mid century modern tv cabinetWhat do to with the flat screen TV in a midcentury home? Jeff got creative — and designed and built a custom TV cabinet that holds a 32″ LCD TV, BluRay player, and soundbar. Envious? He’s in the Portland/Seattle area can make one for you, too! 

DIY mid century tv cabinetEdited a bit for flow given we had some back and forth, Jeff wrote me:

After looking at hundreds of images of vintage cabinet TVs, I designed and built a retro TV cabinet to house a 32″ LCD TV, BluRay player, and soundbar. It matches my teak credenza, McCobb dining set, and surfboard coffee table. I didn’t work from a set of plans, but looked at a ton of pictures of old TVs and had a pretty good idea of what I wanted it to look like.

I thought your readers might like to take a look at them. Thanks!

DIY tv to hide flatscreenhide flatscreen tv in a mid century DIY cabinet

I took the photos before Christmas (and before I read your suggestions on taking good pictures!).  The red ribbon is because the unit was a gift for my wife, and the show on the TV is from “Christmas with Bing and Frank.”

DIY cabinet to hold flatscreen tv

The basic case is just 3/4 birch plywood with edge banding screwed together with a Kreg jig (affiliate link). I sized the top rectangle for the new TV that I bought — a 32″ 1080p LED TV, and tried to adjust the bottom two openings for visual scale. The unit is about 34″ tall and 30″ wide.

details to make a tv cabinet look retro hidden panel in DIY cabinet to hold flatscreen tv

The gold panel in the center folds down on cabinet hinges and houses the Bluray/DVD player. I cut a big oval out of a piece of plywood and covered it with fabric for the bottom rectangle/speaker grille. The soundbar sits behind the fabric and a wireless sub sits behind the TV. I put a power strip inside so only one cord comes out. And, there’s a remote repeater inside, so you can run the unit without opening the front panel. The back is tempered hardboard (Masonite) that I custom drilled for a clean look. The legs are Waddell legs and plates (*affiliate link) from Amazon. The gold bezel that frames the TV is spray-painted hardboard.

I’m glad you like the unit and the look. Perhaps people will be inspired by the project, so let me know if you’d like to share it on your awesome website.



Awesome, Jeff. I am personally very inspired. So much so that shortly after we started our conversation on line, I went searching and found a week-long woodworking class to take in April. I will learn all the basics about tools, etc., and make a new woodshop project every day. After the basic class, there’s another week on cabinet-making, and I may need to go for that, too. I’ve always been interested in woodworking — my Dad has mad skills — and Kate also inspired me tremendously. Let this be the year of epic DIY — with no sawed-off fingers, though!

Thanks for sharing all these photos! Fantastic!

To contact Jeff:

Want Jeff to make you one of these?  

Update: Jeff made a website.

Email him at mcmtvcabinet@gmail.com.

  1. Neil says:

    Back in the middle of the last century, if we’d turned on the tube and seen a picture that sharp and saturated, we would have been dazzled and have known for sure that we’d been watching too much Twilight Zone and accidentally transported ourselves to Rod Serling’s vivid universe.
    These days we’re immersed in moving images everywhere we look. But back then, having living, breathing theater in the living room was a luxurious miracle of modern science, and we tended to sincerely tune in and drop out, before Timothy Leary gave us permission; literally losing ourselves in the shows flickering off the living room walls and animating the small world of home.

  2. Teri says:

    OMG my hubby was talking about doing this. I though5 he meant find an old one and gut it. Nope, he and Jeff are on the same Jetson wavelength. Beautiful Jeff!

    1. nina462 says:

      I DID this with my 1961 Motorola. Removed the old tv, and the big fat tv fits right in the space. However, i cannot get a flat screen to fit – because they do NOT make square flat screens.

      Much like his, my screen at the bottom is removable to hide the DVD player.

  3. rsqdogsmom says:

    Just fantastic, Jeff. What a great idea and so well done. You should be very proud of yourself. I bet you could quit your current job and go into producing ‘vintage’, new models of lots of stuff! You’ve got a built-in captive audience here to spread the word!
    Good luck with your next project. Hope you share the results here.

  4. Marci F says:

    This is GORGEOUS, Jeff! If my living room TV was a reasonable size, I’d be ordering one built in a heartbeat. But I suspect the cool factor loses something on a 50″ set. haha

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