Project Projector: Why we traded in our TV for a projector at home!

Project Projector- Why we traded in our television for a projectorHey, guys, I’m here today to share all about our projector screen and why we no longer need a television in our home.

I’ve been meaning to post this for quite a while, but it was one of the hardest home projects to photograph ever! I really hope this post will do it justice because we are LOVING this choice for our new home.

First, a little backstory!

Den LayoutHere’s the layout of our den. It was always very clear to us that this would be the best “TV room.” It’s the darkest room of our home and one of the coziest. And our other living room has a HUGE window that makes it feel much more formal. So this room was the obvious choice for a television situation. The previous owners had the TV set up in the corner between the fireplace and the wall with windows. And the sofa pointing toward the windows.

You can see from this sketch that there’s really no good place for a television. It would either have to be on the wall with the windows, in the corner, on the stone fireplace, on the bookshelves OR on the opposite wall, which would have meant the sofas would face away from the fireplace… that was a deal breaker to me.

We had loved a solution that some friends of ours came up with to mount a projector and have a screen that comes down over the bookcase. It felt really right for this room. So we decided to go with that option!

See the before photos of this room here.

Project Projector- Why we traded in our television for a projector Here’s what the bookshelves look like by day when the projector is up. We built a soffit around the projector screen and added back the original trim from the bookcase on top of it, so it blends in really well! People don’t even notice that there’s a projector up in there until we push the remote to scroll it down!

Here’s the opposite view.

Project Projector- Why we traded in our television for a projector Our projector is mounted up on the ceiling. All the wires to connect our projector, speakers and apple TV are hidden either in the ceiling (attic) or behind pieces of the bookcase.

Initially, I was a little worried that this large projector would be an eyesore, but I never notice it in real life. The only time I ever notice it is in photos.

Project Projector- Why we traded in our television for a projector We purchased a remote controlled projector. So it’s super easy to bring up and down with just the press of a button.

Project Projector- Why we traded in our television for a projector Like many people these days, we got rid of our cable (when we moved), and we just have Apple TV and some monthly subscriptions that we use to watch our shows.

The Office reruns are what we watch when one of us needs some cheering up.

Stuff I used: Sorry guys—I can’t remember the exact projector we bought, but there are similar projectors in a lot of price ranges (just read the reviews!), projector screen (I think ours is 100 inches wide, but what you need depends on how far your projector will sit from the screen), speakers (I got the same ones as our turntable set up because they match, but also the quality is great).

Other stuff: My friend, Sam, has a travel size projector that we used to watch a movie with (you just have to have some speakers to connect it to). It’s a little more affordable (especially if you have a white wall and can skip the screen), and it’s portable, which is neat.

Project Projector- Why we traded in our television for a projector Taking photos in the dark is pretty much my nightmare, but I hope these photos can give you a pretty good idea of how our set up works and why we love it so much!!

In this house it was definitely the perfect solution for a room that didn’t really have a good place for a television. Now that we’ve had it, I would definitely do it again in future homes (not that we’re moving any time soon!). If you have any questions, let me know.

xx -Elsie

Check out Emma’s Favorite Accent Wall Decor to Hide a TV for more tips, and if you love movie nights, check out my movie room tour + home theater ideas.

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Project Assistant: Collin DuPree.Photography: Amber Ulmer.

  • I absolutely love it! We use a projector on the weekends as a family treat, but it’s such a hassle to pull everything out and rearrange furniture. I’m definitely going to look into a remote screen and the soffit you built is perfect!
    Thank you for sharing and for the perfect inspiration!

    Oh, and the picture with your dog is soooo cute! ????

  • Was this bookcase there when you moved in, or do you have posts about how you built it? (Praying it’s the latter!) My husband is obsessed with bookcases like this but this is the first one I’ve ever seen that I actually like. It’s usually too cluttered, but you did amazing with styling these!

  • Love this – we’re in the market for a projector! Can you please share where your awesome curtains are from? x

  • This is exactly what my boyfriend and I want to do in our room. Love it.

  • I love the projector concept because it allows you to have a styled space (those beautiful bookshelves!) without sacrificing movie nights! Thanks for sharing!

  • I do really love this idea and love the way it looks. Such a great alternative!

  • This looks incredible and you have done such a wonderful job at disguising it! I couldn’t work out where it was hidden! xx

    Frances Kayleigh | Beauty Fashion Lifestyle

  • I’m in love with this room! I love how cozy it all looks and that the tv isn’t the focus of the area and only comes out when you want to watch! I love that you guys also watch the office when you need a pick me up 🙂 And I love how there is just enough pink on that bookshelf to make it pretty haha 🙂

  • Yuuuuup! My husband and I have seen the projecter-in-lieu-of-tv in a few different places and decided to implement it in our new house. Can’t wait for movie night! This looks very nice :)))

  • My hubby and I picked up a projector at a local college auction for a great price, it just needed a new bulb. We just project on a wall and love it. Looking forward to hosting movie nights again in our new house. We didn’t have space in our previous rental, which had blue walls.

  • Yaaaaas! The Office is PERFECT for any time you need cheering up <3 <3 LOVE that you’ve included it.
    We also LOVE the projector / remote-controlled screen combo and shall be doing this asap 🙂 x

  • I love it!

    I researched some SHORT THROW projectors a while back and they aren’t that bad if you would be investing in a larger tv anyway. I think a lot of us have ditched cable and are re-thinking a tv-centered space.

    I don’t think your project would be in my budget or worthwhile as a renter in this part of my life, but I would love to do something similar down the road. 🙂

    For the short throw I’d mount a deep wall shelf or place it discreetly on a deeper mantle and you can get large screens at about 10″-24″

  • Hi Elsie! this is unrelated to this post (sorry :P) but I was wondering if you could recommend the person who refinished your hardwood floors? I’m in Nashville and am looking to do mine 🙂 Thanks SO much!

  • Your den looks great and this is a very savvy TV solution! On an unrelated note, this plant-lady-in-progress would love for you to do a live stream where you walk your house (or the rooms you’ve photographed so far) and point out which plants are real/fake/lovin’ life. My plants all have to be, like, 2 inches from a sunbeam heaven-sent to warm their little bodies or they turn to dust. I don’t think I could make shelf plants work, but they seem to be doing OK in these photos!

  • I’ve been trying to talk my roommate into getting a projector for a couple of months. Hopefully this post will get her on board.

  • This is a brilliant solution! But is the picture crisp and clear or a bit grainy? Thank you.

  • I would totally rather have a projector than a TV at our house too!


  • The Office re-runs are the BEST way to unwind at the end of the day! This made me so happy to hear we aren’t the only ones!

  • Wow this is awesome! I’ve been waiting for this post. My husband works in IT and projectors and all sorts of things get thrown out all the time if the tiniest thing is wrong with them. So needless to say…we have THREE projectors just sitting in our basement because the thought of them just being thrown in recycling was too sad. I am showing this to him tonight!

  • love the bookcases, and that you didn’t compromise on them for a tv. so we have what i like to call a retro/drive in/diner style we did to our basement, and we have a dropdown projector screen, too. it’s so funny, b/c we had company who had never been over before, and they remarked how our basement is like a movie theatre. i was like, babe, show them how like a theatre it really is, lol. it makes movie watching so.much.better! especially “man” movies.

  • What a great solution and one I NEVER would have considered! I am going to have to give this some thought for our “TV” room. I love the idea of not having a TV as a focal point even if there is a good wall for it. Thanks for the information.

  • Looks great! I think TVs can be such an eyesore, so this a perfect solution. Your den is so cozy!

  • Haha “Taking photos in the dark is my nightmare”. Amen, sister! But I really really REALLY love this idea. TVs can be such an eyesore and break up a space too much. I am dreaming one day of having a backyard with projector for outdoor movie nights. 🙂

  • What an awesome idea! It adds a different feel to the room, so much more romantic!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • I totally relate! We used to watch tv on our laptops all the time.
    xx- Elsie

  • Hey Cassie,
    Yes- none of our stuff is wireless. there are speakers going through the ceiling and then hidden behind the molding of the bookcase. We did have to order a few xl cords from Amazon for our space. Since it’s custom, it would be a little different for everyone.

    xx- Elsie

  • I have always wanted to do this! We’ve lived without a television in our house for almost a decade, and for the most part never missed having an actual TV. My hubby and I watch shows together on a tablet, but sometimes we wish for a bigger screen to watch movies with friends or family. Having a big screen option without making a TV a centerpiece in our home has been a long-time goal. The way you set it up looks amazing!

  • So pumped to see this post! We’re in the process of committing to this too. Can I ask a really nitty-gritty question? I see the speakers are on the bookshelf and the projector obviously is mounted far away near the opposite wall. When it comes to the wires, the speakers and projector need to be directly connected, right? Or all three including the Apple TV? Did you need extension cords or something to pull off that distance?

    We’ve contemplated wireless stuff, but I’ve had enough annoying instances of troubleshooting connections and bluetooth etc. that I’d rather not deal with it and take the wires! Would love to hear more about the “behind-the-scenes” setup if we can pick your brain a little more 🙂

  • This idea is absolutely fantastic. It seems like it is well worth the switch

  • It wasn’t cheaper for us, but we got a projector on the high end. I think it COULD be cheaper, depending on what tv price you are comparing it to in the first place. Ours was more, but we knew it was right for this room and we’d tested it at our friend’s home, so we went for it!

    xx- Elsie

  • Hi Reagan,
    Yes, we do. I need to install pull-down blinds like the rest of our bedroom have. But right now it’s too light to really watch tv during the day, but we only watch at night unless we have kids staying at our home, so it hasn’t been much of an issue for us.

    xx- Elsie

  • Thank you!! These walls are too navy in real life for me (they were supposed to be charcoal). I am going to change them, just haven’t nailed down my choices yet.

    Jeremy’s walls downstairs are Midnight in NY by Behr and they are an amazing rich, deep green.

    xx- Elsie

  • I think it’s better because it’s nice speakers instead of built in. It’s really high quality! 🙂
    xx- Elsie

  • Genius! I love this idea! This option has to be cheaper than a TV too, right??
    My parents have an outside projector and screen so in the summers they have “drive in” movie nights with their friends! Such a fun time!
    Thanks for sharing!

    XX -KK

  • My husband has been definitely wanting to do this. Do you have any issues with lighting during the day? As in, do you always have to close your curtains to watch something?

  • Wow! I cannot believe the transformation on this room. It’s gorgeous. I love the projector. What are the wall colors? Painting our half bath a deep green and I’ve been back and forth on so many options!

  • I absolutely love this idea! It’s such a great space saver. I never watch cable any more so I would love to do this. How is the sound quality? As good as a good television?


  • Thank you for sharing! We’ve been thinking about doing this in our basement, and Im glad to hear it’s working well for you.

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