Alonso's Wife-Friendly DIY IKEA TV Cabinet Project

Alonso's Wife-Friendly DIY IKEA TV Cabinet Project

Gregory Han
Feb 10, 2010

Alonso graced awhile back with his keen DIY audio speaker solution for the bathroom, and now he's back with a perfect Home Hack themed project which met the requirements set down by his wife to upgrade from a 26" television to a 40" flatscreen.

The idea behind it was to conceal a flat screen TV when not in use and within a very limited budget. My wife and I were thinking of replacing our 26" LCD TV for a 40" one but with 4 conditions:

  1. it would be hidden out view when not in use.
  2. it would fit with the room decor/palette.
  3. it were shallow enough not to interfere with the sound-stage of the floorstanding speakers flanking it.
  4. that the overall cost fall within £100! (and could be done relatively fast, at home and without special cabinet making skills or tools!)

We fell in love with so many great ideas we saw on Unplggd, but most of them where either out of our budget, worked in much bigger spaces or worked around the idea of concealing the TV in plain sight, not completely hiding it!

What was interesting to discover in our street-pounding research (and even online) is that even though there are a lot of AV cabinet/stands on the market, none of the ones available from stores (i.e. not custom made) were designed to conceal  TVs. The few that were, seemed to be designed for the CRT era and wouldn't fit anything bigger than a 29" set.

The only answer seemed to be an IKEA hack. We headed off to the big blue and yellow store and were extremely lucky to find a Markor cabinet on sale. Ok, it had a few scratches here and there, but it was cheap enough to allow us to modify it without the fear that if it didn't work, we would not be losing too much money in the process. The good thing was that it was wide enough for a 40" TV and it had fold-back doors.

It wasn't a complicated job (I don't consider myself even a cabinet-maker apprentice). I just have some tools and some ideas of how I want things to look/work so I would recommend this to anyone with an inkling of DIY. I was planning to buy 18mm MDF board for the back but when taking the original cabinet apart I realized I could use the shelves for the back, saving me some work, hassle and expense. They fit just right in between the sides of the unit and where secured, as you can see, by 'T' brackets.

Am I happy with the result? 95%, yes. The remaining 5%? Well, it started life as a cheap cabinet (a lot of soft pine and self tapping screws!). It wont last for ever, but it will do its job. We still need to cover up the bits that chipped in the cutting process. Because it would have been too complicated and impractical to make very shallow drawers (the original unit had them at the bottom), we decided to convert drawers into drop down flaps and keep the space behind useful

Can it be improved? Yes. Fitting better doors that allow for better/stronger hinges and touching up some bits that got damaged in the chopping process!

*Regarding the loudspeakers, well, they are Neat Acoustic's Motive2 (painted deep gloss black) They are the speakers for the TV/movies as well as music.

Thanks Alonso, for sharing yet another inspiring example of DIY effort and results!

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