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I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Posted by OntarioMom (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 19, 14 at 11:38

Hi everyone,

We, like so many people before, have struggled with how to incorporate both a TV and a fireplace in the same room. This time the same room was the basement with high up basement windows which further complicated the look. We tried to put them together as a unit side by side, but the windows looked odd floating up high. I did not want the TV over the fireplace.

Sooooo, we tried fooling the eye on the windows to bring them lower using shutters under the windows. Now the fireplace will be able to be centered between the windows, and the TV will hide between shutters. Here is a photo to illustrate what we are planning now. We will likely have a shelf for Xbox, dvd player etc on far right that is not shown. The grey on the left shows the staircase. Any comments?

Carol

TV not showing

 photo basementspaceplanner_zpsfc16f25e.jpg

TV showing

 photo basementtvshowing_zps66d0b38b.jpg

The last photo shows our attempt to make a combined unit and how odd it looked with the high up windows. We will not be doing this, but wanted you to see the difference with the shutters.

 photo basementtvfireoneunit_zpsfa9d54cd.jpg

Here is the floor plan we are considering for the room if you would care to comment at all on that. We have to incorporate lots of built in shelves for general storage in the room which you will see marked in blue and green.

 photo basementfloorplan_zpsa82caf09.jpg



Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

If you have solved the TV vs. fireplace design challenge to your satisfaction, then good for you! It's truly a major challenge to get both fireplace and TV well located, in the same room, with a single furniture arrangement. One person's preference seems to be another person's poison--the choices are so personal.

The design challenge is made much more difficult when TV viewers demand as high quality audio as they do video. Audiophile quality audio simply can't be achieved with speakers mounted on or buried in walls and ceilings--free standing speakers with custom enclosures are needed, with at least a 5.1 speaker system, IMO. And there's virtually no audio quality at all simply using built-in TV speakers.

My suggestion for your design is to closely look at the viewing angles for your TV from each of your sitting positions. None of your seating is directly in front of your TV. If your TV will be a plasma, then viewing angles are not as critical as with other TV technologies. If your TV is existing, have you done a mock-up to checking viewing quality from the angles and distances corresponding to your plan? If not, you may want to do so before making any final decisions.

Good luck on your design!


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Is this already built or are you still planning? Sorry, I can't remember :)


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Virgilcarter,

Thanks for your suggestions. We will re-look at the seating arrangement to see what we can do to angle the furniture a bit more towards the TV. The TV will be on an arm so can be angled too. It will be a new TV, as we need a very thin one to go behind those shutter doors. Thanks as well for the thoughts on the audio. I will get DH to look after those decisions so will get him to read your comments.

Lavender_Lass,

The house is partly built (shelled in with some of the rough-ins complete; all cladding is done). The electrical in that basement is roughed in, and insulated (cause the walls are ICF). We have yet to do the low voltage wiring here. The storage closet at the back is framed in, but the storage cabinets for the west walls and bar have not been ordered. The mechanical closet near the staircase is all outfitted with boiler etc and will not be moving.

Do you have suggestions about the room arrangement? I know you are always full of creative ideas. Here is a picture of the space taken a while back, showing the west/south sides to give you a better idea of the stage we are at with that room.

Carol

 photo 2013_04290005_zps3c6fbc44.jpg


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

This is our alternate room arrangement. I think I prefer the first one I uploaded, but this works too. You can see we are using different furniture as we will need new furniture for this room anyway. BTW, our fireplace can't vent out the south walls due to windows in close proximity in floor above. It vents nice and easily where shown on the east outside wall.

Alternate room arrangement:

 photo basementTVoppositeFire_zpscedfcd54.jpg
Carol


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

I don't think I'd ever have the TV and fireplace on opposite walls. This arrangement makes the seating arrangement and circulation space very difficult.

Have you considered using the space under the stairs and building out slightly for the TV and related equipment? A-90-degree arrangement often works well, as does having either TV or fireplace at a 45-degree angle.

Just a thought.

Good luck with your design.


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Thanks Virgilcarter.

We did have the TV along the staircase wall in one of our plans. However, given that the passage away past that stair wall is well used, the concern was too many people would be walking past the TV. Also, the south basement windows let in enough light to reflect in an annoying way on the TV if it placed on the stair wall. Aside from that, it would work out well. Thanks for your help.

Carol


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Carol- Can you split the seating area? Maybe a couple of comfy reading chairs by the fire and sofas by the TV? Ping pong could be in the middle...I'm guessing those doors on utility room would usually be closed?

If you get a REALLY big TV, you can see it from the entire room, even from the two chairs by the fireplace. I know my husband would love that! (LOL)

Here's a quick sketch :)

From Kitchen plans

This post was edited by lavender_lass on Sun, Jan 19, 14 at 18:56


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Lavender_Lass

Thank you! I think that plan if very creative. There is lots to like about it. I love how it ties in the bar area -- that is very cool! I will definitely discuss the pros and cons of this arrangement further with DH.

Your proposed plan will present a problem for accessing the storage area in the large closet on the south wall (and we do need the storage). Another thing that would not have been apparent in my photos or description would be the windows on the west side are covered by white window wells. The ones on the east have no window wells, and the ones on the south are partly covered by white windows wells. Which means that the west side will be the dark side. I would prefer to have the seating area on the light side.

Any chance LL that you could help me rearrange furniture based on TV and fireplace as placed in first image I posted? I do think having TV and fireplace side by side is still workable, I just struggle with how to arrange or choose furniture to work. We are open on what kind of furniture to use.

Thanks for your help.

Carol


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

I can try...after football :) But seriously, I would not want light behind the TV...can you put shelves/storage on that entire wall and just have the light on the other two walls?

I know with good 'mood lighting' a basement can have a lot of charm...think pub. Whether you're drinking beer or coffee, it's a cozy and welcoming feel. Just an idea :)

I'll check back after the game...GO SEAHAWKS!!!


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Enjoy your football game. It is all about hockey around here.

I do love light, so I could not cover the best windows in the basement with storage. However, you make a very good point about the TV under the one basement window. The light is not fantastic there as there is a fence on the property line, but better than the opposite side. I will try to get DH to move the TV there this week to see if viewing is hindered by any of the basement windows in the originally proposed TV location.

I hope you will come back when you can. You have good ideas, and I know you appreciate rooms with fireplaces.

Carol


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Carol- I'm back! My husband is so excited the Seahawks won! Going to the Superbowl :)

Back to the TV area...personally, I don't like the TV and fireplace on the same wall. It seems busy and the fireplace flames are distracting for the TV, but maybe that's just me.

So...can you put the TV on the South wall? That would give you a nice focal point on each wall and if there's too much light on the south side, blinds should take care of any glare. Just an idea...hope this helps!

From Kitchen plans


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Thanks so much Lavender_Lass! That is a good arrangement. We had not tried the TV on the south wall. We had tried the fireplace where you show the TV and the TV where you show fireplace, but had been discouraged at the complexity of venting the fireplace there. So, your plan is good. The only drawbacks (there are always pros and cons to any arrangement) is the TV would not be able to be viewed from the bar or other areas of the basement. Also, I do like as much seating against walls as possible as I prefer those seated not to have to have their backs to ping pong players, and the rest of the basement. However, you do have two chairs in a social position to the other parts of the basement.

I am not bothered by the TV beside the fireplace on paper. Maybe in real life it would not be as ideal. I do think Virgil is right one man's solution is another man's poison.

I will keep playing with this. I might also try the fireplace in the corner. I like your original plan too with splitting the TV on one side of room and fireplace on other. I might try with fireplace near bar, and keep TV near seating (the reverse of your first plan).

I hope you will check back if I post anymore versions, or if anyone else chimes in.

Any other opinions GW? What would you do?

Thanks.

Carol


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Why can I not see a fireplace in the photo of the basement you posted?


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

dekeoboe,

We are under construction. The fireplace has not yet been installed. The photo shows only part of the room. It does not even show the wall where the fireplace is proposed. For that wall, please look at the elevation picture I posted on the first post. The fireplace and TV locations are not set in stone.

Carol


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Carol oh Carol! I have no advice but I feel your pain. Last house only TV in the basement. We had the fireplace in the corner and the TV on the adjacent wall. That did work nicely. New build, TV back upstairs (not sure how I will feel about this long term). TV is next to the fireplace and fireplace bumps OUT. We are not huge TV people so I think it will be fine. But I also believe we will have to swivel the TV for best viewing for the reasons Virgil stated.

I have been in a parade home that did that very thing with the shutters and it looked very nice and did make the windows appear like they were larger. :) They weren't hiding a TV though, they were hiding the fact that the basement wasn't daylight window. The shutters were fixed to the wall.

Side note on my TV trepidation: Totally personal opinion but I feel our family benefited from the lack of TV front and center. Kind of forgot about it in the basement and did other things, hardly on all summer long, etc.. It being back on the main floor has me concerned that it could end up being on more, less interaction with the kids, etc.. Time will tell!


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Hi Autumn,

Thanks for your words of encouragement. I am glad you have seen the shutter trick work with non daylight basement windows. I read about that idea in a basement design book and thought we might use it.

Can I see your TV fireplace great room floor plan? Do you have it done with furniture arranged on paper? I've told DH we need to move some furniture down to the basement (doable since we are living in the house as it is being built) and try out different arrangements to see what works. DH was less thrilled about the idea of hauling and rearranging some furniture. Sometimes it looks good on paper, but less good in real life and visa versa. I want to be certain having a fireplace in the basement room works, Oherwise we will just put a TV down there and skip the fireplace.

I do like the idea of down playing the TV in the basement in the hopes that the kids will choose to do less TV. However, I do want the TV visible for those times when someone does want to watch something.

I will keep working on it. Thanks again for your thoughts Autumn.

Carol


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Hi Carol-
You can. Here it is in all of it's glory. I hope it's helpful in some way. I think we should have thought it through more. It is what it is (but again I won't be heart broken if we have to angle the tv or whatever as we do family movie nights but otherwise we are not a TV on all day kinda crew). The opening is only 40", we don't have a huge TV and don't plan to. If we do ever want a 'theater' type arrangement it will be in the basement.

I think the kitchen will have a great view of it. ;) Hahaha!

Here it is in layout (TV on the window or far wall). We should have done more messing with furniture on paper but we didn't. I think our current stuff is a little big for the space but it will do for now.:
 photo greatroomdim_zps88fe808e.jpg

Here it is framed:
 photo photo26_zpse52430df.jpg

Here it is drywalled (sorry it's not square on):
 photo photo15_zps5139c0e9.jpg

Here is the arched built in inspiration picture:
 photo greatroombuiltinoct8_zps2a7a46b7.jpg

I think the boys were 2 and 4 when we finished the basement and moved the TV downstairs. They are 8 1/2 and 11 now. Happy that a larger chunk of their lives were with little TV.


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Do you have enough space on the right side of the tv opening for the shutter when opened? It looks tight in your pictures. The shutters are a neat idea to fool the eye on the window size.


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Autumn,

Thanks so much for posting your pictures. Your room is going to be great. You are lucky the i-joist go in a convenient location for venting the fireplace. Did you ever work out an Ikea hack for the built ins around the fireplace. The curves are sweet.

I am with you on wanting a small TV. DH seems to think we have to plan for a bigger TV just in case smaller ones are no longer available at replacement time.

done_again,

Glad you like the shutters. There is plenty of space to the right of the TV. We figured we would have the shutters on a hinge so they open like a bi-fold. If you look on the floor plan I posted you will see there is plenty of space for the shutters, although the elevation pictures makes it look like it is tight.

DH called today and found the new LED TVs are only one inch thick, which should fit nicely behind shutters. The issue is going to be putting an arm on the TV. The arm is 4 inches thick. Now we are talking 5 inches of depth hidden behind shutters. That is tricky. So, if we can arrange furniture so that the TV doesn't need an arm all the better.

Still not sure what to do. Would welcome anymore opinions.

Carol


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Do you have to have deep closets on that entire wall....or two chairs? Just an idea...this may not work, but maybe will get you thinking about other possibilities :)

From Kitchen plans


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

We are under construction. The fireplace has not yet been installed. The photo shows only part of the room. It does not even show the wall where the fireplace is proposed.

Oh, so can the fireplace go in a different location? I see the venting hasn't been done yet.


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Lavender_Lass,

Thanks for your continued creativity. You are good at brainstorming new ideas. While you were helping me, I was also working on new plans which I have posted below.

dedeoboe

Yes the fireplace can move. However, venting can be challenging in some spots. We are open to other locations and we will explore venting challenges later.

All,

I have re-worked this countless times. What do you think of having the TV on the stair wall as suggested by Virgil. Some time ago we played with that location and were discouraged for various reasons (light from south windows opposite glaring on TV, perhaps more challenging to wire for audio.surround, people crossing in front of TV). I now think it is one of our better options. So thanks to Virgil and my DS2 who liked it best too, I think we will strongly consider this latest version. We could sub in a L shaped couch in the south/east corner instead of the couch and chair there.

I would still do the shutters as I believe they do fool the eye nicely. I would use them on all four windows in the seating area.

Any opinions good or bad on this design.

Carol

 photo basementtvalongstairwall_zpsb9131936.jpg


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

I think this is a good design solution for both the fireplace and TV. Zoning of the space works well: you have a quite area for the fireplace and TV; you have a more social and active area for games and the bar. Neither area impedes the other.

You have a 3-person sofa and a lounge chair which all have good viewing angles for the TV, both video and audio. You also have a 3-person sofa for enjoying the fire place. The bar and game area work well. And circulation from the stairs into and throughout the basement is easy and convenient.

The other issues--lighting, storage, etc., all seem solvable with this plan. Good work!


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Thank you again Virgil for getting me to think about this TV location again!

I also figure we can see the TV from one spot on the couch that faces the fireplace (couch spot near drums), so all in all 5 spots for TV viewing. My son tells me to angle the couch that faces the fireplace a bit more towards the TV, but it looks odd to me with an angle. Do you think his idea is worth considering?

Carol


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

No...my husband would say that's the sofa where you lay down and watch the football game (LOL). How many people will be watching TV on a regular basis?

Also, are you going to put the green storage rectangle behind that sofa? It looks like it would fit. My only concern is will there be room to play the drums?


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Good point Lavender. That couch that faces the fireplace makes a nice couch for lying down on to watch the TV. We have six in our family, but we don't usually watch at the same time. However, there are often friends over that take our place.

The drums are those Rock Band drums and they are quite compact. I will double check that there is room to use the drums though (need room for stool, etc). They won't be a permanent fixture. The mobile storage behind the couch will be put back as suggested.

Thanks for your comments.

Carol


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Carol-very good use of space for different activities. We aren't finishing our basement right away but I am bookmarking his thread for later. Our 'family room' down there is 17x33 I think. Definitely room for multi-purposing.

IKEA hack - ugh no. I do not have near the time necessary to plan and carry out that undertaking. :(. We ended up buying 2 cabinets vanity height and depth for $1,000 bucks. The rest we are winging. There have been strong disagreements about the built ins so we will see what we end up with. They will be more basic than my inspiration for sure. At this point I am very thankful for my arches. If that is what I end up with then I am happy. Have you seen Dutty's kitchen IKEA hack? Simply amazing!

Your plan looks great! LL is an awesome visualizer. :)


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Lavender_Lass,

Not sure if you get emails about past posts, but I could sure use your help as we finalize the cabinetry of a window seat and a corner fireplace in the great room. Here is the link on the kitchen forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: fireplace/window seat issue


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

I like the TV on the stair wall. But just to leave no stone unturned here's one on the southeast corner.


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Sena01,

That look really cool -- lots of seating. It would be nice to have some flexibility with the design so the TV could move to the corner if we did not like it on the stair wall. From where you show it, it would be more visible from the bar. So, like you I like both solutions. Given we don't even have cable and only use the TV for movies and X-box the TV can move to anywhere we have a plug.

Thank you ever so much for drawing this up for me!!! I am blown away that you would take the time to help me out. What a nice program. Is that sketch-up?

BTW, would you mind looking at the link I posted above on Jan 27 to see if you can help me solve a furniture arrangement fireplace location issue in my main great room?

Carol

Thanks again!


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Locating the TV is not complicated. Just look to see if any of the seating has a good, direct view toward the TV. If so, it's a good solution. If not, it's not.

In the last image above, does anyone think there's a good view of the TV from any of the illustrated seating?


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

Everyone,

What do you think of this inspiration picture posted by GW member Autumn above (Jan 20). It looks beautiful to me. Does it pass your scrutiny? We are considering a similar arrangement in a different room -- our great room this time. Similar challenges -- desire to have both a TV and a fireplace. This time the TV will be infrequently used as the basement one will get the most action. I would imagine that DH and I might watch the occasional movie on this TV.

Carol

 photo greatroombuiltinoct8_zps2a7a46b7.jpg

Here is the working floor plan of the great room, although I think I will re-work the furniture more like in the image above. The dining room/great room/ kitchen form an L. The dining room is to the right of the great room, and the kitchen is the short part of the L.

 photo greatroomfireplacecentre2_zps9c6076ed.jpg

Carol


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RE: I think I've solved the TV/Fireplace issue in basement

We may have solved the TV fireplace debate in our great room now. Please come to that thread and give your opinion. Thanks for all your help everyone.

Here is a link that might be useful: Please vote on my great room arrangement


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