Use Window Seats to Hide Flat Panels
With some clever tech additions to the seating in their library, this family has a now-you-see-it-now-you-don't home theater.
The library in Ed and Laura Adlers’ New York home can easily be switched into a home theater, thanks to a clever design that lifts a 42-inch TV out of a window seat. Photo by The Digital View Studio.
March 01, 2006 by EH Staff

Window seats can add a charming architectural element to any room of a house. They’re also functional, offering a cozy spot to curl up with a book and take in the glorious view. Ed and Laura Adler of Rosyln, NY, assigned yet another duty to the window seat in their library: a place to store and display their new 42-inch high-definition plasma TV. Mechanical and electrical elements were incorporated into the wooden structure so that the TV could be lifted out of the seat and into view at the press of a button. A small seam was cut into the top of the wooden seat to allow the TV to pop out, and a cabinet was constructed to fit around the TV to reduce the noise of the lift’s motor.

Knowing that their nieces and nephews would be curious about the magic TV, the Adlers asked their home systems installer to find a way to ensure that nobody’s fingers would get pinched while the TV was moving into position. “Lifts for TVs typically don’t have safety stops,” explains the project’s designer and installer, Ed Savarese of Scanner Technologies in Mineola, NY. Savarese devised an ingenious system that would involve another seat in the room. After partially disassembling one of the Adlers’ cushy sofas, Savarese fit buttons into the arm, concealed sensors inside the cushion and wired the entire setup to the control that operates the lift. The armchair buttons would be used to operate the TV. However, those buttons would only work when the cushion sensors detected that someone was actually sitting on the couch, a requirement that would keep the kids away from the lift as it transformed the library into a mini theater.

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