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My parents have had the same furniture in their house for the last 34 years. Not heirloom pieces, mind you — just the stuff they bought a long time ago that has managed to survive until now — and it drives me up the wall. At my place, the furniture landscape is in a constant state of flux, and I like it that way. Enter one older Ikea-style entertainment center that needed a change.

It was almost an afterthought to take a picture while I was tearing it down to create something different in my spur-of-the-moment burst of ret-conning carpentry. Basically, it was a full entertainment center with glass knick-knack shelves and an older 27-inch CRT TV tucked in the center — state of the art, circa 1993. And in a straight-up digital age, it had to go.

What’s funny is that instead of destroying it, shipping it off to a resell place, or passing it along to a newly-liberated teen looking to populate her studio apartment with more than a giant spool, I reckoned that my rickety junk could be elevated to minty fresh awesomeness with just a nail gun, some glue, and a little hacking here and there.

So, I hacked off the supports and the upper unit and slapped the top onto the very worn TV shelf. 50 nails later I had a hutch whose biggest feature was no longer a perpetual motion issue at the drop of every stiff breeze. It now looked pretty damn modern and was infinitely more serviceable to the needs at hand. Will this work for every dilapidated unit infesting living rooms the world over? Of course not, but it’s a mighty cheap way to stretch what you’ve got into what you need.

This solution, $0. Just sayin’.


14 Responses to Ikea Overhaulin’

  1. Chris says:

    What, no before-and-after photos? I’m not entirely clear what you did here 🙂


  2. aaron says:

    yeah me neither! we needs the pics!

  3. jeff_williams says:

    Wow, I see it now. In the bottom of the bottom picture you can see a dimly lit curved rail. He cut the tall sides down, nailed the top onto the old TV shelf. The doors and glass shelves are missing in the bottom pic.

  4. jeff_williams says:

    I mean, doors and wood shelves…

  5. Ben says:

    Whoa brave man, I would of tossed it. Way to use the old noggin!

  6. aaron says:

    where did the doors come from?

  7. Jerry says:

    @aaron: I’m guessing they were on the original unit and opened to reveal the “hidden TV”.
    I never understood the idea of hiding the TV in a piece of furniture designed to hold a TV. The wardrobes that came later made more sense.
    So, this project is pretty awesome. Compare zero cost to even the least costly ready-made deal.

  8. Geoff says:

    @Jerry: No, the TV sat on the shelf above the doors, before the top was moved down and attached to that shelf.

    Sean, we need more pics!

  9. Greg says:

    A new TV stand is the world’s greatest excuse to buy a TV that fits it properly.

  10. Brau says:

    You turned a wall unit into a sideboard. That’s great thinking! I have an old waterbed that’s been serving as my media center for over 20 years now. All this reminds me of the old Junk Bros show that was on TV a while back where they repurposed all sorts of furniture. I miss that show.

    Great job BTW. My dad used to say to me .. “Anyone can make something homemade but it takes skill to make it look bought.” Your table looks modern and out-of-the-box new. That’s a big compliment.

  11. Mac says:

    I like it too!

    But I’m somewhat biased… I did the same exact thing with a monster Entertainment Center. I joked that we were just choppin the top. It’s now a coffee table at a friend’s grown daughters place. Looks great.

    Now mount that flat screen on a wall, and away from that window.

  12. John says:

    I did the exact same thing with a TV Armoire in the master bedroom. Got rid of the 100 lb. TV and replaced it with a LCD, so the big boxy armoire had to be modified. Cut down the side pieces, but left enough height to make a storage area for the DVD player and other equipment. The TV is on the now lowered top shelf and it looks like I bought it that way. My wife likes it, so it must be good.

  13. Dan says:

    I have the exact same unit and have been thinking about doing the same thing. Very cool. More details would be great, but either way thanks.

  14. Stony Silence says:

    Is this a Rorschach Test or something? I’m not seeing it. All I see is firewood.

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