The Ultimate Guide To Decorating a TV Wall

The age old question "What to do with your tv". Quite frankly I'm not willing to entertain the idea of not having a TV, which meant I had to come up with stylish solutions for my TV wall. We want our TVs to be accessible but still feel stylish, so how can you do it?

This post is a part of the Design School Series!

1. Gallery walls

The simplest, but no less stylish way to handle your TV wall is to build a gallery around it. This makes the TV a part of the art and draws attention away from it. Something to look out for is it's very easy to make this look messy and no one wants that. Good design looks intentional. It can be way out there and be really different so long as it doesn't look like an accident. If it looks intentional then it's you expressing yourself, if it looks accidental then it's the design getting away from you. 

 

Well, how do I make it look intentional?

follow these guidelines (rules are made to be broken)

It's All About The Lines

 

I think there are two types of people in this world. Those who want super structured, clean looking lines, and those that want their space to look organic, like everything just fell into place but still looks gorgeous of course. 

 

Clean and Polished Gallery Wall:

To achieve clean looking lines, you want everything to line up. All the lines need to be equal and your spacing can't be a hair off. 

Here are some examples by some awesome bloggers, you should definitely check out:

DRIVEN BY DECOR:

drivenbydecor.jpg

Driven By Decor did this amazing gallery wall using monochromatic art and identical frames. By keeping everything in the same tones it made the entire wall one piece of art. The placement of the frames make the TV look to be exactly where it belongs. This looks very intentional, therefore AWESOME! You know what else is awesome, Kris from Driven By Decor actually links to all that amazing art in her post, check it out HERE

RAIN ON TIN ROOF:

Jenna from Rain On a Tin Roof used paint to frame around her gallery wall. She paid close attention to spacing and all of her lines match up. She also used the same frames and matte size in each piece which really ties the look together. Looking at the photo above although there is a tone of color it looks super put together and not overwhelming. She used large white mattes and all of her art is in the same color palette. She was awesome enough to do a tutorial for the painted outer frame and she linked to the frames she used! Check out her post HERE!

Clean and Polished Gallery Wall Guideline Recap:

  1. Keep your lines in alignment
  2. Identical Spacing between photos
  3. Use the one type of frame or very similar frames (my suggestion is only one type)
  4. Stick to one color palette.
 

Effortlessly Intentional Gallery Wall:

The secrete to creating an effortless looking gallery wall without getting too messy is SPACING. Your art will be different sizes and/or colors but the spacing between your art should be the same. This keeps your design looking clean and intentional, remember you want it to look effortless, not lazy.

"You want it to look effortless, not lazy" -Tweet that!

Here are two bloggers who do an excellent job breaking down how to achieve this look:

HOMEYOHMY:

Amy from HOMEYOHMY, is very thorough in explaining how she achieved this look. Using a bunch of different colors and sizes is definitely easier to veer into the messy lane. She kept her design looking intentional and crisp with using only 3 colors for her frames, keeping the spacing the same and keeping the art overall the same style. This tutorial is full of amazing tips. She shows you how she used craft paper to practice her layout prior to hanging her art. She explains how she DIY her frames and mattes, and where she found her art. Definitely check this post out if you want to master the effortless intentional look HERE!

JENNA BURGER:

Jenna does the best job I've seen explaining how to stagger your art. The funny thing about the effortless look, is there is really nothing effortless about it. Every single piece has to be placed perfectly in order to achieve that look. Some people are naturals at this style and don't have to over think it. This post is for those of us that aren't. She shows her real life examples of adjusting her art so that it's staggered perfectly. Just like in a Clean and Polished gallery where everything needs to be the same, in the Effortlessly Intentional everything needs to be a bit off. Too much alignment throws the look off, not enough and you get into that messy look I live to avoid. Check her amazing post out HERE!

Effortlessly Intentional Gallery Wall Guideline Recap:

  1. Spacing, make sure all your spacing is as identical as possible
  2. Stick to a simple color palette with your frames
  3. Make sure you stagger your art, but not too much! (check out Jenna Burger's post for excellent tips)
  4. bonus tip: if you are using many different size frames and/or colors consider using one matte size to tie everything together. 
 

Scale is Everything:

The guideline is: Make sure your gallery is MINIMUM the width of your media table. I prefer to have it be larger than my media table because it's more impactful, but PLEASE, I'm begging you! Don't put a few pieces of art around your tv and call it a day. Take a look at the post I linked to. Each one makes a big statement with their art. It's important that it looks thought out and not thrown together.

Take a Step Back and Enjoy the View:

Lastly, step back and look at your gallery wall. No matter if you chose to go with Clean and Polished or Effortlessly Intentional you will want to see it from further away. It should all come together harmoniously (had to spell check that). You may need to tweak it here or there but that's it. You now have an amazing focal wall in your home. 

Is a Gallery Wall Meant For You?

Ask yourself these questions:

Do I want this wall to be a focal point?
 Do I have another wall competing with this wall in the same room? 

If you answer no to the first one and yes to the second question a gallery wall is not your best solution. Good news is we cover a bunch of other ideas in this post!

I would love to see a picture of your gallery wall, be sure to tag me on instagram @jessicadevlindesin

Resources for your gallery wall:

  • Minted - by far my favourite place to find art
  • Artfulwalls - another amazing resource for art
  • Pottery Barn - great resource for frames and artwork
  • Ikea - no one beats ikea for budget friendly frames and art
 

I wanted to show you the power of a site like Minted, where everything is all in one place. I put this galler wall together super quick by filtering out black and white and the size. You can see the collection HERE:

tv gallery wall

 

2. Shelves

Another great way to decorate around your TV is to build shelves. I love shelves, they provide storage and when decorated nicely they become a piece of art all on their own. (if you are currently thinking you can't do that, I've got you covered don't worry)

Here are a few main types of shelves:

Floating Shelves:

Floating shelves are super flexible in their dimensions and placement. They are pretty easy to purchase from a store and there are a tone of amazing DIY options. I'm going to cover the key points I want you to keep in mind when going with floating shelves.

Placement: 

Choosing where each shelf is going to go is pretty much the biggest hurdle when it comes to floating shelves. A trick I use is to visualize your shelves as one piece of furniture. You aren't going to have a weird piece sticking out the side of a built-in and neither should you have one with floating shelves. A simple trick is to tape out the shape you want to stay within on the wall. This would usually be a square or rectangle. Use your largest piece to determine the max width of your space. Now you have clear guides for mounting your shelves!

HOME POLISH: A VERY EPIC FAMILY HOME TOUR:

The photo above is an amazing example of using shelves to extend their console table up and make it look like one giant light and airy built-in. I'm completely in love with this and I'm currently looking at my TV wall thinking it could totally use this treatment. Check out the entire home tour HERE!

 

ASYMMETRICAL FLOATING SHELVES LAYOUT:

floating shelves TV wall

Looking at the photo above you can see that your shelves DO NOT have to be symmetrical to pull this look off. The way they have them in varying heights around the TV does an excellent job framing the space. The one thing I do want you to note though is the maximum width is that of the cabinet. You don't want to exceed that or you'll lose the built-in look. 

 

DIY Options:

DESERT DOMICILE: FLOATING SHELVES:

I used this tutorial years ago to build shelves in my powder-room. Unfortunately I can't find any photos since I wasn't blogging then... oh well. It was easy to follow and I loved my shelves after. Highly suggest this tutorial for clean line chunky shelves.

SHANTY 2 CHIC: POTTERY BARN DUPE SHELVES:

We used this tutorial to build the shelves in Tuck's nursery. I'm telling you, this was super duper easy and I freaking loved those shelves. We ended up painting ours orange to go with the theme. Check out our nursery post HERE and get the tutorial for these amazing shelves HERE!

 

Sources for shelves and hardware:

Let's face it, we don't always have the time or the will to DIY. Here are my favorite floating shelves that you can buy online!

 POTTERY BARN: HOLMAN SHELVES

Holman Shelves come in a variety of widths and finishes. These are the shelves that are being "duped" in the above DIY. These shelves are gorgeous. I love the front lip detailing, great for lean pictures on too!.

Get them HERE

POTTERY BARN: RUSTIC WOOD SHELVES

These shelves are another version of the ones above. Equally gorgeous but with a simpler look. They call these shelves rustic but with the clean lines I think these can easily take on a more modern look. 

Get them HERE

IKEA: LACK WALL SHELF SERIES

Super budget friendly, but still look great. That should be Ikea's motto. These are a great way to accomplish this look if you don't want to spend a fortune and you aren't into DIY. The only problem I can see is you are limited to two sizes. 

Get them HERE

IKEA: CUSTOMIZE AND BUILD YOUR OWN SHELVES. 

Ikea has an entire section of shelve tops and brackets that you can mix and match. Check them out HERE

WEST ELM: DEEP PICTURE LEDGE

Love these shelves, they are made of salvaged wood and add lots of warmth to a space. 

Get them HERE

 

 

 

Industrial Shelves:

I looove these shelves. There is something a little edgier about them and they spunk up the space. I especially love when they are styled girly because they tend to look super muscular and the contrast is epic. If you ever want to add OOMPH to your space, do it with contrast. An all light or all dark space will never be as punchy as when you mix the two. 

Here is some inspiration to get you excited!:

HOUSE OF HABIT via A BEAUTIFUL MESS:

This is some gorgeous inspiration right here. I know there isn't a tv in there but you can imagine it where the map would go can't you? The best part about these industrial shelves is how customizable they are. Check out this little boys room HERE.

ALIVE & KICKING DESIGN:

I wanted to show you this gorgeous shelving unit so you can see that even in a small area it demands attention. I love the mix of the wood and the metal. You can check this one out HERE.

 
Are You Excited Now?
 

Here is a great Industrial Shelves DIY Tutorial:

I just want to take a second and say how grateful I am for the internet. When I stumbled on this post a while back I felt sure that I could build this myself. That's the power of DIY bloggers, they share their journey with you so you know that it's not some special super power and you can in fact do it too. Twelve on Main posted this shelving unit tutorial and I love it. Such a simple idea that packs so much punch. They did use some specialty tools (pipe threader) from their shop but you can also have your hardware store cut and thread the pipe. It's more expensive but much easier. This post goes into details of the planning portion of her project. Make sure to check it out HERE. 

 

Sources for Industrial Shelves:

For when you love the look but don't want to build it yourself.

CRATE & BARREL: KNOX MEDIA CONSOLE

so, this isn't exactly the same as the pipe shelves but it hits all the key elements. It balances the metal and wood, provides dark and light contrast and is open and airy. This wonderful shelf can be found HERE.

WEST ELM: INDUSTRIAL MODULAR LARGE

There is a reason these shelves are popular, they are so easy to style and make look fantastic. You can find this one from West Elm, HERE.

 

Modern Shevles:

Clean lines, smooth finishes. I love modern shelves especially if they contrast all their hard edges with neutral tones like these ones do. Feast your eyes on this inspiration: 

modern tv stand
modern tv stand

Sources:

I'm sorry to say that these are normally custom built or found in local shops so I can't really link to them. EXCEPT!!! I totally found a steal of a life time:

So where is this beauty from.... WALMART! FREAKING WALMART! Ok, now that I'm done shouting, I couldn't help it I'm so excited.This has a great design, beautiful colors and a fantastic price point. Truly win, win. We purchased a Murphy bed from Walmart 2 years ago and it was just as good of quality as anything we were seeing at the large furniture stores. I have not personally seen this but if one of you gets this please let me know. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the product. 

 

MODERN DIY:

THE UNCOMMON LAW:

So I was lucky enough to get to know Beckie from the Uncommon Law and not only is she super talented but she's such a fun and nice person. They are all about Vlogging now and truly hilarious to watch. This tutorial is relatively simple and yet, stunning. Check it out HERE!

 

3. Built-Ins

The wonderful world of built-ins. I'll admit I have a particular soft spot for built-in units. As I wrote before I believe that design looks its best when it looks intentional, nothing looks as intentional as building something right into your space. The catch is they are also the most expensive and hardest to DIY. There are some great tutorials out there but they are rarely first time power tool user projects. That being said, everyone starts somewhere and you can totally do it. It'll only be a bit harder, and once you get the basic skills of DIYing down it'll be no trouble at all. There are several different options for built-in units, here is some of my favorite inspiration:

Well, this one made the list because it's stunning. Seriously gorgeous. It provides a ton of storage, some open shelves for styling, shiplap to stay on trend and of course the functionality of a TV. It's epically good. Check it out HERE.

This on is very similar to the last one but on a slightly smaller scale. No less gorgeous. I love that they did all white here making it blend into the paneling. Check it out HERE.

Although all white interiors are still hugely popular we are starting to see more and more dark millwork. This is an absolutely stunning built-in. I especially love that they wrap the entire room in the same color. Check it out HERE.

DIY Version:

If you are feeling up to doing it yourself this is an amazing tutorial brought to you by the blog ChrislovesJulia. This is such a modern take on the often very traditional built-in but it still feels welcoming and homey. I listed this same tutorial on my 7 of The Best DIY Home Decor Roundup. If you love this tutorial you should definitely check the others out HERE!

 

I have several post on how to decorate your shelves!

4. Hidden in Furniture

Sometimes you just don't want to see your TV at all. Everything is styled so perfectly that having your TV hang out would ruin everything! Especially if there's no black in your decor. Here are my two favorite ways to hide your tv:

Hide it Behind Art or a Mirror:

This is a perfect example of a room where you would definitely want to keep your TV hidden. It would draw all the focus in this near all white room. Oh and incase you didn't know, the TV is hidden behind the art over the mantel! Check out this gorgeous space HERE.

This space is beautifully decorated in a traditional style. A big flat screen would be sure to stand out. They were able to completely hide the tv and add a beautiful piece of decor. Two birds with one stone! Check out the entire room HERE.

 

DIY Tutorial:

I found this Tutorial on Minted.com and I'm 100% considering it for my bedroom. I really don't mind having my TV show in my living space but I feel like it ruins the mood of a bedroom. That's personal preference of course. This is a fantastic little Tutorial that shows you Everything you need to make these sliding picture frames to hide your TV. Check the tutorial out HERE!

TV Lift:

You can purchase TV cabinets with lifts pre-built in or you can DIY yourself one. HERE is a great video tutorial. 

So what do you think? Are you primed and ready to take on that TV wall you've been wondering about? Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, I'm always here to help!

 

Like this post about decorating your TV wall?

Check out my other post in this series:

 The Ultimate Guide for Choosing Your Interior Paint Colors

The Ultimate Guide to Decorate Your Bookshelves

Jessica Devlin Design