If the kitchen is the heart of the home, the living room is the nervous system. Entertainment centers are a central part of any living room (but can also be found in playrooms, movie rooms, and even bedrooms). They typically hold your television, movies, and various electronic devices, including video game consoles.
Entertainment centers are centerpieces that get plenty of visual attention, especially if you’re watching a movie, so it’s important that they look their best. The options for designing and decorating your entertainment center are practically limitless. Add a festive garland to celebrate the holidays or a floral arrangement to keep things looking (and smelling) fresh. Whatever your preference, there are plenty of variations to choose from. Here’s some inspiration.
Face Seating Away
Try facing couches and chairs toward each other instead of directly at your entertainment center and TV. That encourages more social interaction among your family and house guests and encourages them not to just stare at the TV in silence. You can always rearrange when you’re ready to watch a movie together.
Piles of DVDs and tangled cords can instantly make your space look and feel cluttered. Hide them away with cabinet doors on your entertainment center to clean things up a bit. This seemingly simple tactic can make your entertainment center look much more sleek and clean.
Are you a movie buff? Make room for your collection by adding lots of shelves and drawers for extra storage. If you don’t have enough physical copies of movies to fill them up, add other decorations, like books or sculptures.
Full Wall Entertainment Center
Build or buy an entertainment center that perfectly fits the width of your room. The shelving systems will look like built-ins, making your home look classically chic.
If you’re looking for a way to rejuvenate your current entertainment center for a small amount of money, update the hardware. Buy new drawer pulls to instantly give your entertainment center a brand new look and feel. You can easily interchange the hardware yourself in minutes. Upgrading hardware is an inexpensive and extremely easy way to update the look of any piece of furniture.
Houseplants are great mood boosters, and they can make any space look fresh and inviting. Add a few plants to your entertainment center for a simple yet sophisticated decor piece. Place smaller plants on the entertainment center itself or consider adding larger potted plants, like fiddle leaf fig trees, on either side of it on the floor.
Clean and Simple Entertainment Center
Consider mounting your TV, hiding devices, and going with a clean, white entertainment center to tone things down. Screens can be visually noisy, so keeping the things around it simple makes the space a little more relaxing.
Place Your Entertainment Center Against a Textured Wall
Add interest by placing your entertainment center against a textured wall, like exposed brick or stone. If you don’t already have a textured wall in your home, consider installing a shiplap wall to make one.
Add Decorative Shelves
Install simple shelves above your entertainment center to place small decorative items, like potted succulents or holiday knick knacks. This will add an adorable touch to your space, making it feel more like home without adding unnecessary clutter to your entertainment center. You won’t have to worry about your decorations getting in the way of the TV, either.
Light It Up
If your entertainment center is the focal point of your room, decorate it so that it stands out. Add string lights around it, which especially looks nice around the holidays, or small tabletop lamps next to the TV to flick on when you want soft lighting.
Surround It With Shelves
Televisions are practically an entertainment necessity these days, but they can look clunky and dark. Allow yours to blend into your entertainment center by surrounding it with shelves. Fill the shelves with interesting decor pieces and lots of books. You can even use the shelves to store your movies (if you still have physical copies, that is).
Buffet Entertainment Center
A buffet table, otherwise known as a sideboard or buffet, is a long and low furniture piece. They’re typically found in dining rooms where they display and store items like serving ware and linens. But these pieces are very versatile. Use yours as a makeshift entertainment center for an entertainment center with a twist.
Built-In Entertainment Center
Install your entertainment center so that it's flush with your wall to give it a vintage built-in look. Doing this will make room for your TV and entertainment center without cramping the living room, which will save valuable floor space.
Decorate With Floating Shelves
Floating shelves are a great way to decorate without cluttering your space. Add a few above your entertainment center and place photos, decorations, or anything else you want on them. Shelving above your entertainment center will draw the eye up and relieve some of the attention your entertainment center gets, allowing you to keep its decor clean and simple.
Cover It With Curtains
Entertainment centers don’t always match your home’s look, especially if you’re going for a very minimalist style. Solve this problem by installing a curtain rod across the entirety of your room and hanging a soft, flowy curtain. Use the curtains to cover up your entertainment center when you’re not using it.
Apply Statement Wallpaper
Bring your living space to life with statement wallpaper, like wallpaper with a bold print or an intricate design. This will liven things up without making it look too busy. Since you’ll be staring at your entertainment center anyway, why not add some extra style?
If you’re a renter and wallpaper isn’t an option, you can still get this look. There are plenty of retailers who sell removable wallpaper or decals that you can take off before you move out without worrying about ruining the paint.
Black and White Theme
Most televisions are matte black or very dark gray. Decorate around your TV with contrasting furniture and decor, like a crisp white entertainment center and white walls. Add a few black furniture pieces throughout the room to keep it visually interesting.
Typically, your TV is the centerpiece of your entertainment center. Go against the grain and place it off-centered so that it isn’t the focal point of the piece. Decorate with plants, photos, cabinets, and other pieces to draw the eye all around the entertainment center.
If you’re going for a mid-century modern look, consider thrifting a vintage television and side table to act as your entertainment center. This is especially great if you’re not an avid TV-watcher because older televisions are fairly small.
Entertainment centers can be bulky. If you have a small space, bulky furniture pieces are a big no. Utilize the built-in entertainment style and paint your storage cabinets the same color as the wall, essentially hiding them from plain view.
Inset Entertainment Center
Set your TV and entertainment center into the wall and add an accent piece, like a colorful panel, behind it. You won’t be able to stop staring at your entertainment center, even when the TV is off.
Consider adding a TV-shaped cutout in your wall to place your television. Underneath, you can install cabinets, either built-in or not, to hold the accessories you would put in any typical entertainment center.
Add Statement Art
Decorate your entertainment center with a statement art piece that matches the look of your home. This will prevent the entertainment center (and your big, black television) from sticking out like a sore thumb. With a statement art piece, your entertainment center will blend into the rest of your decor. Make your own art to save money.
Entertainment Center With Sliding Dors
Install sliding doors on your entertainment center, no matter what its material is. Add modern hardware to make the piece look classy and use the sliding doors to hide your wires and not-so-aesthetic accessories, like movies and video games.
Combined Furniture Pieces
Combine multiple shelving units of the same aesthetic (maybe even the same brand) to create your own one-of-a-kind entertainment center. Use a combination of bookshelves, dressers, and TV stands for a multi-functional piece.
Small Shelves Under Mounted TV
Separate your television and cabinet-style entertainment center with a strip or two of thin shelves. The shelves can hold things like DVD players or video game consoles, keeping the top of your entertainment center clean and making room for decor pieces if you’d like to add some interest.
Small Wooden Entertainment Center
Entertainment centers range significantly in size. To tone things down in your space, opt for a small entertainment center. Some people think TVs instantly make a space less cozy, so choose a wooden entertainment center to incorporate more natural materials and coziness. Small and wooden is the ultimate combination.
Layered Entertainment Center
Create your own entertainment center by layering furniture pieces. Place a long dresser or shelf system on the floor for storage, mount your TV above it, and install a cabinet system above that. You’ll have plenty of storage space for your belongings and enough room to hide unsightly wires, too.
Corner Entertainment Center
It can be tough to arrange your dream living room in a small space. Corner entertainment centers help solve that problem. They’re specifically designed to fit perfectly in the corner of a room, which is normally a difficult area to furnish. That frees up the rest of the space in your home for important furniture pieces, like sofas.
Repurposed Vintage Crate
Make your own entertainment center with a vintage crate. You can often find vintage crates at your local thrift store. Find one that’s in relatively good shape (or restore it yourself), add legs if needed, and voila! You’ve got your own shabby chic entertainment center.
DIY Pallet Entertainment Center
Wood pallets are relatively easy to find—they’re commonly used for shipping, and most retailers don’t have a need for them after they’ve received their products. Ask around and find a free one. Pallets are extremely versatile, and they make excellent DIY entertainment centers.
Repaint Thrifted Furniture
Refreshing thrifted furniture is eco-friendly and inexpensive. With some sanding, a few coats of paint, and sealant, you can have an entertainment center that looks as good as new. DIYing your own piece also allows you to customize it to match your room’s current aesthetic.
Add a Decorative Ladder
If your entertainment center is tall and wide, consider using its shelves to display your favorite books. Add a ladder to make it look even more like a miniature library. Just specify whether or not it’s functional to visitors.
Allow Air to Circulate
Electronic devices get hot when they’re running, so consider placing your entertainment center a few inches away from the wall to increase ventilation and prevent your devices from overheating.
Barn Door Entertainment Center
Barn doors are door panels hung from the top on a horizontal rod that allows them to swing from side to side to open and close. They are a trendy alternative to the classic hinged doors and look great in farmhouse style homes. Use this tactic on your entertainment center to give it a rustic feel.
Transformed Dresser Entertainment Center
Instead of going out to purchase a piece of furniture specified as an entertainment center, repurpose a dresser. This could be the dresser from your old bedroom, a thrifted piece, or even a brand new one. If needed, transform it with a coat of paint and updated hardware to make it look super stylish.
Cube Shelf Entertainment Center
Cube shelves are popular for storing things like books, toys, and even craft supplies. There’s really no limit to what you can put in them. Transform your cube shelves into a makeshift entertainment center. Use the cubbies to hold all of your accessories and decor pieces.
Reclaimed Wood Entertainment Center
If you love the environment, you’ll love using reclaimed wood to make an entertainment center. Visit your local reuse store or use scrap wood from your woodshop to create your very own simple entertainment center out of reclaimed wood. This DIY is both eco-friendly and budget-friendly.
Some older homes come with built-in shelving that makes the space look classic and streamlined, not cluttered. If your house doesn’t have them, don’t worry. You can make your own with shiplap, an easy-to-work-with wall material made up of white panels. When put together, shiplap creates a muted stripe pattern. The pattern is subtle and simple yet stylish and modern.
Hang a piece of art above your entertainment center to bring more attention to the space. Choose a piece from your favorite artist or channel your inner Picasso and paint one yourself. Either way, make sure the colors match the rest of your space so everything ties in nicely.
Store Accessories in Fabric Bins
You can soften things up by using fabric bins or wicker baskets in place of cabinets and drawers. Simply remove cabinets or drawers from your entertainment center and replace them with the bins or consider purchasing a new entertainment center with space for them. Bins and baskets create a more natural look, but they still provide ample storage space for all of your things.
Industrial Shelving Entertainment Center
Industrial shelves are surprisingly simple to DIY. In just a weekend, you can make your own. You can even use reclaimed wood as the shelf material to make it a more budget-friendly DIY.
Simple DIY Entertainment Center
Build your own DIY entertainment center that’s strong enough to hold your TV and has the storage space to hide your wires and accessories.
Set up Decorative Bookends
While books can be decorative and stylish on their own, sometimes they need a little sprucing up. Use your entertainment center to display books and decorative bookends. If you don’t already have fun bookends to display, shop for them at your local thrift store or home goods store. There are plenty of options on the market, so you’ll be able to find ones that match your look.
Personalize With Photos
Make your space more your own by adding personal touches, like family photos. Your entertainment center is the perfect surface to place photo frames on. The more, the merrier!
If you like displaying your photos elsewhere, you can personalize your entertainment center in other ways. Display your kids’ artwork (or yours) or trophies.
Place a Blanket Ladder Nearby
There’s not much better than cozying up on the couch to watch a good movie. Adding a blanket or two in the mix is even better. Your blankets can double as functional decor, too. Display them with a blanket ladder to make your living space feel even cozier and to keep your blankets within reach the next time you want to curl up for a movie night with your friends.
Lighting candles is a great way to improve the ambiance in any space. Add one (or multiple) to your entertainment center to light on cozy days indoors. You can make your own candles with a few simple supplies or buy your own from your favorite home goods store.
Frame the TV
Make your TV stand out by framing it. You can do this in a few different ways. You could literally frame it with a DIY or custom frame or you can place a decorative backboard behind it to help it stand out.
To make a decorative backboard, nail or glue multiple pieces of reclaimed wood side by side. Install it on the wall above your entertainment center and mount your TV over top to make it pop. Then store your things in a cabinet-style entertainment center below it.
Hide TV Behind Cabinet Doors
Choose an entertainment center with cabinet doors that can close over your TV. That way, you can hide it when you’re not using it.
Armoire Entertainment Center
Using an armoire as an entertainment center is a great option if you like to hide your TV on occasion for whatever reason. Some people prefer to hide their TV because it takes up valuable decorating space while others prefer to make their space look free of modern electronics. Either way, an armoire will help you achieve the look you want.
IKEA is a relatively inexpensive furniture store, so it’s no surprise that there are plenty of DIY tutorials out there instructing consumers how to “hack” their products. That involves making them over to personalize them and make them look even more stylish. Purchase multiple IKEA pieces, like bookshelves and dressers, and combine them to make the ultimate DIY entertainment center.
Go Without a TV
Instead of displaying a television, display a fabulous work of art or a beautiful potted plant on your entertainment center. Without a TV, you won’t be putting extra focus on electronics (which some people don’t love). You can always watch a movie on your laptop or consider using a portable TV that you take out only when you need it.
Add Seasonal Garlands
Rotating your decorations seasonally keeps things fresh and interesting. Add a seasonal garland to your entertainment center to keep it looking up-to-date and trendy. Purchase or make your own holiday garland in the winter, flower garland in the spring, shell garland in the summer, and a garland of maple leaves in autumn. You can also make garlands out of cranberries and dried oranges, which look and smell wonderful during the holidays.
Bamboo Entertainment Center
Bamboo is a strong, natural material that’s often used to make furniture. If your first priority when it comes to home decor is sustainability, opt for a bamboo entertainment center.
Keep It In Sight
Set up your entertainment center so that it's level with your line of sight from the couch. This will make watching a movie a much more enjoyable experience because you'll be able to properly focus on the television without maneuvering around or craning your neck.