If like most people, you’ve spent countless hours in your living room this year, you’ve probably noticed a few areas that need improvement.
Tangled wires, electronics piling up, or board games and puzzles with no real dedicated cabinet may seem like easy problems to fix, but spacious storage solutions can quickly get pricey. The right media cabinet can help—and you don’t have to spend a fortune on something custom to solve it all.
In fact, one of our favorite IKEA hacks takes care of the issue in a flash and at a price you won’t blink at. All you need to do is measure your space, roll up your sleeves, and get creative with door styles and colors. Sounds like a dream come true? Check out these media cabinet ideas to inspire your next DIY project.
The Focal Point
Design by Sarah Sherman Samuel
Not designing your media cabinet around a television opens up possibilities. Take this pretty-in-pink showcase piece by Sarah Sherman Samuel, for example. For a relaxed look that fits beautifully into this wide open, vaulted event space, the designer’s own Quarterline fronts are paired with bronze half-moon hardware and nestled under a giant woven tapestry.
The Supersize Option
Photography: Genevieve Garruppo; Design: Tali Roth
When designing a more contemporary space, like in interior designer Tali Roth’s NYC rental apartment, try slab cabinets floating a few inches off of the ground. The look is ultra sleek (and easy to clean!), with simple brass pulls elevating the piece. In a big room, this long, six-door style really works—the TV doesn’t look trumped, but there’s still plenty of room to pepper in some artful accent pieces and plants.
The Traditional Solution
Photography: Alison Bernier; Design: Samantha Gluck
In a big white family room like this one by Samantha Gluck, you can’t go wrong with a more classic style. Like standard media centers, this built-in completely encases the TV with display shelves and cabinets for those items—like routers and gaming consoles—you’d rather conceal. To keep with the more traditional style, opt for shaker cabinet doors in a soft neutral shade.
The DIY Project
Photography and design by Sarah Sherman Samuel
Sarah Sherman Samuel loves to hide TVs behind large tapestries, and that’s exactly what she did in her own Michigan living room. She opted for slab cabinets with oversized spherical legs to help fill what might have otherwise been awkward empty space. The piece isn’t just for eye-candy though—inside, there’s plenty of room for books, tech gadgets, remotes, and other items you’d rather tuck away.
The Colorful Piece
Design by Sarah Sherman Samuel
The SSS Beaded fronts look right at home on an IKEA Besta console in a living room that expertly blends mid-century touches, like exposed brick walls and globe light fixtures, with modern accents. While a large black and white photo hangs above the console (and ties in with the graphic rug), a modern TV—the like The Frame by Samsung—would be a great compromise.
The Family-Friendly Station
Photography: Sara Tramp; Design Velinda Hellen
Particularly in a small space, one of the most streamlined ways to incorporate a media center is to build it right into the wall. Here, two simple bookcases surround a TV area with DIY slab doors painted in White Picket Fence by Dunn Edwards below for concealed storage. To tie the custom piece in with the ceiling, the designer, Velinda Hellen, added a shiplap background.