March 01, 2010
| by Lisa Montgomery
Can’t find the right cabinet for your audio/video gear? Consider having one custom-made.
A custom cabinetmaker can build a piece of furniture to your exact specifications, providing you something totally unique. Include more than your preference for maple, though.
As cabinetmaker Mike Schieber of La Crosse, Wis.-based Real Wood Products explains, there are a number of other details to share and decisions to make before construction of your cabinet can begin:
Where do you want it? The current size, shape and layout of the room will often determine the best spot for an entertainment cabinet. Your cabinetmaker needs to know where that spot is so he can design a piece with the proper dimensions (width, height, and depth). Your new cabinet will look as if it has always been a part of the space.
Want match something? Would you describe your living room as traditional, contemporary or another style? Is there a coffee table, a fireplace hearth or crown molding you want the cabinet to complement? Be sure to tell your cabinetmaker so he can pick the perfect wood, stain and hardware.
What will you put in it? There’s more to home entertainment than a big TV. You’ll need components like DVD players, media servers, surround-sound receivers, as well as speakers and amplifiers. You’ll need to decide whether you want your cabinet to hold everything, or just a few components. Your decision will determine the amount of shelving the cabinetmaker puts in, as well as the overall size and shape of the cabinet.
Think about the future. Chances are, the TV you select today will not be the same TV you’ll want five years from now. Upgrades are a fact of home electronics life, and your cabinet should be designed to adapt to those changes. This might include putting removable trim around the TV cavity. The trim will hide the space around the TV you own today. When you upgrade to a larger set, the trim can be removed. Having extra shelves and storage compartments is helpful as well.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.