IKEA Hacks To Help You Create The Perfect Entertainment Center

Any living room worth its salt must have a stellar entertainment center. Okay, that may be a little dramatic, but you get the point. Designing the perfect entertainment center for your living space can take a home from good to great. An entertainment center provides much-needed storage and organization for your electrical goods and serves as a decorative touch to complement your home's aesthetic, as reported by Interior Design Tips. A top-notch entertainment center will highlight what's already a natural focal point in your living room (your TV), operating as a jumping-off point for the rest of your room (via MyMove).

Creating a stylish showstopper with an entertainment center is easier said than done. It can cost a lot to build an entertainment room from scratch. So, where do you start? Your old friend IKEA, of course. The Swedish retail chain is practically bursting with options that can help you create the entertainment center of your dreams.  The great news is that versatile IKEA furniture can become even better with some simple hacks, giving your entertainment center style and substance. Let's look at some of the best tips and tricks.

The KALLAX makes a perfect TV stand

It's amazing what a simple shelving unit can do. IKEA's popular KALLAX unit, available in many different shades, is bursting with versatility. According to Livingetc, the minimalist design lends itself to everything from storage for your nursery to a home bar.

However, where it really excels is as a TV stand. Laid horizontally, the KALLAX is the perfect height for placing your television on top, and the compartmentalized storage offers a space for every gadget you need. There's no need to settle for just plopping down the basic model and calling it a day. To take your KALLAX to the next level and create some hidden storage within the unit, take a leaf out of interior design Instagrammer Gemma Cronnie's book by installing slide-out drawers and give it further height by attaching stylish matching legs (via Instagram). "I styled my KALLAX with drawer knobs and legs in gold to add a sense of luxe. Plus, the legs elevate it from the floor, creating a sense of more space in the room," Cronnie said to Livingetc. We like her style. For bonus points, check out unique ways to decorate a TV stand.

Purchase the KALLAX from IKEA starting at $79.99

The BESTÅ is a versatile stand that you can style to your liking

Going simple doesn't mean you have to compromise on style. IKEA's BESTÅ TV stand is a testament to this. Available in walnut effect light gray, black-brown, and white, the BESTÅ TV stand comes alive with a few simple alterations, creating an entertainment center worthy of attention. While you can incorporate the BESTÅ into all aesthetics, including minimalist and mid-century modern styles, one of our favorite uses features raw edge wood. According to Shelterness, a mounted BESTÅ adorned with a chunky live edge wooden countertop creates a showstopping focal point.

Although we associate live edge materials with a farmhouse or rustic feel, you might be surprised at their versatility and ability to unify elements. "The great thing about natural wood is that it really isn't bound to one style," said Urbanspace Interiors designer Merrill Alley to Hudson Valley Magazine. "When you are trying to mix pieces from different aesthetics, a live-edge piece can be a great bridge to bring everything together."

Purchase the BESTÅ from IKEA starting at $60.00

Use a BILLY bookcase to make built-ins for your speakers

Ah, hello, BILLY bookcase. We've met you before. However, you look a bit different this time. Million of homes around the world feature the ever-popular BILLY bookcase. It's a premium choice for storing your favorite tomes and a piece of furniture that lends itself to a range of hacks, from the addition of stylish cane doors to doubling as pantry shelving, as reported by The Spruce. Where the BILLY's trump card really lies, though, is in its ability to be adapted for built-in space. You can repurpose it as built-in storage by setting it back on either side of a fireplace or lining multiple BILLY bookcases on a wall. When placed on either side of a wall-mounted TV, they provide the ideal space for your beloved TV speakers and any other media items you have. You can check out this IKEA hack to DIY gorgeous built-in bookshelves.

Remember that styling built-ins is an art form, and there are a few design cues to follow. Make sure to avoid too much symmetry. While speakers can provide a touch, keeping items artfully unbalanced can create a chic, thrown-together feeling (via MyDomaine). Don't be afraid to spread out, either. A few well-chosen pieces with ample spacing will have more impact than showcasing everything you own at once.

Purchase the BILLY from IKEA starting at $69.00

A fan of mid-century style? Turn your STOCKHOLM into a unique TV stand

Mid-century modern style has never really gone out of fashion, and there's good reason for that. "The cleanliness and minimalism of midcentury furniture is a timeless look that blends so well with other types of home decor," says Meghan Lavery, a founder of Brooklyn-based mid-century boutique Home Union, to Architectural Digest. The mid-century aesthetic depends on your being able to find pieces from the era.

Enter this stunning IKEA hack. The IKEA STOCKHOLM tv stand already has a mid-century feel and is a clean and elegant choice for an entertainment center. By repainting a few of the doors, replacing the legs, and attaching era-appropriate door pulls, you can create a showstopping mid-century masterpiece that'll have all but the most discerning eyes asking what year it's from (via IKEA Hackers). Go for tapered legs and chic brass knobs for an authentic mid-century look. However, be prepared to put in a little elbow grease as this hack takes a little sawing to get the original legs off.

Purchase the STOCKHOLM from IKEA starting at $499.99

The VITTSJӦ series makes a one-of-a-kind TV stand

There are plenty of things you probably don't know about IKEA. For example, their selection includes some choices that sparkle with a unique style and are for purposes you might not expect. The VITTSJӦ series is proof of this, a collection of storage items constructed of bare metal and clear glass. It delivers a design that slots neatly into the über-trendy industrial aesthetic — hard to pull off but so rewarding. "To me it's where the function of a space becomes its form," says Buster and Punch founder Massimo Buster Minale to Livingetc. "You can think of it like a room or building showing its soul. Nothing is concealed, the function becomes its elevated aesthetic, a celebration of the work and design behind it."

Hacking the VITTSJӦ line to make a TV stand is super simple. Grab one of their storage combination items, attach it, and paint it a color of your choosing. We suggest a gun-metal grey to get on board with the industrial look — or soften the stand with a light pastel blue and attach wooden shelves in place of the glass ones (via Apartment Therapy). Place your TV in the center or mount it on the wall, adorn it with your electronics, and kick back to stream your fave show.

Purchase the VITTSJӦ storage combination unit at IKEA starting at $179.97

Transform the LACK table with a rustic aesthetic

"IKEA" and "rustic" don't exactly go together. After all, there's new furniture around every corner in this place. However, there's no reason you can't alter objects to give them a rustic feel. There's also no reason you can't include rustic features in modern aesthetics. "The best designs are those with an element of surprise. Rustic elements can be incorporated into any design style, as long as it's calculated and well-measured," says interior designer Katie Hodges to Yahoo! News.

We're 100% down with this IKEA hack (or, as we're calling it, the LACK hack — don't say we don't know how to make things fun). Purchase a simple LACK table, available in white, black-brown, or stained oak. Then, track down some pine planks, and cut them down to run the length of the top of the table (via Songbird). Glue the boards across the top of the table. Then, create two small boxes from any leftover wood or plywood that can fit in the gap in the table. Using some smaller pine planks, create some hatch doors and attach a pull to each. The plank effect on the top and sides makes the LACK look practically like an antique. After painting the piece, place your TV on top and enjoy.

Purchase the LACK at IKEA starting at $49.99

The SEKTION makes an appealing TV stand

The beauty of IKEA's designs is in their versatility. As a true IKEA hacker knows, repurposing an item meant for one use into another can give your home a unique edge. Such is the case with IKEA SEKTION wall cabinets, a range of simple mounted storage options that you might typically find containing dried pasta and herbs in a kitchen. You can transform them into a one-of-a-kind TV stand.

According to Pink Little Notebook, start by taking two SEKTION cabinets and securing them together using glue or screws. Then, take four pieces of regular fiberboard and attach them around each side to make a border. Construct some legs out of pinewood (you could also mount it to the wall for a floating stand), paint in a color of your choice, and then if desired, add cabinet doors, using bespoke ring pulls for a unique feel. The result oozes contemporary class and will have your guests wondering where you got it.

Purchase the SEKTION at IKEA starting at $60.00

Turn a dresser into a media center with the TARVA

The IKEA TARVA is a reliable piece of furniture. This classic pine dresser can be found anywhere full of T-shirts, jeans, and socks. However, why be content with just one use? With a few super-quick changes, the TARVA can become an elegant media center, ideally suited for wall-mounted TVs, combining open and closed storage with enough space to house everything you need.

Start by removing the top row of drawers from the TARVA and staining the rest of the dresser in your chosen color. According to Purely Katie, pure white creates an eye-catching effect, but darker colors can be as effective. Remove the original pulls from the dresser, and attach some elegant metal ones. Next, attach a simple shelf above the second drawer to create a platform for items to be stored in the open. Fill in the existing, punched-in holes. Finish it all off by painting the legs of the dresser in a contrasting color. If you want to do all this without painting and keep the pine effect, that's also an option. Pine is a versatile material that can complement any space, matches many different aesthetics, and adds warmth and homeliness to a room (via American Country Home Store).

Purchase the TARVA at IKEA starting at $249.99

METOD kitchen cabinets work perfectly for an entertainment center

Sometimes, you need to keep it simple. We mean, that's IKEA's thing. By using their basic options and adding a few bespoke touches, you can have some pretty unique pieces on your hands in no time.

That's why we adore using the METOD cabinet for an entertainment center. The METOD works seamlessly with a range of aesthetics. By mounting several together at a lower level, you can create a floating entertainment center with storage, as reported by Livingetc. The METOD only needs a quick lick of paint and an additional marble film-covered MDF top to make it look dynamite. This look is precisely what interior designer Melanie Lissack did in her own home. "I chose NE70 Mat Beige Marble for an incredibly realistic marble top to transform the MDF, and AB06 Painted Wood for the base unit to color match the walls and provide a bit of texture and interest," says Lissack to Livingetc. "I am so thrilled with our new TV unit. It looks completely bespoke and unrecognizable to how it started out!"

Purchase the METOD at IKEA starting at $49.00

Combine the KALLAX with cable storage and a wall for the ultimate entertainment hub

With any entertainment center, there are likely to be lots of cables. Figuring out what to do with them and your media items can sometimes feel as challenging as finding the correct unit in the first place, especially when you have a wall-mounted TV. That's why you need solutions. "When a TV is mounted on the wall, you need storage under it, period. You don't want people to focus on the cable box, DVD cases, or gaming components. Storage allows you to keep all that ugliness at bay," advises professional organizer Samantha Pregenzer to Redbook.

IKEA's got you covered with a range of items that you can combine to create a high-grade entertainment hub. Take the IKEA KALLAX shelving unit, available in many different colors, and place it horizontally on the floor. Then, use IKEA's UPPLEVA wall bracket to mount your TV at the desired height. As for all those cables, grab a set of MONTERA cable management trunks while you're at the store, mount them on the back of the KALLAX, and collect them inside. You can then snake them down to your skirting boards and out of sight.

Purchase the KALLAX from IKEA starting at $79.99, the UPPLEVA from IKEA starting at $34.99, and the MONTERA from IKEA starting at $10.99

Use a BESTÅ to create a farmhouse look

Usually, to achieve the ever-popular farmhouse look, you're faced with the prospect of spending a lot of money in some boutique store. However, what if we told you that it's possible to achieve the farmhouse effect for your entertainment center with one common IKEA item?

The BESTÅ unit can help you do just that. It's what designer Velinda Hellen used for a client's home by mounting the storage item on slab fronts, surrounding it with built-ins, and offsetting it against the slatted-effect wall behind it. As she said to Livingetc about her clients' needs, "They had a small space and wanted both closed and open storage" adjacent to a light wooden open shelving and under a beamed roof. This design tip works effortlessly with the interior to create a Scandi-minimalist-farmhouse mash-up. "It's so subtle but you wouldn't think it's from IKEA," says Hellen, whose final effect for the living room perfectly nails the modern farmhouse aesthetic of contemporary meets traditional (via Homes & Gardens).

Purchase the BESTÅ at IKEA starting at $60.00

Take your HEMNES to the next level with elegant drawer pulls

So often in life, we get a piece of furniture, place it down, and that's that. Then, we become a little unsatisfied. Why isn't it giving us the life we wanted? In this case, it's best to make a simple change to an existing piece of furniture. You can give it a little pop of newness that will completely change your opinion on it.

The IKEA HEMNES TV unit is a great place to start. While it is one of the most difficult IKEA furniture to build, it's chic and stylish. In its basic form, the HEMNES boasts simple black drawer pulls. While lovely, these are nothing to write home about. Instead, when assembling the unit, remove the old drawer pulls, fill in the hole, sand it over, and repaint the drawer slabs, as IKEA Hackers suggests. You might want to repaint the whole unit to make sure everything matches. Then, source some new, over-the-edge drawer pulls and attach them to the top of the drawer for a simple change that makes the HEMNES look way better than the original. We recommend using gold or silver-effect drawer pulls for a luxe feel. If you're opting to repaint your entire unit, it may be worth doing so in a warmer shade of white to avoid a clinical effect with the gold pairing (via Better Homes & Gardens).

Purchase the HEMNES at IKEA starting at $279.00