The New and Improved Entertainment Center
Interior design trends change as does the tastes of homeowners when it comes to creating a space to lounge and entertain. In the past people would buy an entertainment center for the ease of storing all their media equipment, VHS tapes, DVDs and keeping wires hidden from guests. Fast forward to today and homeowners are looking for something more. Built-in entertainment centers can add style and character and help create the look you want in your living room or home theater. They can be designed to more conveniently and safely store your modern-day electronics and create a great space for displaying your artwork, books and collectibles.
If you’re considering a built-in entertainment center for your new home or home remodel, here are some tips and ideas to help you decide what will suit your needs:
Audio and Video Equipment
Modern electronics generate a lot of heat and thus require ventilation and have wires or other components that you’ll want to keep hidden from view. Built-in entertainment centers are designed not only for functionality but for their decorative appeal. Customized shelf options are almost limitless and can be made to fit nearly anything. Doors, drawers and pullouts can be implemented to help hide cables and store remotes, DVD’s, etc. when not in use.
Functionality. It’s extremely important that your entertainment center include proper ventilation so that your TV, DVD player, satellite receiver, DVR and game consoles don’t get too hot. When at all possible it’s advised to not stack electronic components. Instead put them on shelves with a few inches of space in-between. If you’re going to house these electronics in a cabinet, make sure there is proper airflow and ventilation, you may even need to cut holes in the back to keep things cool. Your electronics expert or the manufacturer will know the right amount of space needed for each component to work safely.
Surround Sound. To achieve this effect, you will need at least five speakers in the room. A few of these speakers (sound bar, directional speakers) should be placed in the entertainment center if their size allows for it, and the room is not too big. Speakers need to be heard and not necessarily seen, so many times homeowners will disguise them behind fabric or other materials that match the room décor and don’t dampen the sound. Keep in mind too, that many modern speakers have their own aesthetic appeal and will be right at home out in the open.
Books and Pictures
Traditionally books were displayed on open shelves so they could be seen and to keep them close at hand. A great tip for storing books on open shelves in an built-in is stacking them in small groups to avoid the problem of an oversize book that may not easily fit if stored vertically. Display pictures, artwork and collectibles alongside your books for a contemporary and less cluttered feel. Magazines can be kept in drawers or in baskets on lower shelves. It’s important to go through the collection and remove the older magazines often to reduce clutter and maintain a clean look.
If your new built-in has cupboards with doors, this is a great place to store the board games your family likes to play. They will be easily accessible and out of the way until that next game night.
Collectibles and Artwork
Collectibles reflect your lifestyle, interests and passions but storing them around the house can sometimes be a challenge. They can be seen as something interesting to your guests or come off as clutter in your home. Collectibles work best when displayed in an entertainment center on open shelves or in cabinets with glass doors that let visitors see your collections. Many types of lights can be added to create a focal point around them. You should organize your collections in groups to display them. Consider the size and shape of items and arrange them in similar groups to keep a consistent and manageable feel.
Similar tips apply for displaying your various artwork in your new entertainment center. Keep pieces grouped together by style, color theme or artist. Make sure valuable pieces are secure and not easily knocked over or damaged. Remember…kids, guests and you will be opening doors, drawers, etc. on your entertainment center and things can get jostled around. Use your own taste and feel free to rearrange things from time to time and hopefully you will achieve the look you’re after.
At N-Hance Boise we refinish built-in entertainment centers all the time. This type of cabinet and shelving feature is extremely popular and can bring convenience and a modern look into your home. If you need any help updating your built-ins, changing their color or style, then give us a call. We are experts at creating the perfect look for all the wood in your home.