Tuesday, May 3, 2011

TV Stand


I might loose a few people on this one.  From what I've seen on the many blogs I've visited, women seem to like the TV hidden, men seem to want its presence celebrated.  I reveal my solution with the understanding that no one will love this idea.  But let me back up.

About 10 years ago, I had a loft apartment in downtown Boston.  All of my furniture was modern was very large.  When I bought my first condo in another Greek Revival house in Cambridge, I slowly replaced all of my modern furniture with smaller scale, traditional and contemporary pieces.  The TV stand was one of the last surviving pieces because I just didn't have a good solution for the TV.


I thought I would end up with something like this console table.  This is actually the end of an antique table that's been cut off and attached to the wall.  It's a little too shabby for my taste but I thought if it were repainted in a dark gray it could work.  I just couldn't figure out how to add a shelf for the DVR and DVD player below it.  Another consideration is the cold air return to furnace is right where the TV sits, so I needed something that was open.

I really didn't want to mount it on the wall because my walls have almost no studs and adding the structure necessary to support the TV would have required another construction project.  I also tend to like to move things around and hanging it on the wall was little too permanent.
I thought I was going to have something custom made until I walked into Smith-Zukas Antiques in Maine and there it was.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce the Entertainment Easel.


This old artist's easel seemed to satisfy most of my requirements.  It fits the space, is shallow enough not to block the door, is open on the bottom to not restrict air flow to the furnace and it's just the quirky, one-of-a-kind thing I love.


The shelf on which the TV sits is covered in old oil paint.



I love this surface.


I had the easel slightly modified to add a place for the sound bar just below the screen, and another shelf for the cablebox/DVR and the DVD player.


The new work was stained to look like it was always there.  Just needs a few paint splashes.


So there you have it.  My own unique solution for the TV.  It may not be for everyone but I love it and I love that it's genuine.

Shortly after I bought it was waiting for it be modified, I was on the Anthropologie site and found they're selling a paint splattered easel.


In my opinion, the spattering of paint isn't something you can really fake.  It will just have a quality that just doesn't ring true.  It's just not quite right.

It's also $2100.  Yikes!

Love it or hate it?  Sound off!

67 comments:

  1. Love it! Very clever, unique and can blend in with all your beautiful pieces...thumbs up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very clever solution and looks great! As the recipient (thanks to my hubby) of a brand new 50'' plasma in the house, I have resigned myself to the fact that there will never be a cupboard big enough to hide it!! So for now it's sitting on an Ikea t.v. cabinet...when we return to Australia we will have to mount it on the wall...and I have threatened my husband that we may have to double the size of the family room to accommodate it...it's at this point his eye's start to glaze over!!Robx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love it! Did you have to secure it to the wall or floor? Just wondering how stable it is. The patina on your easel is really beautiful. Makes you wonder who it belonged to, what they painted and how long it's been in use. Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. p.s. just had a look at your floral arrangements in Maine...absolutely gorgeous! Would love to visit that area...I'm sure the antiques would be fabulous! Robx

    ReplyDelete
  5. For your Greek Revival Interest - http://thedowneastdilettante.blogspot.com/
    Ann

    ReplyDelete
  6. Robynne,
    The coast of Maine is a GREAT place to visit. Lots of gorgeous rocky coast, antiques, restaurants and all within driving distance of Boston and Cape Cod.

    AM,
    I've wondered too who it might have belonged to. It's not attached to the wall. I had the back 1/2 of the legs cut off so it would go up against the wall and I thought I would have to bracket it to the wall but it's very sturdy and needed no support.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Doesn't work for me. Ann

    ReplyDelete
  8. i like my tv hidden as per your description but i like this, a lot.

    it's quite urban cottage.

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love it. Wish I'd thought of it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I actually love it! Great find too!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Brilliant!! Perfect!!
    But you knew that! I so enjoy your site!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love it. Now that tv's are so much narrower and more screen, less casing, I prefer to leave them sitting out. Never thought I would say that, but I do. I think you were wise not to attach it to the wall. They inevitably are up way too high. Way too go! Yours is perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love it! The only thing I see wrong is... it is yours and not mine. How clever! Bonnie

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love old easels and their patina -- it's such a clever solution for your TV.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am one who like to hide the tv - but this solution - BRILLIANT! Great style. Simply brilliant! - Wendy

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is great! What a unique and interesting way to house the tv...brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Steve,
    Never in a million years would it have entered my mind that an old easel would make such a fabulous tv stand. I simply never would have thought of it. But, as much as I prefer my tv hidden (which it's not right now), I think this is the neatest idea! I wish I could think out of the box on things! I love it and the original paint splatters are awesome. There's no way I would ever pay that much money for the fake one! You did a superb job. It's neat too because it's narrow and not obtrusive at all...your eye concentrates more on the easel not the television.
    Score!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Clever, creative, amusing, and usefu--you've outdone yourself here. It is a work of art in itself--I can see it in a museum with some crazy art jargon caption about how it is a commentary on ... juxtapositon of... and so forth. If if was in my house I would smile every time I saw it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love it. It seems to fit your sophisticated yet comfortable eclectic style. I just can't understand why I don't think of these wonderful things. Looks wonderful Steve!

    ReplyDelete
  20. There's a perfect example of your crusty chic, my refined rustic at work. Clever. Very clever, Steve. I love clever with a little crusty/rustic (NOT shabby) thrown in!
    Camille

    ReplyDelete
  21. One more thing: I think it is totally fascinating that your style has changed. Have you ever posted about that? If so tell me, so I can find it. If not, I would love to see a post on that very point.
    Camille

    ReplyDelete
  22. LOVE it!

    And Mr. TV Easle...You may be interested that I did a post on JUST that about two years ago...

    Great minds, eh?!

    http://coconutsandlimes.blogspot.com/2009/01/in-land-of-squat.html

    ReplyDelete
  23. Sometimes we have to be pragmatic and find solutions to the way we live today. I absolutely love the easel idea - brilliant! My tv is in the living room surrounded by shelves and books. This is where I lounge on the sofa and watch my programs and movies, so this is where it is. It's not esthetically perfect, but no one from House Beautiful is stopping by to take photos anytime soon. The easel is not prominent and does not take up alot of space - I think it works well in blending new with old. Lana www.lifeatwildberrycottage.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. You know I love it!!! To think I have a studio full of unique TV stands and didn't know it. :)
    Wonder what you would recommend I do with an old drafting table? I seem to have that too.

    ReplyDelete
  25. The best of both worlds. Function and charm.

    I would totally do this.

    I haven't read all the other comments but I bet it'a got 100% approval rating.

    Enjoy your purple have.

    xo Jane

    ReplyDelete
  26. Cool idea and very unique and original. I, like so many women, like the idea of the TV being hidden, but is ours hidden? No. So why not make it a work of art, right?
    C

    ReplyDelete
  27. You are so smart! That is the best idea I have seen for a TV and certainly the most original.....I am sure that Restoration Hardware will be close behind with their Repro "authentic" version spalttered with paint in a factory in China somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  28. as with EVERYTHING you do I LOVE IT- LOVE IT- LOVE IT! I read your blog daily. I was in Cambridge the other day and passed your home- it was like seeing a celeb!!!! I promise I was not stalking you! Lynda

    ReplyDelete
  29. Morning Steve: I haven't had a tv for close to 30 years - don't miss it either - but when I did have one, it lived in a huge pine country cupboard in my greek revival 1840's house. Definitely of the 'for god's sake hide it' school!
    But you being a man, I have to allow you to have it out in the open, and this is the best solution you could have come up with - as Country Living would say - witty! Lol

    ReplyDelete
  30. I definitely prefer hiding the tv, but your idea is great. You always come up with the best ideas. There may be a second career calling your name.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Love it. Love that it is honest and original and charming and "you". RH also sells a big TV easel, for those of us tasteless souls who don't have New England antique stores to go to. :)

    My TV sits "out" and I don't mind it, but it is in a dedicated TV room, so rather out of the way. If it were a main living area, I would definitely have mine inside an armoire. I just don't want to see all that gear personally. :)

    xo Terri

    ReplyDelete
  32. Let me tell you why it doesn't work for me. Clutter.

    Your house has an exquisite sense of spareness. Clean lines, muted tones, everything has a purpose and you don't have to look around to figure out what that purpose is.

    The easel, "is that temporary?", "is that a family piece?", "are you storing it for someone?", Cute, quaint, clever, ok but does it add to your home? Does it carry the message you want? Will you be proud of it next year? Not so much.

    But I do love your blog. Ann

    ReplyDelete
  33. I like your solution and would use it myself. One cannot fake paint splatters on an easel;the real thing has a quality all its own.

    When I was young, I belonged to the "hide it" school. Now, with the sculptural quality of the new flat TVs,I belong to the "show it" school.

    ReplyDelete
  34. This is a fabulous solution! I really love it! I love quirky - and this quirkiness is the perfect solution for your tv. Great find!

    ReplyDelete
  35. And I want to add that I love quirky, I love personality and this piece has it. I like a mix of furniture and styles. And I like pieces that make me smile and aren't just 'beautiful.'

    I mean, I have a paper towel holder in the kitchen made out of an old metal display stand for chain. We added 3 dowels and it holds 3 rolls of paper towels. It's quirky, it's fun, it has personality. As does your fabulous easel.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I like this idea, alot! Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  37. Would it be possible to put a nice painting in front of the TV when you are not using it? Lynn D.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Lynn,
    Absolutely! I have a big framed piece that I've tried sitting there. The question becomes where does that sit when the TV is on. I haven't quite figured that out. But that's a good possibility. Thanks for chiming in. S.

    ReplyDelete
  39. No! I am a woman and I love a modern piece strewn about period pieces! I'm not particularly in love with your piece (too Ikea-like), but I know what you're doing. Frankly, I thought you would go more Nakashima-like...

    ReplyDelete
  40. Wait. Many apologies. I saw the wheels on the first image and my eyes went into the back of my head. Too over-done. OK. Entertainment Easel is so very cool, and it does fit very well, but you've done such a spectacular job on the rest of the house that if I were going to see something non-period, I _would_ want to see an authentic mid-century piece. I also think if you're going to stay with the easel, place it up further so the top of the posts don't show. Seamless.

    ReplyDelete
  41. LOVE LOVE LOVE! And I'm going to copy it ... at some point, maybe not in this house, but one day I'll copy you and say I came up with it all on my own! LOL! :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. I Loooooooove this! I'm all about a tv looking like a tv...no need to hide it in my book. I love this easel used as a tv stand. It's perfect! It's so you! You know me...I like things used in ways you wouldn't expect them to be. I think this is just perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  43. So true about men and their tv's.. my husband was horrified that I would want to hide the tv... I must admit, being a girl I like the shabby table but can see it dosn't quite work within the room, the easel however, does work and the paint splashes are wonderful x

    ReplyDelete
  44. Well I am going to brave negativity in a sea of happiness....
    I like the easel solution itself -but I don't actually like the paint splatters. too attention grabbing, too much contrast with the high tech electronics. If the easel was just plain stained wood and not trying to be noticed so hard I think you would have the perfect clever solution and a new trend in TV stands on your hands.
    that being said the price of the one from Anthropologie is just stupid! I could take some from my art school and start an ebay business!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Totally love it and I am one of those in the "hide the tv" camp! So unique and cool-- much more than Anthropologie. :) I really enjoy your blog and your aesthetic!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I have to disagree with the comment above. What I love about what you do is celebrate the history of your house and the things you put in it. An easel that was actually used by someone creates a narrative that's different for every person that see it. You're also repurposing which is great for the planet. I applaud both. Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  47. I think it's great. It is so hard to find the right solution for the TV - 99% of "TV stands" are heinous, and you have to spend a mint to get something more classy. This is a good solution! I almost used an old Chinese cabinet, but then decided I wanted something more open, or with glass fronts, so I could stash the DVD and the remote would work without having to leave the doors open.
    One question: how did you get it modified? Do you have a carpenter you work with? Or do you take it to a shop? I always have ideas on how I would want something changed/customized but never seem to have the right connections to get it done. I also live in the Boston area and any recommendations for upholsterers, workshops, furniture sprayers, etc. would be great!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I've put two RH easels in houses (I had one of them painted BM November Rain and distressed). I would have paid the Anthropologie price for YOURS in a heartbeat. It fits you an your space to a t......Your home just keeps getting better and better......don't you just love it?
    Enjoy the weekend...............k

    ReplyDelete
  49. Steve! What a brave question you opened up! : ) I personally am on the hide the tv side of the fence but I'm loving this solution!! And actually - my tv is out in the open too....on one of those awful, plastic, swiveling bought-it-in-the-front-aisle-of-Bed Bath & Beyond, kind of stands. Don't tell anyone.
    Great find! Melissa

    ReplyDelete
  50. Bryan,
    The easel was modified by Smith-Zukas Antiques in Wells, Maine. They have a whole team of craftsman and artisans that will make and/or modify just about anything you can dream up. I don't know if you say my dining room table but they made that for me as well. They do work for several designers in Boston and across the US. Old House Parts in Kennebunk also told me they have a wood shop and will custom make items. It comes with a price, of course, and I don't know if they'll take the Chinese cabinet, for example, and modify, but if you have an idea and they need to find something to modify, they will do that. Olde Bostonian in Dorchester does paint stripping and I believe spraying. For upholstery, Tho's Upholatery in Brighton is very good (and cheap) but I just used The Custom Shop in Watertown and I was happy with the work they did. I hope that helps.

    Kathy,
    My last bathroom was November Rain. It's a great color!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Perfect!!!!! This comes from an artist's perspective....
    It is always difficult to find the right place for a large screen television. We don't like them on antique furniture, they always look out of place. The wall in a historical house is out of the question. The plaster would give it up in no time. So you have found the perfect solution. I'm out looking now for the perfect easel! Cheers! Susan :)

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hi Steve,
    Can't believe I somehow missed this post til now. I love this! LOVE! Where were you when I was looking for something to put the bf's humongous flat screen on? I so would have stolen this idea! Shamelessly, too.
    Karin

    ReplyDelete
  53. Love it love it love it. Perfection. Suits you. Suits your house. You are clever beyond words. What a great conversation piece. You've done it again!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Very clever and functional indeed. I love the authentic splattering of the paint. A great repurposed project! Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  55. It's great...I keep a folder of ideas I like just for myself or blog material. In it I have four or five pics of artists easels used for flatscreens. Great minds think alike! Bravo...

    and btw...love your temple idea...

    www.ajbarnesonline.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  56. I personally love those kind of random splatters or "mistakes". It gives character to the furntiture!

    ReplyDelete
  57. WOW! LOVE it! How lucky are you to have found such an awesomely inventive piece! I am truly impressed!

    ReplyDelete
  58. I LOVE it! and I love how you preface the whole project, so funny

    ReplyDelete
  59. I don't know how I missed this post... this was your secret project!!!! I remember seeing this at Art's (before you bought it) and loved it, in fact Art and I talked about all the things we would do with it!!! I think it is fab-u!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Uh-may-zing. I love it. We're finishing up an attic reno and since being in a relationship is about give and take, I got a window seat and marble subway tiles and he took home a 52" television. Do they make easels that large? :-)

    ReplyDelete
  61. If that's real artist paint you may want to consider doing some sort of clear sealer coat over it - not so much to protect the paint and the way it looks, but to protect you and your family -- many paints such as the reds and yellows have cadmium in them and when they are incorporated as a piece of household furniture they can start sloughing off particles into the carpets and air. Why introduce additional poisons into your home.

    ReplyDelete