Custom Living Room Cabinets to hide cables and store AV Equipment

eddiem74

Active Member
Hi Everyone,

I am looking at getting some cabinets and shelving built in to the alcoves on either side of the chimney breast and also beneath the screen to cover the existing radiator and to house the center speaker.

Note: fixed screen will be replaced with electric screen and wall mounted TV.

Here is the current state:

Projector Screen.jpg
Fireplace L&R.jpg
Cables1.jpg
Cables2.jpg
Cables3.jpg


The existing IKEA cabinet served its purpose but it is open at the back and gathers dust. I am hoping to achieve with building something in that I can better organise cabling, seal from dust, allow access when required, etc...

In/behind there currently is:

- Bunch of white cables from speakers in other rooms coming back to a manual speaker switch.
- 3 coax cables for Sky and RF out
- Single Ethernet cable feeding a switch which feeds any kit needing internet/network
- AVR with power/speaker cables, currently 5.1, might look at prepping for 7.1.4
- HTPC with associated cables connected to AVR
- Sky HD

I would appreciate any ideas or suggestions from what you may have done, seen or would suggest to help me achieve a tidy cabling solution along with a decent storage solution ideally allowing access when needed. Note: it will not be possible to access through a wall or anything like that so it will need to be all in room.

Many thanks,
Eddie
 

eddiem74

Active Member
So am coming back to this as I have my cabinet guy coming in 2 weeks so need to firm up how to plan / manage cable management. I am struggling with how I should expand sockets, add wall plates, etc... to improve the mess that is currently there?

Assuming I had base cabinets fitted something like this (image taken from google image search)...

Flush to Chimney and Wall 2.JPG

I am trying to decide do I need to chase out for sockets, etc. or just surface mount? Iniital conversations with my cabinet guy said he can cut out the back of the cabinet to access the sockets, etc. however I did not really like that idea as it opens the door to dust...suppose I could add a brushed wall plate?

Any and all ideas/suggestions welcome and pics also if available.

Thanks!
 

Geps

Well-known Member
If the cabinet is going to be fixed in situ, just get an electrician round to add in a load of sockets on the back of it. Surface mounted if you have the depth, sunk into the wall if you don't.
 

eddiem74

Active Member
If the cabinet is going to be fixed in situ, just get an electrician round to add in a load of sockets on the back of it. Surface mounted if you have the depth, sunk into the wall if you don't.
Yeah sockets are fine for speaker cable, network, etc also do the same you think?

I am hoping to fit slide out shelves for ease of access and connection.
 

steve12

Active Member
am also looking at doing something similar to this,so will be watching with interest
 

Geps

Well-known Member
Yeah sockets are fine for speaker cable, network, etc also do the same you think?

I am hoping to fit slide out shelves for ease of access and connection.
Are the units built in? Or are they like furniture where you can move them later.

If it were me, I'd get all the units built in. You can create false backs then down entire back of the wall and run cables to your heart's content with no worries of dust. You could even look as using the cavity to vent into if you can problems with local heat build up.
 

Steroc

Well-known Member
If your having cabinets like in the picture. I'd go for a removable plinth (bottom bit) and have all your cable management underneath. If it's custom built you could make the plinth bigger to suit requirements and even house your sockets in there. That way you have easy access to the cables and power supplies without having to remove equipment should you need to.
 
Last edited:

eddiem74

Active Member
Are the units built in? Or are they like furniture where you can move them later.

If it were me, I'd get all the units built in. You can create false backs then down entire back of the wall and run cables to your heart's content with no worries of dust. You could even look as using the cavity to vent into if you can problems with local heat build up.

To be honest when I met the cabinet guy we just talked rough design and he took measurements to quote. I am liking the flush finish in the picture I referenced so maybe built-in is the way to go, would also sort most issues.

In terms of fittings, would you go 1 single socket, 1 network point, etc. per shelf or double?
 

eddiem74

Active Member
If your having cabinets like in the picture. I'd go for a removable plinth (bottom bit) and have all your cable management underneath. If it's custom built you could make the plinth bigger to suit requirements and even house your sockets in there. That way you have easy access to the cables and power supplies without having to remove equipment should you need to.

Interesting idea, so fix everything to the existing skirting board at the back for example, then drop cables from each shelf down to each point. Or would you place everything closer to the front? Trying to visualise it...
 

Steroc

Well-known Member
Depends on cabinet depth and plinth height I suppose. Leaving them at the back may be neater as long as you can access them ok. There's lots of variables to consider besides cabinet depth and plinth height even down to how agile you are and how long are your arms. It's down to you to decide what's best for you.
It's something I think about now after recently building a lighting pelmet in my Living Room. I have sockets in there fastened to the wall to power various things. The pelmet is 300 wide from the wall with a 45mm access gap. I was convinced I would easily be able to reach the socket as I don't have the biggest of arms. But I can't so hope nothing goes wrong.
 
Last edited:

Geps

Well-known Member
To be honest when I met the cabinet guy we just talked rough design and he took measurements to quote. I am liking the flush finish in the picture I referenced so maybe built-in is the way to go, would also sort most issues.

In terms of fittings, would you go 1 single socket, 1 network point, etc. per shelf or double?
I'd do 2 double sockets and a single 2 gang network plate per shelf.

I wouldn't worry about putting sockets in a plinth - having the shelves on full extension runners is a much better way IMO as you can slide them out, do your wiring and then push them back. Yes it's nice to hide your power wiring, but realistically in AV, the power leads are nothing, it's the speaker cables, the video cables, network cables etc etc that add the bulk - and if they're interconnects then you can't place them in the plinths.
 

Steroc

Well-known Member
Ideally yes. But I was looking at the depths of the alcoves in his pic. If he wants the front of the cabinet flush with the fireplace then it doesn't leave much room behind equipment if the equipment he has will even fit in that depth. Slide out shelves can be a nightmare too as I have tried this approach and you will find that cables will snag and pull out of equipment easily without putting some serious thought into cable management. Although my cupboard was a bit overcrowded as didn't have much room so you may have a different experience on that.
 

eddiem74

Active Member
Depends on cabinet depth and plinth height I suppose. Leaving them at the back may be neater as long as you can access them ok. There's lots of variables to consider besides cabinet depth and plinth height even down to how agile you are and how long are your arms. It's down to you to decide what's best for you.
It's something I think about now after recently building a lighting pelmet in my Living Room. I have sockets in there fastened to the wall to power various things. The pelmet is 300 wide from the wall with a 45mm access gap. I was convinced I would easily be able to reach the socket as I don't have the biggest of arms. But I can't so hope nothing goes wrong.
Thanks, some food for thought there... I am also installing a pelmet / soffit for lighting, screen, and ceiling speakers which the alcove cabinet shelving will come up to the edge of.
 

Geps

Well-known Member
Ideally yes. But I was looking at the depths of the alcoves in his pic. If he wants the front of the cabinet flush with the fireplace then it doesn't leave much room behind equipment if the equipment he has will even fit in that depth. Slide out shelves can be a nightmare too as I have tried this approach and you will find that cables will snag and pull out of equipment easily without putting some serious thought into cable management. Although my cupboard was a bit overcrowded as didn't have much room so you may have a different experience on that.
You can still have the sockets on each shelf above the equipment so it won't have any extra depth to it, but it just means you can keep the power wiring confined to a single shelf, rather than taking it up and down to the plinth.

If cable management is a problem, you can just go at it with the cable ties to keep them all in place and even fix them to the shelf itself.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Star Wars Andor, Woman King, more Star Trek 4K, Rings of Power & the latest TV, movies & 4K releases
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom