So with the ordering of digital cable, and the eventual addition of NHL Center Ice, we have to move the entertainment center out of the way so the guy can come in and “install” the digital cable box.

This brought up the thinking again that we don’t really like the entertainment center we have and the thought of replacing it. I can’t really ultimately complain. I mean, it was free.

So I went and spent a bit of time in American Furniture Warehouse today and looked through their stuff. Much of it is nice. They seem to come in two types. One is the single unit, entirely containing the tv and associated trimmings. These aren’t very practical for us, unfortunately. Principally because we can’t get a pre-assembled single unit thing down the stairs that has a dimension greater than 56 (or so) inches for height and width. The other inherent disadvantage of a single unit piece is that if you ever upgrade your TV beyond the size (or weight) the thing can take, you’re screwed.

So the second type of unit is far more practical. Lemme find an image here….let’s see if this works:
Pedestal Cabinet
So as you can see, the two pedestals on the sides can grow or shrink to accomodate just about any size of TV. Some units also come with a TV stand that you can put a smaller tv on (for TVs that don’t come with their own … like the one pictured). And some also have a sliding shelf above where you can put speakers or miscellaneous stuff as well. The only problem with those is the price tends to up pretty dramatically from the … say … $400 range or so, to $700 and up. So I was a bit discouraged, not really having been prepared to spend quite that much. And although these pieces are sectional and could easily make it into the basement, the overall space they occupy is larger than the space we currently have allocated to the TV area.

So, that brings up the final step in this adventure. As I was going home, I remember a store that I had passed that piqued my curiousity that I wanted to check out, and went in. Called “Scandinavian Designs”, and not really knowing (from the architectural and furniture world perspective) what the heck that meant, I set out to find out.

So, what I found was that all of the furniture designs are simple and elegant. Not a lot of flash, trim, design or whatever, which, in general, is fine with me. Its also much of the ‘Ikea-style’ stuff that you either assemble yourself, or that is modular and allows for a nearly infinite variety of different configurations and setups. And example of the entertainment set was something like the following image:
Modular Soft Classic Wall Unit
That image is made up of 5 pieces, and a couple added ‘optional’ things. The CD tower (very thin) is one piece, the TV pedestal another, the shelving above the TV is another, and the two shelving pieces (far left and far right) are the final two. Given the other types of vertical pieces you can throw in here, and suitable wall space, you can see this growing to accomodate just about any size you want. I love that kind of thing.

The only downside is that it is veneer, and the wood underneath is typically going to be a medium to high grade pressboard. Not exactly a lifetime piece of furniture. If that is an acceptable compromise, then I don’t think I’d hesitate.

Finally, my space (as mentioned above) is very constrained. The width of the area we have it in right now is only 66″ wide. That one pictured there is 104″. Definitely limiting. We need to do some more thinking on this topic, for sure.