Does the idea of a stylish yet fully functional home will forever be a myth? Probably not, but with the concept of modernism in existence, the possibility of both ends harmoniously meeting halfway can actually transpire. Moreover, the artistic taste requirement in modern home interiors is now perceived with a lavished sense of integration between contemporary design and high-end functionality. In this design perspective, contemporary art and practicalities in homes are a design necessity (De Witte 19). Contemporary art, certainly, is well-regarded in every field of design.
However, the concept of “practicalities” is an added theory in modern home designing which is quite vital in the process. It is the idea of using home elements such as furniture, domestic devices, and other home essentials as components of the collective modern design perspective. For instance, the television set in modern design can be used as something more than just an electronic device—it can be used as a contributor to the wholeness of the interior design theme of the home. In this light, the question of whether certain home elements should be in the centre of a modern home interior arises.
At the present, if there is a home element which should be under the limelight in this design perspective, it would definitely be the television set. According to a Nielsen Media Research by Gary Homes entitled “Americans Can’t Get Enough of Their Screen Time,” the average usage of television in 2007 to 2008 is in record-high as compared to all the previous findings since the1950s. In addition, setting the television as one of the most used devices at home, this normally equates to the idea that it is also one of the most valued in home utilities, raising its significance as a home element a notch higher.
Moreover, this makes the television set a crucial element of the household and its positioning in the interior arrangement are now well thought-out. With this in mind, does the television set provide “practicality” in modern home designing? Do television sets give modern design a higher sense of appeal if it were located at the centre of the home? In another perspective, do the television set gain artistic value if it were at the centre? In general, more than design, is it sensible for the television set to be at the centre of the home for practical use?
With all these questions in consideration, it is arguable that a television set can be positioned at the centre of the home if it is established as the focal point of the interior. In addition, the television should complement the contemporary artistic standards posed by modern home designs if it were to be revered as the focal point. Moreover, in theory, a television can be located in the centre of the home only if it is adeptly regarded as a home element with overwhelming presence, design, and function in the household.
Modern design is commonly known not to be a field of ornamental intricacies. It takes its roots from the belief that the necessary, inherent form is more beautiful than any wilfully contrived form (Kaufmann 140). This belief is the one that pushed forth the sprouting of the concepts of refinement along with functionality in modern home design. It has redefined the concept of what is beautiful, something that came out of simplicity and sensibility. However, more to its longing for plainness, in general, interior design still follows several guiding principles.
These are the standards that are universally coherent in the field of interior designing, and one of which that is by and large a very common principle in design is the idea of the focal point. Every good interior design demands for a focal point; a home without this point shall result in a lack of visual interest. It is all about conditioning the viewer to land its eye initially on the said focal point and then gradually move to the less prominent places. This design concept establishes focus in the modern home, and interior design suddenly becomes more thematic.
However, pieces that are less significant in size or magnitude can be chosen as secondary points. Nevertheless, the focal point should be revered with singularity and dominance. Furthermore, the main focal point can vary from a wide range of architectural feature such as a fireplace, a painting, a window with a great view, or a television set even. The focal point, due to its significance, is given so much attention in design artistry to the extent of meticulousness in the designer’s perspective.
This is the sole reason why television sets are hidden rigorously in the living room in the past and are heavily avoided by designers as the focal point of the home. All the more, according to Annie Groer, author of the “For Many, the TV is the Focal Point,” as an efficient facade, designers use coverings, such as cabinets, to eliminate the lack of sophistication and appeal of the television set in the entirety of the interior design. Yet, in recent times, there has been a great shift of insight on the issue of the television as the focal point of the home.
Since the release of flat-screen television in 1998, there have been vast differences of opinions on television sets as a design element. “Today, the percentage of flat-panelled household owners is rising,” Groer says. The younger generation has inherited an electronic upbringing; thus, it has become ideal to have the television as the focal point of the home. Due to this change of attitude on modern design, television sets are now created with a higher sense of style to level up to the demands of modern design.
Traditionally, light, texture, colour, and arrangement are the chief rudiments of contemporary design. Lighting, technically, can be drawn from different light sources located in several parts of the modern home. Some are placed in the walls, the ceiling, or even the floors to achieve a sense of space, Builders Town London Team, the author of the “An ideal bedroom: some advice from the expert” cited. However, light sources, in the contemporary, are not just confined with the use of light bulbs, chandeliers, or fluorescents.
Now, with the notion of “practicality” in modern design, even the flickering beam from the screens of the television is employed in the holistic design scheme. Even television manufacturers are now raising the bar and are paying closer attention to the external design of the piece of equipment. As modern design deems texture as an important aspect of this kind of approach by using materials such as metal, glass, ceramics, and fabric, television manufacturers are now producing sets with textures that are attuned to the design of a modern home.
For instance, according to Manila Bulletin in 2007, the Samsung Mosel Series LCD TV is deemed as an exhibition of this kind of design influence. Its black glossy frame with a glass neckline, and a swivel stand that positions it flexibly, is supposed to be essentially intended to be made suited for contemporary interior designed homes. Even the picture quality of these electronic appliances is now enhanced to adhere to modern design standards. The Samsung Model, more than just its exterior, is also manufactured with brighter images and wide gamut of colours.
This kind of quality makes it more fitting to the richness and vibrancy of the colour dynamics used in the collective design of the modern home. All these newly conceptualized qualities of television as a home device, which generally contributes to the overall thematic compatibility to the contemporary designs, lead to the question of whether its design components give justice to the entirety of the modern home if it is positioned at the centre. With all these taken into consideration, the case of the television being at the centre of the home is subjective to the wholeness of the design.
In a modern home, if the television is not the focal point yet it is in harmony with the entirety of the design, it is generally tolerable as its purpose does not deviate from the standards. However, if the television set is the focal point of the home, yet it does not adhere to the design standard of a modern home and does not justify its state of being the focal point, it is better for it not to be positioned at the centre, moreover, as the focal point of the interior. However, the centre is not always the focal point in interior design, although most of the time, it is.
There are cases wherein the centre of the home is just a part of the whole thematic design and does not contribute as much as the focal point does. In which case, if the television set is located at the centre of the interior, it is also tolerable only if under the same conditions of harmony to the whole and it does not overshadow the supposed dominance of the chosen focal point of the modern home. Moreover, a television set can be positioned at the centre of the home if it is revered by the household with great significance.
According to the Nielsen Research by Gary Holmes, an average person watches the television 142 hours a month. The findings show that the television is indeed one of the most used devices at home. In one case cited by Annie Groer of the Washington Post, the spokeswoman of the Consumer Electronics Association in Arlington, Megan Pollock, raised her regard to the value of her flat-screen television set at home. She decided to make her television the centrepiece of her family room for the reason of its wide array of function.
For instance, one day, as she cooked in an adjoining kitchen of her home, she managed to upload some recipes from her laptop and download it to her television set. This case proved to be just one of the many uses of the television in the modern world. With the level of function set a notch higher in the current times, it is definite that there is a whole new bearing to the issue of positioning of the television set in the modern home. In addition, taking Pollock’s case into consideration, the television set is at its most convenience if it were positioned at the centre of the home as it offers ease and advantage in the household.
However, this assumption is subjective to the household’s regard to its television set. Some household treats television set different from another. If the television set is not as beneficial or valuable to the household, the centre of the modern home could arguably be filled out by something else that connects the interior of the house resourcefully rather than something that may just waste the value of the centre as an integral part of the interior. Indeed, the television set has proven to have provided practicalities to the modern home.
With the outbreak of the modernized approach to television set design and quality, it does not only serve as a device used for household entertainment, but it can now also be perceived as part of the holistic design of the interior. The positioning of the television set, however, is subjective to the entirety of the design of the modern home. There are several conditions to be considered in the interior design of the home for the television set to be located at the centre.
If the centre of the home is also the focal point, then a modern, high-end television can definitely go well with its position. However, it is arguable if the television is not complementing the design of the interior. In modern home designs, the texture, vibrancy, material, and colour are highly valued. Therefore, these qualities should also be carefully considered before actually deciding to position the television at the centre. Its incongruity with the entire interior would just defeat its purpose as a design element, making it less valued, and the modern home design less engaging.
Alongside the idea of the television set being a design element, its function is also regarded in the question of positioning in a modern home. The television set, being in the centre, can only be considered in conditions that it is highly valued by the household. If the television set is less revered than other home elements, it is befitting that the household reconsider the positioning of the set as the centre is an integral part of the home, and placing it at the centre may be a waste to the interior design.