This Popular Living Room Trend May Be Your Worst Design Mistake Ever

Everyone has their own personal style. And with countless go-to design options out there, choosing the most popular of the moment is often the easiest solution. It can save you months of headaches and hours at Home Depot. But buyer beware: Following the latest living room design trend just may be the worst mistake you’ve ever made. Why? We’re glad you asked.

Here’s the one fad you need to give up on for good and what makes it so terrible in the first place.

The trend: Mounting your television above the fireplace

furnished living room in newly constructed home

This design trend seems like a good fit for your TV, but there’s a catch. | hikesterson/iStock/Getty Images

Just like shiplap and farmhouse sinks, mounting your TV above the fireplace has been all the rage. And we get it. It’s a trendy move that tends to look sleek, while solving the problem of finding the perfect TV stand for your space. However, this is one interior design mistake that needs to die ASAP, and we’ll explain why.

It’s a strain on your neck

Man with pain in his neck

Watching TV should be relaxing, not a pain in the neck. | iStock.com/andriano_cz

For starters, it’s bad for your health. According to professional installers and ergonomic specialists, above-fireplace placement puts added stress on neck and shoulder muscles. And is straining your neck just to binge watch your favorite Netflix show really worth it? Not really.

Additional heat could shorten your TV’s lifespan

Your TV likely won’t do well roasting over the fire. | iStock/Getty Images

You probably know electronics need to maintain a certain temperature to function properly. Just think about what happens when your phone gets overheated or way too cold: It shuts down. Well, the same goes for your television.

It’s not likely that your fireplace-mounted TV will overheat simply due to its placement, but still, it’s something to think about. In fact, it may not last as long as you’d like if it’s subjected to too much heat from the fireplace.

Hanging a TV above the fireplace could void its warranty

patio with a fireplace and tv hanging above the fireplace

Check with the manufacturer before hanging your TV. | hikesterson/iStock/Getty Images

Because the whole above-the-fireplace thing could be damaging to your TV, it’s no surprise that television manufacturers have figured it out, too. Are they willing to take the risk? Hell no. With that said, mounting your TV above the fireplace could void the warranty, so be sure to check with your manufacturer before doing so — even though you wouldn’t even consider it after reading this.

The TV becomes the focal point of the room, rather than the actual fireplace

Fireplace with fire burning

You might want your fireplace to remain the centerpiece of the room. | DigitalVision/Getty Images

Of course, there are two sides of every story. Similarly, there are two opposing positions on whether placing your television above the fireplace is really the right way to go. According to Tamara Leicester of Tamara Heather Interior Design, it’s a big mistake.

“I love the traditional idea of the hearth and think it really is the symbolic heart of the home,” Leicester says. She goes on to explain that the family room is a place for hanging out, conversing, and spending time with family. And placing the TV above the fireplace, she says, “instantly promotes the TV to the most important position in the room, around which everything else revolves.”

So you might want to think twice before turning your TV into the centerpiece of the room.

Experts say a TV should be at eye level

Teenager girl with remote control laying down

Eye-level viewing is best for your posture. | iStock.com/Manaemedia

In most cases, an over-the-fireplace TV doesn’t come close to being at eye level with seated viewers. And according to the experts, that’s a big problem. Why? Because the viewer’s eyes should be in line with the center of the screen.

Furthermore, the optimal viewing distance from the TV is 1.5 to 2.5 times the diagonal length of the screen, Houzz explains. “The center-of-television height with the eye level of seated viewers in mind, also again, is approximately 42 inches from the floor,” the website says.

There’s no place to hide the wires

plugging cord into outlet

Unless you already have an outlet in place you might have some unsightly wires. | tab1962/iStock/Getty Images

Visible wires are an eyesore. However, hiding them might not be possible here. It all depends on what type of fireplace and chimney you’re working with. A brick or stone structure probably won’t lend itself to hiding those unsightly wires.

And while we love interior design just as much as we love delivering useful information, we’re not delusional. And we know our suggestions aren’t always for everyone. So should you choose to blatantly ignore our sound advice on this one, just make sure you go about it properly.

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