Moved to small studio in NYC and wanted media center to be clean with no wires and extra storage. Designed it on ikea’s website and built for around $700. Check out my blog, for more information on this hack.
First I bought Besta Vassbo Doors with middle square indents. Looking back I could have saved $5 on each door and got the Vara, but I thought the guideline to cut out center would be helpful. I bought Jig Saw from ikea to cut out the inserts on 6 of the doors to give the cabinets room to breathe for my electronics and also for remotes to work through. I then bought speaker fabric from amazon (I bought 3 rolls and used 2).
Then cut approximate size of cloth to cover all edges. Take staples gun and start with corners and fill in rest. You can also use glue to keep the edges down in between staples. Just make sure its snug fit but don’t pull to stretch as it might tear.
Finished look from the front
What it looks like on the besta unit. I also chose to leave out the back thin inserts in the besta unit to give room to breathe on back side and also give plenty of room for cords.
I have a large media server that fit perfectly into the Besta shelf unit. I cut one large hole on side facing windows to give open space for access to rear panel and fans of server. I covered it partially with our Mohu Leaf OTA Antenna .
I needed airflow coming into the server so I bought 2x Cooler Guys USB 120mm fans with mounting brackets. I also wanted to keep dust out so instead of grill protector from kit I bought these cheap filters on ebay. I then aligned the fans to be exactly where the 2 large fans on server case are. Cut out the holes and mount the fans. Now I have excellent airflow through case.
Next issue was the subwoofer. I wanted to keep it hidden so I tried hiding with besta shelf. It wasn’t quite tall enough, but wife was okay with look as its mostly covered. I cut out large insert in back to allow subwoofer to fit through as it was also too long. This gave besta shelf no support and would bend out since its not on the ground. To fix I used one nail to fasten door to both sides and hid them under speaker fabric and it works fine now.
Finished product. I liked the look of white cabinets with the black doors. We went with high gloss black doors because I think it looks nicer but you could save money and get plain black/brown. For speakers I sold my surround setup and got lucky on ebay with finding Definitive Technology SSA-50 for $200. It does a decent job in small apartment, but not even close to quality of old 5.1 Polk setup. It looks nice and fits in the media center. Wife added Ikea Fillsta table lamp for extra lightning. For cable management I purchased cable ties, sticky mounts for cable ties, and TV wire cover. Too mount the tv one could go with simple mount or one that moves and swivels. I have used both types in past. This time I went with swivel version to be able to slightly move tv towards our couch since they were offset. Its also MUCH MUCH easier to plug cords in.
Ikea Shopping list – for those interested in parts I used