The biggest issue Washingtonians face in their living rooms is space. Clutter can make any space seem smaller, but getting all of your electronics organized into an entertainment center will help maximize space. These five steps can get you started.
Step 1: Assess yourself. Think about which desired functionalities you want from your entertainment center. There are a many to choose from. How will you use the space? Who will be using the space? What do you already own? What is your budget? What can you afford?
Step 2: Downsize. Downsizing not only clears space, but it clears the mind as well. Many people get fixated on finding an entertainment center that can fit all of their media. When working within constrained areas, get rid of excess items to open up new options for an entertainment unit. A good rule of thumb is to let go of anything you haven’t used in a year. Donate or sell what has been outgrown.
Step 3: Find your vision. This is the part that allows your imagination and personality to shine. Decide first what your style is. Are you modern, sophisticated, classic or casual? Once a style is chosen, determine if you want mostly open or hidden storage, and which items you would like to hide or showcase. Whatever your vision, measure your space and create a list to make the shopping process easier.
Step 4: Go shopping. Once you have a definite style and budget in mind, go shopping. Grab your measuring tape and shopping list. Then head to a local District store to find what you need. Ask employees to answer any questions, as they know more than you do about what’s being purchased. Compare items for optimal functionality within your desired budget. Take your time on this step, as the new entertainment center will be around for at least a few years.
Step 5: Tie up loose ends. Even the most sophisticated media center can look cluttered with wires hanging about. Once everything has been put in place on the new center, assess the cord situation. If cables can be hidden behind the center, use zip ties to gather up the slack and keep things neat and organized. If cables have to run along the wall or TV, use a cable cover.
The local businesses below may be able to help you get started:
1416 P St NW
Washington, DC 20005
Find your organization needs at Ace Hardware, where they provide cable covers and tools needed to tweak your center. Consult their employees about any steps that are lacking confidence. They’ll send you in the right direction.
Second Chance Salvage
1700 Ridgely St
Second Chance Salvage is one of the best salvage stores in the extended District area. Used furniture can be a great way to save on your budget and is perfect if looking for a more traditional type of media center.
1330 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009
On the higher end of the budget, Urban Essentials is the modern design guru’s favorite U Street stop. Find your next chic entertainment center here.
For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSWashingtonDC/YourHome.
Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DCs off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isnt enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamies traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.