Back in the day, families gathered around the hearth to warm their hands and listen to grandma's stories about those proverbial olden days. Then along came the electronic hearth: television. Grandma gave up on her stories and everyone talked about what was on that night. The negotiations over what to watch ended as the number of television per US household grew. In fact, a USA Today report said that, on average, there are more televisions per household than actual inhabitants. Free to choose their own shows, people love television for background noise, for breaking news, for their favorite programs. But how does one incorporate a television into a sensible spot in the household?
We've always had a rule: No Television In the Living Room. That has now been extended to include the kitchen, my office, Potic Cottage and the kids' rooms. The temptation to flip it on is too great, remarkable especially considering how, despite a couple hundred TV stations, there's never anything good to watch.
Over the years, it was easy enough to relegate our 19" TV to a family room, but these days people invest big money into their big screens. Even we upgraded to 35", small by some people's standards. With entire media rooms dedicated to the television, it becomes a design trick as to which room is designated with such distinction. True, the flat screen allows for more discreet decorating possibilities. I've seen some hanging over gas fireplaces, integrated into a salon of paintings, tucked away behind folding doors. In fact, Living Etc dedicated an entire photo spread to the topic, offering a variety of options.
Sure, everyone needs a little TV time, especially on the treadmill or folding laundry, perfect spots for TV absorption, but I've never walked away from watching a show feeling refreshed. Instead, it gives me new appreciation for the term: couch potato.