To my eye, flatscreen TVs never manage to look marvellously modern. In fact, they can make a space look stylistically dated the moment they are mounted. Not so the endearing, hipster-ish Serif from Samsung, which – like the BeoPlay V1, but possibly even better-looking – is a thing that stands proudly in its own right.
The Serif is the creation of award-winning French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, who have worked with the likes of Cappellini, Vitra and Ligne Roset. Inspired by serif typefaces, it resembles the letter “I” in profile and is as much a piece of furniture as a TV (and can therefore be found in interiors stores such as Aram and Heal’s). It comes in a cute 24in model that can perch on any surface, while the 32in and 40in versions have optional screw-in legs. You are encouraged to use the top of the wide frame as a shelf for objets.
As a TV, the Serif, as you’d expect from Samsung, is very nice indeed, with a bright, sharp screen (the 40in version is UltraHD). It also has a brilliant “curtain mode”: if the TV is on but showing something you don’t care to see, such as commercials or Strictly Come Dancing, you can draw a digital veil over the picture and mute the sound, leaving the screen to show a restful abstract or (very useful) time readout.
One last thing: the Serif looks much lovelier and cooler in the flesh than in any photo I’ve seen.