The television above the fireplace was installed during construction of the home and the woodwork was built around the television. This provided a clean look but presented several problems – the sound was trapped inside the woodwork as the speakers were covered and it was almost impossible to connect devices as the television was installed on a fixed mount and couldn’t easily be removed.  The client wanted a larger television, which meant that the existing space inside the face frame would not be sufficient and we would need to get creative in making adjustments to the opening and surrounding woodwork to accommodate a larger screen. Also, as you can see from the “before” photos below, the client had previously purchased a soundbar to attempt to bypass the television speakers. Unfortunately the only place for the soundbar was on the hearth which is undesirable for the fact that the sound is coming from the floor which hurts the sound quality – and who wants a soundbar sitting on their hearth?  Nobody!

(Below are “before” photos – click to enlarge.)

To come up with a plan for making adjustments to the woodwork surrounding the television, the client included Gwen Torfin from The Hearth Room in the project. With her keen eye for design and the handiwork of her crew, adjustments were made to the mantle and surround woodwork to accommodate the larger (55″) television and the new soundbar. To solve the issue of getting to the necessary audio & video connections and to make future television upgrades more simple we installed the television on a swing-arm mount. To hide the previously empty space behind the television we framed the back, sides, top and bottom with black melamine, which gave us space to install a new mini-digital soundbar amplifier, existing cable box and processor for the automation controller instead of having to place them on a stand next to the fireplace. The new soundbar was installed on the modified mantle and connected to a subwoofer, which was placed out of sight in a corner of the room without wires thanks to a wireless subwoofer transmitter.

(Below are “after” photos – click to enlarge.)