Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Room by Room - The Media Center


You know how on home decorating shows they always hide the television in an armoire, the DVDs in a cabinet and the AV components behind glass doors? Then, during the “reveal,” all the homeowners seem to own are strategically placed plants, 2 framed black and white photos of their kids and lots of lit candles?

Well, we decided to go in the opposite direction.


We own a lot of movies and wanted to display the collection. I bought this DVD shelf from Target years ago (Best Buy has a similar style) and when Bob and I merged collections I had to add a few of the shelves back in. I organize by genre. Drama blends into Action-Drama which blends into Action-

Adventure which blends into Kung Fu. Heist movies take up a whole shelf. Family is on one of the lower shelves. (You know, for easy access by the kids.)


In college I would go a little nuts at the annual poster sale (where every odd student buys van Gogh’s Starry Night and every even student buys that Pink Floyd one with the naked backs). I have a collection of 8x10 black and white movie stills that I used to have framed. I’ve kept a couple of them on the DVD shelf for old times sake – Swingers and Indiana Jones. Indy sits with his trilogy and an antique spice box that I bought at the Bazaar in Istanbul – “it belongs in a museum!”


What’s better than free art? Knowing the artist personally! The canvas above the DVD shelf was done by Bob’s friend Eric Nelson. If you are looking for something new for your house, buy a blank canvas or two from the Art Store and get creative (or commission your creative friend). I cannot draw in a straight line and my art skills are elementary at best. When I made something a couple years ago the result was very abstract, but I loved it because it was original and only cost about $50 in supplies (3 canvases, paint and brushes).


Our storage unit and media center are from Ikea and purchased in the same black-brown color as the bookshelves. The media center is exactly what we were looking for: simple, holds 6 components, has a back to hide the wires, no doors. I would have expected perforated holes in the back for the wiring but it was solid. Bob fixed this with his cordless drill to create 1” circular holes in each area. Our receiver ends up sticking out a bit so we may have to get creative and cut a hole for it to sit through on the other side a half inch or so. For more details on the receiver read this post and enjoy the saga!


The storage unit is from the Ikea Malm collection and fits perfectly under the window sill to hold additional VHS tapes and all of the gaming systems and controllers other than the Wii. The great thing about this piece is that the top is on a sliding mechanism so you don’t have to move the stuff on top to access the inside. Eventually, we’ll attach a couple cushions to the top with double sided tape and it will act as a “bed” for our 2 cats – cats that don’t actually exist in our house yet. . .check back in a few months for progress on that one!


I thought we had no chance of sticking to the established $150 budget for a media cabinet based on what we were seeing in stores, but both this storage unit and media center came to exactly $150 at Ikea – woohoo!


Bob’s Mac laptop is sitting on top of the media center because he has plans to connect the wiring to the TV and buy a wireless keyboard so we can surf the internet on the big screen. You might think this is a frivolity, but consider this:

o Watching Hulu on an actual television

o Viewing a recipe and keeping it on the screen while making it in the kitchen

o Listening to Pandora on the surround sound speakers

o Showing your friends a slideshow of pictures from your recent trip to fill-in-the-blank


Since our TV is hung on the wall above the fireplace, the top of the media center just holds 3 candlesticks from World Market with candles from Michael’s. I LOVE Michael’s and Jo Ann Fabrics. If you are a card-making geek like I am, the wall of Jolee’s Boutique stickers alone will keep you in the store for hours. They also always seem to be in perpetual SALE mode. I have never been to either of these stores without almost all of my purchases being 50% off. I got these three candles for $10 whereas it might come to $40 total at a store like World Market or Pier 1. Don’t even get me started on non-clearance candle prices at Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel! We are keeping the wall a blank canvas for now until that perfect piece of art finds its way into our hearts and wallet. Maybe it will be a Lydia Original. . .

1 comment:

  1. I forgot how much I love you. Reading anything by you always makes me smile. -Kari

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