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What's wrong with putting a TV above the fireplace?

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A raging debate

An airy living room with a flatscreen TV mounted above a stone fireplace. Sofas surround the space. Shutterstock

In case you missed it, last week's poll on overexposed decor trends received over 3,100 votes, with "Midcentury mania" coming in as the number one trend you'd like to say goodbye to. As devoted followers of all things Midcentury Modern, we are both surprised and not really at all. Anyway, in the (very heated!) comments section, folks called out other played-out trends not included in the poll. Between votes for antlers, brass bar carts, pallets, tiny houses (!), barn doors, stainless steel and more, one fascinating, seemingly practical and innocuous item kept showing up: hanging a TV above the fireplace.

Check out these comments:

I'm gonna have to duck after saying this, but can someone make the flat screen TV over the fireplace go away?

TV over fireplace in living room (not really a trend but I think it's just tacky).

No more TVs over fireplaces.

Ugh. I think TVs over fireplaces are ugly and lazy. Seriously. There isn't anywhere else to put that TV?

Another vote here for TVs over fireplaces. Though that's not a design trend, that's just being a f*cking idiot with no taste.

Sure enough, the "TV over fireplace" move is everywhere. It's unclear when the whole placing-TVs-over-fireplaces idea first emerged, though a casual search on Google Trends (which tracks the popularity of a certain search term since 2004) suggests it was most definitely a Thing by 2007 and has steadily been growing in demand ever since (and if you trust Google Trends' forecast feature, it's an upward tick poised to march on.)

Are people doing it because they can—a side-effect of the new flatscreen TV era? Are people increasingly so strapped for space that it's just the most efficient way to go? (Look at all the large, fancy multi-million dollar homes sampled above, though.) Do some folks just think it's a great look?

Here at the Curbed office, feelings range from vague disfavor to a not-sure-why-I-hate-it-but-I-do sort of abhorrence. What say you, Curbed readers? When is it okay to place a TV over the fireplace? Or it it never? Will somebody willing to defend the idea please stand up?

Poll results