Changing Spaces Sanus TV Mounts & Genevieve Gorder

Founded in 1986 in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota, SANUS got its start where many companies and rock bands do – in a garage. Beginning with speaker stands, SANUS grew over the next 15 years into a leader in A/V furniture and stands for the residential market. Then, in 2002, SANUS introduced the first universal wall mount for flat-panel televisions, and it changed not only where we could put TVs, but how we could design rooms around them forever. No longer was the TV a hindrance to design, but part of it. It’s this integration of product and design that connects SANUS with celebrity interior designer Genevieve Gorder, as the two combined to show consumers how TV wall mounts could not only change your home’s design, but the safety of your home entertainment products as well.

M Magazine was lucky enough to sit down with Genevieve to learn more about her connection to SANUS, and to also get some tips on how to use these products to bring a greater sense of space and design to your home.

M: How did you get involved with SANUS?

Genevieve: SANUS provides a service that’s so integral to what I do. Being number one in their field and being from my home state of Minnesota, it’s like we speak the same language. I already worked with their products, so they’re easy to talk about; it’s not a forced relationship. Their products also provide an additional layer of safety that I can’t talk enough about when it comes to creating beautiful spaces; they have to be safe, they have to be functional. It’s real stuff that I actually use and I’m really into, so it’s an easy relationship.

The SANUS VXF532 Premium Series full-motion mount is designed for 46"–90" flat-panel TVs. It extends 31.98" for a great view no matter where you watch, and conceals your cables for a clean look.

M: How has the dawn of ultra thin TVs and TV mounts changed design?

Genevieve: Back in my Trading Spaces days, I had to deal with those big old box TVs a lot. It was kind of like the bigger the TV, the bigger the status symbol in your home. They took up so much space behind the screen, it was an atrocity to design around. It was a real chore; there was only so much you could really do.

Today, TVs are so small and thin, not necessarily the screen size, but the TVs themselves are almost like a credit card. Yes, it’s still a black box, and it’s still a bit soulless, but it’s easier to play around, especially when it’s mounted on the wall. So I like to landscape with ancient things that are really textural and have a lot of soul; it kind of balances out new tech with old world. We always need that counterbalance in design. That’s really what my job is: balancing everything from color to texture to light to masculinity and femininity. That’s truly, in the end, the essence of what I do, and I do that very carefully with technology.

Working with a company like SANUS is great because they help me conceal cords, which is a really huge obstacle in tech. No matter how cool the TV, it’s got a horsey cord, and it’s been a real advantage having cord covers.

Also, having mounts that work for tilting and different angles to block light, or to offer a greater radius to view the TV in other parts of the room is fantastic. I feel it’s an advantage if you work with technology, not against it. I think tech was working against us aesthetically for so many years. We’re in an exciting time.

“(You should) put your TV to the side of the fireplace and have it on a full-motion arm. I have that in my own home and it achieves a much better balance.”

M: What are you doing with the extra space alleviated by the TV?

Genevieve: Freeing up surfaces from tech is huge, I can’t wait until we can be gone with DVD boxes and cable boxes and our routers... that’s next. TVs have already figured it out. It’s a clunky, clunky business with all the TV components. Getting the TV off the surface allows me to help landscape around the TV, and that wasn’t an opportunity when we had the big boxes, because it went straight down to the floor or was sitting on top of some type of surface or inside a bulky armoire. So now that we have this additional space, I can bring in the beautiful, the textural, the ancient and the sentimental around the TV. And knowing I have to design around a black rectangle allows me to bring in different shapes and forms; ovals, mixed metals, woven ropes, I’ll bring in lots of wood textures. This warms up the aesthetic of the TV and components and distracts your eye when it’s off. When you’re not watching TV, it needs to kind of disappear into the background, and it does if you manage this carefully.

I also like to bring things above the TV; I give it 6-12 inches of negative space because you don’t really want imagery or any object too close to the TV when it’s on or it becomes a distraction. So I give it a little breathing room, then I can hang things from the ceiling or place things beside the TV. I don’t center the TV on surfaces, I off-center it so it's not so perfect and I can play with vertical objects and sculpture, and it becomes kind of a nest of pretty and the TV is just kind of there, instead of being obtrusive.

M: A lot of people mount their TVs above the fireplace... good idea?

Genevieve: The fireplace is really your last resort. It’s really only a good idea if there’s absolutely no other place in the room. Why? Because the fireplace should always be the real focal point of the room, and when the fireplace isn’t on, you have that black box as well. So, to kind of take away from something that’s usually so beautiful, with a television above it, isn’t my first choice. I’d rather put a mirror or some representation of water, because water balances fire. And a mirror does that better than a TV can above a fireplace.

If the fireplace is too high, which it is sometimes, then you should get a SANUS mount that allows you to tilt the television down when you’re watching TV. Otherwise, put your TV to the side of the fireplace and have it on a full-motion arm where you can rotate it; that makes a huge difference. I have that in my own home and I’ve landscaped around it so it looks like it goes with the fireplace. This achieves a much better balance.

M: What about the use of speaker mounts and design?

Genevieve: At my house, I have all my speakers mounted. I’m working with the Sonos brand and there are some fantastic mounts from SANUS that I use for these speakers, including one that mounts my Sonos PlayBar under my TV.

When you alleviate and free up real estate on surfaces it feels like you have more room. When you bring things up into becoming wall décor and relieve those tables, those mantles, those window sills, the illusion is that you have more space, so it’s been a great exercise in my own home, and now I’m bringing that to my clients’ homes as well. It’s cleaner, and that’s what we want from tech, we always want tech to be clean, let the rest of our lives be a little messier. But we want our tech clean and I’ve taken SANUS up on doing this throughout my own home, and it’s been great! I’m really, really satisfied.

“...a child goes to the ER every 45 minutes because of a TV tip-over. A TV on a mount reduces that risk by 100%.”

M: The importance of safety is huge to SANUS and to you as well, correct?

Genevieve: Child safety comes before any kind of aesthetic in any space. As long as everyone is safe first, we can move on to the pretty. I didn’t know the stats of risks of tip-overs before I started working with SANUS, so it’s been a nice education. Almost every television comes with some sort of plastic base, but these bases are not that solid, making tipping over the TV really easy. Over the last 10 years, a child goes to the emergency room every 45 minutes because of a TV tip-over. That’s a really alarming rate. Putting a TV on a mount reduces that risk by 100% and also looks a million times better while improving the TV’s functionality, so why wouldn’t you do it?

Experience SANUS design and style

SANUS provides so much more than just stands and mounts for the AV world, they also deliver style, vision and class. Stop into Magnolia to experience their extensive lineup of full-motion, tilt and fixed mounts. You’ll also find SANUS AV furniture and on-wall shelving options, as well as speaker stands and wall mounts – perfect for putting your components away and your sound at optimal listening levels. So when you’re ready to bring more design to your home entertainment spaces, with a product that’s not only functional, but safe, look no further than SANUS at Magnolia.

Celebrity Interior Designer Genevieve Gorder With her incredible style and enthusiasm, Genevieve Gorder has become one of America’s favorite interior designers. Bursting on the design scene on the HGTV program Trading Spaces, Genevieve has gone on to host other programs like Dear Genevieve, HGTV’s White House Christmas Special, and she’s been a judge on Design Star. Off air, Genevieve and her studio design a line of rugs, accessories and bedding available nationwide.

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