As soon as Miss Sylvia made her debut, we knew we needed to address the toy storage (or lack their of!) in our living room. We’re a one-hangout-space-household, so when we hang out as a family it’s in this room. This room is also the first space you walk into from the front foyer, so this area needs places to hide all our crap, I mean…stuff when people come over. Needless to say, this old train cart, though ruggedly handsome, just wasn’t cutting it. I’m a little embarrassed showing you what this used to look like, but here it is!
I searched for months for a cool old dresser or Bombay chest that could double as a media console/ toy storage chest, but it always came down to the width not being long enough for this wall, and it just not having enough storage. The more I looked and couldn’t find anything that suited our needs, the more I became excited about the idea of a built-in, floating media cabinet. We decided to design one from modular cabinetry from Ikea.
As soon as Miss Sylvia made her debut, we knew we needed to address the toy storage (or lack their of!) in our living room.
Below are the general specs we used for the media cabinet. I can’t find my ‘parts list’ print off from Ikea, otherwise you know I’d upload it. If you’d like to recreate what we have here, I’d recommend going to the Media Cabinet Department at Ikea and working with them to help you pull together everything you need. Beyond picking out the cabinets there are several parts and pieces, like drawer slides, door hinges, soft close mechanisms, wall-mounting rails, shelves, etc. that you’ll need too. We worked with a sales person to compile a print out of the parts we needed, and they made it so much faster, not to mention gave us peace of mind we wouldn’t be running back there for additional parts. This is not a sponsored post–it’s just the easiest way to round up the cabinet supplies.
- Ikea Besta Cabinet Frame – One – 47-1/4″ wide (double) + One – 23-5/8″ wide (single)
- Door style: Sektion: Grimslov
- Color: White
- 2 Doors + 2 Stacked Drawer
- Wall Mounted (no legs)
- Soft Close Drawers
- 74″ Barkaboda Walnut Top
We centered the cabinet between the archway and the corner and wall-mounted it using the recommended wall brackets from Ikea. It’s installed 6.25″ above the floor at a height of 31.5″ (33″ once the top is installed). To determine the height, I taped out the TV placement with washi tape, and looked at height specifications for other similar media consoles for sale around the web. Also, being that it’s right next to the front door and coat closet, it also functions as the key drop + mail catch, this was another consideration for height placement.
In terms of installing the cabinet, we just followed the enclosed instructions. Though it’s a two person operation, it wasn’t necessarily difficult. The only tricky part was getting the drawers to catch on the slide mechanisms.
We left a 9″ leap between the cabinet and the bottom of the TV. I’d like to tell you I went with the recommended Industry Standard for the height of the TV, but honestly, this was the height that just felt right for TV watching, and looked proportionally “right” on the wall too.
The Walnut Top
Once the cabinet was installed, we started in on the walnut veneer top by double checking the overall length and width of the cabinet, which was 70-7/8″ x 15-3/4″. The counter top is 74″ x 25-5/8″, and we didn’t want an overhang, so it needed to be cut down. Since the walnut top is real veneer it has variation in shade and grain, so I made sure to inspected and determine which long edge of the counter I wanted to use, and which side would be cut off.
Then we set up the saw horses, marked out our dimensions on the countertop with a pencil, and clamped a 2×4 down the length of the board so we’d have a straight edge guide when making our cuts with the skill saw.
After cutting down the walnut top, we tried it out on the cabinet to make sure we like the sizing (fingers crossed!). It’s at this point we marked out “center” for the 2″ grommet positioned just below where the TV will hang to help manage cords. We used a 2″ round drill bit on our standard electric drill, and found a 2″ black grommet cover at Home Depot.
For disguising the raw, cut edge, the countertop comes with self-adhesive veneer strips that you cut to size with a utility knife. Then we attached the top to the cabinet with screws running up through the cabinet top and securing the walnut top.
It took me a little bit to decide between oil-rubbed bronze and natural brass, but I ultimately went with brass because I liked the warmth of the metal with the walnut top. We have some oil-rubbed bronze elements coming in elsewhere in here which I think will compliment nicely. See hardware source links at the bottom!
Additional Things to Consider:
At some point, we may also apply a matte polyurethane finish to the walnut top to help prevent scratching and wear.
I think media cabinets are the hardest thing to style, because of the big black box at the center of it all, so if you need styling tips, check out this post.
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