This is the second entertainment center (or EC for short) I have built for my home. Some drawbacks from the first one that I wanted to correct with this EC are: First - this entertainment center is located next to a main traffic area of our first floor. The doors of the old EC encroached on this traffic area (the old EC was built prior to the development of sliding pocket doors). The doors were always open - we almost never closed the top of our entertainment center. A goal with the new EC: no doors. Second - I like to see my A/V equipment. I think they look cool. So, again the new EC would not have doors. Third - when we would walk into the room from our foyer, we could see all the wires and cables between the back of the EC and the wall. So, a goal was to conceal these wires as much as possible. Fourth - our old EC had very poor storage for all those tapes, CDs, DVDs and remotes. The new EC would have a lot of drawer space to hide all of these things. Fifth - the design of the new EC should add architectural interest to the room.
This project took a year to complete. The wood is about 80% solid red oak and there is an upper and a lower section. It is extremely heavy. Each section took three people to lift into place. When I need access to the cables in the back, I have to use a car jack to raise the EC and put slides under the feet.
I pulled the design from three sources. I once saw a beautiful flame Birch step back hutch in Fine Woodworking magazine. It had the drawers arranged as you see on the new EC. The bracket feet are an adaptation of bracket feet on a linen press found in the Biltmore house in Ashville, North Carolina. The crown is an adaptation from a large breakfront cupboard from Fine Woodworking.
The lower section is designed so that the drawers are tall enough to accommodate the various tapes and DVDs, the TV remains at eye level when seated and I like the height of the space between the floor and the bottom of the EC. So, there was a lot of adjusting of the design to make this all work.
The upper section is designed to house the TV and three rows of equipment above it. The shelf above the TV is removable. I did a lot of internet research of the size of different TVs in determining the size of the next largest TV. There is a cut-out in the back of the top section to allow our TV to fit into. This minimizes the depth of the EC. Again, a lot of tweaking the design to achieve what I wanted in my next entertainment center.
I like the proportions and the traditional design. The only drawback is that now TVs are sized differently and only a small flat screen TV is going to fit the space. I made the TV area expandable, but based on the square shape of old TVs. New TVs are rectangle and this will limit the size of the next TV we purchase.
Have a question or comment about this post? Comments are encouraged on this blog. Leave yours by clicking on the "Comments - post yours here" link below.