Having a TV wider than the fireplace can look awkward or unbalanced, but you can use simple tips and tricks to make your room look stylish, even with a large television.
Hanging the TV
It might seem obvious, but it's worth mentioning that you should still hang the television centered over the fireplace rather than off to one side. In other words, you want the overhang of the television split between both ends. For example, if the flatscreen is 2 inches wider than the fireplace, it should hang over by 1 inch on either side.
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This creates a balanced look, but that's not the only benefit. It also makes it easier to create symmetry by adding similar items on either side of the fireplace.
When the TV Is Wider Than the Fireplace
One of the simplest and least expensive ways to decorate if your TV is wider than the fireplace is to add some furnishings on either end. Bookshelves or similar pieces are the best items for this. Whatever you use, make sure they're the same size; using identical pieces is the best option. Once they're in place, try to use similar items on the shelves or tables to maintain the symmetry you've achieved. For example, if you put a houseplant on one of the shelves, put a vase on the shelf opposite it to preserve balance.
Ideally, whatever you use should be at least as tall as the fireplace mantel. If you opt for lower furniture like end tables, use tall decorative elements on the sides to balance it out. Try to find something at least 1 foot wider on either side than the television in terms of width.
If you have accent chairs or other pieces you want to use, they may work just as well. Try staging them and leaving them for a few days to see how they look. Ask family and friends for their opinions on a TV fireplace wall as well; they may have valuable insights to complement your choices.
Widening the Mantel or Surround
It would be enormously costly to replace the entire fireplace, so that option is off the table. However, you can consider whether your mantel, surround (the decorative tile or another backing around the fireplace) or both could use an upgrade. If so, you could install wider versions of both to make the fireplace look bigger. That would mean that your TV might no longer cause the visual problems you previously faced.
There are a lot of popular designs available, including subway tiles, that are inexpensive and easy to install. Replacing the mantel might be a straightforward process; take a look at how the one you have is mounted and see what it would take to install a new one in its place.
It might seem like the more drastic option to replace home furnishings to accommodate a TV, but upgrading or modernizing the look of your "TV fireplace wall" may also add value to your home. If you're going to spend money, it might as well be a good investment.