Built-in Cabinetry for Your Flat-Screen TV
“Now that you’ve bought that new flat-screen TV you face the problem: where am I going to put it?” If you’re facing this dilemma, guest blogger Tony O’Malley of Tony O’Malley Custom Woodworking has some suggestions for your consideration.
Your old TV was a chunky cube; the new flat-screen is a sleek elongated rectangle. Your old TV cabinet or armoire is suddenly a big useless box headed for the recycling center.
You might find a credenza-type stand in a furniture store, but the larger screens and more stark designs of the flat-screen TV prompt many people to conceal it or hide it away altogether. Often the logical location for the TV calls for a customized approach.
Built-in cabinetry is one solution some people are turning to. A very shallow wall cabinet can house a flat-screen TV because of its flat profile—just 3 or 4 inches deep in most cases. This is a good opportunity to integrate your TV into a larger wall unit that comprises bookshelves, drawers, closed cabinets that house the related components, and other display surfaces. Surprisingly, built-in cabinetry will often consume far less floor space than that old massive corner TV armoire.
Surround a 52-inch plasma TV with warm, colorful books and suddenly the big screen is not so ominous, even in a smaller room. A painted built-in, with base and crown molding carefully matched to the existing moldings, becomes part of the room. This helps make the TV less imposing.
Hiding it Away
Sometimes you just want the TV to disappear. That’s a lot easier with flat screens, which can be hidden behind doors that either bi-fold or slide into pockets—or both as in the project shown below.
Built-in vs. Free-Standing
Built-in cabinetry is, by definition, custom made. You can’t buy it in a store. Instead, you’ll want to seek out a capable cabinetmaker with demonstrated experience designing, making, and installing built-in cabinetry. So the process is more complicated than buying a TV stand from the furniture store.
Of course you can’t take a built-in with you if you move, but a carefully designed built-in will enhance the enjoyment of the room and add value to your home. Approach your built-in along the lines of a major investment, just as you would approach other home-improvement projects.
The built-in project shown here solved a thorny corner situation. The TV is mounted on an articulating arm so it can be pulled out and angled into the room for better viewing.
Fireplace cabinetry offers another solution to the flat-screen TV dilemma. Here the TV is mounted in the shallow wall cabinet above themantle. The doors are mounted on bi-fold hinges so they fit in the space beside the cabinet.
Check out Tony’s portfolio on CustomMade.com for more built-in cabinetry ideas.