Tech hasn't been kind to our necks, posture, and eyesight. I know it sounds like something your mom would say, but between smartphones leading us all to hunch over for hours a day and constant computer use that'll likely result in a universal need for LASIK, the advances in technology are at the expense of our own bodies. But one of the biggest pains in the neck — literally and figuratively — is putting your television over the fireplace.
I get why this seems like a good idea. You probably have configured the room around your beautiful fireplace, so you might as well put the television there. Why waste the focal point, right? Wrong. Here are just a few reasons why:
It makes the screen way too high to comfortably enjoy.
The biggest reason I fall into the "anti-television-over-mantel" camp is because it places the screen at an uncomfortable angle for viewing. You sit on the couch, looking very much like a crash test dummy in the second before an impact. That is no way to live.
Televisions are outpacing the size of mantels.
Have you seen how cheaply you can find a ridiculously sized television these days? A giant screen that's visible from your neighbor's house can often be had for less than your MacBook or iPhone. Such big screens will just look awkward above the mantel. And are you really confident in the ability of your fireplace to support such a big screen?
It competes with the fireplace (and vice-versa).
You've probably paid a little extra money to have a gorgeous fireplace in your home, even if it came with your house. And now you're distracting from it with Monday Night Football. And the opposite is true — when you want to focus on the television, you either have a roaring fire or a black hole catching your eye.
You'll be tempted to clutter up your mantel.
Especially if you have a video game system, a cable box, a sound bar, or even a humble DVD player.
But I can still hear your argument. "Where would I put the television if not over my beautiful fireplace?" Thankfully, there are options.
Just put it next to the fireplace.
"I've never been a fan of seeing the TV over the fireplace because often the proportions are wrong in the room and the location (and thus the viewing angle) becomes too high when placed over the mantel. When we have the option I always place the TV to one side of the fireplace," says designer Scot Meacham Wood. This living space wasn't designed by Scot, but lets you visualize how this positioning could work.
Place it on the opposite end of the room.
If your room is big enough, divide your room into two distinct areas: One for watching television, and then a separate seating area for rela by the fire. Why not? Or, if you have an open floor plan with a combo living room and dining room, just switch the dining area to in front of the fireplace.
Place it perpendicular to your fireplace.
Just put it on to the wall adjoining the one housing the fireplace. You'll still be able to enjoy the fireplace, while also making use of wasted wall space.
Or just not display a television at all.
Maybe not going so far as to ban televisions from your living spaces, unless that's been a long-held goal of yours. Instead, you could just dedicate a different room in your house for television, if you have the space. I can't be the only person raised with a "living room" that was tv-free and then a "family room" where all the toys, entertainment, and the television lived. Let's bring that idea back.