How to Build a Custom Entertainment Center
Get your media center organized with a custom-built storage unit
Does your living room look like a warehouse for audio/visual equipment? An entertainment center will house your television set, VCR, stereo system and gaming console in one space-saving place. These custom wall units are specifically designed for this electronic gear. They also provide storage for videotapes, compact discs, cassettes, game cartridges and even your old LPs.
On the outside, entertainment centers closely resemble other wall units. Their deep base cabinets have doors or drawers, or both, and are topped with open shelving units. The middle cabinet typically houses a TV, so it's much wider and deeper than the shelving units that flank it.
Inside, however, you'll find a variety of specialized features. For example, rollout shelves provide easy access to individual electronic components, while adjustable drawer dividers neatly store tapes and CDs. Most also feature slide-back doors that allow an unobstructed view of the TV. Here's how to build your own custom unit using stock cabinets.
Install the toekick
Remove the baseboard molding from the wall where the entertainment center will go. Then install a 3½-inch-high platform (also called a toekick) for the cabinets to sit on. Build the platform out of 2x4s; fasten the parts together with 3-inch drywall screws.