How to Build a Hideaway TV Cabinet

Incorporate a television into a room’s design without making it obvious.

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In the '50s, the TV was an icon and it figured prominently in everyone's living room. Today the trick is to figure out creative ways to hide it. A decorative hand-painted cabinet can add a splash of color to a room, for example. When the doors are open, it functions as the entertainment center, but it's a work of art and a focal point when shut.

The depth of smaller TVs can pose problems, so wall units are being built deeper. They still showcase books and personal objects, and they keep the TV from becoming the focus of the room. Laminate a picture to plywood, attach it to commercial drawer slides, and a simple flick of a handle lowers it over the set. Electronic devices can raise and lower a TV at the foot of the bed, and a piece of art can conceal a flat-screen unit.

Here's a project for building a portable cabinet for hiding a TV in:

Materials and Tools:

electronic television lift
¾-inch plywood
decorative trim (wide and thin)
miter box
decorative drawer pulls
hammer
brad nails
4 casters

Steps:

1. Build a box (minus the front and top) with a bottom that allows the lift and the television to fit inside.

2. To hold the television and the top lid, construct an inner support piece (the television will rest on the bottom, and the four support arms will hold the top lid). To dress up the unit, attach decorative trim around the lid. When the lift is down, the lid hides the inner workings.

3. To make it look like a small chest, create false drawers by attaching additional pieces of plywood, decorative trim and pulls to the front.

4. Attach casters to the bottom so the cabinet can be moved around. Then attach the same type of trim used on the lid to create a skirt to hide the wheels (leave a 1/8-inch gap between the trim and the floor so that the wheels roll freely).

5. Paint or stain the cabinet as desired.

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