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Where Should the TV Go?

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Sometimes, all you can do is throw up your hands, laugh, and call a professional.  Our big mission of the morning was getting the TV off the wall of our apartment so we could transfer it to our new house and hook up the cable/Internet.  We thought it would be a piece of cake – two screws and we’re done, right?

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An hour later… we decided we needed a handyman.  Clearly, our tools weren’t working.  I can’t believe it, but I somehow remembered the name of the handyman who had installed the wall mount nearly two years go, gave him a ring, and he stopped by twenty minutes later.  With the right tool, it took about five seconds to get it down.  Hah.

 

So – here’s our big debate.  I’m curious to know what you all think (or do in your own homes). 

 

In our apartment, there was only one place for our TV to live – the main living room, which is the first room you enter, the only common living space, and open to the kitchen.  This means that the TV is always on, even if we aren’t actively watching something.

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In our new home, there’s a similar open living room/kitchen plan, and I guess most people would put the TV down in the living room.  But we decided to put it upstairs in the small bonus room, making it a TV room.

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The Husband really wanted a “man cave” (I hate that word), and there’s no way we’re buying a second TV, so putting the TV in the bonus room fulfilled his manly desires.

 

But I was very gung-ho for a ‘TV room,’ too.  I loved the idea of getting it out of the main living area.  I’m hoping that, by not having a TV in the living room, we’ll do more reading and talking.  Our hope is that BabyHTP will be exposed to less TV if there’s no TV downstairs at all, and this is very important to us both.  I’m also thinking it will make TV time “special” v. “Let’s just throw on the TV because we’re all hanging out in the living room.”

 

In other news… James got to meet his new backyard this morning.  I actually shed a tear.  I’ve been promising James a fenced-in backyard for five years, and now he finally has one.

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Two paws up!

 

Breakfast was unexciting – I ate this while attempting to unscrew the TV. 

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Thoughts on TV options when you have two living spaces? Does anyone else have a TV-less living room? Are we all just going to end up hanging out in the man cave?!

{ 96 comments }

 

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  • Sarah March 29, 2012, 11:35 am

    I love this idea for your tv. I’d totally try it in our next home… if I didn’t think my husband would see it as an excuse to just buy a new, bigger tv for the room that was “missing” one hahaha.

    Also, very excited for James :) When we first got our fenced yard, our 1 year old Jack Russel spent a week tearing it up and dinging herself up pretty good in the process! Don’t be surprised if James gets a few scrapes and bumps as he gets used to it.

    Reply
  • kelsey t March 29, 2012, 11:36 am

    My family has the TV upstairs in our similar bonus room. Yes, a lot of time at night we all hang out up there watching tv, but a lot of times when people are reading/doing other stuff they stay downstairs in the living room. Additionally, when we have guests over we almost always stay downstairs so there is no temptation of the tv! I think it works out great! :)

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  • Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras March 29, 2012, 11:36 am

    I think that’s a great idea. I don’t have tv, but still watch shows online. That way, watching tv is a conscious choice instead of something I watch just bc it’s on. This sounds like a similar thing. I like it!

    Reply
    • Mel April 8, 2012, 10:08 pm

      This! Online shows only completely shifts tv into an intentional choice by removing the option to channel surf.

      Reply
  • Lindsey March 29, 2012, 11:38 am

    We have too many TVs! Right now one in our bedroom, one in the main floor livingroom and one downstairs in the family room. It is crazy!
    We have been looking at building a new house and my husband wants a bonus room over top of the garage, I think if we did this the TV would be there an then there would not be one in the main floor living room and yes, he wants his basement “man cave” too, I said I just get my dream kitchen ;)

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  • Alison March 29, 2012, 11:38 am

    We’ve had a TV less living room for a couple years now and although I was reluctant at first, I totally love it. I definitely recommend putting it in the man cave/TV room for at least a good trial run so you can give it a fair shot!

    Also worth noting is that we haven’t had cable TV in years either. (Yet another thing that I could never imagine doing at one point!) Once you have kids you realize that you don’t want to spend your precious spare time channel surfing and TV is a huge time suck. Any shows we want to watch are on Hulu, we watch occasional movies on Netflix on demand. It saves a ton money and time too!

    Reply
  • Regina March 29, 2012, 11:38 am

    My husband and I own a TV but we use it only for movies. We don’t have cable and we never will. Neither of us are big TV watching fans. We’d rather go out and experience life than sit on a couch and watch someone else do it for us (again, this is our personal POV and have no feelings about other people’s choices). We plan to continue that even once our son is born in August and throughout our lives. We don’t feel like we’re missing out on anything. We do have Netflix, which was a recent addition, but only watch movies there or the occasional show on babies if we’re feeling up to it. This allows us to view TV time as cuddle time because it’s really to watch a movie not sit down for hours of mindless television (though I obviously recognize not ALL TV is mindless). We read more, sleep better, spend time outside with our puppy, etc etc. We love it! When my mom, who is addicted to her tv 24/7 (she literally wakes up to it and goes to bed to it and has it on from the moment she gets home from work at 4pm until 11pm+ regardless of what’s on TV or if she’s watching it) really enjoyed her week visiting our TV less apartment when we lived in Texas. She said she got so much done because the TV just wasn’t an option. She read 3 entire books! And slept like a baby while at home she often has problems sleeping (another reason I’d never have a TV in the bedroom). Anywho, I think your decision is a great one! I think it WILL make you more conscious of your TV time if nothing else and in turn will perhaps make you focus more on “do i really NEED to watch TV or would we rather read snuggled up, watch a movie or even play a board game?”

    Reply
  • Christina March 29, 2012, 11:42 am

    My husband and I will be looking to purchase our first home as well soon, and my husband says he “needs” a man-cave too. I told him he could have whatever the basement (all homes where we live have basements) turns out to be, and that my woman-cave would be the rest of the house. Hah! We actually gave up watching TV for lent (no we haven’t cheated), and it has been eye-opening. We have so much time without TV in our lives. However, we do miss it, especially Netflix. I think keeping the TV out of the living room is a great idea!

    Reply
  • Kristy @ KristyRuns March 29, 2012, 11:43 am

    We haven’t had a tv in our house in over 3 years, and it was the best decision ever. I would totally suggest leaving it out of the living room though. Like you said, it would be begging to be turned on all the time.

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  • Stacy March 29, 2012, 11:45 am

    We went years without having a TV in the main living area. We used one of our spare bedrooms as a TV Room/Office. We loved it but opened up our home into a group home for individuals with developmental disabilities which took our bedrooms and forced us to move our TV into a room where everyone can enjoy it! I think you will really like your decision.

    Reply
  • Anne @strawberryjampackedlife March 29, 2012, 11:47 am

    I’m going to quote Joey from Friends “But what is all your furniture pointed at?”

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  • Jacqui @ Happy to Live Healthy March 29, 2012, 11:48 am

    I love the idea of keeping the TV out of the main ‘hang out area’ It’s so refreshing going to a friend’s house and they don’t have the TV on while we’re trying to socialize.

    Also, I can sympathize with your feelings for James. I had to live without my cat for a year (she was with my parents and couldn’t live where I was living) I promised her the whole year that we would soon we would have a place of our own. I get emotional just thinking of it.

    Reply
  • Eve March 29, 2012, 11:48 am

    My boyfriend and I actually don’t have a TV at all for just this reason/dilemma, and I LOVE not having one – my bf is the type that if a tv is on, he’s glazed over/unresponsive and staring at it (augh!), and I would be suckered into way more reality tv than I am now – I definitely still watch some tv shows, bu I watch them online, with no or way fewer commercials! I think having a TV ‘room’ (why not rec room instead of man cave?) is a really good compromise.

    Reply
  • Colleen March 29, 2012, 11:49 am

    We have tried to have one tv, but it didn’t work for this family of five. We recently bought a new one to go downstairs.

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  • Sheri March 29, 2012, 11:50 am

    I think it’s nice to just have music playing while I’m in the kitchen making dinner or baking. The problem is, in our current condo, our kitchen and living room are one big open space. So if my husband is watching tv, that’s what I’m forced to listen to. I’d really prefer to just have my Pandora going. We also watch tv while eating dinner. We live in a tiny condo and sit on the floor at our coffee table to eat dinner, so it’s only natural to turn on the tv. I hope that when we move someday, we’ll only have conversation over dinner without the tv on!

    Reply
  • Laura March 29, 2012, 11:50 am

    Our place is like your apartment, with one main living room. That’s where our TV lives, and I can’t wait for the day we can have a designated TV room instead. My boyfriend’s sister has a really cute house with a seperate room off the living room where she put her TV. It’s great because we’d all hang out in the living room to talk, and when we wanted to watch TV or a movie then we had a cozy place to go. I think having a seperate TV room is a great idea.

    P.S. Yay James!

    Reply
  • Laura is Undeterrable March 29, 2012, 11:53 am

    I’ll share a heads up with you on the backyard and the dogs. I’ve grown up with dogs having a backyard to do their business, so I’ve always assumed that it was instinctual that they’d go. Fast forward to now… We had our pup in an apartment for about 9 months before buying our house. He had to go on walks to do his “business.” I assumed that once he had the backyard he’d just go out there. Nope. Refused. He had a ton of accidents in the house. We’d put him outside, assume he was going and then he’d come in and make a mess somewhere in the house. Eventually, I think he got it, but he still doesn’t like it. He much prefers to do his business on walks. He uses the backyard maybe only 5-6 times a week.

    So… that lovely outdoor toilet that we bought him? Useless. We’re still slaves to the leash.

    Not sure if it’s because he thinks it’s part of the house, he’s picky, or just a jerk.

    Reply
  • Morgan March 29, 2012, 11:54 am

    We have our tv in the living room because it is the only place for it in our house, but if we had a bonus room option it would definitely be in the bonus room. I am a stay at home mom and I actually leave the tv off all day. We only turn it on after our daughter goes to bed at night because we do not want her watching any tv. I has also cut down on the amount we watch and that is awesome as far as I am concerned. If my husband wasn’t gone so much (he is a military pilot, so gone at least 2/3 of the year) we would probably get rid of it completely. But, I definitely use it to stave off loneliness while he is away.

    Reply
  • Crystal March 29, 2012, 11:54 am

    Our tv is in the man cave in the basement. We moved upstairs for a month and watched so much more tv. Having it out of your line of sight does wonders for watching less.

    Reply
  • Danielle @ Two Love Birds March 29, 2012, 11:55 am

    My husband and I didn’t have cable for a long time, we used Netflix for the movies, and we loved it! We kept the TV in our bedroom, since we were in a small apartment, and that helped us to do other things than watching TV shows we really didn’t even like. It did make watching movies with friends hard (everyone in the bedroom! Haha) but a TV room sounds perfect!

    Reply
  • Heather March 29, 2012, 11:55 am

    I like this idea a LOT. I went years without a TV before meeting my husband, who can’t live without a TV. We still don’t have cable though :) We do use our TV now for skyping to our parents, and once our little one arrives in September, we’ll be using it ALL the time, I’m sure, for Skyping to all the family members. So it is convenient having it in the living room for this purpose!

    Reply
  • Kim @ girlevolving March 29, 2012, 11:56 am

    We’re tv-less completely, which is hard sometimes with sports (I love football and basketball), but has been really nice. We watch very few shows online (on hulu) or we’ll watch movies on our laptops, but it’s encouraged us to have more nights where we’re reading on the couch. And we love that our little one doesn’t have much screen time!

    Reply
    • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed March 29, 2012, 12:38 pm

      That’s our biggest hesitation… we are year round sports fans and we can’t fathom not having the games!

      Reply
  • Hillary March 29, 2012, 11:58 am

    Unfortunately, the TV is almost always on in my apartment—I live alone and just use it as background noise, even when I’m not watching it. This is definitely a habit I’d like to break by the time I have a family!

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    • Ali March 29, 2012, 1:52 pm

      I do the same. It’s nice to have a little background noise when you live alone! Sometimes it can be too quiet!

      Reply
  • Kelli March 29, 2012, 11:58 am

    We have a smaller den too, & when we moved in decided to put the tv there. It is off the kitchen though, so if I want I can watch tv while making dinner. But…we actually don’t sit in the big living room that much because of the tv! We are going to cancel cable this fall though (after our contract is up) & I’m guessing between that & having an infant, we’ll spend more time in the living room. That’s our hope, anyway! The one downside is that we love to watch football, & used to have friends over. Now since the tv room is small, it is harder to do that.

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  • AJ March 29, 2012, 11:58 am

    My parents raised all three of us with some pretty unusual rules- no video games, no soft drinks until we’re ten, and we went for years at a time with no TV (when we had one we didn’t have cable or anything). After they divorced, the rules weren’t enforced as well and you can definitely tell the difference between my younger brother and my sister and I.

    None of us acquired a taste for cokes- we we each went through a period where we tried to like it but quickly realized a) how gross it tasted and b) how bad it made our bodies feel. The changes stop there. My sister and I (who grew up with little TV) don’t have TV’s while my brother has one in his bedroom. I’ve played a video game 3 times in my life whereas he spends his entire day behind multiple screens playing online games.

    The rules may seem strict but they worked for me and I plan on using them myself when I have kids. I think we’ll have a tv for movies only. Netflix has a pretty extensive collection of early childhood shows and I do think that watching those for a restricted amount of time is good for a kids development (and honestly, as a babysitter, I know how good it is to have the option of putting a movie on when you really need it!).

    Reply
  • Susan March 29, 2012, 12:01 pm

    We’ve had no TV reception since I was pg with our 14-yr-old, so i’m all for putting it where the baby won’t see it. We have a TV for watching DVDs, and it is in the basement family room. My girls forget it exists most of the time.

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  • Tanya March 29, 2012, 12:03 pm

    I think your tv plan is great. We own one tv; It’s in our basement and we don’t watch it very often. None of my three kids tends to think of tv as something to do regularly or when bored. We all use it mostly as a way to watch the occasional dvd. Now computers and other electronic gadgets? That’s a whole nother story :)

    Reply
  • genki March 29, 2012, 12:07 pm

    Even if you leave it in the living room nothing is forcing you to have it on. Just decide whether you have something to watch or don’t have it on. Why anyone would want background noise is beyond me! Though i’m the quiet reading type so what would I know. Haven’t had a tv in years either so might be talking rubbish!

    Reply
  • Jennifer March 29, 2012, 12:07 pm

    I am SO happy for James! All my houses have to have a fenced yard for my dog. He loves just walking around and sniffing in his yard.

    My TV is in my living room (the only space I have for it) but I only have it on if I’m watching something. Otherwise, I’d rather have music on.

    Reply
  • Bonnie March 29, 2012, 12:08 pm

    I haven’t decided if we’re going to keep a TV when we move. It would be nice to have for DVDs occasionally and my workout DVDs but no cable for us! It’s just brainwashing :)

    Reply
  • k March 29, 2012, 12:11 pm

    my experience with tv has been that you think you’ll miss having it (even if you’re just moving it out of a main living space instead of getting rid of it entirely) . . . but after a quick period of adjustment, you realize you don’t miss it at all.

    Reply
  • faith March 29, 2012, 12:14 pm

    We didn’t actually had a T.V. for years. We do watch a lot of movies and shows but it’s all on our laptop so the living room is essential screen free except when it’s the two of us curled up on the couch. I love a T.V. free common area so when Kath recently gave us her old T.V. it went in the guestroom.
    Congrats on your house, so exciting!

    Reply
  • Justine Duppong @ Life With Cheeseburgers March 29, 2012, 12:14 pm

    HA–nothing is ever as easy as you think it should be, is it?

    My husband actually wants to move the TV in our living room, so it’s more conducive to visiting, playing games, etc. More quality time with the people we love!

    Reply
  • Reenie March 29, 2012, 12:14 pm

    Ahhhh James ~ he’ll have a ball out there :) I hope Maggie likes it out there too.

    I live alone and have a TV in every room….except my bathroom. HA! Back room (washer/dryer ~ computer ~ workout room); kitchen, both bedrooms and the living room =)

    Reply
  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 29, 2012, 12:16 pm

    I think it’s a good idea to put your TV somewhere else. Growing up my life was very TV-centered. We had one in the kitchen, family room, rec room and my parents bedroom. Everyone would go watch a TV alone. I think doing things together would be a lot better!

    Reply
  • Carolyn @ Eat.Live.Be Well March 29, 2012, 12:20 pm

    I agree. Upstairs is best!

    … and when are we going to see what your house looks like? Or is it a slow and steady reveal?

    Reply
  • Kelly March 29, 2012, 12:22 pm

    In our house we have a main living room downstairs and loft upstairs. We have our TV downstairs because we plan to make the loft the baby playroom and we hoped that by not having a TV in there it would cut down on baby TV time. We’ll see.

    Reply
  • Abby March 29, 2012, 12:23 pm

    Love your idea! We live in the same fashion. We don’t have a bonus room but an entertainment center that has doors so you don’t see the TV at all. We are dinosaurs too…we don’t have a flat screen or cable. We have a 1 year old daughter and one more on the way. It was important to us for her not to be exposed early on and we do tons of reading, game playing, and talking. We also have an iPad so we get our news, and our daughter even has a couple games she likes to play on it, we make sure we are sitting with her and talking about what she sees! Good luck with your decision!

    Reply
  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 29, 2012, 12:24 pm

    I LOVE the idea of keeping the TV out of the main room. I am SO not a TV person anyways, so if we don’t even have one I’d be fine. We just watch movies, so that’s why we have one. Hah :)

    Reply
  • LauraSP March 29, 2012, 12:32 pm

    I just started reading your blog and love it!
    We have a tri level and the TV is down in the family room. It does help a bit that it’s not in an easy place to watch it all the time. Although my kids are now old enough to know how to turn it on by themselves but we still make watching tv a family thing. Good luck!
    Glad that James is loving his new yard! Enjoy!

    Reply
  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie March 29, 2012, 12:35 pm

    Some day I hope we have a house where there’s a room for the tv besides the main living area. It’d be nice not to have it the center of the place we are most.

    Kudos for getting it moved to it’s own room!

    Reply
  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) March 29, 2012, 12:35 pm

    We only have one room for our tv which is the living room that opens to the kitchen. We don’t have an extra room such as an office or media room. So…. like in your experience, the tv gets turned on frequently even for just background noise. We are trying to be more mindful of not having the tv on “just because” as we hope that this doesn’t become a focal point for our daughter (due in 5 weeks!). I really like your idea of putting the tv in your extra space and leaving the living room tv free. :)

    Reply
  • abbi March 29, 2012, 12:36 pm

    Very exciting about the backyard! I would love to get the TV out of the main living area, I just don’t think it would work in our household. I’ve suggested just getting rid of it entirely even just as a test but I haven’t convinced my husband. For now, we’ll leave it in the main living area. I’d probably never see him if it was in another room that I didn’t want to just go and sit in!

    Reply
  • Bethany March 29, 2012, 12:38 pm

    I watch very little TV, have an open floor plan and do not like that when guests are in the living room the furniture is “focused” on a TV. I keep my flat screen behind in an armoir and turn it on to watch the news while I cook and that’s about it. 95% of the time I keep the doors closed. out of sight out of mind, but htere when you need it!

    Reply
  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat March 29, 2012, 12:39 pm

    In our new place, we have a main floor, an upstairs and a basement (which is the man cave, ha ha). We only have a tv in the basement and one in our bedroom, but the main “living” floor is tv free and I love it. While we’re cooking, we’re eating a meal or having company in the living room, there is no distraction. We do spend a lot of time watching tv in the basement but it’s my hope that when we have kids, the tv will be shut off more than it’s on.

    Reply
  • Lauren March 29, 2012, 12:50 pm

    When we built our house it was my husband’s dream to hang the tv above the fireplace in our living room. We have an open floor plan so the kitchen connects to the living room and you can basically see it from the entire house. I wasn’t thrilled about the idea but I let him do it. It’s actually really nice having a tv hanging on the wall. It’s kind of like a movie screen and it’s pretty entertaining friendly.

    Reply
  • Kristie March 29, 2012, 12:51 pm

    We have one tv, in our “media room”, and I LOVE it. The media room is upstairs, and most nights it never even comes on. We spend our time in the living room chatting and reading, or playing with the dog, and we rarely even consider the television. After a year or so, we just dropped cable all together (when it isn’t football season!), and we only watch movies every now and then.

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  • Kate March 29, 2012, 12:55 pm

    We have a TV-less living room, and it’s a great idea! You will most likely spend more time on other things, like talking, cooking and reading. We do have a TV (for movies, no cable), in our second bedroom, and people always ask, where is your TV?

    There has also been recent news about keeping kids away from screens: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/young-children/children-health/keeping-kids-away-from-the-screen-has-to-start-early/article2382971/.

    Reply
  • Jolene (Homespun Heritage) March 29, 2012, 12:59 pm

    We have one t.v. in the living room and a small bonus one in our extra room for video games. The video games NEVER get used so that t.v. is never on. We have agreed that in the next house we’d like to have a media room and have a t.v. in there and nothing in the LR.

    We do NOT do man caves or t.v.’s in the bedrooms.
    Our children are allowed one movie a week, cartoons once a week (90 minutes total) and the only approved cartoons are PBS or oldies (Duck Tales, Gummi Bears, Inspector Gadget, etc).

    Also, they can earn up to one hour of computer time a week.

    We have 4 going on 7 children.

    Reply
  • Lizz @ Leading the Good Life March 29, 2012, 1:10 pm

    We have our TV tucked away in the den and it’s only on if someone is watching it…which isn’t often. We tend to listen to NPR on the weekends instead and use the TV mostly for watching movies. I love it!

    Reply
  • Mary March 29, 2012, 1:11 pm

    Oh, Man. We have a tv in the main living space, a little one in the kitchen, one in the master bedroom, one in the upstairs loft area, one in the office, and one in two other bedrooms. Completely ridiculous, but we really do love tv. (It’s really horrifying to see it listed like that!)

    Reply
  • run run rachel March 29, 2012, 1:13 pm

    we only have the one common room, and we have a tv, but no cable. it’s mainly for movie watching, wii, and from time to time watch HULU.

    My dream house would have a separate tv room/rec room like in the basement to keep our current tv setup. I absolutely hate the way a tv looks and would rather have a sitting room for friends to hang out in. Although, i’m pretty sure in my “dream home” we’d all end up in the basement playing wii, watching movies, or lounge on rec room furniture, and the sitting room wouldn’t ever get sat in.

    Reply
  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat March 29, 2012, 1:14 pm

    I think you’re smart to keep it out of the main living room, and I’d do it too for the same reasons you gave. I used to babysit for a family that didn’t even have a TV, and their kids went crazy over books!! Right now, we have one TV in our house and I refuse to ever put one in my bedroom!

    Reply
  • Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon March 29, 2012, 1:20 pm

    My family has two homes–our house and our beach house. At our house, we have the tv in the main living room and no tv in the room off to the side. At the beach house, the tv is tucked away in the “extra” living space. I prefer it so much more tucked away!! Instead of mindlessly getting sucked in to whatever is on, you have to consciously decide to watch tv. Plus, we can shut the door on someone if they are watching and block the sound from the rest of the house! I say good choice!!!!

    Reply
  • Sunny March 29, 2012, 1:20 pm

    Have you considered getting rid of your TV (or, at a minimum, not having cable)? My parents’ TV broke before I was born and they couldn’t afford to replace it. 30+ years later, and able to afford a TV, they still don’t have one.

    I am so glad we grew up without TV. It forces kids to become good readers, play outside, use their imaginations to play. Also families talk more without TV and it’s distractions (or background noise). People are surprised how comfortable I am being alone at home without a radio or TV on; I think I learned to appreciate silence in a TV-less home as a child.

    Clearly these weren’t my thoughts as a kid when I wanted to watch Friends and Sinfeld or just wanted some entertainment when I was bored. Instead I picked up books.

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  • Johanna B March 29, 2012, 1:39 pm

    First of all – I don’t have cable. I used rabbit ears and watch only locally available channels. Why? I don’t want to spend the money. I have one TV and it’s in my bedroom. The bad thing about that is when my daughter comes to visit she wants to watch DVDs (heaven forbid we should talk for more than 10 min) and we end up hanging out on my bed.

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  • Christina March 29, 2012, 1:40 pm

    My initial reaction was “you’re just going to end up in the TV room all the time”.

    BUT.

    If you make a concious effort to spend time in the living area w/o a TV, you will do more reading and interacting with each other.

    You just have to make that effort for it to work out the way you want.

    Reply
  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith March 29, 2012, 1:40 pm

    We have the same set-up in our house – mostly because my husband hated the idea of having a TV in a space where you would entertain guests. I am kind of indifferent about it. I like the fact that when we have company the first they see isn’t our TV – but when it’s just me there are times when I really don’t feel like retreating to the “cave”.

    Reply
  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama March 29, 2012, 1:41 pm

    I wish we had a separate room to put our TV. My husband is one of those people who puts the TV on even if no one is watching it. I hate that! I like the bonus room idea. Out of sight, out of mind!

    James is positively BEAMING! Love it!

    Reply
  • Cindy Robinson March 29, 2012, 1:45 pm

    I think that is a fabulous idea! I would love to have the television out of the main area of the house. I’m considering getting just basic cable, but my husband loves to watch his basketball. I wonder if I could have the best of both worlds?

    Reply
    • Annie@stronghealthyfit March 29, 2012, 1:49 pm

      I think you can get a subscription to watch basketball games online… my husband uses his laptop to watch his beloved Celtics bc we have no tv!

      Reply
  • Annie@stronghealthyfit March 29, 2012, 1:48 pm

    Great idea to get your tv out of your main living space! You’ll be so happy you did this. My husband and I got rid of our tv about a year ago and I couldn’t be happier about it. I definitely read more, and when I’m cooking or baking I’ll listen to music or podcasts. No more commercials in my life! :)

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  • KaraHadley March 29, 2012, 1:49 pm

    Since I’ve been at college I haven’t had a TV. It’s pretty great. But at the same time, I go right back to having it on all the time once I get back home. So I love your idea of a TV room.
    Besides, when you really want to watch TV, shouldn’t it be about absolutely relaxing, not watching TV while doing x, y, and z?

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  • Sara March 29, 2012, 2:03 pm

    We canceled cable a year ago which was big for us and decreased our amount of TV watching. (Though, not really, I guess.) We have a TV in both of our living rooms but we only use one of the living rooms. I’m currently on a mission to give away our other TV but my husband won’t budge. We don’t use it. Ever. Seriously. We’re getting ready to move our computer to another room! We find we don’t use it very often at home (since we both sit in front of them all day) so no need for it to take up space in our living area! Ta-da!

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  • jen March 29, 2012, 2:09 pm

    absolutely you made the best decision! i bet you will be amazed by how much less you watch :)

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  • Pam C March 29, 2012, 2:11 pm

    I love the TV room idea and would totally do it if we had the room, and could convince the future husband.

    But most importantly I have huge fenced in yard envy going on right now. I would love this for my dogs.

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  • M.D. in MD March 29, 2012, 2:16 pm

    Why in the world do you not just get a second TV? Hell, we’ve got five for just the two of us! A living room/den without a TV is… peculiar.

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  • anne March 29, 2012, 2:17 pm

    I love your TV room! We are planning to do that in our next home. Less tv = better life. Honestly!

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  • Laura WL March 29, 2012, 2:17 pm

    We didn’t have a TV til I was 10 when I was growing up and then we had it in the “TV room” and had a separate front room where we read and my mom had lots of plants, so it is normal for me to keep the TV in a separate room. I also grew up in a family that read a lot. We still do. When we are all together you will usually see a room full of people each buried in their own book. (We all married/have partners who are readers too) :-) As an adult my husband and I have the TV in our spare room and our front room is more for sitting with guests/reading. I like having the separation, esp. when we have guest over bc we play games or chat instead of watching TV together.

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  • Laura WL March 29, 2012, 2:30 pm

    Sorry, another comment. My husband and I also don’t have cable and have gotten really into Hulu and Netflix, which have drastically changed our TV consumption. Everything we watch we watch intentionally (so we never “waste” time watching) and on our own terms (so it doesn’t matter when our show is on, we watch it when we have time). It has been really great for us to watch TV in this way. I feel like going days w/o TV isn’t really a big deal bc I have a queue full of things I like whenever I get around to watching (I equate this with changing how you think about food. There’s always that ice cream in the fridge, why not eat it when you really want it and not just when you feel like doing something).

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  • Tanya @ Vegan Faith March 29, 2012, 2:47 pm

    I love your plans for the tv room. I think it is a great idea to keep the main living area tv free. It will certainly encourage more conversation and reading!

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  • Amber K March 29, 2012, 2:48 pm

    We are a TV family and have three rooms each with a TV in them. There’s always at least one on if not two or one with music in another room. Otherwise it’s just too darn quiet.

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  • Katie March 29, 2012, 2:54 pm

    I love the idea of no TV in the main room! We compromised and have a cabinet that a TV sits in- so when it’s not on, we can close the cabinet. Although, honestly, I’m usually too lazy to close it. Ha!

    Congrats to James on his backyard! I would’ve shed a tear for our pups too!

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  • Laine March 29, 2012, 3:07 pm

    I don’t have a TV. I do watch stuff on my laptop on netflix, but it’s nice not having a giant thing taking up wall space, and having the furniture set up for interacting rather than staring at a tv.

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  • Rebecca March 29, 2012, 3:27 pm

    Aww! James looks so happy!

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  • Laura O. March 29, 2012, 3:29 pm

    We have a split level house so you walk in, to the right down one step is our family room, where previous owners had their TV. Made that our library/office, no TV. Our main TV is up three stairs on same level as kitchen and dining room, which flows into what we call our living room. It does become the focal point of that level whenever it is on. Definitely along the lines of what you said–“Let’s just throw on the TV because we’re all hanging out in the living room.” Works for us that way but your TV room idea sounds cool too.

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  • Shannon March 29, 2012, 3:37 pm

    I grew up being raised by TV, and it would never even be a question to whether or not it would be in mine or my family’s living rooms. I can definitely say it’s probably my biggest addiction. My TV time is my “me” time and decompressing time, but it really does eat away quality time with my boyfriend. He’s into TV too, because even when I suggest turning it off, he says he just needs to decompress and watch something. Not having a TV in the living room would certainly help that problem…maybe someday!

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  • Katheryn March 29, 2012, 4:05 pm

    I think it’s a great idea. In our last house we put the tv in a cabinet with doors, and the doors kept the tv off most of the time. Actually we ended up watching the tv so irregular, that when we moved into our new home we got rid of it. No tv at all! We have the desktop computer in the living area that has a good sized monitor. All 4 four of us can cuddle on the couch and watch a movie for movie night, and we use netflix instant watch for the kiddies if they want to watch a show. We love it!

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  • erica March 29, 2012, 4:13 pm

    we just have 1 tv in the living room. we were going to put one in my “girl cave” but eventually decided against it.

    i’m so happy for james! we are currently condo dwellers, and i hope for the day my little dog can have a fenced in yard to play in that’s all his own.

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    • Caitlin March 29, 2012, 8:23 pm

      seriously, i want a woman cave.

      Reply
  • Morgan March 29, 2012, 4:20 pm

    In our old house we didn’t have a separate living room and family room. We just had a living room on the first floor and we kept it formal. NO TV! We put the TV in the basement family room. To this day, it’s the only TV in our house and I like how it’s removed from the main spaces of the home.

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  • Kimberly (Sketch the Ebb and Flow) March 29, 2012, 7:09 pm

    I think it’s a great idea! I had a TV in multiple rooms growing up, but now that I live on my own, I don’t even own one. And you know what? When it’s not around to use as background noise or to zone out, you don’t miss it!

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  • Ali March 29, 2012, 7:34 pm

    It can go either way…less tv for kids can make them want it MORE and sort of obsess over it, or letting them have it on a casual basis makes it not such a treat ya know?

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    • Claire March 30, 2012, 2:02 am

      This is so true – for kid number 1, no TV, for 2 and 3 we relaxed a bit. Number 1 is obsessed with TV. 2 and 3 can take it or leave it. I was raised in a house where we rarely watched the TV and when I moved out of home I had a few years where I was completely obsessed with it (so glad I’m over that). I think being too strict with anything isn’t a good strategy. I think with kids the main thing is to avoid them watching TV with commercials in it – total brainwashing. So DVDs are great, and in Australia we have a couple of free to air kids channels by the public broadcaster that are ad free. Also, watch it with them so you can talk about what they are seeing.

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  • Katherine March 29, 2012, 7:37 pm

    I was raised in a TV house. My parents still have TVs all over the place and keep them on just for noise. (I do the same when my husband isn’t home. ) My husband, however, grew up in a TV-less house. His mom and step-dad do have a TV now with their three younger kids and it is up in the bonus room instead of the living room. They do tend to spend a great deal of time up there. The only drawback I see is if she is downstairs cooking or whatever, they are separated but again…I come from a TV house :)

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  • Julie March 29, 2012, 8:31 pm

    Obviously, do what works best for your family, but I definitely think you are on the right track! We only have one t.v. in our house and NO cable and people think we’re so odd! But, there are nights (granted, not many!) that the t.v. doesn’t go on at all – there is no reason we need another thing to be plugged into all the time! I love the idea of bonus room…but our house is too tiny right now. :)

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  • Claire March 29, 2012, 8:33 pm

    We made a concious decision when we moved into our current house to have our main open plan living area TV free. The TV is in the smaller living area so it is a choice to go and turn it on. Works really well. We also have a small TV in our bedroom as well. Not having a TV in the main living area definitely works well for our family.

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  • Dominique March 29, 2012, 10:22 pm

    Our rental came with a TV/shelving unit so it was a no-brainer about where to put the TV. The only thing is that we don’t have cable and the antenna we have only gets us about four channels (because our window doesn’t face south). Not having cable since October hasn’t been too bad. I thought I’d miss it more since I grew up with TV and at my parents’ place, the TV is almost always on–same situation with you guys, but I actually don’t. Oh, I miss having the news because otherwise I have no idea what’s going on since we also don’t get the newspaper.

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  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen March 29, 2012, 11:13 pm

    We only have 1 TV as well and it’s in the room adjacent to the kitchen with no dividing wall between them. We don’t have cable anymore though so the whole “background noise” thing just doesn’t happen. The tv is only on when we’re tuned into Netflix watching something, there’s no way to just stream the news for noise, you know? Our house isn’t really set up to have the TV anywhere else so it was an easy decision. I do have to say, I miss the background noise while cooking sometimes. Mostly b/c my husband doesn’t get home until 7/7:30 so it’s just me and the dog and some noise would be nice. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood for music.

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  • Alison March 30, 2012, 12:13 am

    We have a living room/dining room area where we do NOT have a t.v. But we have 3 bedrooms, so one is a guest room and one is our room, and the other is our t.v. room. It has our t.v. (obviously), some bookshelves and our pull-out couch. Which means it can double as an additional guest room if need-be. It’s worked really well for us, and as you said, it means that the t.v. isn’t always on (not that we have cable) and it’s more of a special thing. We really like it this way.

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  • helen @ change comes from within March 30, 2012, 6:29 am

    We have a TV-less “posh” living room and our TV is tucked away in the den. I love having a TV less room, I hate television and prefer the radio on. We are moving in a few months and I fully intend of having a TV-free living room then….just going to have to figure things out.

    We used to have a TV in our bedroom, but now that’s gone and it’s made a huge difference.

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  • Charise March 30, 2012, 8:54 am

    If you don’t truly watch much tv, then I think you will be fine. Our one tv is in our main living space (husband insists), but we don’t have cable and only turn it on to specifically watch one of our iTunes-downloaded series or if we have Netflix we want to watch. Even when we did have cable, I wasn’t one to randomly channel surf and put something on just to have it on, but my husband was. It is SO NICE to not just have the tv on as constant background noise – if I want that, we play music instead.

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  • Beth March 30, 2012, 10:06 pm

    Just wondering what kind of bread you eat. They look like cute little pieces, and they always look delicious.

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  • Joy March 31, 2012, 9:24 am

    In our old house we had a separate tv room upstairs I’d say the split was 70% in the tv room 30% in the living room – and I’m not a tv watcher… In our new house (we downsized a lot) there is 1 place to put a tv and so it’s in the main room ironically it’s on much less now (except when we have wii family game night parties)

    Reply