7 ideas to house a flatscreen TV in your retro interior

vintage stereo retrofitted to hold plasma tvThe recent invitation to readers to upload photos of their televisions and how they incorporate them into their homes yielded a bundle of ideas. Today, I want to spotlight some of my favorites — in particular, several that start with vintage furniture as a base for our big ole high def plasmas. I tend to believe that a large TV is best viewed when it’s at eye level (when you are sitting down.) That means that vintage stereo cabinets, buffets and credenzas are perfectly proportioned to hold your plasma TV. And, there’s plenty of room for all the electronic paraphrenalia, hiding your speakers — even some decor (read on…) For example, Will shows how to convert a vintage stereo cabinets to house his multimedia systems (above), explaining:

I’m Will, and I fix old tvs and radios as a hobby…. With a little rewiring, this Philco console is my favorite. I use this as my entertainment center in my living room. With some new connections, the stereo is used as surround sound for my tv, a CD player, a MP3 player, and of course its original purpose as a record player AM/FM stereo… all with the original components. Friends are always amazed by the sound quality and room.


Erica and Brian hacked a craigslist find for to hold their tv set:

We got a giant hand-me-down TV, so it’s been hard to find something to put it on. We found this 1960s stereo cabinet on Craigslist, and gutted it. – Erica & Brian in Richland Hills, TX

vintage buffet to hold tv

This conversion by no-name is so pretty, and the addition of lights is inspired:
TV is mounted on wall over stereo cabinet retrofited with cabinets to hold CDs & DVDs – speakers were taken out and lights added to showcase art on either side.

Yowza, Kate G is a super-achiever. Look at this conversion– the plasma tv folds down to be hidden away. She writes:
DIY Console TV, bonus: you can stash a component and/or remotes in the record bin inside. TV is wall mounted and over a “stereo” cabinet that originally housed turntable/radio.When we bought the console someone had already removed the phonograph so we attached a metal plate and wall bracket in that area. It worked out that the TV was just the right size that the lid actually helps prop up the back of the TV.  We could have gone with a slightly bigger TV but I wanted to have access to the stereo knobs and buttons when the TV was laid flat in the console. side note: There’s is actually a LOT of space in the cabinet underneath (I’m suspecting most consoles are the same in that regard) and we toyed with the idea of putting in “rails” and a motorized mechanism to raise and lower the TV. In the end cheap and lazy won out.

flat screen tv on vintage buffet

Buffets also seem to be perfectly sized for a retrofit, or for use just as-is with no required rework. Another no-name writes:

Basement cave…old buffet piece with tons of storage!

I also like Chase’s TV set up — very ingenious, especially if you are living in a small or multi-tasking space. Yay – Plasmas are so much more lightweight than the old tube televisions:
Admittedly, this isn’t super mid-century but I’ve put my 40″ TV on a set of Elfa Shelves that also hold my books and some of my shell collection. All of this sits above my 1961 Standard Furniture Co. Desk. The TV also works as my computer monitor since I am in a relatively small studio apartment.
sewn cover for plasma tv
And this no-name leaves us with an adorable idea — and a smile:
Don’t worry about it! Hang it on the wall where you want it and make a retro cover!

  1. Chrystal Allen says:

    Clearly I need to follow RR much more closely..I never saw the stereo/TV uploader and am feeling super bummed about missing it. Mostly because when the uploader is turned on, I don’t have and can’t play along (I’m glaring at you, Kitchmas). Oh, but this time, I could have! Our flat screen lives on top of our Sonora stereo cabinet. I tore out the record player and speakers, now using the cabinet to house my cable box and gaming equipment. I also gutted a late 40s Phillips console TV and am in the process of turning that into a bar/standing desk – Mr.Hemingway would be proud 🙂

  2. John says:

    I have mine sitting on top of a philco hifi console, love the idea of putting the tv inside, will measure when i return home.

  3. Austin says:

    i bought a 1958 rca victor tv that no longer worked but the cabinet was in great shape, gutted the inside, and mounted a crt tv from the early 2000’s behind the glass and bakelite molding surround. it looks just like a tv from the 1950’s!

  4. Mark says:

    I’m trying to come up w/ a solution myself — thinking perhaps of hiding one behind a multi-door cabinet that can be disguised as “art”… Stay tuned… 😉

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