wanna know how to you work a sexy tube television in a 13-foot wide home?
you buy a flat-screen television.
when my husband and i first bought our home in baltimore in 2007, we knew that purchasing a home that was only 13-feet wide, would pose some interesting challenges when it came to room layout and function. its not that our home is tiny by any means, we are over 2700 square feet of livable space (not including our unfinished basement), its just that each room is only 13-feet wide and the left-hand side of the home is essentially a “hallway” to get to the subsequent rooms.
so, when we moved in, we found that our ever-so-classy tube television took up a ton of precious space . . . space we could really use. the only solution we could really come up with was to buy a flat screened television. i should note that my husband and i are pretty frugal, and the idea of purchasing a luxury item just to create space seemed a little “wrong” . . . yet, the idea of moving into the 21st century was really appealing (please keep in mind that this was about six years ago and flat screen televisions were still new-ish and prices hadn’t dropped a whole lot).
so, we did what many other frugal-minded folk do – we hunted around for the best price and ended up purchasing a vizio flat screen hd television from costco for double what the cost of that tv is today (we don’t like dwelling on it too much).
so our first labor day weekend in the house, my husband and i made it the weekend project to recess it in our wall. we gauged our space and thought the most useful place the was the long wall that was part of the “hallway” (see photo below).
not knowing what would be behind the drywall, we cut carefully and were pleasantly surprised to see that nothing out of the ordinary lurked behind the drywall. we were even hoping to determine whether doing exposed brick in the house was possible (which it wasn’t). we ended up finding a hundred years worth of layered wallpaper laying on top of an inch of plaster that was on top of the brick.
the wallpaper was amazing. we peeled back through the decades until we found the oldest layers that we believe date back to 1920’s. we were able to preserve small fragments and framed them to hang on our wall.
because the studs were not load bearing (fact: a nice perk to owning a row home, the load bearing walls are only the two sides of the home – making it possible for an open concept living space), we cut out an area sufficient to fit the television and attach a piece of half-inch plywood to the masonry wall, also attached by angle iron to the cutoff studs in order to create a very solid surface to be able to attach the television mounting system.
the trickiest part to this was obtaining hdmi cables long enough for us to route our accessories to a corner of the room that was not part of the hallway. this way there are no visible cords or wires running from the television to the cable box or dvd player. instead, the cables are run from the television, behind the wall, underneath the floor, around the main entry stairwell, up the adjacent wall and into the respective accessories (this took some getting used to, as “changing the channel” means pointing the remote not at the television, but at the corner of the room).
we then closed in the open cavities with drywall, covered the corners with cap molding, mudded, sanded and painted. finally, and very carefully, inserted the oh-so-then-expensive-television, plugged everything in and were happy (and shocked) to see that it all worked perfectly!