Transform Your TV from Eyesore to Elegant with This Simple Design Feature

Frame TVs blend function and aesthetics. Here are the pros and one big con of this trend.

Frame TV
Photo: Courtesy of Jenn Cameron

TVs can be a clunky disruption to your living room design, but these days, a gathering space would feel incomplete without one. While a television can provide endless hours of quality family entertainment, it can also be quite an eyesore. Do you prioritize the functionality of a TV or the design of a tech-free space? With a frame TV, you wouldn't have to compromise.

Unlike normal TVs, frame TVs have an embellished rim. They can range from ornate to sleek and add decorative charm that differs from the typical all-black look. When turned off, stylish frame TVs can be set to display anti-glare artwork.

"I'm very on board with the frame TV," says Baltimore-based interior designer Jenn Cameron. "Oftentimes in design we try to hide the TV. We don't want the TV to be the focus of the room. But now, with a frame TV, it almost disappears. It pretty much does exactly what interior design does, which is function and design in one."

Cameron shares that frame TVs are an increasingly popular ask. Is this up-and-coming trend for you? Here's the pros and cons of investing in a frame TV.

Pros

It Turns Your TV into Art

A frame TV can enhance a space with beautiful wall art. Choose among landscapes, animated art, and even the Mona Lisa, to display when you're not actively watching TV. Samsung's The Frame TV comes with access to over 1,400 works of art from traditional to contemporary, and much more awaits easily accessible from Youtube.

You can change your art depending on the season, your mood, and changing tastes. You're not committing to just one piece. With a little maneuvering, you can even display family photos. Allow your TV-turned-artwork to stand alone as a feature piece on a wall, or surround it with other framed, non-electronic works of art to make a fashionable gallery wall.

New art displayed on the frame TV
New art displayed on the frame TV transforms the room. Whitney Wasson, Courtesy of Jenn Cameron

It Blends into Your Space

Rather than a bulky TV being the star of your living room, distracting from other design details that you've likely devoted time and effort into, frame TVs have the power to blend seamlessly into your space. Cameron says that frame TVs have potential for any type of room, whether you're seeking to groom a well-loved family room or add functionality to a priorly unused formal living room. Customize your frame TV look to match your home's design style, too. "In a super modern home, go for that sleek look," Cameron says. "In a more historic home, you display a piece of art in it, and all of a sudden, it blends into that style." Down to the details, choose your frame's bezel to match the color scheme of your room.

It Has Practical Entertainment Potential

Stay updated on your shows and never underestimate the power of a family movie night. In addition to fun and games, a frame TV can be useful for people who work from home. Hook your computer up to display projections to be larger on your TV. The truth is, we rely on technology to make our lives easier and more entertaining. A high quality TV has practical applications to spare.

Cons

The Price Tag

Really, we only see one downside to frame TVs: They're pricey. "I personally don't like the price tag of frame TVs," says Nicole Pankopp from Simply Aligned Home whose Marietta, Georgia home features a frame TV. "Yes, they are beautiful, but you can make any TV look like a frame TV. You might be surprised, but I don't actually own any frame TVs. I transformed an old TV that we already owned to look like a frame TV."

They're easier than you'd think to create and a great beginner's DIY project, too, according to Pankopp. Plus, by doing it yourself, you can customize your frame to exactly match your space. "I used the same paint and stain that I did on my built-ins to really make it blend with the surroundings," she says.

Simply Aligned Home Office with Picture Frame on TV-4
Courtesy of Nicole Pankopp

Get the Look

BUY IT: starting at $497, amazon.com

If you opt for DIY, follow Pankopp's lead. How does she do it? "I make one out of lattice wood strips from Home Depot," she shares. "You can use a hand saw to cut the wood lattice to slightly larger than the size of your TV. I simply used glue and a stapler to construct the frame. You can customize the look of your frame based on the type of trim, paint and stain that you select. I then added elastic strips to secure the frame to the TV." The whole thing could cost as little as $20 and a bit of elbow grease.

Once you have a frame TV, either purchased or built, maintain the stylish effect by styling it effectively in your room. While you may be understandably thrilled about your TV's chic makeover, Cameron recommends not making it the focal point of the room. Choose a place to hang it that is cohesive with your room's seating plan, adding both design appeal and functionality.

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