My clients had been looking for years for a tv console to store all their media equipment in an elegant way. After countless frustrating hours and days of shopping online and going to other retail stores and not finding anything that would work for them, they were recommended to me by a mutual friend. Before they met me, they had no idea that people can get furniture made exactly the way they wanted to the dimensions that they needed it made to.
What they were looking for was fundamentally simple but the lack of customization that most retail furniture businesses offer made it difficult for them to find what they wanted. All they wanted was for their equipment to be hidden, have easy access to them when they need to switch out to new equipment as technology keeps changing , and for the speakers to be hidden. All of this while looking beautiful and built to last for generations.
After talking through them about the functional requirements for the piece, we started playing around with how it should look. They didn’t want anything that stands out too much and wanted it to blend in with the room. For the speakers to work inside the cabinet, we needed something that would let air flow through without disrupting sound. Also, since it’s a 4 speaker system, we needed to be able to space the speakers apart so the whole front side had to be wrapped in speaker cloth. The cloth also helped with ventilation problems that many media cabinets have. We decided on some nice speaker cloth made by accoustone and sold by accoustical solutions. They are professional grade speaker cloths with many different colors and textures to choose from. We took a functional requirement and turned it into a visual design feature.
The annoying part with any media cabinet is changing or wiring up new equipment. You have to reach in the back to a whole mess of cords and somehow finagle them through a small hole cut in the back of the cabinet. To make life easier, I made the back on this console removable in sections without any tools. Each section has a wide slot cut on the edge so no cords are ever trapped inside a hole. We left some gap between the wall and the back panel so that cords have some space to be wrapped up so it’s not just dangling down.
There are four doors on both ends- the furthest doors having a big radius on the corners. Bringing the speaker cloth around the corner like that lets the sounds escape in a much bigger area then if it was closed up the the sides. It also softens the credenza and keeps it from being too minimal and hard edged. The center bay has a drawer for remotes and other accessories at the top, a drawer that houses a center speaker, and the bottom part has a pull out tray that houses the receiver.
An unexpected feature that we didn’t think about with the speaker cloth is that when the lights are low, a diffused light from the receivers and equipment can be seen playing across the surface.