Design your very own ‘Wonderwall’


Interior designer Judith Harrop describes how with careful design, you can make a media wall for all your home entertainment needs that’s an integral part of your interior design, and provides the right balance of aesthetics and function

The term ‘media wall’ has come to define an interior wall where the TV and associated media equipment are positioned and arranged to create a practical feature in the home.

Historically the television was situated in the corner of a room; the depth of older televisions not allowing them to be accommodated square onto any wall. With the introduction of flat screen TVs occupying a corner position was no longer necessary. Increasingly homeowners have chosen a more central position for the screen, either on a wall hung frame/bracket or on a low piece of furniture (commonly known as a ‘media unit’).

There has been a trend in recent years for these large screen TVs to get ever larger, and with the introduction of streaming, gaming consoles, and a variety of other plug-in units, we now require storage space close to the television. 

These technological developments have grown hand in hand with changes to the interior design of our living spaces. Modern houses are built without chimneys and therefore lack chimney breasts. The lack of a fireplace has allowed the TV to become that central focal point. 

So now the media wall is increasingly becoming a desirable element for many homeowners.


Ideally, work with a professional to help in the design and install, however for the enthusiastic DIY-er, planning (as with most things) is key.

The installation of a fully fitted media wall has become a potentially complicated undertaking. The complexity will obviously depend on the design but a more elaborate construction, housing a variety of desirable elements can involve numerous trade contractors; joiner, electrician, plasterer, gas engineer, decorator and possibly specialist finishers.

Incorporating gas or solid fuel fires, will mean special non-combustible framework and reference to Building Regulations Part J. Ideally, let the supplier of the fire build this element as part of their installation. Whilst electric fires don’t require the same level of protection, the heat given off will still potentially impact finishes, and the TV itself. If you have a soundbar don’t forget to make room for this.

The television is recommended to be fitted within its own recessed niche; this not only looks more streamlined but also protects the back of the TV from heat rising from your fire source.

Another way around the protection of your TV is to create an asymmetric design, when the TV is not directly above the fire but offset to one side. This can create an interesting aesthetic.

Cabinet, panelling, and a variety of textured finishes can give your room a real wow factor. Subtle LED lighting under shelves, along the underside of cabinets or even back lighting the television all help to create a really special ambiance. 

Cable management and the position of your sockets is important. You can have sockets fitted inside cabinets or at the back of shelves. Ensure you have sufficient. Be careful where you put the socket behind the TV. A central position always seems like a good idea but be mindful of how the TV bracket is constructed; the frame may clash with the socket and not allow for the depth of socket and plug. It’s a good idea to have purchased both the television and the bracket prior to building the wall detail.

Consider the weight of your TV. If you are building out a ‘faux’ chimney breast you will need to make sure that the TV’s recess is lined with something substantial in order to get a solid fixing. 

Make sure cabinet is the right size for your other equipment, check dimensions prior to making or purchasing these.

Should you want to go a simpler route there are numerous furniture companies offering suitable options. For a modest cost you can find low-level storage designed for housing all the kit and allowing the TV to sit on top on a stand. You can enhance this by using a different surface finish such as wallpaper, timber slat walling, tiling or other decorative finishes behind the unit; defining the space and creating a feature.

Other companies provide modular units to create a more co-ordinated group of cabinets at varying heights and sizes. 

Have fun with your planning, and detail your ideas in advance and make sure you sketch out the design to scale. This way you can ensure that sockets are in the right place and that you have suitable storage. Assemble a collection of all the surface finishes you propose to use, and then be sure that they are suitably fire retardant (if you are incorporating a fire).

There are numerous ideas on Pinterest and Instagram to take inspiration from, and if you are familiar with the software, AI programmes such as Midjourney can be hugely helpful. 

If you need help talk to your local joiner, cabinet maker or interior designer – their expertise will help bring your ideas to life.

Judith Harrop is partner at Judith Harrop Interior Design