Living room ideas: TV consoles that maximise space

Many people base their indoor activities around the TV, such as lounging, gaming, hosting guests and even having dinner. Therefore, this living room centrepiece should come with the right TV console - one that can frame your TV set, keep messy electrical cables and ugly AV equipment out of sight, and display your decorative accessories. Here are some TV console types you should consider:


Desalto Helsinki shelving system, from XTRA

Epos shelving system from Foundry

Unlike a regular bookshelf, these shelves typically have one compartment that is taller and wider to fit a TV. The other remaining compartments can be used to display collectibles or store AV equipment. Tall entertainment cabinets also ensure vertical space isn't wasted, giving you ample storage.

Due to its large storage capabilities, these vertical entertainment shelves tend to be bulkier, so pick a more modular design. The latter allows you to reconfigure the height of the shelves to accommodate your growing disply or book collection and a larger TV screen in future.


(design: Lekker Design)

(design: Box ID)

If you have assessed your storage requirements and know the functionality and style you want, consider a customised wall entertainment unit. This is especially so if your space has an irregular layout or awkward pillars or beams.

An interior designer will be able to advise you on what you can do with the space and the exact kind of setup you need. A built-in cabinet would effectively keep cables from view, and you can opt to even conceal your TV and AV equipment using a feature wall that slides open and shut.


(design: Habit LLP)

(design: Prozfile)

As its name suggest, a bench-like TV console is an elongated media cabinet that resembles a bench. Homeowners who love the minimalist look will appreciate this classic shape for its clean lines and slender profile. While such consoles can fit into any space-starved living room, they lose out on storage capability and are unable to conceal or store bulky equipment. Unlike built-in consoles, bench-like ones are easier to shift should you want to move them into another room or new home in the future.

Designers' tips on choosing a TV console

  • Think about the overall look of your home before deciding on the type of TV console. A place with a vintage theme may require loose pieces to replicate the classic vibe of that period, while a contemporary-style home can carry off an edgy feature wall.
  • Assess your storage needs. Choose a console that can help with the other storage requirements of your home, too.
  • If you are customising your TV console, consider the lighting. Tell your interior designer which elements you would like to highlight (or hide). The right kind of lighting will enhance your feature wall, TV and the other items on display.

Information from Design Channel, Project File, ID Emboss and Ikea.