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Repurpose an Entertainment Unit

Minimalism is catching on, and I'm excited about streamlining. I'm sharing what I've learned about decluttering and simplifying our lives.

Oversized Entertainment Units Out Of Fashion, But Think Again. They Have Great Potential.

These chunky pieces of furniture fell out-of-favor when flat screen televisions no longer fit them. There are many other ways to use them.

These chunky pieces of furniture fell out-of-favor when flat screen televisions no longer fit them. There are many other ways to use them.

Turn an Unwanted Entertainment Unit into Useful Storage

Just a few years ago, every household proudly displayed their television and other electronics on a large entertainment unit. These fell out of favor when flat screen televisions grew larger and larger and would no longer fit in the average entertainment center.

These became an item that was difficult to dispose of as it was too large for easy transportation to Goodwill and the charity shops didn't want to pick them up. No one wanted to buy them, as their television was too big for it too.

The ideal is to repurpose these large pieces of furniture. They usually are attractive wooden pieces with lots of shelves and drawers. Those shelves and drawers previously held other electronic components and stored DVDs or even further back, video cassettes. Because these oversized furniture pieces were a primary feature in the living room or family room, they are in good shape even if they are years old.

What can you do with a clunky, unwanted entertainment unit? Look below for some ideas to put these to good use in your home. Pantry, linen cupboard, and wine cabinet are just a few of the ideas.

I'm sure some of the stories and photos of conversions will inspire you to convert an entertainment unit to solve some of your storage problems.

10 New Ways to Use an Entertainment Center

  1. Wardrobe for the baby's room (add a hanging bar & storage baskets)
  2. Play kitchen for a child
  3. Linen closet
  4. Wine cabinet and bar
  5. Jacket and outerwear storage for entryway or mud room
  6. China cabinet for dining room
  7. Pantry
  8. Home office supply cabinet
  9. Craft room supply organizer (even add a drop down table for your sewing machine)
  10. Storage for potting supplies

I've Collected Ideas on Pinterest for Inspiration

As you can see above, people are very creative in converting these to craft centers, a bar, and an armoire for baby clothes. The next time you see one of these for sale cheap or being given away, think about all the ways you can put it to use.

As you can see above, people are very creative in converting these to craft centers, a bar, and an armoire for baby clothes. The next time you see one of these for sale cheap or being given away, think about all the ways you can put it to use.

Converted Into a Linen Cupboard

Who would think to turn an entertainment center into a linen cupboard? Juhls thought to do this and it's great. The shelves and drawers are great for holding linens.

Who would think to turn an entertainment center into a linen cupboard? Juhls thought to do this and it's great. The shelves and drawers are great for holding linens.

Make Use of Existing Shelves for Storage

The big plus on these chunky furniture pieces is the number of shelves and drawers that you can put to immediate use. In the linen cupboard above, no changes had to be made to hold a good supply of sheets for the family.

Many homes lack a linen closet to keep all the sheets, towels, blankets, and other linens a family needs. Freestanding storage like this solves the problem of not having a linen closet. You could also keep your tablecloths and placemats in one.


I like the way she converted this. Since I collect antique quilts, the glass doors would show off the pretty patterns of those.

— Virginia Allain

Use Inexpensive Organizers for the Space without Shelves

The section where the television previously sat is a big open space. It would be okay for a stack of folded blankets if you keep very many in reserve.

In this case, the homemaker opted to use that space for toiletry supplies. Using easily purchased stacking shelves, she converted that open space into useful storage for small items.

Store Bathroom Supplies Behind the Closed Doors of an Entertainment Unit

Half of this repurposed entertainment unit is a linen closet and when you open the other door, you find bathroom supplies. Clever!

Half of this repurposed entertainment unit is a linen closet and when you open the other door, you find bathroom supplies. Clever!

Use Ready-Made Storage Pieces Inside the Unit for Organizing

By adding plastic stacked drawers inside the unit, it lets you sort all the small supplies that you stock in for the bathroom. Put Q-Tips, cotton balls, band-aids, and other items in those drawers.

Do You Have an Entertainment Center to Repurpose?

Combine 2 Entertainment Units to Form a Large China Cabinet

These are two ends of an entertainment center that Juhls pushed together to make a hutch.

These are two ends of an entertainment center that Juhls pushed together to make a hutch.

Store Jackets in a Repurposed Entertainment Unit

Add a clothes rod to the largest section of the unit. You can store mittens, mufflers and hats in the drawers. In this one, they keep exercise gear in the drawers.

Add a clothes rod to the largest section of the unit. You can store mittens, mufflers and hats in the drawers. In this one, they keep exercise gear in the drawers.

Where to Get an Entertainment Unit

  • Watch neighborhood buy-and-sell groups on Facebook or through Next Door Neighbors or CraigsList.
  • Check at Goodwill and other thrift shops.
  • Put the word around to friends.
  • Keep an eye out as you drive around. Sometimes people put them by the curb for bulk trash pickup.

Example of One Converted to a Pantry

When flat-screen televisions became popular, many households wanted to unload their entertainment units. They no longer needed the sizable pieces of furniture. Finding a new way to use these chunky shelving units is easier than getting rid of it.

Juhls Spencer found a great way to repurpose an old Hooker entertainment center bought for $100. She didn't have a pantry or cabinet space for adequate food storage.

Below is the unit and it is a handsome one with nice wood and a number of drawers. Wait until you see what she did with the interior.

A Beautiful Wood Cabinet (Former Entertainment Unit)

The $100 entertainment center that she turned into a pantry.

The $100 entertainment center that she turned into a pantry.

She reattached the shelves and used free yard sticks to make the canned foods slide to the front. Look how much fits in just this section.

This holds an amazing amount of food for a family.

This holds an amazing amount of food for a family.

In the large center area, she put cheap shelves and plastic bins to make the most of the open space. That's where previously the unit would have housed a television.

This gives space for larger items like a jug of vinegar and good-sized canisters.

Look at how much she was able to store in this space!

Look at how much she was able to store in this space!

I like how she added the white wire racks on the insides of the doors. This keeps small items from getting lost in the big interior.

It's great that this homeowner recognized the value of this sturdy piece of furniture that no one wanted for its original purpose anymore. Her design ideas can be adapted to other configurations since these entertainment centers come in a variety of configurations.

This Entertainment Unit Can Become a Wine Storage Space

Get an insert to covert the large opening into a wine rack or if you do woodworking, make that yourself.

Get an insert to covert the large opening into a wine rack or if you do woodworking, make that yourself.

Getting Rid Of My Own Entertainment Unit

Last winter, we painted some rooms and moved the furniture around. The entertainment unit (pictured above) ended up without a place to reside.Since they are large and hard to transport, people are reluctant to take them. That's when I started researching other uses for them. Here's my frustrating effort to get rid of one of these.

We posted it for sale but didn't find a buyer. It shifted out to the garage and rapidly filled it up with STUFF. Now, I really wanted it gone. The garage is feeling crowded and a simple shelving unit would work better out there than this hulking piece of furniture.

I decided to try posting it again but just give it away this time. I thought surely there would be someone wanting it. It was a nice looking piece, but heavy as all get out. They would need to bring several strong men to load it up and take it away.

I couldn't lift it and hubby has a bad back. Goodwill wouldn't pick it up. It became an albatross.

UPDATE: When I offered it for free, I found a taker. Now, the entertainment unit gets used again and I get my space back. I'm glad since it had nice wood and still was a useful piece of furniture.

I found some ideas on Pinterest for repurposing an entertainment center into a number of things. You can turn it into a play kitchen for a child. Another idea was to make it a cupboard for dress-up clothes. That would hold all the princess outfits, accessories, scarves and pretend-play outfits. It could become a Barbie condo too.

I gave the above entertainment center to a friend in my writing club. She wanted it for a small TV in her guest room.

In trying to entice someone to take it, I'd devised the graphic showing how it could be repurposed into wine storage and a mini-bar. I liked the ideas so much, that I'm a bit sorry that I gave it away.


YouTube Video for Converting TV Console into a Bar

Which Reuse of an Entertainment Unit Appeals to You the Most?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2017 Virginia Allain

What Ideas Do You Have for Repurposing an Entertainment Unit?

Amandacritchley7 on August 10, 2017:

I'd love to see the end result bet it'll look fab

Amandacritchley7 on August 10, 2017:

Sand it down and colour wash it in seaside colours add new modern knobs and handles, you could line draws with modern wallpaper again in a seaside theme

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