Living room remodel

I talked about my need for a new entertainment center, but in actuality I need a few more pieces than that to make the room what we need. I will be making an entire wall of cabinets and storage along the wall where my TV is, and hanging the TV on the wall. I will be putting shelves in the entry closet and making a new storage unit along the window wall. Eventually, new seating will also be joining the party. This series will probably encompass a year or two of my time, and there will be significant gaps between phases. As such, this will be an ongoing series for awhile.

The picture up top is basically what the living room looks like now, and what it has looked like since we moved in. The TV console and cabinet are part of an Ikea Magiker set we bought nearly ten years ago. It has actually held up really well, although we only moved once, so there wasn’t much jostling and wear. With how deep it is, you can tell it was designed for an era of tube TVs, and unfortunately the shelves in the stand don’t go all the way back. The cabinets have been really good, and store quite a bit. I’ll be keeping those, and using them somewhere else in the house. The front of the house is the window wall, and that’s our front door. The door on the TV wall is the small entry closet. The half walls separate the dining room and hallway from the living room, and the large window at the front of the picture is an opening to our family/bonus room, a former carport. So, our furniture orientation is pretty much limited to how it is.

We have a 42″ flat screen, a receiver, and several game consoles, which I may get into detail later. I have a cheap 5.1 speaker setup, with the subwoofer currently in a far corner from the TV. This fact is important because we will probably be replacing our seating arrangement with a couch that will span the entire wall opposite of the TV. This means the sub has to go somewhere else.

A year ago, I started playing with Sketchup to see what a setup would look like. At first, I just started plugging in different Ikea pieces off of the Warehouse and came up with this.

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A simple TV console, a bookcase, three cabinets above the TV, and a new sideboard along the window wall. The subwoofer would go in the left front corner. The sideboard would be for storing remotes and game controllers. I decided I liked the basic idea of it, and went about designing something more custom. This is that effort.

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It’s more of a built-in look, with the vertical bookcase sitting on top and set back of the horizontal console. The upper cabinets are the same depth as the bookcase, and are attached to create a bit more seamless look with it the same height. There should be room for a 60″ TV or so to hang on the wall, but I have to go back and verify the measurements I used.

I didn’t bother custom designing the sideboard, as I’m going to take the basic measurements of the sofa table we have and make one to replace it. Our sofa table and coffee table are about the same age and from Target. Surprisingly, these are in much worse shape. The sideboard will be slightly shorter to fit under the window, and will have doors on it to hide the controllers and such. It should be about the same depth, which is about 16 inches or so. There will be lots of shelves, or at least the capability. It will have a hole for a power strip cord to pass through, which will allow for charging capability for all the controllers – nothing worse than wanting to play a game and having to wait.

The console will have enough room for all of the current consoles I wish to hook up to the main TV, plus expansion room for the Playstation 4 – the only one I don’t have at this point. The speaker locations may change, as I’d like to have those a bit more hidden. I think the doors of the console will have speaker grille panels, to allow for IR signals and heat to pass through. If that doesn’t work, I’ll go with some sort of glass or wood panel with holes. The console will be on legs to allow for movement and access, but will be covered by a toekick/trim panel to achieve the built-in look.

This is just the overview of the project, and as I can I’ll add more posts with details. The portion most likely to begin first is the closet media storage, but I think I’ll post more details on the console first, as that requires the most planning.

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