Like home office furniture, the popular styles of entertainment furniture change with the emerging technologies. The popular trend of flat screen and HDTV 4:9 sizing means that hundreds of entertainment centers and stands have been added to the House of Oak & Sofas collection in the past two years. As usual, we offer entertainment centers in oak, cherry, maple, pine and mixed woods, as well as numerous stain choices in each wood. When you come shopping, a diagram of the room with wall dimensions and openings for windows and doors is most helpful, as well as the width, depth and height of the television and other audio-video equipment.
Entertainment furniture can be categorized in five categories. They are: Entertainment walls, Entertainment armoires, corner and wall side by side units, television stands, and corner or wall assorted cabinets for audio equipment and media.
Entertainment walls are comprised of from 3 to 8 pieces and usually begin with a center television storage unit, which might be an open or closed cabinet, or with larger television sets that sit directly on the floor, could simply be a bridge that connects the side “pier” cabinets. Most popular, is a stand that supports the TV, combined with a bridge, that might hold spot lights, and an adjustable shelf above the television. Side pier cabinets are usually closed on the bottom with panel doors while the upper part of the cabinet has glass doors and therefore provide “remote” accessibility to audio or video components stored behind the glass. In addition, secondary piers are now popular and usually contain some kind of media storage drawers.
Entertainment armoires offer closed storage where the television can be kept both out of sight and mind. Closed storage is often desirable when the television set is part of a living room arrangement where the room can maintain more formality without the intrusion of technology. As with home office furniture, the closed armoire also offers efficient use of space and protects the components from dust, pets and children.
Side-by-side units usually measure from 50 to 78 inches wide, have a glass door on the left side that protects VCRs, cable boxes and other audio-video equipment. The right side of the unit is used to house the TV and usually can accommodate up to 36 inch sets. A few units have doors to cover the television set but in most cases it remains open. Doors across the bottom usually provide access to storage space, which in some cases will also include drawer space for tapes and cds. However, as drawers are costly to manufacture, in most cases you simply find open space behind the doors.
In the past two years, television stands have been the category that has shown the fastest growth. Whether sitting in a corner or along a wall, the flat screen buying frenzy has created a booming market for stands that accommodate anything from a 25 inch set to a set that may be 72 to 80 inches wide when you include speakers. The stand will usually provide space for essential components below, as well as storage space for media. Glass doors, both plain, antiqued and rippled, permit the user to access remote controlled devices as they operate through glass. Multiple finishes from distressed country, to country French paint, and all the way to sophisticated “uptown” looks make this category available to almost every type of customer. Make sure you look at catalogs as well as what we have on the floor at House of Oak & Sofas..
Finally in the miscellaneous category, you will find audio centers or towers in many sizes and shapes, media storage cabinets built specifically to hold tapes, CDs, and DVDs. These can be from as simple as a “spinner” to set beside the entertainment center, to “barrister-type” bookcase units with glass doors, and also include large cabinets for storing large quantity of media.
As with other purchases, buying furniture to hold your electronic equipment means you need to bring measurements to the store (remember TVs are sold using a diagonal measurement: when purchasing furniture you need the actual case dimensions) spend an hour perusing the options available, and most importantly establishing a relationship with a salesperson who will share lots of tips on what works and what doesn’t.