These media wall ideas will help you create an elegant, unified living room look, all while enjoying all your media devices in a single place. At their simplest, media walls include a wall-mounted TV, typically surrounded by living room cabinetry or shelving. However, as many of us own multiple devices these days, from smart speakers to soundbars, so it's worth thinking about the best-looking ways to turn these into a stylish entertainment hub of the home.
Whether you just want to display the best TV in a way that complements the decor in your family's main chill-out room, or if you have an extensive set of technology you'd like to organize, there are endless ways to integrate seamless functionality into your lounge space, without compromising on design interest.
Media wall ideas to create a veritable entertainment center
A media wall is not just about investing in the latest and best technology. It's also about successfully incorporating said technology into your living room ideas. Interior design specialist Sheva Knopfler from Lights.com, has a few top tips for making a media wall 'functional, without sacrificing style':
- First, keep all remotes, controllers, and electronic devices in a box or basket, and make sure it is kept in a spot that is accessible, but not too visible.
- Tuck all wires so they are out of the way and create height with tv stands or shelving units.
- Make sure your wall sconces are installed on either side of your TV, pointing down towards decor you’d like to highlight.
- Fill space with family photos, your favorite art pieces, books, and plants. Knopfler says she likes 'to fill in shelves with flameless candles, and you can add height to your TV stand by styling complementary candle holders in different sizes together.
- You can also change the look of the media wall by adding a frame around your TV-you could even stream artwork to make it look like part of your art gallery wall!
1. Maximize the storage potential of your media wall
One of the most versatile media wall designs is easily also the most popular one. It includes the TV positioned in the center of the wall, and a combination of open shelving and custom-built cabinetry surrounding the TV unit. The open shelves can be used for additional technology (think the best smart speaker or best soundbar) or for books if you prefer.
This classic media wall with painted cabinetry has been created by Precision Cabinets and has an understated cabinet design that blends in perfectly with the decor. The configurations of the cabinets are almost endless and will depend entirely on the size of your living room wall and your living room storage needs.
2. Media walls are not just for living rooms
While media walls are most frequently installed in living rooms, there's no real reason you can't have one in a different room. While we probably would avoid having one in the bedroom, hallways and unused landings are great candidates for creating a reading/media nook you can enjoy at any time of day.
3. Incorporate seating nooks into the design
Media walls don't have to have the traditional layout that has seating facing the TV, with shelves on either side of the media unit. Especially in homes where space is at a premium, you may want to think more creatively about how your media wall is used when you're not watching TV.
We really like the way this media wall by Hide Studio doubles up as not one but two extra seating nooks – perfect for having guests around. One of those cozy living room ideas we'd like to copy. What has been sacrificed on shelving is more than made up for with a unique design.
4. Double up on screens for efficient homeworking
If your media wall is actually part of your home office ideas rather than your living room, and you share your home office with your partner, why not create an attractively symmetrical design that doubles up on everything? To make the area look really smart, don't just match the screens: take inspiration from this design by Precision Cabinets that create a mirror-image effect with matching chairs and storage.
5. Use a console table to create a media wall effect
If you don't have the budget for a custom-built media wall, or you live in a rental property and can't make changes to existing walls, there's an easy way to create a media wall effect by positioning a spacious console table next to the wall you'd like to be your media wall. Many console tables come with plenty of side storage, too –great. if you'd like to fit in your hi-fi speakers or DVD player as well as your TV.
6. Combine a media wall with a gallery wall
If you prefer a more polished, decorative look, and you don't want the fuss of custom-built shelving, why not place your media unit against a gallery wall? Combining a gallery wall with your media wall ideas will give you far edgier and more contemporary results – especially if you use prints and photographs. For more intrigue, go for classic paintings.
7. Display decorative items on recessed shelves
Speaking of softening the look of a media wall with decorative elements, if you have recessed shelves in your living room, you have endless opportunities to create a unique display around your TV/soundbar unit. From picture frames to sculptures and vases, the choice of what you put up on display is entirely yours. Adding spotlights to the recessed shelves, as in this media wall design by Glotech Kitchens, will create an even more attractive look in the evening when you're not using the TV.
8. Fit a fireplace insert into your media wall
A fireplace and a TV on the same wall? Don't worry, they're quite compatible, provided you go for an electric inset fireplace not a gas or open type of fireplace. Electric fireplaces are perfectly safe to have on the same wall as your TV. However, installing a fireplace inset is a job for a professional and is best done at the same time as the rest of your media wall installation.
You could, however, also DIY this look by buying a freestanding electric fireplace from Amazon and positioning it in front of your media wall.
9. Use modular shelving to create a freestanding media wall
Freestanding modular shelving units work great in spaces where you can't, or don't want to, do any drilling whatsoever, and they don't require you to build shelves from scratch. IKEA pioneered this look but modular shelves are now available from many different retailers. One of those living room TV ideas that are endlessly versatile and suitable for rooms of all sizes and shapes.
If you don't have much stuff, you can keep all your shelving open for a more contemporary, minimalist look. If there are things you'd like to keep out of sight, consider mounting doors onto some of the units.
10. Borrow scenery from a bookshelf
In smaller living rooms where a separate media wall may not be an option, you can still create a media wall look by positioning your console or TV stand in front of your bookshelves. This look can even be achieved by grouping together your freestanding furniture – no expensive custom-built shelving project is necessary. Of course, if where you live already has built-in shelves you have even less furniture to get. What we really like about this look is that you don't have to match your console to the shelves – a more eclectic look with a mixture of materials and colors works perfectly for an impromptu media wall.
What are the best materials for a media wall?
Knopfler recommends making your media wall 'interesting with mixed materials, such as teakwood and aged brass accents. These two materials have a natural yet glamorous look together and can be achieved easily with affordable decor.'
Other elements to consider include 'a built-in fireplace or marble mantles.' Whatever style and materials you choose for your media wall, 'make sure the finish of your light fixture complements the tones of each material you use.'
What lighting is best for a media wall?
Lighting can really amplify the look of your media wall, adding texture and dimension to your whole living room decor. Knopfler highly recommends wall sconces, calling them 'a great way to light your media wall. If you’re looking for accent lighting, consider hard-wiring a sconce and installing a dimmer, so you don’t have harsh lighting while you’re watching TV.'
According to Knopfler, installing sconces on either side of the TV 'can spotlight any decor you have on the sides, such as a gallery wall or bookshelves.'
Want to take your media wall lighting scheme even further? 'You can also add dimension to the lighting in this space by adding flameless candles, which are completely safe for use on bookshelves or around children and pets.'