An entertainment center is a great way to organize and display your television, stereo, and other electronic gadgets. But a poorly designed entertainment center can ruin an otherwise beautiful room. The best way to ensure that your entertainment center is suited to your individual needs is to build one yourself.
While building your own custom entertainment center might seem intimidating at first, it can be surprisingly easy with the right design and proper planning. When it’s done correctly, it ties a room together like nothing else.
An entertainment center can be customized any number of ways to suit virtually any layout. That said, when choosing your design it’s important to consider your needs, limitations and desired look. How much space do you have? What’s your budget and experience level? Will you be using the center to watch movies, play games or listen to music? All these things should be considered before you begin.
Once you have taken the appropriate precautions and settled on a design, building your own entertainment center is fun and easy. This article will answer some of the most frequently asked questions people face when building and designing an entertainment center.
Homemade Entertainment Center Ideas
An entertainment center, especially one you’ve built yourself, can be designed and decorated in any number of ways. A DIY entertainment wall lets you express your creativity in a way that requires nothing more than a few cabinets, shelves and a television stand.
When planning out your entertainment center, start with a basic concept: the look. Do you want a modern feel or more of a rustic chic? From there, you can start to think about the layout and color scheme. Use paint swatches and material samples to get a sense of what fits best in your home. Using finished or unfinished wood, metal, or glass can all strongly influence the look and feel of your entertainment center. Even minor details like the type of cabinet knobs can have a huge effect, so it is best to experiment with different textures, colors and textiles before you build.
You also want to use decorations that complement the aesthetic of your center. A great way to do this is with small decorations and trinkets that you already own, which will give it a much more unique and personal look.
If you are after more of a vintage look, you may want to use materials like unpainted wood. A rustic entertainment center can be significantly cheaper than a modern one because it does not necessarily need new parts.
Another idea is to reuse old furniture that is taking up space in your home and repurpose it into a brand-new entertainment center. This is a cheap and effective way to build an entertainment center and has the added benefit of recycling old materials.
Regardless of what direction you decide to go in, if you plan appropriately, your entertainment center is sure to be an eye-catching addition to your home.
What Is A Floating Entertainment Center?
A floating entertainment center is a unit that hangs freely from the wall, giving the impression that it is “floating.” Floating entertainment centers have become increasing popular for their clean, minimalistic, modern look. When done right, they can look impressive and save a lot of space without sacrificing functionality. But, building and installing one of these units is more difficult and expensive than something that rests on the ground.
The “floating” effect is achieved by mounting your stands and cabinets directly to the wall. Older, heavier cabinets aren’t usually used in floating entertainment centers because of their weight. Floating units require materials made specifically for wall-mounting and, because of their complexity, it’s recommended that installation be handled by a professional. This will be more expensive, but will keep your entertainment center from collapsing and help avoid any dangerous mistakes.
Visible wires can be a problem with floating entertainment centers. They throw off the look and may become a safety hazard. There are several ways to hide wires, but the most effective is running them behind the wall. If you are not able to drill holes into your wall for the wires to run through, a floating entertainment center may not be for you. You can also use a cord cover to hide cables, but the cover will still be visible. The cord cover can be obscured further by painting it to match your wall.
A floating entertainment center will be significantly more expensive than most other entertainment units, but if you like the minimalist design and it is within your budget, it will be a beautiful and sleek addition to your home.
How To Decorate An Entertainment Center
An entertainment center can be easily customized. Shelving space can be used to store movies, CDs or video games, but if you end up with a few empty spots, it can make the entire unit look lopsided and dull. This space could be utilized to display collectibles and mementos, which will not only fill the shelves up, but also give your center some personal flair.
A good approach is to come up with a distinct theme first. This will give you a clearer idea of where to go with your entertainment center and the materials you will need. Brainstorming will also help spur ideas that you might not have otherwise come up with. This can be accomplished with nothing more than a piece of paper and a pen, but if you would like to be more thorough, you can create a mood board, which is a collection of pictures and words that illustrate how you want your design to look and feel.
Once you have decided on a theme, you will want to incorporate as many pieces that are relevant to that theme while still being faithful to the rest of your home style. This is the most creative part of the entertainment center building process. Having fun and experimenting will give you a better and more polished final product. Collect paint swatches and material samples to see how each element interacts with one another. Sketch out your plans to get a better idea of how much space you will need and how your finished product should look.
Once you have finished setting up the base of your entertainment center, you will want to move onto other decorations. Install all the tech and wiring, then place any trinkets and collectibles in the remaining empty space. Do not be afraid to get creative! Hanging pennants, banners or pictures will make the center more interesting to look at. Play around with the spacing and depth of every item to give your entertainment center a more 3-dimensional feel.
The way you decorate it is entirely up to you. Part of the beauty of building your own entertainment center is that you can personalize it to suit your style and needs.
How To Hide Entertainment Center Wires
Dealing with messy, tangled wires can be frustrating, especially if you’ve put a lot of effort into building your entertainment center. A few stray cables can ruin the entire setup that you’ve worked so hard to design and build. They can also be a tripping hazard and are potentially dangerous for pets and infants.
Given the drawbacks of exposed wires, hiding them is a good idea, especially when there are several easy solutions available. The best way to hide wires in your entertainment center is to simply run them behind the wall. This can be done easier than you may think: simply cut two holes in the drywall, one directly behind your TV and one behind your entertainment center. Ensure there aren’t any fixtures in the way, like outlets or pipes. You should always be sure of the layout of your room before attempting any drilling in the walls. Once you have taken the necessary precautions and drilled the holes, you can run the wires from your television to the back of your entertainment center. This method is especially effective if you want a floating entertainment center.
Unfortunately, this option may not be viable for everyone. People that rent their homes, lack the skills and tools, or just don’t feel comfortable punching holes in their walls may need an alternate solution.
If you can’t make permanent alterations in your home, get creative. There are tools available at your local hardware store specifically designed for hiding wires. Most cord hiders have a rectangular base with tapered edges that protects the wires from becoming damaged. If your wires are simply too long and spill out the sides of your entertainment center, you can fix that by gathering them in a loop and holding them together with a twist tie. You may even be able to hide wires with a few strategically placed decorations.
How To Do With And Old Entertainment Center?
Old entertainment centers can be reused or repurposed in a number of ways. They can also be redecorated if you are just looking to revamp an out-of-date design.
When repurposing an old entertainment center, keep in mind that the reusability potential may be limited to the style and age of the unit. IKEA furniture is considerably easier to re-customize than antiques. If you have a more traditional design with a counter and cupboards, the entertainment center could be used in your kitchen as a pantry, or even in your bedroom as extra shelf space. The simple addition of a mirror can turn your entertainment center into a vanity. Remember, get creative!
Remodeling an old entertainment center can be as simple as adding a fresh coat of paint, replacing the decorations, or adding small accents. A new coat of paint can hide scratches and other unsightly marks. Small decorations and ornaments may also be used to mask flaws and unappealing features.
Damaged entertainment centers can be fixed by replacing the hinges or screws. Broken doors can be removed entirely. Leaving your cabinets open will give the unit a more modern feel.
With a few minor changes, most entertainment centers can be repurposed and used in any room in your home. For an entertainment center that is one piece or attached to the wall, you will have to get a little more creative. The simplest solution is to remove all the tech and repurpose the shelves for storage space. You could use it as a bookcase or store children’s toys and trinkets.