Hiding the TV in a Formal Living Room

We all have a TV or two or three.  There is no escape from the big black box on the wall.

But, does it have to be ugly?

The television is front and center in every Family Room.  The big question is, do you want one in the Living Room as well?  And, if you do have a TV in the Living Room how do you make it look good?

TV Hidden Behind a Refitted Folding Screen

In this recently completed California renovation project, I had the challenge to do both hide the TV and make it look good – under some slightly difficult circumstances.


I came up with a unique solution to hiding a big screen TV in the Formal Living Room.

With the help of Instagram!

My clients are casual people who live in every inch of their home and love to entertain.  They wanted this expansive room that would traditionally be called – The Formal Living Room – to

1.  Be Used!

Actually Live, in the Living Room (quite a concept).


2.  Fit their laid-back Califonia lifestyle.

That means a Big Screen TV

No Big Whoop, right?

Since this project was a renovation, the house came with an existing stone wall, fireplace, darkly stained mantle, and beams on the ceiling.   From the beginning, I knew we would be including a TV in the Living Room,  yet I had to somehow manage to make it look good and not cover the adjacent window. If that wasn’t enough there was next to no overhead space.

Hidden TV Behind Retro Fitted Floor Screen Jill Shevin Design

 A decorative Asian screen hides the big screen TV and looks like an ornamental wall decoration.
The kick is, it actually functions as a decorative piece that hides a TV behind.  Hidden for formal entertaining easily exposed for everyday living.

I had an antique screen modified, with a little help from the contractor, Zach from Mulvey Builders in San Diego to cover and hide the large flat-screen TV.

First, we created a box to house the TV that was stained to match the screen.  The screen was cut into thirds and hinged in three locations.  On the left side, two panels fold out one on top of the other while on the right side a single panel opens.

You can see in the photo below the single section open of the screen balances perfectly with the window to the left.  I was completely against anything covering the window and looking like it was hanging in space.

Hidden TV Behind Retrofitted Screen to Hide TV jill shevlin design

The TV and the screen look great together open or closed hiding the TV.

I spent quite a bit of time looking for something that would work to accommodate just what I had in mind.

If you can believe it,  I simply did a hashtag search on Instagram for #asianscreen.


Who would have ever thought?

It must have been my lucky day, the image below popped up and I knew – it was – Exactly – what I was looking for!

It was sold as a standing screen and it came with two wooden leg stands from an antique store in Virginia.  I never even saw the piece in person before it arrived on site in California.

The builder and I discussed, he went to work, and voila…Hidden TV screen DONE!

Jill Shevlin Design Screen for hiding TV

This is a look at the room from a different angle.  This is a LARGE room and the TV is actually HUGE!

The two sofas are 90 inches long and were custom made in indoor-outdoor rich chocolate to help hide any paw prints from the couple’s two dogs.  I had the sofas made with a full wood base to keep dust and hair from the dogs to a minimum as well.

Hidden TV behind Retrofitted Screen Jill Shevlin Design

So there you have it.  My solution for hiding the TV in this Formerly Formal Living Room.  I still have loads to share from this project so stay tuned for more!

Looking for a great fireplace screen? Take a look at these below.


Photos By Ryan Garvin

Hide the TV Jill Shevlin Design Vero Beach Interior Designer