Dealing with a Small Space: DIY Media Console

As you may remember, I’ve been wanting something different in my apartment’s “nook” space for the TV. The table that held it up before was awkwardly small in the space and provided no storage for our board games, controllers, and speakers. In addition to that, the nook space is only 46 inches wide, and most store-bought tv consoles start at 48 inches, even at IKEA. We decided to build our own custom console instead, so I came up with a design and it now exists! Here’s a rundown of our process.


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The plan:

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The materials:

The process:

We did a lot of math! We had to, since we were fitting it into an exact space and still wanted to store items behind it. At Home Depot we looked around and decided our best value was to purchase three laminated hardwood boards (individual boards that have already been glued together, not laminate flooring) and then cut each to our measurements.

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We used a Kreg jig to make pocket holes in the side panels and the shelves to attach everything together. We did a test run of screwing all the pieces together and marked where each piece was fitting and used wood glue along with the screws to make it nice and strong.

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After attaching the front feet and the wheels, I gave the whole thing a very good sanding with fine sandpaper. I used pre-stain conditioner and then used the stain according to the directions, leaving it on for about five minutes. 3 coats of polyurethane later and this is done!

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The product!

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Total = $176.14!

Cheaper than this unit with drawers from IKEA! Plus this one is my own custom design and is made entirely of hardwood! The drawers were my splurge, but they give some character to the piece and brighten it up.

Pro Tips

  • A level is a good thing to invest in, if you don’t have one. However, even if you have one, your wood might not be exactly level, without any fault of your own.
  • The paint was chipping on the drawers, so I got some fine sandpaper (220 grit) to clean them up. I also super-glued felt to the bottom of each one so that they don’t scratch the wood when you pull them out.

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  • Gloves and mineral spirits make clean up much easier.
  • Because the boards I used are made up of different hardwoods and then laminated, the stain took differently in some areas. The mixed level of intensity is something I actually like, but can be avoided if you want by using all one type of wood.
  • You’ll probably need to sand in between coats of polyurethane and maybe once more at the end to ensure a super-smooth finish.

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I want to know what projects you’ve made for your space!

Lydia Jane

In the “work room”

Kreg Jig – for this project, you’d only need this version, but you’d also need to buy/have a clamp

Wooster brush

5 thoughts on “Dealing with a Small Space: DIY Media Console

  1. […] The Randolph Street Market is worth a visit, even costing $12 a person. If you book ahead online and get a package deal you can pay less, but it is worth the entry cost. If you’re in need of furniture, either vintage or hand-made, this is your place! Besides that they have events with live music and some wonderful food vendors. This is a monthly 2-day market throughout the year (indoor only during the winter months) and is worth planning for. I went with some girlfriends and ended up finding some metal drawers that went into the TV console! […]


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