The two closets with the television between them, as it appeared before

This client has a family room with two closets and a dead space between them. He was using that space for his older large television, but was not happy with how it looked, and asked me to design and install a built-in entertainment unit for the television.

On the left is a photo of the two closets with the stand that came with the television. Photos below show the final mockup and design I created and shared with them in a series of emails, plus a photo of the final product, installed. The client and his wife emailed me links to photos of arrangements they liked, and I began the process of designing their new built-in.

The photo on the right shows the mockup I created with photoshop, similar to the eventual cabinet I built. For the sake of economy, the actual construction is a combination of pre-built and custom built parts. The base is a high-quality Kraftmaid “Polar Ridge” white standard-size 36″ w x 34 ½” h x 24″ deep kitchen cabinet, which I ordered from Home Depot. It has composite side construction, a wood frame, composite paneled doors with beadboard panels and concealed hinges.


Above the doors is a sliding wood dovetailed drawer. My clients chose brushed nickel “clip” pulls for the drawers, 1 1/8″ wide round brushed nickel classic knobs for the doors, matching the look of cabinets in the adjoining kitchen.

I designed the entertainment unit to fit tight to the existing opening, with a 4 ½” kick space to match the baseboard. It is recessed approximately 2″ in the opening so that a 3 ½” crown molding (measured vertically) could be applied.. I cut in a small doorway in the rear of the closet on the right to provide access to the rear of the television for servicing, cables, etc. I built the custom sections and assembled all sections in my shop before the day of installation. Before installation all woodwork was painted to match the “Polar Ridge” white finish of the pre-finished base unit.

tv_afterOn the right is a picture of the actual entertainment unit built and installed. With all of the construction work done in my shop, installation took just a few hours in their home and was dustless. The finished entertainment unit consists of a frame that holds the Kraftmaid base section, with a 1 1/4″ thick maple shelf to hold the television, and the custom built upper section to hold their 37″ diagonal HD TV, with a 12″ accessory shelf above. Beadboard paneling in the back matches the doors on the cabinet.