Published on April 3rd, 2012 | by Jules Yap


Besta Floating Media Center

Materials: Besta Cabinets

Description: To be honest, I set out to copy the “another winning stolmen media unit” that is posted on here, but once my wife and I set foot in Ikea, we decided that we did not like the Stolmen line for our purposes and instead found the Besta range.

The bill of materials from Ikea:
4 BESTA SUSP RAIL 23 5/8″ SLV 101.245.85 $10/EA (now $5/EA)
2 BESTA VARA N DR 23 5/8X15″ WHT 001.344.29 $10/EA (now $5/EA)
2 BESTA N SHLF UT/HT EXT 601.340.39 $70/EA (now $50/EA)
2 INREDA DRW W/O FRNT 24X3X16″ 901.812.23 $10/EA
2 BESTA VARA DRWFRNT 24X6″ WHT 001.473.75 $5/EA

Total cost in materials from Ikea: $230 (now $160)

Instructions (this is specific to the configuration seen here):
1. Assemble the Besta units, but leave the shelves, drawer and doors off.
2. Clamp and then screw the 2 Besta units together.
3. Locate the height of the middle open shelf and drill a pilot hole between the two cabinets near the rear approximately 2″ above the open shelf for a cable pass.
4. I used a 2″ hole saw to enlarge the hole and 2 of the readily available desk top cable covers that are available at Home Depot and Lowes.
5. Determine where your power supply will enter your cabinets and make a hole large enough for that cable to pass through as well.
6. To mount the cabinets to the wall, I used the Besta suspension rail (101.245.85 above) to keep things simple. This rail simple screws to the back of the Besta cabinets and then mates to another section of the rail that you have mounted to studs in the wall (similar to a French cleat).
7. After mounting the cabinet unit to the wall, I installed the 2 drawer systems, 2 doors and shelving.
8. I took measurements of the cabinet system mounted to the wall and decided what material to make the top out of. I had initially decided on using a black walnut to match my floors, but pricing for that lumber was well beyond what I had already spent on this project, so I decided on an easy to work with and inexpensive material, Poplar. I used 6″ wide boards to match my existing flooring width, made sure the edges of the boards to square and flat and joined them with a biscuit jointer. After the glue had dried, I sanded everything smooth and then used a dark walnut stain, followed by a urethane sealer. To connect the top to the cabinetry, I simply positioned the top where I wanted it, drilled a hole at each corner and used a stainless steel carriage bolt with a washer and nut.

Once everything was said and done and mounted, my wife and I love this piece. I have our television on a Peerless wall mount above it, all of the cabling is run through the wall in conduit, my receiver just barely fits in the left open cubby, my Xbox 360, router, modem and Blu-ray player fit in the other cubby and we use the cabinets for DVD/Blu-ray storage.

Hopefully, I can provide inspiration for someone else to think outside of the box and make a piece of furniture that works best(a) for them!

~ Garrett Waters, Austin, TX

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

17 Responses to Besta Floating Media Center

  1. Aida says:

    I can’t seem to find any of the listed items on their site! Does anyone have an updated list with the new reference numers???

  2. slimm says:

    I am going to try this but I have a question. When I order online Can you mix the different whites? Like toft high gloss white with vara ?

  3. Vicki says:

    Beautiful! This is what I want to do in my new den. How high off the floor do your cabinets start?

  4. Steve says:

    GW, can you give a little more details on how you joined the two cabinets – what kind of screws, are they internally hidden? Also, did you drill a hole in the back to bring the tv cables in to the unit from behind the wall?

    Love this idea, and headed to an IKEA this weekend to give it a go. I’d love any additional details you might be able to provide for a newbie.

  5. Anonymous says:

    wow, very nice.

    i am curious how heavy the media center can hold if i plan to let a flat screen tv sit on it instead of mounting on wall.

  6. GW says:

    Anon – I’m not a structural engineer, but if you’re only hanging 1 Besta unit (requiring 2 suspension rails), I would imagine that attaching to 3 studs would be sufficient. In my case, over the 8′ length of the cabinetry, I believe I attached to 5 studs and used the larger drywall anchors at each end of the rail “system.”

  7. Anonymous says:

    For the suspension rail, how many studs did you anchor into over the length of the shelf? The instructions show that each rail (23 5/8″ Wide) should anchor into 2 studs but it seems that once you start to stack the rails together you can only hit 3 studs per 4′. Is 3 studs over 4′ acceptable?

  8. Dr Kemp says:

    Great work either way. Looks awesome and is very inspiring.

  9. GW says:

    Dr. Kemp – like I said, I wanted to use another cabinet to extend the console, but by the time I placed my subwoofer and made room for my lab’s bed to the right, we were out of space. For the top, I was planning to use either a section of the butcher style counter tops available at ikea or some of their laminate flooring, but I ended up using poplar from the local big box store. I used 1″x6″ boards that I jointed with biscuits, then planed and sanded them and found a series of stains that closesly matched our existing wood floors.

    Anon – all of the cables are hidden with a surface mounted conduit tray beneath the unit, what you see in the pictures are before I had the conduit tray.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Wye cant i buy BESTÅ Suspension rail (101.245.85) in Belgium or The Netherlands?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Very nice! But take care of these cables, and everything will look just perfect!

    - Chris

  12. Dr Kemp says:

    Another set would also look awesome on the side of this. One could aslo use the black speaker fabric / texture to cover up the electric equipment in there.

    Anyway, what do you use as a top?

  13. GW says:

    Anon#1 – It’s considered a hack because it’s a repurposing of a piece of furniture for a new, unintended use. And no, it wasn’t terribly involved.

    Anon#2 – The TV is a 59″ (huge room dictated a large display). IMO, the media center would look great with something around a 42″ display. The larger TV distracts from the long linear line I was trying to create, and I didn’t have enough room to add another set of cabinets into the mix.

  14. Anonymous says:

    How big is the TV?
    Just want to know the size compare to the media cabinet, if i wanted to build one :)

  15. Anonymous says:

    I have the same floating Besta combo used as a credenza. I love it but fail to see how this is a “hack”?

  16. Dr Kemp says:

    Very nice looking! Love the ‘no cable’ policy you got going. Nice looking tv as well.

  17. Jill says:

    Very nice! I love “floating” things – it looks cool and it makes it much easier to clean the floor.

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