An entertainment center is an area, mainly found in a living room, family room or snug, that houses electronic devices such as TVs, games consoles and sound systems.
Many entertainment center ideas are defined by one piece of furniture, usually a large unit or cabinet space where electrical items and accessories neatly slot into place, and often work in unison with living room TV ideas, . However, there are many versatile designs out there to choose from that can best integrate into your home and work alongside your living room ideas.
Whether you create an entertainment area in the corner of a living room that is zoned through different furniture pieces such as sideboards and shelving, or build a bespoke, floor to ceiling cabinet to house your central electronic items, there are options for all spaces, both large and small.
Entertainment center ideas – 10 innovative designs for your home
We have gathered our 10 favorite entertainment center ideas to help you make the most out of this versatile storage and display space in the home.
1. Create a bespoke, built-in unit
One of the most popular entertainment center designs, a bespoke, built-in unit can cater perfectly to the size of your electronic devices, giving them an eye-catching, elevated platform. A built-in unit can also create an organized area in a room where all electrical objects and accessories are easily stored close together in one place.
In this family room by Ginny Macdonald Design (opens in new tab), she states of the process, ‘accommodating a modern and accessible wall of cabinetry with asymmetrically placed closed and open shelving was the primary focus of the design work for the family room’.
If you’re looking for TV wall ideas, a unit like this can take up a full wall space in a room, and creates not only a stylish entertainment center, but a central, practical storage and display space in a busy family room.
2. Use a low level design
Many entertainment center designs are built upwards, making the most of the floor to ceiling wall area in a room. However, low-level designs can create a cozy, intimate feel and free up wall space to allow you to get creative with artwork and other wall decor ideas.
In this relaxed living room, rich with texture and calming color palettes, the entertainment center is defined by a long, low unit. The design provides the perfect platform for a TV, as well as creating an inviting display space to decorate with accessories, plants and ornaments.
This entertainment center fits in perfectly with this laid-back living room design and complements rather than commands the space, one to remember for small living room TV ideas.
3. Add personality with decorative objects
‘A simple tip that can help your entertainment center stand out and reflect your style and personality, creating areas that can house decorative objects and meaningful items will only make for a more eye-catching and memorable design,’ says Jennifer Ebert, Homes & Gardens’ Digital Editor.
In this coastal inspired living room by Margaret Ash Design (opens in new tab), the tall entertainment center creates a beautiful viewing area for both the TV and a collection of decorative items. Painted in white, this allows for the mounted items to truly stand out, with the overall appearance and styling of the center adding a subtle element of grandeur to the space.
Accessorizing around your TV and other electronic items can also soften their sometimes harsh appearance in a room.
4. Create a stand-out design
For many of us, sitting around an entertainment center is where we spend a lot of time with friends and family, so why not create a striking, stand-out design that adds a unique feature to a room and ignites conversation.
In this living room, the entertainment center is defined by the use of a statement, blue painted design. This use of paint not only cleverly zones the area, but creates a decorative and colorful statement in the neutrally styled space.
Finished with colorful books and accessories, the contemporary design makes for an eye-catching focal point in the room.
5. Use natural materials
Working with natural materials and creating designs inspired by the natural world is renowned to create a timeless and calming atmosphere in the home.
‘You are going to spend long periods of time looking at your entertainment center – especially if there is a TV, so choosing a design made from natural materials is always going to be relaxing on the eye,’ says Homes & Gardens‘ Editor in Chief Lucy Searle.
In this cozy snug area, the wooden entertainment center beautifully complements the light wooden beams. The wooden design works in harmony with the soft upholstery and neutral color palette to create a welcoming and calming space to sit in and relax.
6. Uplift the space with wallpaper
If your entertainment center is more of an area in a room rather than one furniture piece, using wallpaper in this section can create more of a united space as well as a colorful feature wall.
Wallpaper ideas not only inject color and pattern into a interior, they can also be used to create cleverly zone areas in a room.
In this modern, open-plan living room, the wallpaper beautifully frames the TV and the low and wall-mounted cabinets. Great for living room wallpaper ideas, thinking about the space that surrounds your entertainment center and enhancing this with wallpaper can create a stylish and cohesive design.
7. Embrace color
‘Whether you get creative with paint ideas on a bespoke cabinet, or choose a custom colored sideboard, integrating your entertainment center into a striking, monochromatic scheme can create a beautifully immersive design atmosphere,’ says Homes & Gardens‘ Editorial Director Sarah Spiteri.
In this living room, defined by an elegant, teal palette, the color of the built-in unit takes the lead from the blue wallpaper design. Combined with the subtle use of elegant contrasting colors such as pink and orange, the overall effect creates a stand-out living room space that celebrates the power and effect of color.
For more guidance on color pairings, our color wheel guide is helpful.
8. Keep things discreet
From clever paint ideas to sleek storage cabinets and organizers, there are many discreet entertainment center ideas to choose from, fitting for both small and large spaces alike.
In this living room, the cabinets and shelving that make up the entertainment center blend in perfectly with the all-white painted walls and ceiling. The design is both practical and long-lasting, and allows for other, colorful accessories and furniture pieces to take center-stage.
9. Add drama with sliding doors
A sliding screen can add a unique, tactile feature to an entertainment center. Creating a playful element of surprise, a screen can also act as a canvas for a unique, decorative design.
In the gorgeous pink living room by Laura Butler-Madden (opens in new tab), the screen is painted with an intricate bird mural, transforming the screen into a unique piece of art.
Another reason to use a sliding screen is if you feel like your electronics and devices are disrupting the flow and feel of a design in a room, a screen can easily hide them out of sight when not in use – ideal for bedroom tv ideas.
10. Combine open and closed storage
A simple idea but one that will make your entertainment center into a versatile storage and display space, combining open and closed storage features allows for a design that prioritizes both style and practicality.
In this living room by Jessica Bennett of Alice Lane Interior Design (opens in new tab) she states of the design, ‘the original media cabinet was dark and heavy and didn’t allow for a large TV. We designed an off white cabinet that layered the TV over the built-ins and allowed for flexibility to switch out the electronics easily in the future’.
This entertainment center not only considers changing gadgets and electronics in the future, but establishes a unique, layered design where functional items are stored inside the bottom cabinets and decorative pieces are positioned to beautifully frame and elevate the TV viewing area.
What should I put in my entertainment center?
Entertainment centers are mainly used for TVs and their accessories, but other electronic items are often positioned in these spaces such as games consoles, record players and speakers.
When you have decided what main electronics are going to be housed in your entertainment center, start getting creative with accessorizing and styling. Plants, ornaments, picture frames and books are just some of the items you can use to add personality and style to your entertainment center – for more inspiration, explore our top tips when styling a shelf.
Whether you want your entertainment center to have a separate theme and color palette to the rest of the room, or the opposite, and plan for it to perfectly integrate into your existing scheme, combing practical, essential items with decorative pieces can establish a one of a kind design that truly reflects your style.