How to Find the Right TV Unit for Your Space
Where you might spend the big bucks on finding the perfect coffee table or sofa, certain pieces of furniture get overlooked when you’re decorating a space – one being the TV unit. It’s pretty common to just grab a piece of furniture left lying around the house to prop up your television, but we’re big advocates of putting a little more thought into it than that. Instead of relegating your choice of TV stand to the backburner, perhaps it’s time to find the perfect piece to suit your space, one that’ll give your television a place of pride in your living room.
Get rid of that ugly, bulky or uncoordinated television stand and switch it out for something that complements your design choices and, all in all, looks chic. Here are a few tips that’ll help you find the right TV stand and style it in your space.
Consider your needs
The way you use a piece in your space is going to be a major factor that dictates what you eventually end up with. Function is everything, so don’t overlook it – after all, it doesn’t matter how beautiful your new TV unit is if you can’t use it the way you’ve intended.
Where some of us spend our lives gathered in front of the television, socialising and bonding over our favourite show, others see TVs as a necessity for those moments when something piques their interest, or when there’s simply nothing else to do. Your TV use is totally up to you, but chances are, it’ll affect the type of unit you opt for. If the television is truly the room’s centrepiece, you’ll want to make watching as easy and relaxing as possible, with a piece that fits perfectly in your eyeline and makes your gorgeous flatscreen the hero.
If you spend just as much time on the sofa reading, chatting or eating, rather than watching TV, practicality might look a little different – perhaps you’re after extra room on either side for decor, or need space to store your coffee table books. This is a design rule that should be taken into account with every new piece you buy: what is your purpose, and how will your new purchase help you fulfil it? Put practicality first, and then go for pretty – we promise it’ll work out for the better.
Use your TV as a guide
With a good idea of your functionality needs in mind, the next thing to consider is your television itself. The way you position and style a huge flatscreen TV will differ completely from a smaller screen. Televisions come in all shapes and sizes, so you’ll need to get your head around yours before purchasing a TV unit that, for instance, doesn’t have enough clearance at the back or isn’t long enough to accommodate your TV’s width.
Measure all three dimensions of your television – height, width and depth – as they’ll all play a role in the size and style of your TV unit selection. Although there are no hard and fast rules here, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Front and back clearance – There’s no point in purchasing a really slimline entertainment unit if your TV is on the bulkier side. You’ll want to ensure there’s enough surface space for it to sit comfortably in the centre without protruding from either side and affecting how you place it in the room.
Height – For those of us who are big on watching TV, comfort is a priority. That doesn’t just include how squishy your sofa is or how many throw pillows are at your disposal, but also should take into account the placement of your television. You’ll want to be able to watch your favourite show or movie with ease – there’s nothing worse than craning your neck or fidgeting to get comfortable. Ensure that the height of your TV and entertainment unit combined mean that the screen is at a pleasant eye level.
Width and side clearance – Finally, the width of your TV and relevant TV unit is something to weigh up – or rather, measure up! – before you purchase. Overhang is not just unsightly, but it can also affect the physical and metaphorical ‘balance’ of the unit. You’ll want to ensure you’ve got at least 10 or so centimetres either side of your TV unit from the widest point of your TV’s screen to help the piece look and feel stable and balanced.
Each of these considerations are important to truly understand and plan for before purchasing an entertainment unit. With that in mind, what else is there to weigh up? Let’s talk about size.
Think about size
Once you know how big your television is, it’s time to think about the size of the entertainment unit itself. This will depend on a few factors, including how much space you have in your room, the clearance available to easily navigate the area surrounding the unit, and the general look and feel you’re going for.
Probably the most common TV to entertainment unit size ratio leaves a small amount of overhang on either side, with anywhere between 10 and 30 centimetres of additional space to work with. You’ll also have at least 10 centimetres front and back to allow for easy use of the television and the unit itself. This gives you lots of room to add in trinkets and decor without the additional surface area feeling overwhelmingly bare.
If sparse style is more your vibe, though – or on the other hand, if you love to pack as much available space as possible with homewares – then you can always opt for additional length on either side of your television with a longer unit. This means you’ll have the space to place plants, lighting and other, larger items to pretty up and style the unit as you see fit. Whichever way you go, think about your room’s overall design sensibilities and try your best to embody them through the choices you make.
You'll also want to ensure there's enough clearance, AKA walking space, on all of the outward-facing sides of your entertainment unit. This will mean that everyone can easily navigate the space, comfortably sitting down and walking from room to room without having to brave a tight squeeze or tripping over. Aim for at least 50 centimetres between your entertainment unit and the next bulky piece (likely your coffee table).
Of course, another element of size is shape. While rectangular units are popular and practical, they’re not the only option! If you have a large space and aren’t too worried about needing the floor space for clearance, then you could always opt for an oval, square or circular entertainment unit. This can look super chic, but just keep in mind it will likely mean a little more space between your TV and your sofa.
Work with your style
Style is always the most enjoyable part of sussing out and selecting a new furniture piece, and the TV unit, while a more utilitarian piece, is absolutely no exception. There are so many styles available now, so it’s really just about considering the elements already in your space and finding the perfect piece to complement them.
As is always our rule of thumb, firstly start by establishing what the style is in your space. There are always dead giveaways, such as whitewashed furniture as a hallmark of coastal style, or clean lines and an achromatic palette for modern contemporary. If your style can’t be boxed into a word or phrase, then try to catalogue a few key elements and use them to guide your selection. Are you big into tribal prints, or is your style typified by geometric shapes? Whether you live for what’s on trend, are all about simplicity or would describe your style as wild and wacky, the most important thing here is to nail it down.
With that in mind, the selection process should be ten times easier. You’ve already ruled out certain options based on size, shape and function, and chances are, you’ll be able to scratch off many more when you know your style. Here are a few things to consider when you’re establishing your style and trying to translate it into an entertainment unit:
Colour – Certain colours just make sense with a corresponding style. Where Hamptons style is all about white, Scandi loves light wood and mid century modern commonly uses darker or medium-toned woods.
Material – Most TV units will be made out of wood, but there are exceptions, and accents also make a huge difference. Rattan baskets or cupboard fronts will suit a coastal room, whereas metal legs and a marbled stone top are very modern. Weigh up the materials already in your space and try to reflect them in your choice of TV unit.
Design elements – Accents, drawer and door handles, the texture of the entertainment unit’s surface… there are so many ways to introduce and express your style in a new piece. Take notice of the little things that are already in your space, whether that’s in other furniture pieces or your homewares, and consider finding a piece that has similar features.
Take storage into account
Finally, we’re looping back around to functionality with a note on storage. This is especially salient for those in smaller homes and apartments, but it’s likely most of us will expect to find a TV unit that’s got great storage. Whether you’re trying to stash old DVDs or just need some extra room for day-to-day items, an entertainment unit can make an epic storage piece to alleviate some of that living room clutter.
There are three types of storage you’ll typically see in an entertainment unit – drawers, cabinets and open shelving. Each of these has their pros and cons, so it’s really up to you to define what works best for your style and your use.
Drawers are great if you have lots of smaller items that need to be stashed, and if you find yourself regularly accumulating bits and bobs. Meanwhile, cupboards and cabinets are great for those larger items that just don’t have a home. You’ve always got the option of adding baskets or storage containers to organise smaller items in a cabinet-style TV unit. Lastly, open shelving is great for those who love to milk every opportunity to show off their decor items and give their space a little zhuzh. Place your favourite coffee table books, candles, boxes and other items to inject the unit with your taste.
Although the TV unit might seem like a humble and practical item that’s key purpose is to raise your television up to eye level, there’s a lot more to it – and it’s a fantastic opportunity to further hammer home your aesthetic and design choices. From classic wooden pieces to sleek, stripped back options, Scandi favourites and more, there’s lots to choose from, so keep these tips in mind when you begin the process.
Ready to start the hunt for your dream entertainment unit? We’re here to help. Browse hundreds of unique, high-quality pieces, including trendy must-haves and all-time favourites. Here at Brosa, we offer Australia-wide shipping and a range of virtual styling services to help you envision your new item in your home – learn more today.