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The first step in deciding on a media center is finding the right cabinetry. Make sure your cabinetry can hold the size and number of items you own -- or plan to own. Be sure you have enough spaces for power cords, surge protectors, and cables. It's likely that your next television will be larger and thinner, so plan accordingly. Also, allow enough airflow to prevent the equipment from overheating.
Pair a wall-mounted TV with a storage-savvy credenza. Use a combination of open shelves with baskets and cabinets to organize movies, CDs, and books. The top of the credenza is ideal for displaying accessories or framed photos.
Tip: Avoid glare by placing the TV so that it can be viewed from multiple spots in the room without the sun reflecting off the screen.
If you're building a custom media center, like this one, make a list of all the things you'll want to store along with your TV, including stereo and gaming systems, DVD players, and the accessories and extras that go along with them. Once you have your list, you?ll know how to plan your storage strategy. Also consider if you want your TV to be visible all the time. If you want the ability to hide it, plan for cabinet doors.
Make the most of a basement media room with a simple arrangement. A built-in cabinet hides movies and other equipment behind closed doors. A two-tier coffee table organizes reading material and doubles as a snack table while the television is on. The entire arrangement is framed by the brick arch in the room that features accent lighting to illuminate the area.
Kids have a lot of electronic equipment, so keep it at their level atop a shorter shelving unit. Placing a television and DVD player at a lower level enables kids to help themselves. Plus, the storage cubbies below provide a place to stash toys, games, and art supplies, creating an instant playroom.
An armoire-style arrangement gives the homeowners the option of hiding the screen. Expose the television for everyday use, or hide it during more formal events. Built-in shelves surrounding the television provide storage and display space. When the TV is covered, these items become the focal point of the room.
Use easy-to-install shelves to create inexpensive custom storage. The open display makes it easier to see what's available. Group CDs and DVDs by category and genre, or organize them alphabetically by title and place them vertically on shelves so that you can see the titles. Use baskets for smaller items and items you don't want on display.
If your media room is also your living room or entertaining space, arrange the furniture to serve multiple purposes. Anchor the area with your heaviest piece of furniture (most likely your couch) facing the TV and arrange accent chairs facing the couch to create a conversation area. If movie-watching is on the agenda, the lightweight chairs can be easily repositioned to face the TV. If you have wood flooring, be sure to put felt padding on the feet of moveable furniture to prevent floor scratches.
Make the most of a small space by using roll-out shelving to create a media center in your kitchen or bedroom. In a space such as a kitchen or bedroom, where you spend a lot of time moving around the room and might not have seating right in front of the TV, placing it on a higher shelf ensures you can see it from different angles in the room.
Can't find the right unit to hold your television and growing DVD collection? Customize your media center by mixing and matching modular units to fit your storage needs. Give your media center a unified look by choosing matching baskets to hold movies and games. Be sure to file with the spine facing up; this will make it easier to locate items when you need them.
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