Why Must I Have a TV in My Living Room?

They're big, ugly black boxes—are they really necessary?

sofas arranged in modern living room
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Think of some of your favorite homes you've been in—ones where the decor really inspires you. Chances are, they have living rooms thoughtfully outfitted with beautiful furniture, some sort of art on the walls, perhaps a selection of interesting books on shelves or coffee tables. And then, no doubt, they have the better part of an entire wall dedicated to...a large, shiny, glaringly unattractive black rectangle. Yes, the TV.

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House Beautiful

How is it that this blight on a perfectly good interior has become an accepted necessity in nearly every type of home? As TVs have gotten bigger and "better," it seems the American population has thought nothing of continually upgrading, never once batting an eye at the growing, gaping black hole threatening to someday engulf their entire homes. All this not to mention the fact that most of our day is already spent staring at some sort of smaller screen—must we have an even bigger version shoved in our face immediately upon stepping in the doors of our homes?

And yes, I enjoy a good Fixer Upper binge as much as the next gal, but the truth is—hopefully—that more often than not, your TV is not in use, meaning its only purpose is to take up valuable wall or mantel space, cast an ugly glare, and completely detract from the design of the room. Plus, I'm of the opinion that having such a massive black box staring you down whenever you're in your home will encourage you to watch more TV than you otherwise would, instead of, I don't know, picking up a book, doing a project, cooking a meal, or literally any other activity you can do at home—why should one single one reign supreme?

Ceiling fan over white living room
A serene, neutral interior being completely ruined by a fugly TV.
Hero ImagesGetty Images

Look, I won't say I'm a fan of the kind of media cabinets popular from the '60s to early aughts (and now found exclusively in mid-range hotel rooms), but at least they provided the much-needed function of hiding the TV. And trust me, unless you have the Samsung Frame, your TV should be hidden.

If you simply can't bear the thought of parting with your big black box of entertainment, at least find a clever way to conceal it (ideas below). Meanwhile, I'll be over here somehow entertaining myself in my TV-free living room.

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