August 13, 2010

Videophiles Might Say Style Over Substance Clear As (481) Day

481 Day Living

Unless you’re running a sports bar, the ideal placement for a television is at eye level with the middle of the set. Of course not everybody cares about the ideal placement of their television in which case style over substance (from a videophile’s perspective) might rule.

Purchased for $1,100,000 in April 2005, 481 Day has been substantially remodeled since (including a newly terraced backyard) and is back on the market asking $1,695,000.

481 Day Deck

∙ Listing: 481 Day (3/3) 2,326 sqft - $1,695,000 [MLS]

First Published: August 13, 2010 12:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

What is a telescope doing in the dining room and what is it pointing at?

Posted by: perplexed at August 13, 2010 8:24 AM

I know the whole "flat screen over the fireplace" has become sort of an inside joke here on SS, but I think it's a very relevant criticism. I've done some work for a good friend's company and he would go ballistic if he saw this (much like I do).

What are these "designers" thinking? Most people looking to buy at this price point want a decent home theater setup, if not a separate media room. Does the idiot who designed this interior expect me to watch a 3 hour ballgame or a full length film with my head tilted back the entire time?

I would love to hear the rationale behind putting a flat screen this high in ANY room. Unbelievable.

Posted by: Fishchum at August 13, 2010 8:41 AM

The one in this room is particularly high. But, the rational is that a lot of times people want the fireplace and the TV with the furniture oriented that way. So, it's a personal choice No TV or high TV (or no FP), lots of times people will choose high TV. Look at this house, there is no other room for the TV, so it's going in the living room. The layout could have been redesigned, but they probably wanted the central FP and that would have pushed the TV into the corner.
On a side note, my AV guy does not have a problem with putting the TV over the FP for heat issues, which we hear about on this site sometimes. He does have the same use issues and stiff neck issue you bring up.

Posted by: sparky-b at August 13, 2010 9:03 AM

We know the sellers. Since they are only a couple, they used the second bedroom downstairs as a media room.

Posted by: Friend of seller at August 13, 2010 9:27 AM

Totally agree about the tv over the fireplace decision. It's so wrong..for many reasons.

As fishchum said "what were they thinking?"..trouble is: they weren't. When a designer attempts to redesign a floor plan and there is not thought as to how it really functions and no place left for a tv..then you haven't done your job as a designer.

Other thoughts: the lower bedrooms feel like they are truly in a basement. They will always be shady and cool. The yard is hardly usable.

Posted by: noearch at August 13, 2010 11:07 AM

I always wonder how people could watch TV while the fire place is burning at the same time. @.@

Posted by: katebear at August 13, 2010 11:08 AM

Obviously what you need is a fireplace / TV pair that is interchangeable. So when you must have a fire and a movie simultaneously, you just slide the fireplace to the top slot. Or, you get a 2nd TV in the fireplace position and then crane your neck toward the real movie while a yule log DVD plays on the lower unit. Now *that* would be design flexibility.

Yes I'm being facetious. Mostly.

Posted by: Tripp Knightly at August 13, 2010 11:29 AM

I'll plead guilty to having a tv above my fireplace in my family room. I built a recessed box for it, so it's not obtrusive, nor is it as high as it is here. Because I have a true wood burning fireplace flanked by two large windows, there simply was no other place to put a tv. Above the mantel was really the only acceptable place since I didn't want to lose a window or a fireplace. Anyway, I love it...

I think this room though could've been handled better since this is obviously a new, inclosed fireplace and there's plenty of room in the shelving for a flatscreen. Or, they could've used a smaller inclosed unit and put the tv above it so it wouldn't look so awkward. This is just poor design.

Posted by: Denis at August 13, 2010 12:02 PM

I agree. Trouble is we are seeing this poor design a lot lately.

But I do have a hard time understanding in any layout that there is no other "acceptable" place for a tv. It could be on a stand to roll around, for example.

We are seeing this as a terrible design trend simply because it is a trend and not well thought out by designers..and stagers.

Posted by: noearch at August 13, 2010 12:22 PM

"I always wonder how people could watch TV while the fire place is burning at the same time."

I enjoy both often in the winter. The fireplace is on a wall 90 degrees from the screen which allows placement at a comfortable viewing height. The fire is enjoyed without looking directly at it via the heat and sound it generates (which is why I find those fake gas fireplaces to be just a big nothingburger). And when the lights are low the fireplace fills the room with a moody flickering light. Plus you get to stoke the fire periodically which makes my inner hillbilly smile.

Now on that back yard - what a great treatment for an unfortunate grade ! The designer really converted a difficult space into something useful. That upper patio is sweet.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at August 13, 2010 1:05 PM

So called fake gas fireplaces do not pollute. They still flicker (mine does) they still give off heat, they still have real flames.

I don't need to worry about where to put the stoker.

Posted by: noearch at August 13, 2010 2:06 PM

I'm friends with the owners of this house. It's quite well done with a very functional layout and a great, thoughtfully designed kitchen. Great flow for entertaining. The terraced yard is actually quite usable with some nice views; the lower bedrooms are brighter than you would imagine and are very peaceful. This is a well done property with a lot of attention paid to detail.

Posted by: Infinity Owner at August 13, 2010 2:44 PM

Another shill?

Posted by: notarealtor at August 13, 2010 3:11 PM

"And when the lights are low the fireplace fills the room with a moody flickering light."

The closer the light source is to the TV, the crazier it makes me when trying to watch TV because I'm constantly trying to adjust to the light-level.

Posted by: sfrenegade at August 13, 2010 3:38 PM

You guys are pathetic in your skepticism...I'm not the owner. I'm a friend of the owner. It's a lovely house on a great block. Why don't you take the time for yourselves to see and report back on Monday?

Posted by: Infinity Owner at August 13, 2010 3:44 PM

Infinity Owner isn't a shill. He revealed his affiliation right up front and I respect that.

noearch - it depends on what you consider pollution. Wood generates more particulates for sure though if you adhere to the BAAQMD regulations then the impact is low. Wood fires are also carbon neutral because unburned wood would rot and release the same CO2. Gas fires are not carbon neutral. Both types pollute but in different ways. As for the quality of flicker, I'll take wood any day. I think it comes down to personal preference.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at August 13, 2010 3:46 PM

My sense is that you probably get used to the high TV. If not, one solution: install a motorized mount behind the TV and have it drop down when in use.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/558982-REG/Chief_CM2C40_CM2C40_Automated_Flat_Panel.html

You couldn't mount the TV flush with the wall, and the mount probably doesn't look the greatest when it's descended, but at least it wouldn't look ridiculous.

The other thing you could do is to mount the TV where it is, but upside down, bolt the furniture upside down to the ceiling and install some sort of anti-gravity force field machine, and then double the listed square footage...

Posted by: tipster at August 13, 2010 3:53 PM

ok, mod. if you say so.

Posted by: noearch at August 13, 2010 3:54 PM

How about a little creativity from our designers. Mount the TV at the proper height and put a Heat & Glo RED fireplace above (or below).

Posted by: EBGuy at August 15, 2010 6:42 AM

I left my tv at eye level and installed my fireplace on a mount that hides away the 364 days that I'm not using it. Top that!

Posted by: eddy at August 15, 2010 2:11 PM

The sale of 481 Day closed escrow yesterday with a reported contract price of $1,630,000. Once again, substantially remodeled since being purchased for $1,100,000 in April 2005 so unfortunately no "apples" here.

Posted by: SocketSite at September 22, 2010 12:45 PM

That was a fast close, and at over $700 psf, not a bad comp for the nabe. Did anyone check it out?

Posted by: sanfrantim at September 22, 2010 4:55 PM

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