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When I first glanced at longtime friend-of-Toolmonger Mike Haney’s new entertainment center, I was struck by the number of new entertainment center concepts I’ve seen in the past year or so.  It just makes sense — when the shape of your TV changes, so does the gear that holds it up.

Mike opted for a super-sleek aluminum surface and 3” solid Brazilian ipe legs — in short, it’s industrial and stupid-cool.  As if it wasn’t sweet enough at that point, Mike went even more badass and added fold-down polished mesh to hide the gear away.

You’re looking at the new style of the modern entertainment system –- long and low.  The concept can be expressed any number of ways, from Mike’s sleek metal to more traditional approaches, like the one I built to replace the Ikea-style clunker I’ve had since high school.  I made it from oak and finished it with red mahogany stain and cherry-colored wax.  This gives it a “redder” vibe than many like, but I dig red and it goes with the rest of the furniture.

Though they look radically different, both pieces were built to adapt to changing technology.  Also, I really must tip my hat to Mike’s superior use of multiple building materials –- but I think I edge him out on storage space.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


6 Responses to The New Look Of Entertainment

  1. mark says:

    Nice piece Sean, but those baseboards are pretty weak. Get on that.

  2. jim says:

    Nice! I love the red, and especially the trim details on the side & front — and the visual heft of the thick top.
    I also like the aluminum top, but I’d try to give it a look of overkill – much thicker to balance those nice beefy legs. Maybe start with a nice 1.5″ thick aluminum plate, and machine in some attractive contours. (And my 2 year old daughter wants you to round the corners so she doesn’t hurt herself on it). Anybody have a 1.5″ plate sitting around?

    Really looks great!

  3. Sean O'Hara says:

    Actually Jim that’s the first well thought out compliment I’ve gotten on it. Thank you sir!

  4. Michael Pendleton says:

    I like that wood project, did you design it from scratch or did you get plans somewhere? I’m a big fan of these new, lower entertainment centers, they just take up so much less visual room than the hulking armoire units!

    If we’re kibittizing about the ‘mixed-media’ unit, I would say that is looks pretty awesome and the materials mix well, but what if there was a more distinct line between them? If there were 1/4″ spacers between the metal and the wood… Make it look like the top and shelf are floating, underscore the different looks… This wouldn’t work if the top was thicker though. If you wanted a thicker top, but didn’t happen to have some 1 1/2″ aluminum plate kicking around, you could put a fake edge on there to get the same look. Make the edge thick enough and it could still be milled too.

  5. Mike Haney says:

    It’s funny you guys mention the thicker top – As soon as I finally had this set up in the living room, that was the first thing I said to my girlfriend. Fortunately the top is easily swapped out, so next time I find a cheap 1.5-inch plate at the scrapyard, maybe I’ll give it a go.
    Sean, you really should swap those photos and put your much more nicely designed piece at the top.

  6. Sean O'Hara says:

    Mike P,

    Nope I just sketched a few lines and built it from there. NO big plans or anything. 🙂

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