We have a TV in our living room and where to put it was, initially, rather a puzzle. We have an open plan main floor and the part of the room that is not kitchen (i.e. tiled), is the living room and there is a fireplace smack in the centre of the back wall where, ideally, the TV should go. We could move the fireplace, or get rid of it altogether, (we never use it) but that would damage the ‘resale value’ and in suburbia we are all slaves to resale value, even if you never intend to sell. So instead we decided to put the TV on the mantle, above the fireplace. It works there, but it’s kind of like the TV is on an altar, and to watch is to worship.
Back in the day fireplaces were the centre of our rooms, or the hearth, before fireplaces became common. So the focus was on fire, heat, light, or food – things needed to survive. Later, rooms were arranged into conversation groups, so we could face each other when we spoke, and share mutual entertainment. Even when radios came in, and were monstrous wooden cabinets in the living room, you didn’t need to be facing it to enjoy it. Then came the 50’s and TV became the focus of all attention in the living room. People no longer faced each other, they faced IT. TVs gave way to home theatres and instead of the TV being placed at the focal point of the room, the TV became the excuse for the room.
Now with Millennials buying fewer TVs and instead consuming media on their phones & laptops I wonder what the living room of the future will focus on.