From left: designer Lisa Frantz, LG’s Dave Vander Waal and Coldwell Banker’s Ricardo Rodriguez.

TV design has come a long way from the big boxes needed to house jumbo CRTs and micro-display rear projection lens and mirror systems.

Typically, when LG Electronics holds an event to showcase its 4K Ultra HD OLED TV products, the message is all about industry leading picture quality, but a product showcase Wednesday at the Eventi Hotel in Manhattan used an assortment of LG large-screen OLED TVs to stress the product’s aesthetic design qualities.

To emphasize this often overlooked aspect, LG brought out respected interior design team Lydia Marks and Lisa Frantz of the New York City-based Marks & Frantz design firm and Coldwell Banker relator Ricardo Rodriguez to discuss how the ultra-thin design elements found throughout the 2016 LG OLED TV series have transformed the approach to interior design. Where at one time designers looked to eliminate or conceal a big TV in a room, today’s cosmetic designs and ultra-thin screens are being used as featured design elements in the room décor.

The team of Marks & Frantz decorated the event space with three lifestyle vignettes, each centered around an LG 4K Ultra HD OLED TV. Each modern living room setting was targeted at a different generational group, including Traditional families, Millennials and Empty Nesters.

Read more about the LG’s Modern Family Portraits event after the jump:

“What really makes up the modern family living room?” asked Dave Vander Waal, LG Electronics home electronics and appliances marketing VP. “On one hand it’s about creating technologies that make a living room more enjoyable and, of course today, more connectable. But on the other hand, and ladies and gentlemen I think you can see by the vignettes we have created tonight, it’s about design. It’s about transforming equipment into elegant, stunning works of art, so a consumer can truly create the living room of their dreams. Modern design and function cannot live independently and LG Electronics recognizes this.”

Vander Waal said changing technologies, demographics and family needs have transformed the approach to living room design from 10 to 20 years ago.

Changing forces have impacted “geographic relocations of families, evolving attitudes and behaviors, and all of this advancement in home technology. What does it all mean and how does it all play in today’s modern living rooms?” Vander Waal asked.


Of the three vignettes, one created for “The Established Millennials” was designed to combine smart home technology with entertaining elements that come from their life.

“In the case of the Millennials streaming is very important. They’ve grown up online and with social media, it’s their whole world. For them, the television is the computer,” said Lisa Frantz. “The way these devices are being used now with streaming, game playing and so on, everything can happen in this space, and it’s changed the usage of space enormously.”


The second vignette was created for the “traditional family” that uses the living room as a “connected hub,” Vander Waal said. The concept is diverse yet central to family activity.

Regarding the use of modern electronic components in design styles that might reflect more traditional classical design aesthetics, Frantz said “there are various things that we love about the timelessness of that sort of style. We mix it up by bringing in all sorts of modern dual-purpose technologies that allow you to do the traditional in a new way.”

The third vignette was designed around the needs of “Empty Nesters,” who have seen their children off to college and are ready to start celebrating their achievements in life, Vander Waal added.

“I think more people are working from home as well, and it just enhances the possibility of what you can do in your own home versus your office, and there is pretty much nothing that you can’t do in your home anymore, and that’s what we tried to illustrate, especially with the empty nesters,” said Lydia Marks.

“The big trend that we see in interior design, and it occurs across all three generations that we’ve defined here, is this focus on play and flex space,” Marks said. “So everyone wants an open family living space. The days of stuffy dining rooms and living rooms that no one uses are kind of over. Nobody really designs those anymore. Even in big homes, it’s a big multipurpose space. So living and dining is all together.  That’s also a trend with our empty nesters. They have these luxurious living rooms, but it’s also the space where they watch TV. It’s all about space doing double duty and televisions are an increasingly important part of this design.”

To affirm the assumptions made about changing demographics LG’s Michelle Fernandez cited critical factors from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that watching TV is a leisure activity that occupies most of our time, with the average American viewing TV almost three hours per day, and more and more viewers are streaming TV over the internet.

Vander Waal said that although the traditional buying considerations for large-screen TVs measuring 65-inches and up have been about price and picture quality, new TV design styles have started to inch up the criteria list. LG’s flagship Signature Series 4K OLED models, he observed, were designed to be no thicker than the depth of four credit cards.

“Now the television becomes something more than just watching content. It has become a design feature in a room itself,” he said.

As a result of the appearance and new dimensions of these TVs, Vander Waal said sales of TVs measuring 65 inches rose 15 percent for LG in the last year, and sales of 55 inch models, which used to be the threshold for “a very large screen television,” have increased at a significantly lower rate.

“So televisions are continually growing larger and customers are continually asking for more resolution and now they are influenced by these new design elements,” Vander Waal said.

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Regarding the curved-screen vs. flat-screen design consideration, LG continues to make 4K Ultra HD OLED models with both curved and flat screens, but Vander Waal said that, “from what we are seeing, flat is back. Our flat OLEDs are significantly outpacing, outselling the curved ones.”

Placement is another critical factor in desiging a room where a television set is a dominant feature. Regarding the preference for wall-mounting a big-screen television versus using tabletop stands in the design scheme, Marks said: “I would say that wall-mounted is preferable, although now that I’ve seen the Signature Series stand I might be changing my mind, but wall-mounted for us is usually preferable. We like it to be seamless and no wires. I think these days, for resale, the next person is going to put a television there and most likely it is going to be bigger. That is one of our first impressions when we design, and even before we get into what our client is all about in the design passions are and what their setting is, we talk about function because I don’t want to design a room that doesn’t work for them and their lifestyle and their family. So television placement is super important.”

Coldwell Banker’s Ricardo Rodriguez said that “wall placement versus console placement is a personal aesthetic decision but I think that in terms of making that home up to date wall-mounting helps with resale value today.”

When a TV must be wall mounted a 4K OLED TV is the best technology option in most applications, because the display technology affords much wider viewing angles, both horizontally and vertically, for viewers seated around the room than does LCD.

By Greg Tarr


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