Updated: Jan 17, 2021
Refurbished 1990’s TV Entertainment Center into Modern Farmhouse Computer Station
This past June, I finally purchased my own home. I know what you’re thinking because believe me, I questioned my sanity daily: I’m almost to retirement, and I’m just now purchasing my first home. As the song goes, "What was I thinking?" But it has given me the extra space I need for my reimagined furniture, so sometimes crazy is a good thing.
When I purchased the house, I was “gifted” a couple of pieces that the previous owner’s children did not want. I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but they were solid wood pieces, and I was sure I would find a way to transform them. (I mean, they were free...no brainer!)
The first piece was a 1990’s version of a TV entertainment cabinet. That awesome honey pine stain, complete with the big wooden knobs. Gorgeous back then, not so on trend right now.
As I renovated the rest of the house, I moved this piece from room to room, out of my way for that moment. To be honest, it was a pain in my you know what because it is big, bulky, and very heavy. So I finally let it sit in the master bedroom for 6 months until I found the inspiration to transform it. Occasionally, I would find myself just staring at it, waiting for the voila moment. Sometimes I can see a piece and almost instantly transform it in my mind, but this one….this one kept picking at me like a burr under a saddle.
My “day job” is a data analyst for a large retail chain, and I’ve had the privilege of working from home almost 100% which means I usually have a home office set up somewhere. In the houses I’ve rented through the years, I always made sure I had 3 bedrooms: my master, a guest bedroom for when my boys or friends visited, and the third for my home office. In the new house, I only have 2 bedrooms, so I’ve had to use part of the guest bedroom as my office area. Not pretty. So not pretty, especially for someone like me who firmly believes in “A place for everything and everything in its place”. So when I walk down the hallway, I see this:
Ugh, right? Wires everywhere, big ugly monitor. Every time I walked down the hall, I would stress just a little bit more because of this “view”. I needed a space that was clean, put together, and most of all easy to hide away at the end of the day.
Voila! The 1990s TV Entertainment cabinet popped into my mind. Definitely needed some additional work, though. From the first picture above you can see it sits directly on the ground, so I had to lift it up somehow to desk height.
I sourced these legs from Amazon to raise it to the right desk chair level.
I made sure that the weight capacity was enough to hold the cabinet up also. To be completely transparent, it took me about 2 months to get the nerve up to screw them on and set the piece back upright. As I don't have a manly man around the house (actually no man), I had to find a way that little ol' me could do all by myself.
My dad used to say, "Do as I say, not as I do". This is one of those moments. I will tell you how I did it, but it doesn't bear repeating. Never.
I took my hand truck and moved the piece directly in front of my queen bed, doors facing me. I then tilted the piece back onto the edge of the bed (soft landing!) which left the bottom open. I centered each leg on the appropriate side and screwed them in. I did not use the screws that came with the legs, though. I wanted to make sure they would screw in tightly with a good bite, so I switched to PowerPro screws (available at Lowes). They are not only easy to screw into almost any kind of material, they really hold tight.
I then got on the bed behind the big, bulky, pain in my you know what and heaved it up on the new legs. (All of those leg lifts and core exercises really came into use here!)
When I came around to the front of the cabinet, though, I was instantly sure it was the right decision!
Even though the piece had legs now, it was still heavy and bulky, so I kept it in the master bedroom to sand/paint instead of moving to my garage workshop (replacing the carpet in there is happening soon anyway). While I did my due diligence and put plastic down under and around while I worked on it, I would NOT recommend this, and I will NEVER do this again.
I did a few tweaks here and there to my initial inspiration, but my vision to turn this refurbished 1990 TV Entertainment Center into a modern farmhouse computer station finally came to life:
The inside shelf that used to hold a TV still slides out, but it holds my monitor and keyboard now. This allows me the space to pull my chair up similar to an actual desk. My laptop resides below the keyboard in that open space.
And the left side holds my files and printer nicely.
And most important—NO WIRES!! All wires are tucked back behind the slide out shelf.
This refurbished TV Entertainment Center is now where I keep my home business computer. It has remained in the master bedroom as I can shut the doors when I’m not using it (out of sight, out of mind!).
Still have the day job computer set up in the guest bedroom though, so another project in the making. I might just use the second “inherited” piece I got when I bought the house.
Here is the list of items/tools needed/used:
Knobs – Amazon
Legs – Amazon
Screws - Lowes
Furniture conditioner (The Chippy Barn, Wood Nectar Hemp Oil Revitalizer) I used this on the unpainted surfaces to condition those sanded areas.
EnerTwist Random Orbital Sander – Amazon
Thanks for looking! Would love to hear your comments and feedback on my process, the finished piece, or anything you know/have experienced that would help me on future pieces.
See more of my completed projects here.