was too high, and him redoing the whole project again. Plus the time it took to hide the cables and arrange the fixins’ on the dresser. So basically, I’m embarrassed we didn’t get to this DIY fix earlier.

We opted to run the cords in the wall rather than get one of those hide-a-cord mechanisms. A decision I am very happy with and was accomplished just as easily by drilling a whole in the wall where the TV is and near the outlet at the bottom of the wall. We ran the cords in an out of those holes and to their respective contraptions.

We opted to run the cords through the wall rather than get one of those hide-a-cord contraptions—a decision I am very happy with and was accomplished by drilling one hole in the wall where the TV is and one near the outlet at the bottom of the wall. We ran the cords in an out of those holes through the wall and to their respective devices on the dresser.

To say the living room has gone through many iterations would be an understatement.  We’ve (I’ve) changed furniture and wall colors in here so many times I can’t event begin to give you the actual number of layout switch ups (maybe 5).  Fortunately for Heath, now that the TV is on the wall, we are pretty well set with our current layout, and that’s just great with me. It’s quite possible I’m close to reaching my goal of having a living room that fits the modern eclectic description I was aiming for. Of course, once I achieve that, I’ll probably decide to switch things up again to fit a more Downton Abbey-ish lifestyle. I wonder how a flat screen fits into that arrangement…


One step closer to living like an adult

At first I thought it was incredibly clever and thrifty of Heath and I to use a homemade bench as a tv stand/entertainment console. But after a year of looking at the most uninspired entertainment setup ever, I decided I should probably invest in something a little more substantial. Since we live in a 50s-era house and I have an unhealthy obsession with midcentury design, I thought a modern looking credenza would be a good solution for hosting our media center.

I spent the last month scouring Craigslist for pieces under $200 I could use, but after getting stiffed twice (Craigslist sellers telling me the items were available but then selling them out from under me before I could close the deal), I decided to hit up some of Austin’s many vintage furniture shops. The prices are usually higher than Craiglist, but the condition of the items are usually better and it’s a bit more stable. I guess the gods of vintage furniture took pity on my soul because Room Service Vintage was having a huge 20 percent off sale and I found an ideal piece in tip top condition for $180, enabling me to maneuver a pretty sweet room flip.

So far, I’m really liking the change. The credenza is perfect for storing our DVDs and I love not having exposed wires all over the place. I’m still playing with the photos behind the TV (I can’t decide if it’s too much or not), and hopefully at some point we can mount the TV on the wall like the folks at Our Mid Century did…then we’ll really be big time.

Still, for now I’m calling this one a victory. Point Doodle House. Now let’s watch some football.

TV Tricks

For better or for worse, in American culture a sign of status, wealth and “making it” is getting a large flat-screen TV. I remember fondly the day Heath and I maneuvered our way through screaming babies and angsty teens at  the local Walmart at 9 p.m. on a Saturday to pick up ours after I got myself a Big Girl Job. “Yeah,” we thought to ourselves. “We’re doing alright.”

The funny thing is, while every blue blooded American is expected to have a flat screen, most designers tell us not to display it.“A Television should never be the focal point of a room.”  and “Overtly displaying a large flat screen is tacky.”   What gives? First you tell me I have to have one, now you’re telling me it’s lame. Not cool, society.

I wouldn’t normally give too much thought to this conflict of interest, opting instead to take on Eric Cartman’s “Whatever, I do what I want” mentality, but the problem is that I really have no idea how to gussy up the vast wall of nothingness behind my television.

It’s the antithesis of good design. In fact, it’s no design at all. It’s just there. This big black box in front of a big white wall. Uninspiring.

I can’t mount it over a fireplace (we don’t have one) or buy some ridiculously expensive piece of art to put behind it, but I can create a photo wall to bring some semblance of character to this otherwise drab portion of the doodle kingdom.

I suppose this weekend I will be whipping out the hammer and nails. Expect the “after” photo in the near future…