Tech-free living rooms have become a trend in the last few years as time spent with technology is constantly increasing in every aspect of our lives. Being able to set a barrier between us and the devices we use is essential to our well-being.
“The goal of a “tech-free” living room is to create a space free of TV’s, tablets, phones and other technological distractions. What you get in exchange is a relaxing space for homeowners to sit quietly, read a book, enjoy a drink, or chat with family or friends.” – Josie Abate
The conversations I have today with clients regarding quality time and technology in the home revolve around technology being disruptive. Homeowners are looking for moments where technology doesn’t come in the way of the time spent with their loved ones and that is where tech-free living rooms will become a huge asset.
The advantages of a tech-free living room are endless, especially with children in the home. Promoting the importance of strong family relationships is essential and can be easily taken away by technology. Having a tech-free living room shifts the focus from our devices to our wellbeing and surroundings. A great tech-free space begins with comfort. I focus on the layout of the furniture in the space to allow for more face to face activity and a view of nature, if possible.
We were happy to share our ideas withRealtor.com for her story on tech-free living rooms. Below are some highlights from the original article: No TV in Your Living Room? Here’s How It Should Look”.
Once upon a time, the fireplace was the centerpiece of the living room, explains David Pascu, an associate principal architect with Abramson Teiger Architects in Los Angeles. This focal point then morphed into the radio, and later the television. Flash forward many decades. Now, with the increasing popularity of watching videos on tablets—which can be viewed anywhere—there’s less of a need to make living rooms into a space for gathering and watching TV.
Consequently, designers like Dallas-based Charmaine Wynter are increasingly being asked to create layouts that aren’t designed around sectional sofas facing the wall or a cabinet holding a TV screen.
“The TV is no longer God,” says Wynter. “There’s less planning around where the cable connection is and where the black box will go.”
Instead, Wynter is asked to come up with more creative concepts, like “chill rooms,” or spaces that feature clustered seating areas with comfy cushions, or cozy reading nooks that serve as a game room rather than a TV room. “Without the traditional focal point,” Wynter says, “there’s suddenly space for activities such as meditating, reading, and talking. It’s very liberating.”
What’s taking the TV’s place?
With screens out of the picture in some living rooms, designers are also introducing attention-getting accents and centerpieces. Architect David Pascu has noticed some of his clients opting to showcase an amazing piece of art, rather than give prime living room real estate to a huge TV screen—even the relatively unbulky flat-screen variety.
In some instances, the fireplace has reemerged as a focal point. Only these new models play music, or are housed in textured walls. Similarly, the Canadian Ambience Design Group in Woodbridge, Ontario, is installing innovations including oversized aquariums and even living green wall gardens that not only kick off conversations, but improve indoor air quality.
“Many of our clients are seeking moments where technology doesn’t get in the way of spending time together as a family,” explains Sara Abate Rezvanifar of Ambience. “They want a barrier between all the electronic devices and themselves.”
Best of all, these new focal points don’t have to be expensive—or even particularly innovative. Lexi Bohigian, 23, of Austin, TX, wanted a to create a place to decompress and tune out all the technology she deals with at work. So she simply banished her television from her living room and replaced it with a desk, a radio, and some bookcases. “Now my living room is where I unwind,” explains Bohigian. And her millennial peers keep complimenting her on her home decor decision. “They love it,” Bohigian says. “Because when I have friends over now, there’s much more conversation.”
Maybe you’re ready to hop on the trend of banishing the TV from your living room, too? Read the full article here.