There are a lot of topics that throw the design world into a tizzy, but possibly none quite so much as the great “TV over mantel” debate. You’ve likely witnessed it, or maybe even engaged in it a few times — the argument over whether or not to place a large screen smack in the center of your living room over top of the fireplace. And it really is a conundrum: Even if your main activity in the space is watching television, it’s hard to commit that prime real estate to something that’s so...well, not so cute. Fortunately, an easy compromise does exist, and it’s sitting on display in Adele’s Los Angeles living room.
The singer took fans on a tour of her home in a recent episode of Vogue’s 73 Questions video series, in which she walked viewers from room to room while responding to a rapid-fire interrogation. And while her English-inspired garden, green kitchen, and incredible rug selection were highlights of the space, it was her living room setup that stole the show — undoubtedly thanks to her genius TV placement.
Though at first glance, you may not have noticed the large screen in the space at all. That’s because, rather than sticking it directly over the fireplace, Adele chose a large circular mirror to go in the traditionally television-filled spot. Brilliantly, she simply used the shelves to the left to store the TV instead. Thus, it’s still easy to watch from the seating area, but it’s not the focal point of the room.
Of course, Adele’s answer to the debate isn’t the only alternative worth trying. If you’re concerned about how a TV looks over the fireplace but you crave symmetry, there are endless ways to disguise it — creating built-in cabinets to hide it in, hanging tapestries over top, or investing in a TV that’s disguised as art, to name a few.
But if you’re more interested in making your mantel stylish, clean, and cord-free, the singer’s idea can be an easy way to keep the TV in a prime spot without compromising the aesthetic of any beautiful architecture. And no, you don’t need built-in shelves to copy her look. If you’re interested in following Adele’s lead, all you need is a surface (such as a small console) near the front of your space to host your screen. Then, just get ready to embrace asymmetry — this look is not for the perfectionists at heart.
For some, there is no “TV over mantel” debate at all — they say that the setup simply should not exist for endless reasons. If you happen to fall into that boat but still feel that you need a TV in your living space, rest assured that there are solutions. And, as Adele proves, they actually don’t have to be complicated at all.