How to Install the Frame TV
When we moved into this house, we bought a Samsung Frame TV for our kitchen so Finn could cook all day and still watch sports. We chose the Frame TV because when it’s not turned on, it looks like art, which made me happy. It was a win-win decision – Finn got his television in the kitchen and I didn’t have a big black box of an eyesore on the wall. Until we renovated our kitchen, the TV looked like this…
It wasn’t my favorite look, just having a TV floating on a huge wall. After our renovation, it looks like this.
So.much.better. Because it’s incorporated into the bar area, flanked by cabinets, with a headboard background, it truly does look like it’s a piece of art. We were so pleased with this TV that we decided to buy another one on Black Friday to add to our bedroom.
We ended up getting a great deal on the 43″ Frame TV with the beige bezel and then after it arrived it sat in our basement for months and months until we were ready to install it. (I highly recommend waiting for a sale because they’re not the cheapest televisions out there!)
Finally, Let’s Install the Frame TV
During the whole month of March, we had “Install the Frame TV” on our to-do list every single weekend. But for some reason, it just kept getting pushed down on the list. Well, not anymore. I’m happy to say that we finally took the time to install the Frame TV and it didn’t take us very long at all. (We got it done over a nap time!)
However, we did have to go in with a plan because we knew we wanted to hide the TV box and cords that come with the television. And that took some figuring out…
Tips to Hide the TV Box & Cords
If you want your Frame TV to really look like art, then my best advice is to try your best to install it without a wire hanging down. While the TV doesn’t have a power cord going directly into it, it does have one small clear cord that comes out of the back and needs to be plugged into this black box.
This fiber optic cord that comes with your TV technically does not meet fire code. So you can either purchase a coated fiber optic cable (Samsung sells this one) or run the wire through conduit for safety.
This black box is then connected to power and the clear cord. If you’re mounting it over a dresser, cabinet, TV console, or really anything that’s beneath the TV, then you’re in luck. You can install the TV like normal, create a hole in the drywall behind the TV, drop the wire down, and then create another hole behind the furniture to pop the wire back out. If you’re afraid of making holes in your walls, you can just go ahead and have the clear cord on the outside of the wall. Just try to keep it taut and streamlined.
Before our kitchen renovation, we just had the TV floating on the wall, with no dresser or anything beneath it. Finn ended up putting the TV box in the storage room, one floor beneath the TV in the kitchen. He then had to drop the wire behind the wall, drill a hole into the ceiling of the storage room, find the wire, and connect it. It was quite a project, but it was successful and we didn’t have to have that dang box sitting on the ground in the kitchen.
Our Bedroom Dilemma
When we bought the TV, we assumed that we would keep a dresser over on that side of the room and it would be easy to hide the wire and the box inside a drawer. But once we moved the dresser to the other side of the room, we were in the exact same predicament as we were in the kitchen. Crap.
For a few weeks, we would lay in bed and discuss our options. Could we somehow bring the wire to the ground and hide it behind a nightstand? No…too hard to bring the wire through studs. Could we bring the wire up and put the box in the attic? No…we have ductwork right above this area and we couldn’t drill through it. I don’t know how it took us so long to figure it out, but eventually, we were like “Ummmm, duh…the laundry room!”
Hiding the Box in the Laundry Room
On the opposite side of this wall is our laundry room. If you remember from this post, I ended up tiling above our washer and dryer and we even put a butcher block counter on top to make a little work table up there. We did some measuring and realized that we could drill through the wall and into the laundry room to place the box on the butcher block on top of the washer and dryer! And the best part? We didn’t even have to mess with the tile because our hole would be hidden behind the appliances. Success.
Drilling a Hole & Threading the Wire Through
We used painter’s tape to figure out exactly where we wanted to mount the TV. We decided to mount it at about eye level (the very top of our TV is 68″ off the ground) and directly in the center of the wall. We then marked the studs on the wall, making sure our TV mount would hit at least one of them.
With that marked, we drew a box on the wall where we wanted to make a hole to bring the clear cord through to the laundry room. We didn’t want to have to snake the cord behind the TV, so we wanted it to be in the exact spot for it to go directly through to the other side.
I ended up using a 1/2″ pilot bit to make a hole in the wall and then moved it around a bit to make the hole even bigger. Once the hole was made, we took a flashlight to see what we were working with and realized we could see the drywall from the laundry room a few inches farther back. Finn took a long screwdriver and a mallet and poked it on through to make a hole on the laundry room side. Here’s what it looked like after a little poke.
With our mark on the laundry room side, we made a bigger, cleaner hole and threaded the clear wire on through. While the wire is narrow, the end of the cord is larger, so your holes will need to be big enough to get that piece on through.
Once our wire was threaded in the wall, we were able to focus on hanging the Frame TV!
Mounting the TV
I’m not going to go into too much detail, because the TV comes with great instructions. My biggest tips are to mark your studs and try to get at least one of your screws into a stud. I ended up screwing into the studs twice, which is always good to make it extra sturdy, and for the other two screws, I used the accompanying anchors that came with the installation equipment.
Make sure your mount is level when you attach it and if you’re not hitting any screws, then I highly recommend using these snap toggle bolts. They’re the best for heavy items.
Here’s a look at where you plug in the cord into the back of the TV. That’s the only spot on the back where you’ll have to hang anything. For us, that wire just goes straight through the wall to the box in the laundry room.
Our New Frame TV in the Bedroom
Here’s a look at the new beauty in its glory. I’m sad we waited so damn long to get this bad boy up! It has been such a game-changer being able to watch a show from bed. I used to just watch something on my laptop, but now it feels super luxurious watching on “the big screen.”
When deciding on the size, I opted for a 43″ TV, thinking we would be mounting it over a dresser. I always think art should be about 2/3 the size of the piece of furniture below, or else it might look too dinky. (This post has more details on how to hang the correct size art.) Without the dresser, I think we could have gone up to the 50″ size! But that’s a-okay…I still think it’s proportionate on this wall and looks really nice.
Oh, and here’s the box in the laundry room. For now, we just have it sitting out on top of the wood and it’s been working great.
My favorite part about the Frame TV is playing around with the art. We used to have a subscription to the Samsung Art Store (I believe it’s $5.99 a month) giving us access to thousands of art pieces. However, I found that I really wasn’t swapping out the art very often and I gravitated towards the same few pieces over and over again, so it wasn’t worth it for us to keep the membership.
Instead, I’ve had lots of fun finding art online to download and display. (Juniper Print Shop is a great resource with talented artists.) In fact, you can even upload your own pictures to the Frame TV, which we did yesterday for Rory’s birthday party!
Free Vintage Art Resource
Ever since I read this post by Pretty on Fridays, my eyes have been opened to the world of art and how it’s copyrighted. Essentially, an artist owns the copyright to their piece until they die, plus an additional 70 years. After that, it is available in the public domain. Many of the art shops that you see on Etsy and online, take these art pieces that are no longer copyrighted, edit them, strip them of any credit to the original artist, and sell them at an insane mark-up. I’ve fallen prey to this, even buying some vintage prints from shops that use these methods.
I recently found this public domain print shop and love her mission. This blogger curates the content, honors the artists, and still offers these gorgeous pieces for FREE! This post goes into more detail about the process and how it all works. I browsed through the hundreds of fantastic pieces, read up on the artists and the stories behind each one, and ended up downloading a few.
My favorite is this cloud piece. The original cloud piece lives in the J. Paul Getty Museum and was created between 1786 and 1801. The artist, Simon Alexandre Clement Denis, painted these clouds of a sunset near Rome. I think it is absolutely breathtaking and it brings me back to our trip to Italy years ago.
You will have to edit the size of any art you download to a 16:9 ratio to fit on your Frame TV. I just do that in Lightroom, but you can use something free like Canva or even your iPhone to get the correct ratio.
Frame TV – FAQs
Whenever I show our Frame TV, I’m always bombarded with some of the same questions over and over, so let’s tackle them here.
Does it really look like art?
Yes, it really does. The TV in our kitchen fools people every single time. Most people have no idea it’s really a TV.
How can I make mine look more like art?
I find that choosing darker pieces of art really helps make it look more realistic. Plus, it’s a good idea to bring the brightness way down and make the color tone a bit warmer. You can change these in the “settings” tab on the TV.
How are the picture and audio quality on the TV?
I’m no TV connoisseur, but I think the quality is excellent and Finn agrees. The picture is great and even the audio is good! We don’t have any other speakers or soundbars that we use with our Frame TVs.
Does it connect to streaming apps?
Yes. Because it’s a smart TV, it all connects automatically, via your wifi network. We have Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc. setup on both of our Frame TVs.
Does it work with cable?
Yes. We wanted to be able to watch live TV in our kitchen (mainly for news and sports), so we got another cable box from our service provider. We don’t have one in our bedroom and instead we just watch our streaming apps.
Can you control it with your phone?
The TV comes with an app called “SmartThings” that you connect to your TV. You can then change the art and settings directly from your phone. This is also where I’ll upload my own prints or pictures to be displayed directly on the screen.
Does the TV use a lot of energy?
There’s actually a motion sensor on the TV so the art displays when you’re around and it turns off when you’re not around. We use that feature and it works well for us. Once the lights go off in our bedroom at night, the TV turns off.
Do I need power behind the TV?
No. There’s no need to have an outlet directly behind your TV. Instead, you’ll just need power somewhere near where you plug in the box that comes with it.
Is it uncomfortable to lay in bed and watch TV with it on the side wall?
Not at all. When I watch TV on the couch, I’m not really one to sit and watch it straight on. Instead, I like to lay on my side with a pillow. I do the same in here and it’s been totally comfortable. Or if I’m kinda passively watching, I’ll be sitting in bed, leaning against the headboard, with my computer and it’s still there in my line of vision. I think you gotta place your TV in the right spot for you and how you enjoy watching it!
Main Bedroom – Sources
Frame TV // Wall Color: Benjamin Moore “Boothbay Gray” // Bamboo Shades // Dresser (Restoration Hardware Outlet) // Door Knobs // 9×12 Rug // Cream Bed // Wallpaper // Rug Pad // Mattress // Gray Velvet Curtains // Curtain Rods (with European Gold Rub ‘n Buff) // White Duvet // Sheets // Cream Bed Blanket // Bench (no longer sold) // Sheepskin Throw // Striped Pillows // Lumbar (custom) // Large White Vase // Brass Sconces
Now that the TV is up, we’re in the home stretch of the main bedroom makeover. Our nightstands are bound to arrive any day now and I also bought a few other pieces of decor for the dresser, like a new lamp! I’m hoping to reveal the space next week, so stay tuned for that!
Catch Up on the Main Bedroom Makeover
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.