Monday, April 18, 2011

Collateral Damage

Now that the kitchen is mostly finished, we were able to turn our attention to a couple other rooms. The new room behind the kitchen, used for our homeschool room, was the first order of business. A set of book cases from IKEA, including one that will mount the TV, was installed along one wall. We moved the couch and the computer table from the living room in as well. One of our goals was to reclaim the living room, which had been the homeschool room for the last eight years. After moving some of the furniture out, the living room began to take on a larger, empty look. One of the casualties of all this was the entertainment center, which has graced our living room for the last 25 years. Since the TV was no longer in it, it was now a rather superfluous piece of furniture, and was no longer needed.

We just had one problem. What do you do with a 25-year old entertainment center that will not fit modern flat-screen televisions?

A year or so ago, when our old 19-inch tube died, we broke down and bought a flat screen. This started the whole problem, because it would not fit in our entertainment center. So we listed it for sale on craigslist. Cheap.

We didn't get a single inquiry. We found out that the thrift stores are lined with old entertainment centers, along with the old TVs that used to fit in them. The demand for them is zero. Even the nice ones, like ours. It was quite a purchase back then, and was still in great shape today.

I couldn't bear to reduce such a nice piece to kindling wood, so I cut out the interior center wall and re-hinged the doors so that it now fit the TV. Problem solved, for now.

Fast forward to today, when it no longer contains a TV at all. The craigslist route still yielded no hits, even though it was listed as being able to fit up to a 50 inch screen. It was still a shame to heat the home with such a nice piece of furniture, so I again took the saw to it, this time doing a little bit more major surgery. I disassembled the entire cabinet, removed the TV portion of it, and re-assembled what was left, leaving a tall, narrow cabinet that could still be used to house electronics, or could be used as a nice curio cabinet. It turned out rather well, as the pictures below show:

Before: The piece that nobody wanted

After: Entertainment center on a diet.

One other benefit: This one will actually move. The original entertainment center was so large and heavy that the people that helped us move it 20 years ago told us they would not help us move again if we still had it. It has sat in the same spot for all of those 20 years.

Our kitchen and addition area is already getting good use, even before it is fully finished. David had a few friends over last night. At least what we thought were a few. They just kept streaming in and all gathered in the kitchen. We lost count at 16. They all piled into the homeschool room and watched a movie. It sort-of reminded me of those how-many-people-will-fit-into-the-back-of-a-volkswagen challenges, only this time it was my furniture under all that humanity.