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A television is often the entertainment hub of a home. Whether it’s in the living room, family room, bedroom or office, it’s a place to watch the big game, the latest movies or to catch up on the news.
It’s even the place to unwind with a video game.
A media console supports the television. It provides great storage for games, videos and access to your entertainment component’s electronics and media — so it’s more than just a box that sits below the television. Whether you’re looking for a simple utilitarian console or something that adds pizzazz to your entertainment centre, there are options that add both function and beauty. I’ve rounded up a few that will become ground zero for enjoying watching television at home.
What to look for
A good media console needs to serve one important purpose — to house of all your audiovisual equipment, such as blue-ray streaming devices, sound bar speakers, the cable box, gaming consoles and accessories, and receivers. Make a list of everything that you’ll need to hide way under the television and that will be a good indication of how much shelving and storage you’ll need, which will determine the size of cabinet required, too.
Look for remote access. The doors hiding the equipment should have open grids or screening to allow your remote to communicate with the equipment hidden inside the cabinet.
Look for cable management. Many consoles have a special bottom shelf with a flip down door that manages all the cables and electrical plugs. Try the 48-inch BESTA TV Bench at Ikea.com. Ventilation is also important so that all the equipment stays cool while supporting the entertainment centre.
Go big or go home
For those with large rooms, a long console below a television means one thing — extra storage. (Try the Selvans TV Cabinet at ligne-roset.com.) A large cabinet in a family room can be used not only for holding audiovisual equipment, videos and tapes, but part of it can also be incorporated into your entertaining, as a bar, or to hold board games. If using part of the console as a bar, I suggest topping it with a thin piece of stone or glass to protect it. Adding a large lamp on each end of the console allows for lighting within the room and also creates a symmetrical look when the television is centred. Want a large console but don’t have a lot of floor space? Look for one that floats on the wall — it will appear less heavy in the room.
Designer tip: ensure the television’s width is at least half the width of the cabinet. Don’t make the mistake of placing a tiny looking TV above a long cabinet — after all, proportions are everything in designing a room.
Small space entertainment:
For those who live in smaller spaces, using Bluetooth to connect your TV and accessories instead of connecting cords, means you won’t need a cabinet directly under the television. It is a great way to save space. For renters (who may not be allowed to bury cables behind walls) it’s still nice to have some sort of console to set the TV on. A simple console table will work for smaller spaces; they visually take up less space and can also serve double duty as a desk (simply pull up a chair) or use as a makeup table in the bedroom. An open-backed bookshelf is another option. Television cables and wires drop behind while books, art and decorative storage boxes are arranged to take advantage of vertical storage space on the shelving.
Do you have a decor dilemma or want to give feedback? Follow Karl on Instagram @Karl_Lohnes