We gather today to bid fond farewell to a piece of furniture that has served honorably for the past 20 years: the television...
We gather today to bid fond farewell to a piece of furniture that has served honorably for the past 20 years: the television armoire. This singular piece was the answer to all our prayers for camouflaging ugly wires, gnarled cables, a mountain of videos and the boxy, ever-dusty nonblinking eye. Oh, how it worked like magic: Close the doors and . . . all gone, all clean! It served us well, the TV coffin, er armoire, in its heavy-duty duty. But the new boob tubes (OK, there are no more tubes, either) just don’t fit in there. They’ve all gone horizontal. They’re sleek. They’re flat. They stick on the wall. This oblong contemporary peg will not be wedged into that early American square hole. But do not mourn our obsolete friend. (I’m sure you’ll be seeing lots and lots of them at a yard sale near you this season.) Let us, instead, welcome in the new consoles, credenzas, carts, stands and (ah-hem) presentation canvases!
Let us, by all means, begin with the “presentation canvas.” It’s actually a wall system, called Mural, designed to support a variety of formats, including plasma screens, projection systems, sound systems. OK, this is technically (and technical) office equipment. But this little blonde number from Nucraft looks like it would fit quite nicely into the new condo or media room. It’s a real mix-and-match affair with pieces in wood, glass and ribbed metal among bits known as channels, columns and credenzas. Of course, it’s made to accommodate plug strips, and for routing cords and cables. The price for the ensemble shown is in the neighborhood of $5,500.
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Check them out at www.nucraft.com. Look for the system at residential and commercial design firms, such as NuMark Office Interiors, 3600 136th Place S.E., Building No. 4, Bellevue, 425-274-7500; or OffficEmporium in the Seattle Design Center, 206-767-4665.
Take your pick
The folks at Design Within Reach are all over this new TV thing. Because customers asked for it, there is a handy brand-spanking-new item called the Alu Media Wall ($1,398), designed by Luciano Bertoncini. It allows you to mount the flat screen to it without calling the electrician. It’s a contemporary match to the flat screen in cast aluminum with a powder-coat finish. Rounded corners make them children and pet compatible. The Wall includes all the hardware needed to hang a flat-panel TV up to 47 inches, 185 pounds. The large, lower glass shelf has a 50-pound capacity and can hold additional media equipment. A cord outlet at the back offers neat cable management.
But, wait — there’s more. Other DWR options include the simpler Alu Media Stand ($698). (You want castors? $100.) You might select the Sussex Low Console in oak or wenge veneer ($2,298) or perhaps the Sussex Tall Credenza With Drawers ($3,298). There’s the Lula Media Cart by Spanish designer Luis Vidal in wenge ($1,299 on sale), which falls somewhere between a media cabinet and a TV stand. The architecture-inspired Chicago Media ($1,299) in oak or wenge with a tubular steel frame holds a flat-screen television up to 42 inches and has storage for loads of go-withs.
Whew. More choices than digital cable.
See them at www.dwr.com or the two local stores: 1918 First. Ave., Seattle, 206-443-9900;126 Central Way, Kirkland, 425-828-0280.
Goddess to Diva, Goddess to Diva
So let’s say you’re looking for innovation and elegance, high-design Italian style and a new thingee to put the TV on. Diva’s got your number. Two of them, in fact, with the contemporary Domus and PAB entertainment-storage systems.
Domus ’00, designed by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia can be arranged in a number of configurations. It provides containers closed by doors with metallic supports and tops, bookcases with sliding doors, open elements, drawers and base boards to connect the elements. Wall systems start at $6,000.
Pab, designed by Studio Kairos for B&B Italia, comes to us as the result of a very simple idea: a sheet folded in half and restrained by light ties, designed to be used as a bookshelf and top. Pab offers a wide range of configurations and finishes that make up the current version. Besides the shelf and back panels, storage units and multipurpose benches are now available. The wide range of finishes and hues, along with the variety of furnishing elements, offer made-to-measure solutions. These wall systems start at $5,000. Find Diva at www.divafurniture.com or go to the showroom at 1300 Western Ave., 206-287-9992.
Over at Kasala they’ve got a line of cabinets called Avion by Becker Design, or BDI for short, that are “the culmination of years of studying the most demanding home-theater systems.” And, we wonder, just how demanding can one be? Well, never mind, the Avion line is contemporary, sturdy and roomy, and the pieces have hidden wheels, wire management, adjustable shelves, ventilation and tempered glass. Your choice in natural stained cherry or espresso. The sturdiest model holds up to a 70-inch flat panel or rear-projection television. There’s also an optional mounting bracket for the horizontal models. It supports TVs up to 50 inches at variable heights. Cables are channeled through the steel uprights. Prices range from $1,495 to $1,995. The Seattle store is at 1505 Western Ave., 206-623-7795 or 1-800-527-2521. Find them in Bellevue at 1014 116th Ave. N.E., 425-453-2823, 1-866-527-2522. Online find them at www.kasala.com.
OK, this is a secret. The Goddess would never admit to pushing her cart down these aisles (except ever-so-briefly to score a few fab frocks from Mr. Isaac Mizrahi). But if, per chance, you’ve blown your media wad on the television itself, one might, under dark of night, traipse on down to the nearest Target (known henceforth as Targét) or computer screen (www.target.com). There one might consider the Pablo five-drawer media stand ($279.99) with either an espresso or blonde finish. We must say, it’s got that groove-of-the-moment look Targét does so well. It has five storage drawers, silvertone curved drawer pulls and curved solid metal legs. There’s a separate hutch ($159.99), if you’ve got some spare change left. Warning: Shipping is $169.99.
So, rest in peace loyal TV armoire, friend of yore.
Oh, please do drop the Goddess a line and let her know if you come up with something new and extremely clever to do with your TV armoire. But it must be truly clever. No retrofitted planters on the back deck or fancy tool sheds, thank you very much.
The Domestic Goddess can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.