by Dave Twombly, 4 Buyers Real Estate

You might be shocked to learn this, but in my line of work I see a lot of houses. Some of them are empty, but most are still being lived in.  I’ve been noticing a trend of late that I find pretty disturbing.

Living in New England means dealing with the winter (or, at least it used to mean that).  Many homes come with fireplaces, something architect Frank Lloyd Wright thought was the centerpiece of which a home revolved around.  The hearth.  To many folks, fireplaces are an extremely desirable feature in a home.  What’s more romantic than that family gathered around the hearth on a snowy day?

As television became more popular families moves away from the hearth to being around the television. (I guess they both emit light, warmth if you are close enough etc).  There seems to be a new trend in trying to combine the two.

As technology has progressed we now have the high definition flat screen TV. It takes up less space and can even be mounted on a wall.  Somewhere along the line, somebody had the idea (see where I’m going with this?) :  Family gathers around the TV, we have a fireplace that used to be the gathering spot but we don’t use it anymore due to the TV, what if we could combine the two?   Time and again, I’m seeing the TV mounted above the fireplace.  To me, unlike chocolate and peanut butter, these are NOT two great tastes that taste great together.

I don’t know about you but when I was a boy (no, you couldn’t buy a TV for a nickel) and started playing with electronic toys one of the first lessons I learned was “heat + electronics = bad news”.   Think about it, your pricey laptop computer has a built in cooling fan.  The server room at your company is air conditioned.  You probably have a special “cooling pad” to put your Mac on.  If you’ve nodded your head to any of these things, why on earth would you but your brand new, luscious, high definition plasma TV above the fireplace?  Do you microwave your cellphone to it feels nice and warm next to your ear?

Yes, I understand maximizing the use of space. Hell, I can even appreciate that the TV looks lovely mounted perfectly above the fire place. But, that doesn’t stop me from shuddering and thinking, “what the %$^&*$^#%!!! are these people thinking.”

So do yourself and your TV a favor buy a stand for your TV. I’ll even help you put it together.