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Entertainment center -- what to do with it?

12 years ago

Good morning! I have a conundrum that I'm hoping you all can help with. We have a natural cherry entertainment center from Crate & Barrel that we no longer need because we have replaced the large, non-flat TV with a flat-screen that's going in our built-in bookcase. It's a gorgeous piece, simply beautiful wood, and ... no one wants it. No one needs it because everyone's moving to flat-screen TVs, and the purpose of this one is to house a non-flat TV. Someone locally has listed their cherry piece, WITH the 32" TV, for just $100. A designer we met said she ended up BURNING hers to get rid of it.

I can't stand the idea of burning it -- the wood is so gorgeous. Should we try to sell it or give it to someone who would repurpose the wood at least? What have you done with yours?

A finished basement/playroom would be perfect for this thing but alas. We don't have that (don't even have a basement -- we're in a split-entry home).

Thanks for any ideas you care to share!

Comments (67)

  • 12 years ago

    Mine used to hold spare bedding and now holds board games and Wii components and puzzles etc. It's also storing a simple end table that is now a shelf. I should put real shelves in it but I ought to get rid of it--I don't have room for it.

    Funny how armoires once again become useless. First we got built-in closets so armoires became unloved. Their brief comeback for TVs is over. At least many of the older ones have the decency to come apart!

  • 12 years ago

    It makes me sad that so many trees were sacrificed for pieces of furniture that no one wants anymore. The article mtnrdredux linked above was VERY interesting -- all the hotels are ditching their armoires and the market really is totally saturated. I still think our armoire is special, though. :-) The wood is just so very pretty.

    I wish I could somehow weather-proof it and use it outside on the patio we're having built. I could laminate it just like teachers do with art, right? LOL

    Or, if I get rid of our piano (which no one plays anymore), I could put it there and ... well ... I'm still not sure what I'd do with it!

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  • 12 years ago

    Try donating it to the Salvation Army ... or look up other local charities .... even animal shelters sometimes have "garage sales"

  • 12 years ago

    Hey, that IS quite a surprise answer! I have always used armoires for sweaters and other folded items that I did not want to cram into drawers... although right now the rental I am in does not have space for it in the bedroom area, I could replace the crappy particleboard pantry cabinet I have and use it for pantry storage for the time being (I'd eventually want to use it for clothing, I think it's perfect for that... I really miss it from my old house and from the winter rental I had before this place).

    I'd put it right here:

    That's what it looked like when I was just moving in.

    Here is what it looks like now (excuse the mess... I took this crappy phone picture of my son - I picked him up at preschool one day with a pigtail sticking out of the top of his head because his hair was so long and bothering him so I impulsively grabbed the scissors then had to show off my handiwork, heehee) - it's a 30" x 72" piece of garbage, but it has a lot of storage! I think whatever shelf config I used for pantry storage would work equally well for clothing storage.

    Oh and I am planning to replace those two chairs with a sofa. The place is furnished but I am at the point where I really want a few things that are just MINE and not someone else's - but of course I had to find something that was special order (it's a nubby woven moss green slipcovered - the standard was white... the pic above should tell you why white won't work!).

    Anyway the wood is gorgeous, I have a serious thing for rustic natural cherry and if all of the planets aligned I would be happy to give it a good home, but I totally understand if you want it OUT sooner rather than later or rethink the hassle factor or figure out some way to use it yourself, there are some great ideas here!

    Secondhand furniture shopping is a nightmare on this island, that's for sure! I let a few beautiful sofas go by on the cape before just deciding to get something new to get exactly what I want and have it delivered.

  • 12 years ago

    Use as storage in the garage or storeroom or basement.

    Entertainment centers are getting dated.

    Their usefulness was questionable even in the 80s. A huge piece of furniture that dominated the room. Usually collecting dust on fake greenery.

  • 12 years ago

    I have been trying to decide what to do with ours too. Ours is a 3 piece set, and once piece has a roll top for a computer.

    We built ours in 1985, from a single red oak tree that was milled for us, and we planed and sized the wood before even starting, so I have a lot of sentiment tied into ours.

  • 12 years ago

    We have a Bob Timberlake cherry entertainment armoire with pocket doors. It held the old Sony tube TV and now holds the Sony flat screen. It also houses all the audio/video equipment along with a few other things. I'll never get rid of it.

  • 12 years ago

    terriks, I completely agree. I was aghast when she told us she burned it. But she also said that she had tried repeatedly to give it away and couldn't find anyone to give it to. (I still think there must have been SOME way to salvage the wood). Anyway, those play kitchens are AMAZING! If we had young children I would probably do it, although I am not at all sure I could paint over the pretty natural cherry wood. It's my favorite.

    Lisa, I will check with my folks and see if they are planning to take a truckload of stuff to MV once the house is sold. It does look like it would work perfectly in your space! You're right, it's hard to find good used stuff on the island. It's also hard to get RID of stuff on the island -- my folks practically gave away some of their nice, high-end furniture.

    I am thankful we didn't buy this piece new -- it would have been $2500. We bought it off CL for $500, so the loss is not quite as bad as it could have been. It was an incredibly useful piece of furniture -- we had the TV, all the stereo equipment and tons of CDs/DVDs in it, all neatly tucked away. If we had a finished basement, we would still be using it. Maybe I should buy a vacation home so we will have somewhere for it? LOL

  • 12 years ago

    I think armoires will be around for a long time yet considering they have been around since the beginning of furniture, just called a different name.

    Even with a flat panel television, I have to have a place for the cable box/DVR. It will be a few years yet, I think, before every television is a smart TV using Internet streaming. Besides which, I don't want to see the TV when I'm not watching it. I like hidden televisions.

  • 12 years ago

    We cut the end sections with the glass doors off of ours, painted them the color of the trim in the room, and then placed them going the opposite directions and tucked them into the corners of the room. We completely got rid of the center section. In between our end sections we have a wall area painted white for our projection screen TV. This is in our "theater room" in our basement. They actually look really good! Like they are build ins.

  • 12 years ago

    You really have to pre-repurpose an armoire before anyone will take it. Make it into a bar, a computer desk or clothing storage. Which is ironic, because they were originally repurposed from clothing storage to begin with. (I think yours would be hard to repurpose for somethings because its proportions were designed specifically for TVs.)

    Burning one is not idiotic; only someone who had not recently struggled to dispose of an armoire would say that. No one wants them, not even for free, not even a charity. I was able to sell mine for a few hundred only because they were well suited to other storage as substitute closets.

  • 12 years ago

    Habitat for Humanity might take it, you also might try the women's shelters especially the ones who help women that are leaving abusive relationships. They need all the help they can get setting up their new homes. They literally have nothing when starting out and usually need furniture.

  • 12 years ago

    Three years ago when we bought our current home, we bought several pieces from the PO. Crazily it included not one, but two armoires!

    Okay, one they had already made into a bar, with shelving, mirrors and lights, and it was a pretty French antique, not too fussy and not too dark.

    The other one they had used for a TV, again also not fussy or dark or heavy. We use it in our mudroom for gloves, mittens, extra tote bags, etc etc. I think i fell in love with the second one (also French and antique) simply because they had a pretty silk tassel on the key.

    One day we will look back on the early twenty first century as the Great Armoire Glut, kinda like the Irish Potato Famine (it's an island, why didn't they just fish?)

  • 12 years ago

    Lukk,

    Even people starting out don't want armoires, it has been my experience. They are heavy and bulky and take up space, and people starting out don't have space.

    When we moved we had a couple of old TVs, and no one wants them. We even had a very high end Sony flat screen we had bought like 7 years ago, and at our estate sale people sniffed at it because it wasn't thin enough. The best offer was like $250.

  • 12 years ago

    sorry, it's too late to read all the posts but I took my sliding doors out, built out the sides so that I could add hinges for the doors. Take out the slide out hardware, build in shelves. Great storage unit. Also, freecycle.org.

  • 12 years ago

    Hi,
    We had the same dilemma when we bought a flat screen tv. We had a beautiful (or at least I thought so) dk wood entertainment armoire that we didn't need. I put it on craigslist with no bites. I put it in my front yard with the help of two strapping boys, put a "free" sign on it, and it was gone by the end of the day. An elderly gentleman drove by and said it was just what he and his wife had been looking for. My boys helped him load it in his truck and off he went. I felt good about it. Good luck!

  • 12 years ago

    This is out

    This is in

  • 12 years ago

    I'm sorry, but I didn't read all the replies to your post, so I apologize if anyone already mentioned this.
    You can join a group called Freecycle (for free) and list your item on that forum. There are many people who have nothing and would greatly appreciate such a beautiful piece of furniture. The idea of Freecycle is to keep things out of our landfills by giving them away to others who want or need them.
    I have given hundreds of things away on there and everyone is always so grateful.

  • 12 years ago

    I had a plasma armoire built 9 years ago to house a 50" plasma and made sure it was large enough for a larger plasma - it now houses a 65". If I have visitors it gets closed up and you see the crotch mahogany doors instead of a black hole. I don't like to look at any type of TV when not in use.

  • 12 years ago

    mtnrdredux, sorry you had such a response with your items, the only charity I've ever seen be picky about a donation was the Salvation Army, go figure.

    As for my suggestion, I wasn't talking about young kids just starting out. I'm talking about battered women with kids who haven't the means to buy anything. The Lighthouse Foundation is one such charity in our area. They shelter the women and help to set them up in new homes. Once I didn't get an email response about something I wanted to donate and called their office instead. The response I got was, "They don't turn away anything and would be very interested in whatever I had to donate"

    Having been in that situation myself, I know how needy some of the women can be which is why I try to direct donations in that direction when I can.

  • 12 years ago

    would be great in a game room for games, toys or in a craftroom for quilting supplies, fabric, sewing machine, etc.

    What if you marketed it to a local craft sore or clothing store for use with displays?

  • 12 years ago

    Pharoah,your post about "out" and "in" is too funny! That huge stuff is so far out, it's docking with the space station tomorrow, I hear.

    I surfed a tad today to see if there was a charity that is looking for furniture to give to those who are being set up in new homes and who haven't the means to buy themselves any furniture. The Wish Project is very close to me, so that is who it will go to (a) if they want it and (b) when we are finally ready. In the meantime we are going to take over a few old kitchen chairs and a couple other smaller pieces to get them out of the too-crowded mud/play/exercise room.

    I had a wacky idea, which was to get ANOTHER armoire (I hear people are GIVING them away) so that we would have three in a row in the mud/play/exercise room for all the camping/hiking/skiing/biking gear we have. It sure would be cheaper than hiring someone to come in and make us custom storage ...!

  • 12 years ago

    We have had no trouble getting rid of items we no longer wanted by giving them away free on Craigslist. We have given away older tvs, an oak entertainment centegasp gas stove and even a large perfectly good whirlpool tub among other things on Craigslist. There are many people out there that can not afford to buy things but will take them for free. When we put the free items on Craigslist we always had numerous people wanting the things.
    Try offering it for free.

  • 12 years ago

    About 4 years ago when the first wave of people got their flat screens, I bought a big, tall armoire from CL for $140. I was positive I would not be purchasing a flat screen for many, many years. Two years later, I bought a flat screen.

    I could have used the armiore in one of my bedrooms, but it was so big and heavy I didn't want to be bothered moving it to the upper level. I put it in my garage for storage while listing it on CL. I was asking $100 for it and eventually I started offering free delivery to nearby locations. Every few months I renewed the ad.

    Last week, someone from CL called about an ad that was at least two months old. She picked it up the next day for $100.

    The moral is, if you don't have to get it out of your house immediately, leave it on CL till just the right person sees it.

  • 12 years ago

    I have the same situation. Mine it the larger 3 piece unit with the glass shelves down the 2 sides. Sad to see it simply discarded. Looks like donation is the best way to go.

  • 12 years ago

    Alice, that is great! I hope it works out. I would also give them advance notice to let them know your plan, that way they can also plan for it. I know some lucky person is going to really appreciate it!

  • 12 years ago

    Slightly OT, but I visited a Habitat Restore for the first time yesterday and was completely bowled over by the wooden cabinet doors and drawer fronts. There were hundreds and hundreds of them, brand new and uniform in size and style.

    I'm redoing a kitchen and bath and adding onto a bath, and I was just dying in there, thinking how much money I could save if I were a little bit handy.

    It's almost as if materials are free and only transportation and labor cost anything at all.
    And labor is so expensive that I do better buying new than
    I would asking someone to be creative with these cheap materials. I wish I could saw and nail!

    Anyway while trying to imagine how I could use some of those doors I wondered if you could make a waiscott out of them?

    Justgotabeme have you repurposed cabinet doors into wainscotting? Into picture frames? Do you teach others how to do this?

  • 12 years ago

    I repurposed a spare vanity front we had from our cabinet purchase into a towel rack. It was a no brainer really, just paint and then screw in the hooks but hey, I priced some at the store and they cost around 30.00. The hooks were a buck fifty each and I already had the paint and wood. My husbands asked me to put one together now for our other bathroom so I plan on visiting the restore soon!

  • 12 years ago

    Pharaoh, that is so true! And that is so funny-those two yucky options!
    But surely there is an in-between that is acceptable? (I know there is)
    Flat screen or not, I do not like seeing the tv out all the time and will always keep it hidden.

  • 12 years ago

    Lukk, that was a great idea!

    I don't mind the visible TV in the bedroom or the keeping room, but don't want to see it all the time in the living room.

    There are armoires and there are armoires. The style Pharaoh posted belongs to the dying breed. The ones that resemble antiques or the real McCoy will always be in style. We have an antique gentleman's armoire in the bedroom. It's a combination closet/dresser.

  • 12 years ago

    The biggest problem is getting someone to come and get it. They are so big and heavy. I gave a lot of things to a girl who was a fixer upper/seller. Tons of stuff, some very valuable but what I have discovered is that you can't store things forever, they deteriorate. I was sort of appalled at how things just start to degrade after several years in a hot attic. Too much stuff, it's the bane of our older years!!! I am trying to get rid of it now while I can still help and still have a say. I'm not even that old!!! But I just don't want to be over-run with stuff and have to pay to move it if we ever move again.

  • 12 years ago

    'When we moved we had a couple of old TVs'

    people will buy them for a few bucks. I bought one last yr for 10.00 at a local 2nd hand store. It works better than the other big tube tv I have that a friend gave me several yrs back. If I ever have to get another one tho I'm getting a cheap flat screen. these are just too hard to move. I can't do it!

    I think if you put things out with a 'free' sign they will disappear. They do out here. There are lots of people who can't afford to buy things at a store, doesn't mean they don't need them. or they can repurpose into something else. game cab/sewing cab etc.

    I have an old entertainment cabinet and a computer cabinet I plan to put a 'free' sign out at the road. They are too big for me anymore. I have 2 printer stands I can use for the tvs and a large end table w/drawer and doors on it if a printer stand doesn't work out. just don't want a WALL of cabinet anymore.

    also, check with the local fire dept. They know who has recently lost a home to fire and needs to replace everything.

  • 12 years ago

    We use our old tv armoire in the office. The bottom section stores games and our printer/paper and shredder are stored in the top portion.

    I sold the two end piers on CL.

  • 12 years ago

    Mine was just an armoire, not an entertainment center, but I placed mine on our covered back patio. It now houses all the stuff you might want for the back patio, but you don't want to store in the garage or shed: towels, BBQ grill supplies, gardening gloves, frisbees, kids toys, bubbles, and outdoor furniture cushions. It's so useful there.

  • 12 years ago

    when my daughter has something to get rid of she puts it on lawn out near the road puts free,its gone in morning..lol

  • 12 years ago

    when my daughter has something to get rid of she puts it on lawn out near the road puts free,its gone in morning..lol

  • 12 years ago

    If I were doing an 'unfitted' kitchen, that would be perfect over a painted base cabinet, as a deep pantry or bakeware storage. Baking dishes and sheets in the right side--add hinges to doors, and a shelf on the left for tall items: mixer, grain mills, food processor, etc. Cooky cutters, rolling pins, etc, in the drawers.

    Also the same use in a large walk-in pantry.

  • 12 years ago

    The Better Homes & Gardens site has a picture of a repurposed entertainment center turned into a laundry station. Got to bhg.com then you'll have to search "DIY Furniture Transformations." It's a slide show, and the picture is number 13 of 17. If anyone out there can link the picture here, would appreciate it.

  • 12 years ago

    Here's a wonderful idea. This lady turned a free armoire into a garden/potting area. It's wonderful!

    {{gwi:149215}}

    I just picked up a free one on craigslist and am planning on trying her idea out. Mine doesn't have those gorgeous legs though :(

  • 12 years ago

    Pharaoh, if I had the space and money, I'd buy that entertainment center in a heartbeat! It's elegant and beautiful.

  • 12 years ago

    Here is the BHG laundry center as requested by patty2430:

    and an armoire transformed

  • 12 years ago

    We still use our armoires WITH the flat screens inside. They are such pretty pieces, and I do not like a huge flat screen TV showing in the room at all times.

    I also house my desk top computer in an armoire. :)

    Those children's kitchens are adorable.

  • 12 years ago

    I use mine as a snack/food pantry - in the upper TV area, the lower area is used to store my files and paper work. I have a daycare in my walkout basement so it is wonderful for hidden storage. When we moved I had no idea what I would use it for but could not part with it.

  • 11 years ago

    Does anyone have ideas for turning an entertainment center into a cat condo? I can break it down and reuse the wood for the condo. But it would be so much cooler if I could use it as is. Plus, a lot easier. Follow the link for a pic of the entertainment center. Thanks.

    http://frederick.craigslist.org/zip/3508268897.html

  • 11 years ago

    Maybe this helps.

    Here is a link that might be useful: repurposed dresser/cat condo

  • 11 years ago

    I like armoires! We have one in a guest room that has lots of drawers and holds stuff but its main purpose is decorative. Our mahogany breakfront in the DR is a vintage Baker piece from my mother, but unlike many it is not deep at all, which makes it especially useful. Mother still has a gorgeous George Smith armoire in her guest room that I would take in a red hot minute....it is a lovely walnut and the fretwork is delicious--- not something you see much any more. Armoires are really good linen storage, or homes for out of season sweaters, etc. Or bulky Christmas items...

  • 11 years ago

    I don't have a room in my house large enough to accomodate these large entertainment centers, but if I did, I would grab them up in a heartbeat, even if I had to redo/add-to the shelving. If I had huge rooms here is what I would do:
    *Mudroom storage for gloves, coats, shoes, boots, sports equipment, cleaning supplies, etc.
    *Freestanding pantry
    *Clothing storage in bedroom
    *Linen storage/closet
    *Playroom storage if I had kids at home
    *Pretty garage storage
    *Potting shed for garage
    *Pretty basement storage
    *Craftroom/sewing organization

    Again these idea only work with the proper space (which I don't have) but many folks have more room than they know what to do with and are looking for the elusive organization ideas.

    Some of these are pretty in their original finish, but since most are practically being given away, what a great opportunity to get creative with different paint and faux finish ideas.

    Sigh! Sure would love to have the space.

  • last year
    last modified: last year

    Saw a beautiful one someone was selling for almost nothing, the side towers with shelves had mirrored backs etc, was wondering about cutting a few inches off the back of the middle components so they’re more the same depth as the side towers, and creating mirror backed shelves in that section too, to make a bookcase. Anyone ever do that? Would definitely secure it to the wall.

  • last year

    This house has changed owners many times since this post from 10 years ago. All of the couples who owned it have divorced and the house was converted into a rest home for Nuns. Then it sat vacant and was a notorious party house for juvenile delinquents. It is scheduled to be torn down for a new Amazon distribution warehouse.

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