Wednesday, March 6

DIY Entertainment Center Reveal

If you follow me on instagram (@Jess_LITWH), then you’ve probably seen a few of the #DIYIntheWhiteHouse glimpses that I’ve done. For about the past month or so we’ve been working on building a new entertainment center. We had bought our old one from Ikea 7 years ago, and it held up well, but was starting to get wobbly and honestly took up a ton of room, since it was built for the old tube televisions.


I’m always seeing Ikea-Hacks online: People purchase Ikea furniture then make something fantastic from it. There’s a whole website that is dedicated to Ikea hacks! I kept googling “Ikea Hack Entertainment Cabinet” and never found anything. I gave up and decided I would have to be a first.

We purchased 2 of the Billy Bookcases with the Billy Olsbo (1/2 door) for the fronts. We got them in the dark brown, which is more of a black, with brown undertones. I then took the door to Home Depot and had them color match the door into Behr’s Eggshell. The person was looking at me like I was crazy, but I worked at Home Depot’s paint department in college and new how the color matching would work. The easy part was then done.

Matt and I worked together on creating the measurements for the base and upper cabinets, that would fit between the two book case and be where the TV would go. We wanted the TV to mount on the wall, so that it was more secure and we didn’t have to worry about someone knocking it over.

The first attempt I gave Matt the wrong width measurement. Instead of the full width of the TV, plus a few inches, I told him the width of the actual screen, which left our base cabinet about 5” too short {the TV wouldn’t have fit between the bookcases}. The second time we got it right. Matt mirrored the bottoms of the Ikea cabinets so that it would be uniform between our’s and the Ikea ones. {He did a great job!}

Then it was my turn to sand, prime and paint the cabinets. I ended up putting a coat of poly-acrylic on the cabinets, because we knew the kids would be really rough on them.

While it isn’t as elaborate as some Ikea hacks, it does serve its purpose and didn’t cost us tons of money or time to build it. Without further ado…

We haven’t filled it all in yet, but that probably won’t take long :-) The colors match a lot better than they do in the picture. There is a very slight difference, but most people wouldn’t be able to notice it.

DSC_0027The base cabinet just sits there: It’s not anchored or attached to anything. The baskets are Ikea’s Drona, which are great, but I can already tell they’re going to get destroyed very quickly. They are soft sided, which means that they bend when the kids sit on them. We have discussed building wooden boxes to fit the space, which we probably will end up doing down the road. We now have more storage for some of the bigger toys, as well as for the kids’ books on the shelf above.

DSC_0024The upper cabinet is mounted to the wall {into studs} and then mounted to the side cabinets. The whole of it is then mounted to the wall, so that the monkeys can’t pull the thing over. We’ll probably get some baskets for this part too, but for right now it holds our surround sound/receiver, as well as the DVD player and wii…with lots of room to spare.

The nice thing about hacking the Ikea bookcases is that we got an adjustable shelf bookcase, with doors, for a lot less work than if we were to make them ourselves. It would have probably taken us months to get all of the pieces to fit together perfectly.

side cabinetsWe did put locks on the side cabinets, since that’s where the off-limits stuff will be getting stashed. One side has our DVDs and cables and such, the other side will have some of Avie’s toys that we don’t want the kids getting into. I will say that diaper boxes fit perfectly in cabinet {I do plan on painting them, to at least look less tacky}.

It’s so nice to have my cookbooks back in reach again, rather than having them in the dining room. I will miss being able to put flowers on top and having pictures above, but just something I’ll have to get over :-)

And that would be our first Ikea Hack. Not too shabby, if I say so myself.

cabinet collage

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