Creating a Living Room Focal Point on the Fireplace with a Wall-Mounted Frame TV
Our living room is another step closer to being ready for the new furniture when it comes in - we officially have a central, primary focal point on our fireplace wall with a mounted, and "hidden" Frame TV! When I shared how we were planning the new living room layout and furniture arrangement, the priorities I wanted for this room included:
More seating to allow more people to sit down and comfortably chat.
The fireplace to be the main focal point.
We want a TV but doesn't have to be the main focus, just visible.
Make sure some seating faces outside the windows.
After I painted our granite fireplace surround a couple weeks ago, my next goal was mounting a TV above the fireplace to create a single focal point on the wall.
What's a Frame TV?
To centralize the focal point of the room, I knew we'd want to mount a TV above the fireplace. The TV we have in here we've had for 13 years, so there was no way we were going to mount that dinosaur. It's a solid TV but needs all kinds of cords and attachments to stream all the things. I always knew that when we were ready to replace it, I wanted to get a Samsung Frame TV. If you haven't heard of them, they are thin TVs that disguise themselves as frames with pieces of art or photos when not in use. To be so thin, the TV connects to a box where all the brains of the TV are via a small, fairly nondescript cable.
In my research, it seems like they're not known to be the most high powered TVs but they blend in beautifully rather than always having a giant black box being the focus of the room. Best of both worlds in my opinion since most of the TV watching in here is kid shows and the rest of the time, it can just look like a pretty piece of art or photos that I can change as often as I like! And bonus, it has a pretty white smart remote so you know that makes me happy!
Selecting The Right TV Size
The general rule of thumb for any TV to TV stand ratio is the TV should be at least 2/3 of the width of the stand it's on. Using the mantle as "my stand", I needed a TV about 50" wide. That narrowed my TV size search to a 55" TV or a 65" TV. TVs are sized by the diagonal of their screens, so the width of each was 48.7" and 57.4" respectively. By now you should know I'm a visual person, so we had to see what it would look like so I taped up the dimensions.
Amazon actually had a pretty cool VR tool that would allow you to "see it in your space" on the mobile app so that gave me a good sense of the size too. Affiliate link: https://amzn.to/3YpwLIt
Once the family saw there were options, they started vying hard for the larger size so I put it to the test in an Instagram reel and asked for your help. THANKS for everyone who weighed in - even though I was hoping you'd back my preference of 55", you didn't - so I was influenced into the 65'! My family thanks you, even though we just barely got it in Zach's car! And I should have never asked. ;)
Mounting the TV
Boy. For a TV so thin, the thing was a LOT heavier than I thought it'd be. I do a lot of solo inside projects and installation but this one required Zach's help. Probably should have shoveled first... but he made it!
The instructions weren't the easiest to follow so I sourced an online video that did a better job of walking through step by step. Zach got us started by finding the studs behind the wall and then I did all the measuring and leveling, which is my least favorite part of any project.
The TV came with its own wall mounting bracket so that was nice that we didn't have to buy that in addition. It's what allows it to hang so close to the wall - 3mm to be exact!
But it made installation especially tricky because we had to figure out where to hang the mounting bracket based on where it hit the back of the TV, let alone how to get it to fit in the space we need it to and be centered.
Once the brackets were up, we were totally consumed so no more photos could be taken! haha That was a hard and heavy overhead lifting project. Unfortunately, I didn't hit the exact mark and I got it about a 1/2 inch off center where it should be. The perfectionist in me is dying a little inside, but it wasn't easy to get it to where it was at, so we are going to let it ride! Look at that for personal growth!
Finishing Off the Wall
With the new TV installed and the old TV ready to find a new home, we had one glaring hole to fill...
I installed the floating shelves as one of the earliest projects in this room, built to work around the old TV. I contemplated taking them all down or replacing them with bookshelves or better yet - actual built ins. But after the heavy lift and expense the TV was, I took the path of least resistance and lowest budget: said a prayer, headed to Lowes and hoped they still had the same (or similar) white floating shelf as they did two years ago to even them out.
Luckily they did. So before I put away all the tools, I installed the $39 shelf and called this project a wrap! So so happy that "2020 me" put the shelves on the other side where I did- just barely missed the fireplace switch.
The new shelf allowed me to rearrange and thin out my existing frames and add in some different decor that I sourced from other areas of our house. I decided the candlesticks on the mantle were too much with the size of the TV and everything else so moved those out. They were doing a good job blocking the cable but it's so minimal you really have to be looking to notice.
I plan to do a little refresh on some of these frames, but for now everything is sitting in a pretty good spot.
Customizing the Frame TV
The Art Mode is super cool. When the TV is off, and it detects movement in the room, it displays whatever art or photos you want through interacting with an app on your phone. It comes with a few different art pieces that you can use, or if you're really into it there's a monthly subscription you can buy to get access to all kinds of art. To get started I threw a quick kid photo up there, but later found there are shops on Etsy that sell frame TV art for a dollar or two. Yes please! I grabbed a handful to have on hand and play with.
Still working on finding the exact right amount of brightness but the pictures don't do this justice. Looks much more realistic and not as bright in real life.
To make TV look even less like a TV and more like a frame, you can customize the edges of the "frame" itself with different colored bezels. I chose a simple, modern teak wood looking bezel to lighten up the edges. As I look to lighten up the wood tones throughout in this room, I thought that'd be a good anchor point. How cool is this? There are so many options out there from simple and sleek to very traditional and ornate.
This photo is a little more accurate to what the color and brightness appears like in real life.
Didn't even plan on this, but by moving the TV to above the fireplace, you can see it from the kitchen now. I guess if we're going to have an obnoxiously huge TV up here, we may as well be able to see it from the total other side of the house. HA!
If you actually don't want your family to watch this TV, don't get one! Remember how I said we barely used this TV before - just now and then? Not anymore... apparently it wasn't the location of the room, but the TV they didn't like. ;)
Need a living room focal wall fix? Here's what we used:
65" Samsung Frame TV affiliate
65" Samsung Frame TV Modern Teak Bezel affiliate
48" x 8" White Floating Shelf Lowes
Tools for the job:
Dewalt Cordless Drill and Impact Driver affiliate
Screwdriver Bit Set affiliate
Measuring Tape affiliate
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