IKEA entertainment center hacks - 10 chic media console makeovers

These IKEA entertainment center hacks are the affordable way to a high-style storage solution for your TV and tech

an entertainment center from IKEA cabinets
(Image credit: Semihandmade/Genevieve Garruppo/Tali Roth)

An IKEA entertainment center hack will solve your storage dilemmas, if you're fed up of looking at tangled wires, piles of electronic gadgets, and random board games. Plus, you can do it without breaking the bank.

Bespoke built-in media units can easily rack up in price, so a chic IKEA hack is a budget-friendly option to create a luxe look for less.

Need some inspiration? We've rounded up 10 clever  projects to get your on-point DIY project started. 

IKEA entertainment center hacks that combine form and function

1. Transform an IKEA Besta into a stylish media console

Ikea entertainment center hacks with Ikea Besta by Caitlin Marie Design

(Image credit: Caitlin Marie Design)

You don't always have to splash out on a Pottery Barn or West Elm piece to get the designer look. An IKEA hack will do the trick at a fraction of the price with a little ingenuity and elbow grease.

This IKEA entertainment center hack was carried out by Caitlin Marie Design (opens in new tab), who produced a design-driven look for under $400.

The look was created with two Besta frames, two Besta support legs, two Nannarp legs, four Besta shelves, four Besta soft-closing hinges, and four Hanviken doors.

Describing how she did it, Caitlin says: 'The Besta directions were relatively easy to follow. My husband and I built the two frames and installed the legs in an evening. (This console is actually made of two separate cabinets. You could probably attach them if you wanted to, but we kept our separate so they are easier to move around.) 

'I then attached the hinges, doors, and knobs (I used these ones (opens in new tab)) myself one afternoon while my daughter napped!'

She continues: 'If you will be using your Besta units as a media console like we are, you will need to cut small holes in the backing of the Besta frames to allow wires to pass through. Of course, use caution. Think about where you will be placing your games systems etc., and cut a hole near the top or bottom of the backing so that the cords can pass through.'

2. Create sleek built-in units with an IKEA Billy bookcase hack

ikea billy bookcase turned into contemporary black wall units

(Image credit: @house_to_home.interiors)

Save on room renovation costs by making your own ultra-sleek, contemporary entertainment center with a clever IKEA Billy bookcase hack.

Carolin Friese, Interior Stylist at @house_to_home.interiors (opens in new tab), created this modern aesthetic with a matte black paint finish. 

She says: 'We wanted to add some contrast to the large open space and decided to go with this bolder, but still calming, Ikea Billy bookcase, cement fireplace and cozy furniture combination.

'We changed the handles and the contractor added the header and molding so it looks custom. We used another smaller unit for the extra material, and painted it matte black for an on-trend finish.'

Netflix binges never looked so stylish.

3. Choose Art Deco door fronts to elevate an IKEA Besta

Ikea entertainment center hacks with IKEA Besta media console

(Image credit: @the.aesthetic.eye)

Give some IKEA Besta cabinets an instant upgrade with new doors and handles to create a stylish entertainment center that's a design piece in its own right.

Lucie from @the.aesthetic.eye (opens in new tab)turned to Pretty Pegs to achieve the Art Deco-inspired look.

She added their Arch Front Layers doors and black Harry knobs to take the cabinets from basic to bespoke. Not only does it look chic, but the piece offers a large amount of hidden storage into the bargain.

4. Transform IKEA Metod kitchen cabinets into a chic floating TV sideboard

Ikea before & after Ikea Metod hack media unit by Melanie Lissack Interiors

(Image credit: Melanie Lissack Interiors)

Interior designer Melanie Lissack, of Melanie Lissack Interiors (opens in new tab), wanted to elevate her freestanding TV unit and create a wall-mounted sideboard that increased the sense of space and storage ideas simultaneously.

She used three IKEA Metod kitchen cabinets as a base to create the new IKEA entertainment center hack, and finished with a marble film-covered MDF top for a luxe look for less.

The doors were also covered with film from Cover Styl', a brand that offers over 470 surface covers that can be used on melamine and MDF.

Ikea before & After Ikea Metod hack media unit by Melanie Lissack Interiors

(Image credit: Melanie Lissack Interiors)

Melanie says: 'I chose NE70 Mat Beige Marble for an incredibly realistic marble top to transform the MDF, and AB06 Painted Wood for the base unit to color match the walls and provide a bit of texture and interest.

'I am so thrilled with our new TV unit,' says Melanie. 'It looks completely bespoke and unrecognisable to how it started out!

'The transformation was quick and easy and the quality of the film is second-to-none - there is no way I would think the marble top was actually MDF under the surface.'

A Samsung TV that displays artwork while it's off has been placed above the unit to enhance the aesthetic.

5. Turn IKEA Besta units into a light and bright modern farmhouse entertainment center

Ikea entertainment center hacks modern farmhouse style by Semihandmade

(Image credit: Semihandmade/Sara Tramp)

This beautiful living room idea and IKEA entertainment center hack was the creative vision of designer Velinda Hellen (opens in new tab).

According to Semihandmade (opens in new tab), the couple who owned the home requested  'a Scandinavian minimalism-meets farmhouse aesthetic', with the goal being to intersperse 'adult sophistication, while hiding their child’s bright toys'. 

'They had a small space and wanted both closed and open storage,' says Velinda Hellen.

Ikea entertainment center hacks modern farmhouse style by Semihandmade

(Image credit: Semihandmade/Sara Tramp)

So she set about creating a built-in media center utilizing IKEA Besta units and Semihandmade DIY Slab Fronts (opens in new tab).

'The slab fronts elevate it,' Velinda says. 'It’s so subtle but you wouldn’t think it’s from IKEA.'

An ideal small living room idea, one of the most streamlined ways to incorporate a media center is to build it right into the wall. 

Semihandmade says: 'Here, two simple bookcases surround a TV area with DIY slab doors (opens in new tab) painted in White Picket Fence by Dunn Edwards below for concealed storage. To tie the custom piece  in with the ceiling, Velinda Hellen (opens in new tab), added a shiplap background.'

Custom paint and lighting from Build.com (opens in new tab) and vintage sconces from Etsy finished the luxe look for less.

6. Get inspired by Sarah Sherman Samuel's IKEA Besta entertainment center hack

Sarah Sherman Samuel IKEA besta media unit

(Image credit: Sarah Sherman Samuel)

Take two IKEA Besta media units, suspension rails to attach to the wall, wooden balls for cool legs, new doors, and new hardware, and what have you got? A chic, high-style IKEA entertainment center hack.

The designer IKEA hack was carried out by Sarah Sherman Samuel (opens in new tab) for her own home in Michigan. She's cleverly hidden the TV behind a large, more visually appealing, tapestry.

'Even with the soaring ceilings I wanted this space to feel cosy, so I still installed the media cabinet low to the ground,' explains Sarah. 'Low and loungey… Which is the opposite of what you might think to do with such a tall ceiling. 

'The TV is hung just above the cabinet so it is at eye level when you are siting down. The tapestry that hangs over the TV measures 4′ x 6′. It works great to cover the TV when it is not in use, but I hung it there more for scale than anything. 

'The TV is much too small to carry the height of this wall and by using the super tall tapestry above the low media cabinet it brings the eye up. When we want to watch TV we simply roll the tapestry up by hand and clip it at each side just above the TV.'

7. Channel trad meets contemporary with an IKEA Sektion hack

Ikea entertainment center hacks with IKEA Sektion by Semihandmade

(Image credit: Semihandmade/Jennifer Yau/Jill Ellis Creates)

Designer Jill Ellis Creates (opens in new tab) was keen to make a relaxed yet stylish living room for her pool house, but wanted a high-end finish on a keen budget.

Explaining the process, she says: 'We used the IKEA Sektion system for the boxes. We hacked the desk side by cutting the boxes shorter (basically removing a 5” drawer). We then used the @semihandmade (opens in new tab) Shaker Supermatte fronts in white.'

The Shaker fronts add a timeless traditional feel to the media center, while contemporary leather pull handles offer a modern edge.

Jill adds: 'I love that we were able to get creative with these pieces ourselves to create a custom built-in look, for a fraction of the cost. 

'Honestly it took a lot of planning, some power tools and a lot of quality time together with my dad building, but we’re super excited about the outcome.'

8. Showcase some shiplap for a contemporary country look

Ikea entertainment center hacks shiplap and IKEA Besta

(Image credit: Semihandmade/theheartandhave.com)

Everyone from the likes of Studio McGee to Chris Loves Julia is channeling shiplap, and using it in a media unit is a stylish modern farmhouse living room idea.

Erin, of @theheartandhaven (opens in new tab), was inspired by these designers to try the look in her own living room - and opted for an IKEA entertainment center hack to get the look for less.

She used an IKEA Besta TV unit as a base for the center floating console, which she gave an upgrade by installing Semihandmade (opens in new tab) doors in White Supermatte Shaker Front (opens in new tab).   Erin also used IKEA soft close/push open hinges as she wanted a streamlined look without knobs or handles. The unit was attached to the wall with a support ledge at the base.

Erin then tapped Shelfology for the floating shelves and white top on the Best unit.

See all the details at theheartandhaven.com (opens in new tab).

9. Install a wall-hung unit for a sleek, modern space

Ikea entertainment center hacks by Tali Roth with Semihandmade

(Image credit: Semihandmade/Genevieve Garruppo/Tali Roth)

The contemporary space in designer Tali Roth (opens in new tab)'s NY apartment was crying out for a sleek media unit - and this floating six-door IKEA entertainment center hack was just the ticket.

The wide TV unit makes the most of the wall space while creating a sense of space with its wall-hung finish - a great small apartment living room idea (opens in new tab).

Tali used IKEA Besta units as the base for the console, and then upgraded them with Semihandmade (opens in new tab)'s Supermatte Light Grey Slab doors and chic Brushed Brass Bar Pulls.

There's enough room to store gadgets and remotes while keeping the look streamlined and classy.

10. Plump for paneling in a chic apartment space

Ikea entertainment center hacks with IKEA Besta and Semihandmade doors

(Image credit: @homebokenstyle)

When it comes to apartment storage ideas, a media center is an excellent go-to for housing all those unsightly items you want to keep hidden.

This paneled IKEA entertainment center hack was created by @homebokenstyle (opens in new tab) for a modern apartment space, and used the IKEA Besta systems - a firm IKEA hack favorite - as the base.

Matte black bar pulls add edge to the Shaker-style doors from Semihandmade (opens in new tab), while the brass wall lights - a brilliant small living room lighting idea - add a jolt of glamor.

The floating finish also adds a sense of airiness to the small space.

Ruth Doherty is a lifestyle journalist based in London. An experienced freelance digital writer and editor, she is known for covering everything from travel and interiors to fashion and beauty. She regularly contributes to Livingetc, Ideal Home and Homes & Gardens, as well as titles like Prima and Red. Outside of work, her biggest loves are endless cups of tea, almond croissants, shopping for clothes she doesn’t need, and booking holidays she does.