13 Clever new uses for old entertainment centers (2023)

13 Clever new uses for old entertainment centers (1)

Don't tell me there is nothing you can do with an old entertainment center.

Our "How would you repurpose an old entertainment center?" contest turned up almost 40 clever ideas for giving new life to these seemingly"outdated"monstrosities.

The most popular suggestion was to convert oneinto a cocktail bar, but other ideas includedtransformingthem into sewing centers,scrapbook and craft stations,stand-alone pantries and simple garage storagespace.

Plans were also submitted for aunique kitchenetteand several reworkings that updated the unitsinto attractive and functionalmodern entertainmentcenters.

The most unusual idea was to use one as a breeding ground for monarch butterflies.

The winner received a $150 gift card to the HabitatReStore, and all of the other entrants featured herereceived tickets to the Feb. 9-11 Nashville Home and Remodeling Expo at Music City Center.

Here are some of our favoritere-use ideas:

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First place: Home office with desk

Coleen Schamanteof Murfreesborois our winner for creating adesk and home office storage unit out of a large woodenentertainmentcenter for a mere $32, using the doors to make a desktop.

"I had a beautiful, solid oak and custom-built piece of furniture that I couldn't just get rid of. We needed a new desk, so why not?"said Schamante.

Sheremoved the two center doorsandthe hardware like tracks and hinges and measuredfrom the bottom of the cabinet (where the TV used to sit) to the floorand cut one of the doors to that size as the desk support. "The other door would be cut to whatever size you want the desktop to be," she said. Use L-bracketsto attach the cut door to the wall unit and the support.Then, have glass cut to fitand place it on top of the desk, said Schamante, whose biggest expense was the glass.

13 Clever new uses for old entertainment centers (2)

New look for TVwall

Nashville firefighter Kenny Peektook a 20-year-oldBroyhill Fontana wall unit and sawed off the top totransform it into an updatedcontemporary piece for the den in his Joelton home. The project involved removing the top shelving of all three pieces of the original unitand attaching the bottom pieces together to make one 9-foot-longbank of cabinetry. Creamy white paint and the addition of 1/16-inch tigerwood laminate flooringto the top completed the new unit. Then, he mounteda5-by-10-foot piece of fiber board to the studs on the wall behind the cabinetand added matching laminate for the backdrop for his 70-inch TV.Peek's total expense was $266.

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Peek said at firsthe hadtried to sell the original unit "but nobody wants them. I couldn't give it away." When he looked atnew cabinets and found prices approaching $5,000, he decided to tackle a conversion. "We were tired of it butI liked the bottom, so Ijust chopped the top off and came up with this."

13 Clever new uses for old entertainment centers (4)

Betty's bar

When her new 50-inch TV would not fit into her entertainment center, Betty Neuhoffof Nashvilleturned it intoan attractive bar for less than $150, with just a few simple steps.

13 Clever new uses for old entertainment centers (5)

"The furniture was too nice to get rid of and too expensive.So I came up with the idea toturn it into a bar in my recreation room," she said.

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She added a mirror ($75) to make it look larger and thenaddeda simple wire wine rack ($25) andlighting ($150).Then it was just a matter of stocking the bar. She added,"We added black Granite (optional) to dress it up and not worry about ruining the wood surface;that was a choice."

Christina's instantpantry

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Christina Bozenkaof White Housemade a pantry out of an entertainment center that she bought off Varagesale, anonline garage sale site. "When webought our home, we had a contractor give us an estimate for adding a pantry and it was over $1,500.So I made a pantry," she said, noting that she simply addedshelves and a lazy Susan and painted it inside and out. Total cost: less than $50. And she wins sometickets to the Nashville Homeand Remodeling Expo.

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Abbie's pantry

AbbieRidley of Nashville also had a great pantry idea, turning an old wood cabinet into a cute pantry, using paint, baskets and better shelving.

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Garage treasure

Karen Kriegerof Mt. Juliethad the simplest and cheapestre-use of all — just usean old entertainment center"as is" in agarage for storage.Krieger got extra points (and some tickets to expo) for having gotten her cabinet free by pickingit upfrom a mall parking lotnear a dumpster. She flagged down some passers-by to help her load the heavy wooden piece into her husband'struck and has been using it ever since to store stuffin her garage."The entertainment centers would be even better than the piece I got," she said, noting that they would provide even more storage space."I don't knowwhy people don't use these entertainment centers in their garages for storage."Cost: Free.

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Office organizer

Irene ParentofFallsGrovestarted with an entertainment center she bought 15 years ago at a hotel resale storeand recently spent $57 to turn it into an office organizer.

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"When we moved 2 years ago to our current house, we had an opening in our home office the perfect size for the entertainment center.So, I decided to repurpose it for the space.With built-in shelves for baskets, it's great storage for office supplies.Part of the TV opening I left for our printer, with a shelf for extra paper at the top.The other side fits our office safe.Plenty of drawers for organizing important papers, envelopes, pens, pencils, staplers, etc." Her expenses includedwaterbase polyurethane for $15,knobs for $10and baskets for $32.

13 Clever new uses for old entertainment centers (11)

Sewing center

Roxy Birkmaierof Spring Hillconverted an old entertainment center into a well-organized sewingcenter with a place for her sewing machine, suppliesand even an ironing boardfor $160.

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13 Clever new uses for old entertainment centers (12)

Scrapbooking center

Molly SchenkofCollege Grovepurchased an armoire off of VarageSale for $30 and then boughtpegboard, pegsand wire baskets for $30 at Lowe’s.Three decorative baskets were purchased at Hobby Lobby for $5, with a40 percent-off coupon. The end result is a scrapbooking center with everythingshe needs for about $65.

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Bonus room organizer

After painting an old entertainment center, Karen Stewart put itin her“kid’s living room” to hold all of their board games and other things. "I utilize baskets to hold things like old photos, Pokemon cards, sheet music and more."

13 Clever new uses for old entertainment centers (14)

Gift wrap station

Diane Wall created a gift wrap station with compartments forrolls ofpaper and lots of accessories and supplieslike bows, ribbonand scissors."What a great way toorganize and keep everything under 'wraps'!”she said.

Hatching hutch for Monarch butterflies

This has to bethe most original reuse: Barry Jonesof Hendersonvillesuggested salvagingthe bottom part of anentertainment center to useas a TV stand and then movingthe top pieces outside to a covered porch and addingscreenand cloth to make a Monarch butterfly hatching hutch. He didn't actually make the hutch but said it could be designed to "allowmonarch butterfly eggs to progress through their four stages of development from eggs to mature butterflies."

13 Clever new uses for old entertainment centers (15)

Kitchenette in acabinet

Melinda Heltsley shared a great idea for akitchenette that she had seen in a B&B in Texas, made from an entertainment center.

"The owner had created a little 'kitchenette'thatfit into the décor perfectly and was very useful as a mini kitchen.As you can see by the photos, there is a small refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, sink, set of dishes, ice bucket and a shelf for condiments and other frequently used items."

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She noted that shedidn't have the need for such a kitchenette, butthe concept would work well for a "short term rental unit without regular kitchen access, a man cave, in-law quarters or even for an adult child that moves back home!"

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Other ideas

Other ideas included creatinga dresser, a bathroom organizer, a game closet, a display case for a collection of owls, anda garden shed - achieved by adding a tin roof to the top of an old unit that was placed outside.

Reach Ms. Cheap at 615-259-8282 or mscheap@tennessean.com. Follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/mscheap, and at Tennessean.com/mscheap.

About the contest

I invited readers to send ideasfor the "What would you do with an old entertainment center?"project, the estimated cost of the transformationand, if possible, pictures of the finished project.

Nashville Home and Remodeling Expo

The 2018 expo occurred Feb. 9-11 at the Music City Center. Tickets are $10 at the door, or $8 online.Exhibitors include companies specializing in flooring, landscaping, countertops, windows, glass, doors, bathrooms, tiny housesand mattresses.Plus there will be workshops and seminars, including a Friday, Feb. 9, talk from Ms. Cheap. More information:nashvillehomeandremodelingexpo.com

FAQs

What can I do with an old TV cabinet? ›

A Wine Bar Lori King at Pinterest has shared a wonderful repurposing idea of an old TV cabinet. Simply paint it and add a wine glass rack to a shelf and turn it into a wine bar. A Kids' Play Kitchen Debbie Williams at eHow has shared a cute creation made from an upcycled TV cabinet.

What can I do with a large TV cabinet? ›

What can I do with an old TV cabinet? Old TV cabinets can be repurposed into other pieces of furniture. Try turning it into a new storage space for arts and crafts items. You can also move shelving around to create a bar space where you can store bottles of alcohol and bartending tools.

What else can you use a TV stand for? ›

An old TV stand can be used to store items in your kitchen or storeroom. Most kitchens have a lot of gadgets and cookware just stored here and there. Use the television stand as a rack for keeping things organized. This way, your kitchen will be kept in order and the table will also be re-purposed.

How do you turn an entertainment center into a wardrobe? ›

DIY Wardrobe from Entertainment Center - YouTube

How do you make a dresser out of a storage unit? ›

16 Super Awesome Ways to Repurpose Old Dressers - YouTube

How do I get rid of an old armoire? ›

How to Get Rid of Old Furniture and Large Items of Trash
  1. Find out if your waste management/local scrap yard will take large items. ...
  2. If you're replacing it with a new item, see if the old stuff can be hauled away. ...
  3. List the item online, even if it's old and gross. ...
  4. Put it on the curb with a “free” sign.
17 Mar 2018

How do you make a TV stand? ›

DIY Entertainment Center TV Stand (75" or 56") | Build It Better | EP. 07

Should you hang art above the TV? ›

Your TV shouldn't be hanging too high up on your wall. If you have a TV console, hang your artwork a few inches on top of it–around 6 to 12 inches–depending on its size. Buying a TV stand or console that is too small.

Should TV be centered on wall or couch? ›

Off-Center TV Placement

There's no rule that says the TV needs to be in the center of the wall. If your living room is more typically used for conversation rather than screen time, it might make sense to prioritize a cozy furniture arrangement then add in a TV where it fits.

What do you put under a TV mount? ›

If you don't want to go all in with a piece of furniture but still want something beneath (or around) TV, floating shelves are a great option. They help pull your TV into the overall design of the room – helping eliminate the “black box effect,” and they provide a lot of flexibility as well.

What can you use for a TV cabinet? ›

TV Stand Alternatives
  • Dressers.
  • Sideboards.
  • Small TV Stands.
  • Short Dressers.
  • White Entertainment Centers.

How do you style a TV cabinet? ›

Be it a tall vase, candlestick or a ginger jar, tall ornaments add height and draw attention. If you've got plenty of space, try adding one larger and one smaller item to either side of your TV unit for a stylish contemporary look. Matching items in pairs also look great too.

How do you decorate the top of a TV cabinet? ›

How to Decorate the Top of an Entertainment Center & Bookcase

Where should a media closet be placed? ›

Keep in mind that the power cables and other wires from the devices in your home entertainment system will need to be able to reach the closet. The closer the closet is, the more easily it will work out. Using a closet on the wall that is behind the television would be ideal.

How do you make a small closet into a bookshelf? ›

How to Turn a Closet Into Built In Open Shelves - YouTube

How do you paint an entertainment center? ›

Painting Wood Entertainment Console | DIY Power Couple - YouTube

Can you mount a TV on an entertainment center? ›

If your built-in mount is VESA compatible then you might be able to mount it in an entertainment center. However, you have to be sure that your TV is not more than 60 inches in screen size. Note: Classic entertainment centers do not allow you to install your TVs high up over the shelves.

How do you build a wall unit entertainment center? ›

Building a MASSIVE Entertainment Center - YouTube

How do you fix a TV stand on the table? ›

How to Install / Fix / Attach LED TV Table Top Stand DIY ... - YouTube

What do you put in empty dresser drawers? ›

Dresser drawers provide an excellent place to store T-shirts, tank tops, socks, and other articles of clothing. But they also can wind up becoming a spot to pack away items you don't wear—and probably won't wear again.

What is a dresser without drawers called? ›

A media chest is a piece of storage furniture similar to a dresser but with an open top shelf for a cable box. Media chests work well in both bedrooms and living rooms as an entertainment center.

What else can a dresser be used for? ›

Open to New Possibilities

A partially busted dresser can be repurposed by removing any broken or wobbly drawers and adding open shelves in their place. Voilà—a simple transformation that lets you store towels, kitchen supplies, toys, and more.

What can I do with old wooden furniture? ›

Recycle it. You can recycle the material of the furniture itself. If it's made of wood, metal or some other recyclable material, you can take it straight to your nearest large recycling bin or community recycling facility.

What are china cabinets worth? ›

Most breakfront or step back china cabinets and hutches sell in the range of $500 to $2,500, depending on their condition and age. Vintage cabinets do not fetch as much as antiques that are at least 100 years old.

How do I get rid of my china cabinet? ›

How do I get rid of a china cabinet? Most china cabinets are incredibly heavy and difficult to move. The easiest way to get rid of large, heavy furniture is to have it hauled away for proper disposal by a professional junk removal company like LoadUp.

How do you make a TV cabinet? ›

How to Build a TV Cabinet | Mitre 10 Easy As DIY - YouTube

How do you make a floating TV stand? ›

How To Build An EASY Floating Entertainment Unit - YouTube

Should a TV stand be wider than the TV? ›

A good rule is to make sure that the width of your stand is at least two inches wider than the width of your TV. Also, your stand will most likely mention the ideal size of television for its width. This one will take a group effort, so grab a friend and sit them down on whatever seating you have at home.

How do you make a dresser out of a storage unit? ›

16 Super Awesome Ways to Repurpose Old Dressers - YouTube

How do you paint an entertainment center? ›

Painting Wood Entertainment Console | DIY Power Couple - YouTube

How do you make a TV stand? ›

DIY Entertainment Center TV Stand (75" or 56") | Build It Better | EP. 07

How do you build a wall unit entertainment center? ›

Building a MASSIVE Entertainment Center - YouTube

What do you put in empty dresser drawers? ›

Dresser drawers provide an excellent place to store T-shirts, tank tops, socks, and other articles of clothing. But they also can wind up becoming a spot to pack away items you don't wear—and probably won't wear again.

What is a dresser without drawers called? ›

A media chest is a piece of storage furniture similar to a dresser but with an open top shelf for a cable box. Media chests work well in both bedrooms and living rooms as an entertainment center.

What else can a dresser be used for? ›

Open to New Possibilities

A partially busted dresser can be repurposed by removing any broken or wobbly drawers and adding open shelves in their place. Voilà—a simple transformation that lets you store towels, kitchen supplies, toys, and more.

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