Televisions are the design world’s version of a Rorschach test. To take it, just ask yourself this question: Does a television hung above a fireplace mantel make you want to settle in with a bowl of popcorn … or scream?
If you fall in with the primal screamers, you might be a woman (designers find that men tend to focus on TVs and electronics in the home, while women focus on how to hide them) or a design nerd, or you might just be someone who isn’t attuned to the nuances of “The Great British Baking Show.” The reason’s not important. What is important is making sure you’re not looking at a shiny black box in the middle of your living room that makes you want to scream.
Weirdly, one form of relief comes from Samsung, the people who are responsible for a lot of the giant black boxes hanging on living room walls. Earlier this year, the company announced The Frame, a television designed specifically to not look like a television. Instead, it masquerades as framed artwork.
Recently released in the U.S., The Frame has a charcoal black edge that looks like a sleek, modern frame for artwork. (Frames in walnut, “beige wood” or white are sold separately.) And it comes with an “art mode” that allows you to program artwork or photos (choose from a free offering of 100 pieces, ranging from nature photos to modern drawings, or purchase additional options, or use your own image) to remain on the screen when you’re not watching TV.
You can even choose a matte color and layout to give your artwork that custom framing look. Sure, it’s expensive (about $2,000 for the 55-inch model, www.samsung.com) but it’s all in the name of fooling the eye, and soothing that savage design beast – while not giving up “Game of Thrones.”