Reimagined mid century record cabinet

6 Jul

Our living room quadrant is one step closer to completion thanks to Hubster finishing a big project on our to do list this weekend. Meet our new media center:

When we moved from our house we didn’t take our media center for a lot of reasons, the  main one being that it weighed a literal ton. We knew we’d need to get something when found a new place and after a little Craigslist browsing we fell in love with the idea of using a mid century credenza. Much like the table, we knew we couldn’t walk out and buy one at a traditional store. So we started scouring local antique malls and shops. Mid century items are definitely a niche that not all antique malls support. Thankfully, there are a few mid century stores in St. Louis and one of our favorites is a small shop in Soulard. The owner has a great eye and I kept thinking ‘we need to stop there.’ When we finally made it to the shop, a brief look around left us disappointed. Nothing was quite right. But a quick conversation with the owner revealed that he had other pieces in storage AND he happened to have a record cabinet that was thinking about redesigning. He pulled up some pictures and we were immediately smitten. The piece was in phenomenal condition and it has a unique curved front. A few days later Hubster met the owner to view the piece and it came home that afternoon.

The middle top of the piece flipped up to access the turn table, radio tuner and a little records storage. The sides were large speakers. Our original idea was to turn the speaker panels into hinged doors where we could hide away our electronics. The curved front, which is totally awesome, put the kabosh on that but Hubster quickly came up with a plan B: affix the panels with cabinet magnets so they could pop off and on.

I left for a girl’s weekend a few weekends ago with high hopes that this project would be done when I returned. Hubster dug even further into gutting the piece and realized that it was just too well made to remove the front panels. I’m honestly not sure how many plans he went through that Saturday, but eventually (and after some real life testing) he realized that we could pop all of our electronics, except for the DVD player, in through the back and work them through the speaker screen. Genius! So the shot you see above is totally functional. Our cable box, Apple TV, and Hubsters Xbox are all hidden away, but totally working.

The DVD is a bigger issue. Not only will our over sized 5-changer DVD player not fit, it doesn’t really work with the in-through-the-back set up. So we’re going to downsize to a smaller unit and just stow it away unless we’re using it. Ditto on the Wii and old school Nintendo. We’ll pull them out when the mood strikes.

Also, once we had the piece at home and realized nearly all of our electronics would fit in the two side panels, we decided to retrofit the middle section into a swanky bar. Hubster built a custom shelf to cover the record player holder and a felt covered shelf for some bottles of spirits to sit on. The record storage was a near perfect fit for our shaker and a few snifters. Now we’re on the hunt for mid-century whiskey glassess…

So here’s the process (minus pictures of the piece with the record player in it. We just get so excited to start on a project that we forget to take “before” pictures.)


4 Responses to “Reimagined mid century record cabinet”

  1. Renee July 6, 2011 at 8:26 am #


  2. John Hedge July 10, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    Nice Job. I’ve been looking for a cheap old one to modify as well.

    • heather July 15, 2011 at 2:45 am #

      It was definitely a search, but well worth it in the end 🙂 Good luck!

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