Monday, October 27, 2008

What fireplace?

I have always had a problem with family rooms. Most of the time there is a fireplace, which tends to be the dominant feature in the room. The problem is, where do you put the TV, and how do you arrange your furniture when you have a split focal point? Our solution?

With the invention of flatscreen televisions, I thought this problem was solved. If you notice, there is a design in the fireplace tile that looks like a built-in frame, so we went out and bought an LCD TV that would fit in the frame. We were warned that we'd have to be careful that the TV didn't get too hot when we used the fireplace, but as we pretty much only used our old fireplace (with usually disastrous results) on Christmas Eve every year, we figured this wasn't a problem. We were warned that we'd have to get a mounting system that would angle the TV down so that we wouldn't have to crane our necks to see the TV. No problem, we got a mounting system and even paid for professional installation.

Well when the Geek Squad showed up last week to set up our TV, they walked into the family room, and I immediately got "the look". I am SO sick of getting "the look". It's the look that says "Are you insane? There's no possible way this will work". I'd say I've gotten it an average of 1.5 times a week from various workmen since we moved in.

Aparently even with the mounting system that angles the TV, the tile rectangle up there is WAY too high to mount a TV. They offered to mount it lower, but they still cautioned that every tile they drilled into would surely crack, and said we'd never be able to use the fireplace because our TV would get soot in it. Now it would drive me absolutely nuts to have the TV halfway in that tile square and halfway below it, it would look like we mounted it in the wrong place. I also didn't want to irreversibly wreck the tiles. They suggested mounting the TV on the wall perpendicular to the fireplace, but there we were back at the split focal point problem that bothered me so much to begin with that I bought a new TV instead of messing with it. Not to mention the fact that I really wanted to be able to see the TV from the kitchen, and there was also our old TV out in the garage (you know, the one the movers gave me "the look" about when I told them we wanted it in the basement?) which would go against the wall just as well as the new LCD TV would. So I sent the Geek Squad on their way, dragged the TV, the mounting system, and a million reciepts back to Best Buy (where they told me their system said I had already returned the TV) and finally we just hoisted the old TV in. It was late at night and I was already in my pajamas, I shudder to think what the neighbors think of us. After the difficult task was complete, I just exclaimed "Why don't we put the stupid thing in FRONT of the fireplace?!?!?" Turns out it wasn't a terrible idea.

Luckily we have a flat hearth, and our fireplace isn't a traditional design that screams "there's a fireplace back here!". I don't know, maybe it looks really stupid, but I don't care at this point. Now we can use a TV we already had, we don't have to split the focal point (since we in effect got rid of one) and we can still use the fireplace if we roll the TV out of the way. Or we can just get a screensaver that looks like a fireplace. Either way, that's one more thing that should have been simple but wasn't that's finally taken care of.

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