TV & Media Furniture 002-2 (1296 x 968)

Published on December 9th, 2013 | by uwe christiaens


Besta depth adapted (with updates on ventilation)

My girlfriend and I were thinking of a solution to hide all the hifi, home cinema stuff that was present in the room and there was no direct solution until I came to this site and the Ikea site with the besta cabinets, of course..

Instead of letting all the equipment ‘in sight’ we found the solution, although there was a problem … the depth of some instruments like the receiver, the hifi-amplifier, the subwoofer and the cd-player were to big to fit in the cabinets. The solution was so simple that in the beginning I didn’t even see it, moving the cabinets half a foot forward and making holes in the backside of the cabinets so that the instruments could slide deeper into them would solve the problem but then there would be a gap between the back of the lower cabinets and the wall.. you’ll see what we came up to..


That was the plan we had, after reading the ‘You got the Besta me‘ post from a previous Ikea hacker ;) I even sent the guy mails about his good job and that he inspired me to do what we did in our livingroom… We had to solve some problems for moving the hifi – home cinema system into the cabinets, the pictures will explain what the solution was. I will even say what adjustments we made compared to the guy from ‘You got the Besta me’ … explained by pictures also..

001 (2)

This was the picture that actually inspired us to go on with the Besta-plan in the living room, the adjustments we made I’ll make clear in the following pictures, first the build up…

Naamloos (2)

The idea was to add a plate of mdf as a backwall so we could advance the lower cabinets, the picture explains it.. but as you know, pictures and the execution is a big difference.. the mdf-plate gave the advantage that we could build in speakers for the home-cinema system..


this was the wall in the living room where the cabinet was going, In sight is the b&w asw700 sub to fit in the cabinet, on the wall the power supplies and the speaker chords already hanging, waiting to get installed.


with the help of an expert..


the lower cabinets in place…almost


The lower and the upper cabinets placed, the upper cabinets were installed with Ikea instructions against the wall, no hacking there..


Installing the frame as a base for the mdf-plating.. already looking out for the different holes and gaps for wiring and speaker installation..


That’s how it looked, also we installed the Inreda spots into the lower side of the upper cabinets. We built them in, there is space in the structure of the cabinets, they are hollow so wire can pass into it…


as you can see

031 (2)

installing the back wall


You can see the holes for the speakers (with a box placed in the backside for the sound), the taped area is the place for the tv, the cables for the tv are also visible and my girlfriend is stuffing the holes from the screws.. the instruments are underneath and they fit :)


You can now clearly see that the lower cabinets are moved forward and the mdf covers the gap..


Afterwards we covered the mdf with wallpaper and than painted it in the same colours as the walls


We also painted the covers of the speakers (b&w cwm663) in the same colour..


The tv installed against the wall..


The flat result..


The instruments installed : from right to left : cambridge audio 840a-v2 amplifier with 840c cd-player. In the middle the ps3 as a gameconsole/bluray player and the pioneer vsx-ax3k home cinema amplifier.. on the left digital tv decoder and the onkyo nd-s1 docking station..

002 (2)

And this is the end result.. now, maybe a question is : how to control all of the instruments with the doors closed. well, the marmitek  invisible control 6 does the job well, the eye for the controller is just beneath the screen..

Updated: Feb 3, 2014

So, after putting the ‘Besta Depth Adapted‘ post on this site, I got some pretty positive reviews, even more than expected.. but I got a few interesting questions too, going from the size of the cabinets over the speaker material until they asked me the most important question : how do I ventilate all the instruments in the cabinet without leaving the doors open.. well, I couldn’t.. Everytime we played a movie or music we had to leave the doors open, even though that wasn’t the purpose.. so after these questions I started to figure out some things, searched over the internet forums about ventilating av-cabinets and boy, the things I found.. so I began ordering some stuff, took my working tools again and started to drill some holes ;)

The end result of the last time, for now the starting point for this post


The instruments installed, without the ventilation, overheating when the cabinets are closed.


The instruments are placed behind a side-opening door, above are the drawers.. for drilling the holes for the ventilation, all of these instruments are to be removed again, and one thing I don’t like is to do the cable-job (removing and afterwards replacing all the cables.., if you look at the picture you’ll see why..


So the big square holes in the cabinet were from the previous modification to the cabinet to get the instruments actually in the cabinet.. the (temperature controlled) fan above I installed right now, also the grill above the fan, to evacuate too much hot air. The fan sucks the hot air away, leaving a little bit of vacuum in the cabinet.. so, where does the fresh cold air come from? Well, a certain rule says that cold air comes from beneath, hot air rises.. so I had to make a hole in the bottom of the cabinet to suck new air into it..


The hole in preparation..


And the grills installed on the bottom of the cabinet.. the cold air gets from beneath in the cabinet and runs thru the instruments, the hot air leaves thru the fan and the grill above.. by the way, the grills aren’t visible because the ones beneath are underneath the instruments, the ones above are put behind the drawer..


And of course some holes in the shelf to let the hot air pass.. the fans start to rotate when the receiver is activated, they are 12V dc’s, and with an adaptor went to 230V ac, connected to the rear of the receiver.. the playstation above the receiver had bushings under it from about 1/2 inch to let air pass under it, a normal ps3 is standing on the ground completely so no air can get under it.. overkill? Might be, but I prefer it to underkill..


The final result, only the fans are visible like I said, no grills in sight.. actually nothing visible with all the doors closed now :)

003 (4)

Buy cabinet ventilation fans.

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The Author

46 Responses to Besta depth adapted (with updates on ventilation)

  1. Mitch Mitch says:

    I’m doing the very same hack. With drawers on top and swinging doors on bottom. Did you have any issues with the fronts hitting each other? If so how did you fix? It’s like a quarter inch or less off. I have gone over directions and I have things build correct.. Just frustrating.. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Jennifer says:

    do you have a link for the vents you bought?
    I may have missed them but we are looking to build this but don’t know where to get the vents, we already got everything else

  3. Uwe Christiaens says:

    hello Henry, sorry for the late reply.. the fans were powered by the 230v outlet I had on the previous receiver with a transfo in between.. now, that receiver ( on the pictures ) already found a new home so no I have the Pioneer sc-lx76 recceiver with 12v trigger output on the backside.. i went on ebay and there i found a fan powered by a 12v trigger output, called av cabinet cooling fan, placed the fan on my receiver and connected the two other fans to it ( wire stripping and connecting, simple ) son ow every time i start the receiver, it’s cooled.. hope this reply has been helpful

  4. Henry says:

    Absolutely great! How did you go about powering the fans? And would you mind detailing exactly which ones you used, did you just use 120mm computer fans? And are they modified to run off USB? Thanks very much, Henry

  5. Stijn says:

    Hi Uwe,

    I have a question about your hack. We have the same besta cabinets, but I can’t see if the back of yours is really thin (like 2-3mm). How do you fit those vents on it if they are that thin?

    • uwe christiaens says:

      hello Stijn, sorry for the late reply.. the back is like you said a few mm so i mounted the vents on an aluminum ring ( i think some pictures on this site are quite clear ) and the ring went on the back of the cabinet with some short screws, went easy enough.. if any doubts, the long white vent covers are taped with ‘double-sided tape’ they are light enough to stick on the wall, double-sided tape is a solution for almost everything ;)

  6. Xeno says:

    Hey JL,

    are you pleased with your ac-fan?
    Could you post the exact name + type?

    Maybe I would buy the same :-)

  7. Uwe says:

    Hello Rion, the white vent covers are actually fabricated to fit in a door, for ventilation of a bathroom or toilet.. So in every hardware store you should be able to find them.. Price : negligable, that cheap ;)

  8. Rion says:

    I love this build, and its exactly what Im trying to do. Where did you get those long white vent covers?

  9. Marg says:

    Thanks for posting so many detailed photos – it makes it so much easier to see what you have done! This looks absolutely fantastic – great hack …. great job!

  10. Uwe christiaens says:

    Jl, can you send me some pics please? Could be I have another solition for you

  11. JL says:

    Awesome work and exactly the info I need. My Besta’s are mounted already so too late for me to hack the depth to fit a receiver (Ikea is stupid for not adding an extra 2″!). Your solution would have solved my speaker and HDMI wiring issue too, with all the cables being in the wood frame you added to increase the depth. Instead, I wired into the walls.

    My question on the ventilation is this:

    Your fans are directing the hot air into the wood frame behind the Besta’s? How does it escape? I know hot air rises, but I was planning to direct the air out from under the Besta’s with a fan because otherwise, I’d have hot air trapped behind the Besta’s.

    • Uwe Christiaens says:

      hello JL,
      well, the hot air that is removed with the fans is captured behind the wooden wall, but it can eventually escape behind the flatscreen. there are some holes behind it so the air can flow..i don’t know if your ventilation will work, even if vented with fans.. maybe if they are big enough? what size are you talking about? I think a solution for you is to retract the air from your receiver by installing the fan right under it, extracting the hot air..

      • JL says:

        I bought 120mm ac powered fans. Hoping they will be strong enough. The other thing I can do is to use them to draw air in at the bottom, but that may cause a lot of dust to my electronics.

        My besta’s are flush to the wall (I removed baseboards) so no way to vent out the back. unless I open holes in the sheetrock wall. The air is very cool inside the sheetrock, but the air inside the Sheetrock is stale.

        I’m embarassed to say this, but my receiver is placed vertical and turned to the side in the Besta. It was the only way to fit it into the Besta without doing your hack.

  12. RA says:

    Looks awesome—great work.

  13. Uwe christiaens says:

    Well nancy, I’ve tried posting new pictures of the way to vent the system.. But they don’t get visible on the website.. It works well with the doors closed, if you want to i can email them with some explanation surely

  14. Nancy says:

    I am looking forward to see how you achieve the venting as well. We removed the drywall so as to recess the Besta cabinets and gain more floor space in a rather small room. I cut most of the back out of the place where the receiver sits so that it would sit far enough back to allow the cabinet door to close and hoped it would vent into the wall space, but have ended up just leaving the cabinet door open when the system is on. Not ideal, but I couldn’t think how to use a fan to get the heat out of a relatively closed system other than breaking through to the bedroom on the reverse side of the wall?

  15. Ciara says:

    Not sure if I am missing something but how do you plug stuff in? Is it easy to access outlets and stuff?

    • uwe christiaens says:

      hello Ciara, the easiest way to plug stuff in is to move them a bit forward and take the drawers out, they get removed very easy.. the advantage on the cambrige audio components (the grey components) is that the text by the connectiions on the rear is also upside down so if you look at it from above you can simply read the text by the connections :) but the purpose is not to plug in or remove allot of cables as this is a steady system, it should stay in place for quite a while. untill a new component shows up ofcourse ;)

  16. uwe christiaens says:

    hello Sissa, I’m actually from Belgium, maybe look on the Belgian website, prices can differ

  17. uwe christiaens says:

    hello Sander, the measurements of the lower cabinets : wide : 120, height : 64, depth : 40, you can assemble them on the ikea website, besta-planner.. I have 3 of these in a row and one single cabinet of 60 * 64 * 40 aside. the top part are drawers, the bottom part cabinets, opening sideways.. as a finishing touch you put the glass plates on them.. the top cabinets are opening sideways also.. hope this reply helps you out..

  18. Sander says:

    I have a few questions to understand your awesome build.
    What are the measurements of the cabinets? On the Ikea site are many of them.
    And the top part of the bottom cabinets are drawers? And the bottom part cabinets which are opening downwards? Is this 1/3 and 2/3 of the cabinet height?
    And how are the top cabinets opening? Upwards?

  19. Sissa says:

    Sorry for being vague – I meant indeed the cabinets and the materials for making the fake wall. I’ve been looking at the Besta furniture sets on the website of Ikea here in the Netherlands, and I think we would be spending at least 350 euros on only the shelves. Still, it is a cheaper alternative than a lot of other things I’ve seen and liked. Too bad I think we’re not DIY enough to do this :)

  20. uwe christiaens says:

    Hello Sissa,

    don’t know exactly what you mean with the price of the ‘whole’ thing, do you mean the besta cabinets plus the wooden wall or everything in it including the instruments/speakers also? as for the Besta cabinets, the website of IKEA is very detailed with prices and you can compose the assembly as you want it, prices included. as for the wood/screws/finishing equipment/paint/wallpaper, I guess with about 300 dollars you can get very far..

  21. Sissa says:

    This looks A-MAZING! I’ve been looking for a nice entertainment center setup, but the problem with most TV furniture seems to be that it’s not deep enough, and this solves the problem nicely – while looking nice, to boot!

    How much did building this whole thing cost you? Besides a lot of time.. :)

  22. Jim N says:

    I think it is well done, just feel like it’s a lot of besta for a little TV. I’d guess that TV is 42″ or smaller.

    • uwe christiaens says:

      hello Jim, well, that was another compromise with my girlfriend, if it depended on her opinion, the TV was even smaller. now, it’s a samsung ue40d7000, so that’s a 40 inch.. seen the distance between us sitting in the sofa and the tv it’s the right size..

  23. BlueYellowBlood says:

    Forget that last question… I overlooked the bit about the b&w asw700.

  24. BlueYellowBlood says:

    Very nice idea and build! :-) Very clever how you solved the issue of too deep audio components / too shallow IKEA Besta.

    The most interesting part to me is how you found a way to make decent sized (specially made for building in walls, I see) loudspeakers invisible. Is the cover metal or fabric?

    Do you also use an active subwoofer somewhere?

    • uwe christiaens says:

      Hello BlueYellowBlood, well, as you can read somewhere in the post, the speakers are B&W CWM663 in wall speakers, they come with a metallic grill and they are painted in the same colour as the wall. some people choose to let them white but I don’t like that look. normally the idea was to put other speaker, no inwall speakers but i have a girlfriend too.. had to make some compromises… as for the subwoofer, indeed, there is the asw700, putted in the first cabinet from the left, i had to take out most of the back of the cabinet too to fit it in..

  25. Kyle says:

    Great stuff!!! I will liekly do something simlar for my next living room.

  26. varun says:

    In the final picture, it looks like you’ve managed to extend the side edge closest to the camera of the Besta on the side to include the back assembly – how did you do that? Or is it just painted to match?

    • uwe christiaens says:

      Hello Varun, well I think you mean how the lower cabinet is larger at the rear end, it’s just the plate of mdf behind it (see previous pictures) painted in white.. I hope this answers your question..

  27. Ross says:


    Great design, I have done something like it. How did you manage to get over the problem of heat coming from the PS3 when the door is closed?

    • uwe christiaens says:

      hello Ross, well, as i mentioned to Yuji, the ventilation is my next step in the build up, so once that’s finishd I’ll put the pictures on the post..

      • Ross says:

        Hi, uwe christiaens

        Thanks, sorry I did not see the other comments when I posted. The website might of had a problem cause it said there were 0 comments when I posted. However thanks anyway :)

  28. Helena says:

    looks amazing! – well done :)

  29. Miljan Bojovic says:

    It’s cool to see more people using Google Sketchup to design stuff with ikea furniture :D
    Great job!

  30. Yuji Kaneko says:

    Beautiful job! I love the clean lines.
    Do you have any venting? Or have you not had problems because the cabinet space is larger.
    I cut holes in my besta (regular depth) but it’s not enough and I probably need to find/build temperature controlled quiet fans.

    • uwe christiaens says:

      hello Yuji, well you have a point there. if there is one thing the system is suffering from, it’s the heat the system for now I put the doors open whenever the system is on but that’s not the target… so that will be the next assignment, to build in a ventilation system..I figured some things out, made some plans and ordered some stuff. once I received all the components I will install it in my cabinet and I’ll put pictures on this post too

  31. David says:

    awesome job!

  32. Christine from Norway says:

    That’s so clever! I love it.

  33. Christine says:

    Love it!
    That’s so clever!

  34. Alek Davis Alek Davis says:

    Looks like a lot of work, but the result is AWESOME!!!

  35. Harry says:

    Great work! Thanks for sharing!

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