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Faux Fireplace Media Center

Recently, a friend was shopping for a gift for her parents who had just downsized from their house to a smaller apartment. They had always liked the fireplace they once had and were now also in need of a multimedia cabinet to house their TV/Audio equipment. So, trying to satisfy both of these needs, my friend sent me a picture she had found on the internet that seemed to do the trick..  It was a faux "fake" fireplace that doubled as a cabinet. Follow along as I convert the picture to reality.

Faux Fireplace Media Center

Using SketchUp, I drew up the plans for this project and included an image of their 46-inch TV to get a feel for the overall dimensions

 Faux Fireplace Media Center Sketchup design

The 2 side doors would conceal storage for DVDs, books and other items.  A hole in the top center storage area would provide an access for any necessary wiring.  Since the TV control box would be stored there, it was understood that the center cabinet door would have to remain open while channel surfing.

Faux Fireplace Media Center Sketchup design 2

To keep costs down, it was decided to build the cabinet from furniture grade sheet goods.  Here, oak veneer was selected because it was on sale at the time of the build.  But since this piece was to be painted, the wood species was of no real importance. 

Faux fireplace plywood carcass

The cabinet carcass was constructed entirely with dado joinery.  This ensured that the shelving would provide great structural integrity to the build.  All plywood edges were covered with solid oak trim to match the wood grain of the oak plywood.

Faux fireplace hardwood edging added to plywood

Again, to keep the costs down, inexpensive baseboard moldings were added to the bottom of the cabinet as well as door frame moldings to the top of the cabinet.

Faux fireplace moldings added to top and bottom

The top of the cabinet was built by laminating 2 layers of oak plywood with a solid oak edge all around.  It looked quite nice.

Faux fireplace top added

Now came the time to start cutting and fitting the doors to match the cabinet openings.

Faux fireplace door fitment

The 2 side and center cabinet doors were then edged with a thin strip of solid oak.

Faux fireplace hardwood edging added to all sides of the plywood doors

European hinges were selected to handle all openings.

Faux fireplace European hinges were selected to handle all openings

Here is what the cabinet looked like with all the hinges installed and adjusted.

Faux fireplace all doors mounted

Next, inexpensive moldings were added to the front of the cabinet doors to dress things up a bit along with an additional molding at the baseboard and a smaller molding to fill in the space between the cabinet top and the upper molding.

Faux Fireplace Media Center after trim pieces added and Before Painting

The cabinet doors were removed and the cabinet was now ready for 2 coats of furniture grade paint.

Faux fireplace after 2 coats of furniture grade paint

A detail view of the lower moldings.

Faux fireplace A detail view of the lower moldings

A closer look at the cabinet top and the upper moldings. Looks quite nice.

Faux fireplace top molding detail

All the cabinet doors were then re-installed with any final adjustments.

Faux fireplace doors reinstalled

And here you have it folks, with the rear panel installed and ready to go.  By the way, this thing was HEAVY!

Faux Fireplace Media Center ready to go

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