Home entertainment centers are fast gaining popularity because of their space saving capabilities and the advantage they provide in storing electronic equipment and components in a compact and a methodical manner.

Ranging from the existing home entertainment centers to custom made ones, these centers are either made of wood or metal. While the metallic entertainment solutions are also in great demand, it is the wooden entertainment centers that attract consumers because of their aesthetic values.

The wooden entertainment centers are made of oak, cherry, mahogany, hickory, pine, maple, and walnut. If you are buying a wooden entertainment center you must keep in mind that ‘all-wood’ furniture is not necessarily all solid wood.

The companies manufacturing these wooden entertainment centers usually use solid board for their constructions, but they also use veneers and particleboard. This is because a veneer is more cost-effective and helps lower the cost of the entertainment center and can also help you achieve the desired look without the additional costs that would be involved with solid wood.

Most of the furniture from my early woodworking ventures had a red oak theme to it and this entertainment center was no exception. It was made in the late 1980’s and is fairly representative of entertainment centers of that time: an opening to house a nice sized TV (32″ was large back then), a series of racks for the audio-video components (typically a turn-table, cassette deck, receiver/amplifier, cable box), and storage drawers for tapes, albums, manuals, etc.

Benefits of Oak Entertainment Centers

Home entertainment centers are indeed gaining in popularity. The reasons are obvious!

Let’s consider several benefits of oak ent. centers that have made them so popular:

* First major advantage of opting for these entertainment centers is their space saving features.
* The other important advantage they offer is in terms of storage. If used judiciously, they help store your electronic equipment & components in a room-friendly manner.
* Oak entertainment centers make your furniture arrangement compact, neat and methodical.

Oak entertainment centers: A perfect style statement

No other piece of furniture will match the beauty and elegance of an oak wood finish. Apart from being durable, it looks beautiful. Oak makes an entertainment center look stunning. You may choose to place it in your personal cozy den or living room, it will make a perfect style statement and dazzle in any room you place it.

In fact, oak is highly recommended for its durability and versatility. It’s the perfect choice that imparts elegance to any setting – from tables to beds.

Other advantages of oak entertainment centers

Apart from looks, quality is another important criterion to select your entertainment center. On this count, oak excels. It can last for decades, and ages gracefully. It safely stores your precious electronics.

* It reduces clutter from your living room
* Oak entertainment centers protect your electronics from dust & damage.

It’s the perfect option to safely hold your DVD player, TV and video game consoles in an organized way since all cords & delicate equipment are tucked behind the solid shield of your oak entertainment center in a safe manner.

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Depending on the availability of extra compartments and shelves, you may even store photo albums, books and other items inside your versatile oak entertainment center.

I no longer have the entertainment center so don’t know the exact dimensions but it was approximately 4′ wide, 5′ high and 20″ deep. It was made from 3/4″ plain-sliced red oak plywood and solid red oak edging. The joinery was fairly simple: oak cleats glued to the sides with the horizontal members screwed to the cleats. This design made it easy to take the unit apart for moving purposes.

One of the big differences between this entertainment center and more contemporary ones is the amount of space allotted for the TV. As TV’s have become larger and relatively less expensive, the trend has been to make the opening for the TV the dominant feature in the middle of the unit with storage shelves and racks arranged around it. With this old-school unit, the TV opening is on a much more even footing with the other storage elements.

Once the kids came along, the entertainment center pulled double duty as educational furniture. Yes, that’s my son watching Jeapordy – anybody recognize the episode? Fortunately, the heavy old TV never did fall on him or anybody else…

One of the few photos of the work in progress is shown below. Here my apprentice (aka, future wife) is doing the final sanding. After that, we applied a nice oak stain followed by a few polyurethane clear coats.

While searching for wooden entertainment centers, you should have a keen eye for detail. First of all, look carefully at drawers and ensure that they open and close smoothly. Apart from moving freely, they should also have automatic stops.

Also, check for support blocks at the bottom of the drawers. In fact the quality and construction of the drawers are an important indicator of the over all quality of the furniture. There should also be dust proofing between the drawers. The advantage of this is that this barrier prevents papers from passing between them.

If you plan to opt for custom made wooden entertainment center, you can also think in terms of intricately carved wooden cabinets. You can also consider including overlay strips of wood or blocks to attach decorative rosettes.

TV cabinets with foldaway pocket doors are another option. Also, keep in mind that the oak entertainment center should have glass-covered cabinets if the electronic equipment they store operates with a remote.