Ladies and Gents, the battlefield:
And the war zone:
Media cords are the bane of my existence and a total nightmare for a technophobe such as myself. (Yes, I have an iPhone, but only because my carrier finally texted me to say if I didn’t give up my old cell it would stop working.) The idea of wireless speakers is terrifying. I haven’t even put my CDs on iTunes. (That’s definitely on the to-do list.)
This seemingly lovely corner actually looks like this every time I turn from the living room down the seven-foot hallway to the bath or bedroom:
So I have a battle plan. Put the TV on the wall. Move the cable box into a drawer in the blue lacquer console (by drilling a hole in the back for the cords to enter in phase 2.5). Buy some cordless speakers so I can ditch the tuner and stream NPR from my laptop, which is the only radio station I ever listen to. So here we go.
Step One was actually a week ago. I THOUGHT I would move the cable modem from the top of the console to the built-in cabinet under the window sill. A couple of hours later I realized some unholy alliance had been conceived between my cable company and the contractor who enclosed the area under my windowsill. Basically, when I tried to pull the cable cord from the wall behind the lacquer console to the area underneath the windows I found it to be impossible. Somewhere deep in the bowels of the walls there’s a second wall. And multiple metal studs. And I think maybe the cord is wrapped one of those studs. In any case, the cable is utterly intractable. So that was Week One. On to Week Two: hanging the TV on the wall. Here are my weapons:
I started by cutting out a cardboard template the size of the TV and marking holes in the spots where the TV would connect to the bracket on the wall.
Next stop was putting the template on the wall, marking the corners with painter’s tape and (scary!) drilling the GIANT round holes in the wall. Extra fear was added by the fact that wallpaper covers my wall, not paint that could be easily patched and taped up in the event of a – gulp – mistake.
But I plunged ahead. Template. Check. Tape, check. Measurement. Check. Top hole (where the TV cables feed into the wall). Check.
Bottom hole (where the TV cables emerge from the wall) OOPS! Yes, folks, major issue. See this:
See that little metal edge at the top of the hole? That, my friends, is the inexplicably placed HORIZONTAL metal stud. It’s inconvenient location at the top edge of the four-inch hole meant that the giant contraption that needed to sit IN the four-inch hole couldn’t be seated flush with the drywall. Did I mention, “gulp?” So the choice was this: cheat the hole by redrilling just a half inch or so down, meaning the circle hole would become an oval; or redrilling the hole entirely six inches or so south. I opted for the former. Luckily, the plastic flange that fitted around the hole covered the extra space created by the circular hole-turned-oval hole.
And then … voila! Before:
So, a little blue console space cleared of heavy black electronics. Next week, drill into the back of the console to stash the cable box and modem. (The trick will be buying and installing an half egg-shaped electronic “eye” that will sit on the console and transmit remote-control signals from the remote to the cable box. More news to come when the full wire-free landscape is in place.
Thanks for reading!