Do It Yourself Built In Entertainment Center

Wanting a beautiful entertainment center doesn’t have to cost you thousands of dollars. We bought our home in 2009 and it was a “fixer-upper”. Each year we tackle one project at a time in order to make it our dream home.
Recently we decided to hire someone to build a built-in entertainment center for our home. We got what we felt was a fair bid at 1400.00. However, I just felt we could do something on our own that would not only cost less, but really be a reflection of our taste. This is what we did for almost half the price.

Here is the before photo:

Living Room Wal Unit before

As you can see the TV is a huge focal point. The wires are exposed and unfortunately there are 2x4s that run horizontally, so this prevents us from hiding the wires within the wall.

What we decided to do was find two dressers that we could put next to each other to create the bottom half of the unit and use two bookcases to create the left and right sides of the unit.

This is a photo of one of the dressers. We removed the back of the dresser so we would have access to the wiring that would hang below them. In addition, the feet of the dresser were removed so the units would lay flat on the floor.  The dressers were $500 total.

Dressers without backing

Next we lined up the dressers next to each other.  We then had to trim the inside sections of each unit where they met in the middle because there was a gap between them. Of course when this was done there will be very visible marks on each unit.

two dressers next to each other

To correct this and to give the unit a more finished look we used counter top to cover both of the dressers.  The counter top was $130 total. We could have used a nice piece of granite which would have looked great. However, keeping within a budget, a laminate counter-top is just as beautiful and more cost effective.

counter top example

Next we purchased two $27 bookcases from Wall-Mart. We knew the units were too tall, so we just trimmed off the bottoms of each unit.

using wallmart bookcases

We also had to cut a niche out of the bottom of each unit to adjust to the back-splash of the counter top.

wall unit with two bookcases

Next we bought two long “cubes” from Wall-Mart for $74 total and used those in the middle of the unit under the TV.

Here is the finished unit. There is a small gap between the two shelves under the TV and we will put a strip of trim up to cover it.

Finished wall unit as an intertainment center

To finish the unit, I added accessories that I loved and photos to showcase our family. I decided to go with crystal and sliver.

Some tips for buying accessories:

  1. Over buy what you think you will need. Come home and try out different looks with different accessories. Don’t take off the tags and save the receipts so you can take back what doesn’t work.
  2. If you are going to use a color theme be sure to take the colored accessories with you to each store so you can compare the colors to make sure they are in the same family and will match. I was going to use blue and when I got home, the blues just didn’t come together nicely.

The total project cost:

  • Dressers $500
  • Counter-top $130
  • Two long bookcases $54
  • Two cubed bookshelves $74
  • Accessories $54

Total Cost: $812

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