Why limit your TV time to the indoors when you could watch your favorite films while basking beneath the stars?
Today, I’ll walk you through what kinds of TVs can be used outdoors and highlight a few of my favorite outdoor TV ideas that will take your outdoor patio from boring to brilliant.
There isn’t a moment to lose – let’s get started!
- What Kind of TVs Can Be Placed Outdoors?
- Rustic Outdoor TV Ideas
- Luxe Outdoor TV Ideas
- Modern Outdoor TV Ideas
- Alternative: Use a Projector
- Wrapping Things Up
What Kind of TVs Can Be Placed Outdoors?
If your outdoor TV setup will expose your TV to direct sunlight or humidity, you must choose a TV that’s built to withstand these conditions.
Weatherproof TVs, like this selection found on Best Buy, are fitted with anti-glare technology that allows you to watch your favorite shows in direct/partial sunlight without experiencing that annoying glare effect.
Other TVs may even boast water-resistant capabilities. While these models are not waterproof and should never be exposed to direct rainfall, they will survive the occasional spray.
Many outdoor models are noticeably more expensive than standard models, but it’s worth the splurge unless you want to risk your TV breaking every time it comes in contact with the elements.
One TV component that can never come in contact with moisture is its electrical cable. So, always make sure the TV’s electrical components are completely covered and will not succumb to the surrounding humidity.
Rustic Outdoor TV Ideas
There’s nothing quite like a rustic patio overlooking your scenic backyard. While an outdoor TV may not seem to fit your farmhouse utopia, there are ways you can incorporate a screen into your space without taking away from its country feel.
Mount the TV Over a Fireplace
I don’t know about you, but I always prefer to sit outside rather than feel cooped up indoors. So, when the weather begins to cool down, I love finding ways to keep warm while taking advantage of my deck.
Mounting a TV over a fireplace is the perfect blend of coziness and modernity since you can warm yourself by the fire while sipping on hot cocoa and watching holiday movies.
Try to find a TV that’s roughly the same size as your fireplace so that neither component overpowers the other.
Then, you can make this setup the focal point of your patio and orient your seating around it so that you and your guests can all take advantage of this cozy entertainment setup together.
Note: Ensure your TV is placed high enough about your fireplace as it could incur heat damage and even visibly melt if mounted too closely to a heat source. Check out our article How to Mount a TV on a Stone Fireplace for more information on how to keep your unit safe from the heat.
Hide Your TV Behind Cabinet Doors
Let’s be honest: a big, black screen isn’t always the most aesthetically pleasing. So, when not in use, consider concealing your TV behind cabinet doors.
You can customize these doors to fit your specific style, whether you prefer classic farmhouse sliding doors or decorative oriental ones.
The best part? You can take the doors off their hinges and repaint them whenever you want to spruce up the area!
So, as your aesthetic evolves throughout the years, you’ll be able to change this one aspect of your outdoor setup with only a bucket of paint and a few stencils.
Not only are cabinet doors visually appealing, but they also serve a practical purpose.
When closed, they can help keep your TV safe from any strong gusts of wind, sprinkles of rain, or the hot sun.
You can even choose cabinet doors that have a rubber lip on the inside for a bit of extra security and add a small lock on the outside to make sure it stays firmly shut regardless of the weather.
Watch the video above to learn how to build your own TV cabinet!
Compliment Your TV with a Brick Facade
Few things quite scream “rustic” like a brick facade. Their natural clay tone adds warmth to your space and inspires visions of a cozy cabin in the countryside.
If you’re building your outdoor area from scratch, you can construct the TV wall out of bricks to create a homey and sturdy appearance.
Bricks are usually extremely affordable and can come in a variety of sizes to fit your vision.
However, if you already have a wall constructed that you’d like to add bricks to, you can buy slim facade bricks.
These bricks are much thinner, making them easier to attach to the wall.
You can even buy sheets of faux brick adhesive that can be applied to surfaces like wallpaper.
If you do decide to go this route, it’s important to ensure that the bricks won’t compromise your TV mount’s stability.
So, if you choose to place the bricks around the mount, ensure there’s adequate space between them and your TV to avoid any scratching and promote ventilation.
If you choose to install the TV mount on top of the bricks, ensure everything is properly secured so your TV doesn’t suddenly fall off the wall.
Luxe Outdoor TV Ideas
Luxury looks different for everyone. For some, it’s private planes and Birkin bags. For others, it’s owning a home without a mortgage.
However, my idea of luxe is a sleek and timeless home that allows me to watch TV in style while sunbathing by the pool.
Let’s dive into a few ways you can make your outdoor viewing experience as luxurious as possible.
Frame the TV with Natural Wood
Nowadays, luxury looks like being able to seamlessly combine modern and natural components in your home.
So, while your TV may be the height of modernity, you can incorporate it into your outdoor space by framing it with natural wood.
These natural wood pieces can be cooler or warmer toned depending on your preference and can be arranged in a number of ways.
For a minimalist look, try adhering them to the wall in horizontal planks.
If you want a more intricate design, consider shaping the wood into uniform hexagons.
You can even create a wooden slat wall so you can feel the breeze while enjoying your show. The options are endless.
A friend of mine used this idea in her home and chose wood that matched the trees in the surrounding forest to effortlessly blend her patio into the neighboring wooded area.
Mount a TV Beside the Pool
Everyone’s watched a movie from the comfort of a couch, but only a lucky few have had the privilege of doing so from a pool.
Picture this: you’re floating in your pool with a mojito in hand watching Call Me by Your Name. In between scenes, you dip your head into the surrounding water to cool off.
This setup is probably the most envy-worthy one on this list, and your friends will be dying to be invited over for a movie night in the pool.
If your TV will be mounted closer than a few feet away from your pool, it’s best to invest in a waterproof model.
Otherwise, it may break as soon as someone splashes around in the pool. Waterproof TVs are often much more expensive, but luxury ain’t cheap.
While you’re at it, get a few pool chairs so you can float in style. You can even buy a couple of drink floaties so your cocktail can drift beside you.
If you want to take it up a notch, consider adjusting your pool lights to fit the movie’s theme. Watching the cinematic masterpiece, Jaws? Switch the pool lights to a bright red for an eery feel. Casually viewing Harry Potter? Change the lights to a warm white to mimic Hogwarts’ iconic floating candles.
The possibilities are endless and you’re one step closer to becoming the coolest house on the block!
Place the TV Behind a Bar
Tired of hanging out at your local sports bar? Create one in the comfort of your backyard by placing a TV behind the bar!
This sleek setup allows you to sip your beer while watching your football sports team win the Super Bowl.
Not only is this setup relatively easy to throw together, but it’s also extremely suave since you can select a luxe marble countertop and cushioned bar stools to create an ambiance of subtle sophistication.
The key here is to combine luxury with comfort so your guests feel at home outdoors while still retaining that polished feel.
Avoid choosing a TV that’s too big for the space, since this can cheapen the bar’s overall look and make it appear more flashy rather than classy.
It’s also a good idea to mount the TV at least a foot above the bar’s workspace so that none of the bottles or cocktail accouterments block the screen.
Modern Outdoor TV Ideas
To me, “modern” means simple, chic, and understated. When trying to incorporate a TV into your modern outdoor area, you want it to blend into its surroundings and make it look like it’s the perfect addition to your terrace.
Use a TV on Wheels
Many people think of TVs on wheels as those old bulky CRT TVs that used to be wheeled into classrooms when teachers were out sick. But, wheely TVs have come a long way from that outdated TV cart.
Nowadays, you can find many sleek TVs on wheels that can even keep their charge for several hours at a time, like the LG StandbyME TV.
The great thing about TVs on wheels is that they can be easily rolled in and out of any room you desire. So, if you want to head outdoors, simply bring your TV with you. If it has a built-in battery, you may not even have to connect it to power!
You also can roll it back inside as soon as you’re finished, so you don’t have to worry about it being weatherproof.
If you don’t want to invest in an LG StandbyMe TV, you can find a modern TV stand with wheels, like this one. Of course, you must ensure it’s compatible with your TV so that the two can be securely screwed together. Then, you can simply wheel it outdoors whenever you wish!
Surround the TV with Lush Greenery
If you’re a nature lover and worried about your TV taking away from your garden’s green glory, consider framing it with plants.
Tack vines and other low moisture plants around your TV to give it a “natural modern” feel. You can even add tall potted trees on either side of your TV and hang a few plants above it. The idea is to make your TV wall look as lush as possible without actually blocking the TV screen.
When off, your TV will blend into the sea of green and be barely noticeable. But when on, you’ll be able to enjoy your screen time while still feeling like you’re surrounded by nature.
To avoid damaging your TV, make sure the plants can be watered without dripping on the screen. For instance, always remove your hanging plants to water them and allow them to fully drain before returning them to their original positions.
Attach the TV to the Balcony/Deck Railing
If your outdoor setup is lacking in wall space, why not affix your TV to the surrounding railing instead? This is a clever way to maximize your space while ensuring your TV stays out of the way.
There are a few ways you can do this, but the easiest way is by using a fixed base mount that can be drilled into your deck railing, as shown in the video above. If your deck/balcony has a metal railing, you may need to find a mount that screws tightly around the rails. For these types of projects, I always head to my local hardware store to see what they recommend.
You want to ensure that your TV is extremely secure to avoid it being shaken by any gusts of wind. Also, slide its cables into a rubber sheath so they’re not exposed to the elements or any curious critters.
When you turn in for the night, it’s also a good idea to cover it with a waterproof tarp to keep it safe.
Recess the TV into the Wall
Recessing a TV into the wall is the height of sleek modernity.
This entertainment setup takes a lot more work (and hence, a lot more money) than the others on this list since the TV is sunk into the wall. Essentially, you will have to create a divot in the wall for the TV to rest in along with any needed holes for the wiring. It will take some effort, but the final result will be a chic entertainment setup with your TV screen flush with the wall.
Depending on your patio’s overall color scheme, you can even paint the wall black or dark grey so that the TV blends into it when turned off.
Recessed TVs may also be less vulnerable to the elements since they’re sunken into the wall, and therefore less exposed. That said, you should always be sure to select a TV that’s built to withstand its environment.
The best part about recessed TVs is that they can be coupled with many of this article’s other design ideas to add a touch of modernity to your outdoor space.
Alternative: Use a Projector
Let’s face it: outdoor TVs look great, but they don’t come cheap. So, if you’re hesitant to spend potentially thousands of dollars on your outdoor TV, consider using a projector instead!
Projectors are portable and can be moved around your home and yard as needed. So, you can bring it back inside as soon as movie night is over.
Additionally, you can set up a portable projector screen, apply screen paint to a blank wall, or even invest in an inflatable projector screen that floats, like this 12-foot Sewinfla Outdoor Movie Screen.
If you’re planning on watching movies outdoors during the day and are wondering which projectors are up for the task, check out our article A Complete Guide for Daylight Projectors & Screens Tips.
Wrapping Things Up
Don’t limit your TV time to inside! The outdoors are beautiful and you deserve to watch Friends for the millionth time while soaking in the sun.
Whether you define your style as rustic, luxe, or modern, there’s an outdoor TV setup that will perfectly fit your taste. Remember, the magic’s in the details, so feel free to take any of these ideas and make them your own with personal touches like framed photographs, eye-catching textiles, greenery, and more!
What are you waiting for? Slap on some SPF, grab a refreshing beverage, and head outside. It’s movie time!
What’s your experience installing a TV outdoors?
Let us know in the comments below!
Yesenia Achlim is a technical copywriter and editor with a focus on AV equipment. She aims to break down complicated topics and make technology accessible, no matter your technical expertise. When she’s not teaching you how to replace a projector lamp, you can find her reading and baking.