Focus on TV

  • By Sarah Jackson / Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, October 11, 2006 9:00pm
  • Life

High-end plasma and LCD TVs, it seems, are here to stay. With their ultrathin profiles and eye-popping resolution, they’ve undoubtedly become status symbols for the modern home.

And if this year’s Seattle Street of Dreams is any indication, no room is safe, not even the master bath or the cherished mantel top, a realm once reserved for family portraits and art.

Fortunately, a marriage between a super-sized TV and a fireplace resolves the dilemma of competing focal points, said Everett interior designer Brenda Paquette.

“Any time you can locate your primary and secondary focal points in the same area, that’s ideal,” she said. “Furniture can be placed to support both conversation and TV viewing.”

Though sleek screens can be difficult to mix gracefully with traditional decor, they’re not going away any time soon.

“They’re becoming our computers,” Paquette said. “We’ll be doing all the things we do online off the (TV) screen.”

Many of Paquette’s clients, however, are adamant about downplaying their TVs, hiding them in plasma-friendly armoires, bookcases and entertainment centers.

Others have been more creative: When Nick and Katherine Stojkovic moved from Edmonds to Bellevue, they downsized to a 1,200-square-foot space.

When it came to their living room, Katherine Stojkovic worried their 60-inch TV would be overemphasized.

“I didn’t want the distraction,” she said. “I didn’t want the focal point to be that TV.”

Nick Stojkovic countered with a bold guarantee: “He said, ‘I promise you, you won’t even know it’s here.’”

Stojkovic first cut a hole into the wall to create an alcove for their flat-screen TV. He then painted a picture on two canvases that, when put together, perfectly conceal the TV.

With the TV in place, he put a standard curtain rod across the entire wall and hung the two canvases from the rod. He added an electric drapery motor to open and close the paintings just like curtains.

Next the Stojkovices built walls of burlap stretched over wood to conceal the drapery system as well as their sound system and speakers. They attached the burlap walls to the main walls with Velcro and bought a custom-made silver frame to fit the burlap opening.

Now when the Stojkovices want to watch TV, they simply press a remote control button to move the paintings to the side.

“It’s like James Bond,” Katherine Stojkovic said.

Fortunately, there are other options for downplaying an unwanted TV focal point. You can buy framed art specifically designed to hide TVs or TVs that look like mirrors when they’re off.

If you’re on a budget, Paquette recommends designer textiles attached with discreet Velcro dots.

“All the really great fabric is coming out with beautiful graphics,” Paquette said. “It’s very light weight.”

Reporter Sarah Jackson: 425-339-3037 or sjackson@

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