In the hunt for the perfect TV stand, certain key factors are crucial to bear in mind: firstly, its location in the living room and the availability of space; and secondly, the question of style versus functionality.
Traditional v Modern
In many homes, and particularly in more traditional properties, the furniture in the living room often points towards a central fireplace, where either large flat screen TVs are often wall mounted above the mantelpiece, or freestanding TVs are placed to the side of the fireplace in the corner of the room. In the latter case, a corner unit is an ideal choice. It sits flush against the corner walls, allowing the TV to be positioned on a comfortable viewing angle, and wires to be hidden in the corner behind the unit and out of sight.
In more modern properties, very often there is no fireplace in the living room and the TV and TV stand often become the focal point of the room. In these rooms a more impactful piece is a good choice to inject character. With many styles available, you can really make a bold statement if you wish with something modern, colourful and sleek, or if you would prefer for it to blend in a little subtler then opt for either a glass or wood-effect stand.
Know your space
Knowing the space you have available is huge a factor – both in determining where the stand can go and then choosing the stand itself. Measuring the area accurately before you decide on anything is crucial. You don’t want a stand that is too small, which will not hold your TV or that will look insignificant in the space, nor do you want a piece that is too big and too dominant.
Beyond just a TV stand, many units also double as display cabinets, sideboards and bookcases. Concealed cupboards make for ideal places to tidy away all the TV accessories, whist glass display cabinets could be accessorised with decorative pieces, coffee table books and trinkets to soften the look.
A question of style
After deciding its position in the room, the next big decision is whether you want your TV stand to be functional or aesthetic - or a combination of both.
For some people, the original slim-line glass and metal units are ideal as an inexpensive and unimposing option; however they do leave untidy wires exposed and have nowhere to store remote controls, digital boxes, or DVDs and DVD players out of sight. As an alternative, a number of simple stands will also offer ample concealed storage space without dominating the room. Picked carefully to match the style and shape of the other pieces of furniture, the TV stand can actively add to the interior style of the living room.
Optimal viewing height is also a crucial consideration, and for many people, viewing comfort will take priority over any aesthetic qualities. The size and height of your sofas and armchairs will therefore be an important factor. TVs are intended to be viewed directly straight ahead, with the viewer’s eye level at the centre of the screen, so a low level, sleek unit would work well alongside low seated, lounging style sofas. Likewise, a more formal, ‘sideboard-esque’ unit would work better with more formal, upright sofas and armchairs.