The latest buzz in home theater decorating is all about “techorating” and there’s one person in particular that knows a lot about it – lifestyle design and technology expert Janna Robinson. We had the opportunity to ask Janna a couple of questions and find out what the hype is all about, along with getting a couple of trade secrets along the way!
OmniMount: What is techorating, anyways?
Robinson: Techorating, a term LG coined as part of their recent competition “The Sport of Techorating,” is the blending of technology with decorating to create unique and stylish environments. It’s bringing technology into a room in a way that’s functional and fashionable. I also look at it as the softer side of tech, incorporating both into the home to create the ideal environment. Rather than decorating around your electronics, you use the pieces to enhance the overall look.
OmniMount: Is techorating for the man or the woman?
Robinson: It’s gender-neutral! That’s the best part. Often times I hear from women that feel like they’re living in a man cave, but it’s also becoming more common for men to reach the same conclusion for themselves. These days nobody wants his or her tech standing out like a sore thumb.
OmniMount: What should beginner techorators keep in mind?
Robinson: The goal is always to make technology work well within a room, rather than being obtrusive or clutter-some. The result is a space that looks stylish and livable and still has all the benefits of technology. My favorite acronym is WAF: the wife (or girlfriend) acceptance factor! The best techorators will create spaces that both men and women love.
OmniMount: In the past, you’ve recommended that people mount their TV on the wall. What do you see as the primary benefit?
Robinson: I think about three S’: safety, space and style.
Safety. Especially in high-traffic areas or in families with children and pets, mounting the TV is a great way to prevent accidents, not to mention free up space on furniture.
Space. Often times I remove TV stands completely and opt for a piece of wall furniture for Blu-Ray players or gaming systems. I’m a fan of the understated, so less is more!
Style. Simply put, TVs look sleeker and more refined on the wall. And, with the advancements to display resolution, TVs have a wider viewing area so there’s even more of a reason to mount them.
OmniMount: For people mounting their TV themselves, what’s your biggest piece of advice?
Robinson: For as much as we’ve embraced tech today, I still feel like the average person is a bit intimidated. I’ve got a couple tips:
1. Pick a product that has an install template.
2. Read the directions – don’t assume you know what they’re going to tell you.
3. Use a cardboard or paper cutout to simulate the TV before drilling holes. That way you can ensure the screen is in the right position, 42-52” from the floor.
4. Get a product that offers a bit of flexibility. I’ve found that even when a TV is mounted perfectly level it can look off kilter, due to other furniture in the room or walls that aren’t perfectly square. As long as you’ve got a product with some post-install flexibility, you can make minor adjustments and nobody will ever be the wiser!
OmniMount: Any final advice?
Robinson: Don’t let your technology overpower the room or be an afterthought. Give it as much consideration as all of your other decorating decisions. There are so many great product options today that integrate tech into the design. With a little bit of homework you’ll be well on your way to successful techorating. Ultimately, have fun with the design.
You can find more of Janna’s techorating tips and remodels on her show, Hollywood Hi-Tech on the DIY Network (episodes are re-airing) or visit her website. She’s big into social sharing, too, so keep up with her latest projects on Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Facebook.