New Entertainment Center Finally!

Yesterday was an incredibly long day! I know some of you will remember me mentioning that my sister Crystal might be buying our old entertainment center. Well she gave us the money in advance Friday so that we could buy a new one so ours wouldn't be sitting in the floor. I posted here about my search for a new one and the one I had semi-decided on. In the end, Jess ended up talking me out of that one (it was from Wal-Mart, and she didn't want to risk our tv being damaged if it fell apart in 2 months). I've been looking for an excuse to go to the Ikea store in Charlotte (about an hour's drive away), so off we went today in search of a center. This was my first time ever going! Between the Charlotte traffic and the amount of people there shopping, Jess was feeling less than stellar (anxiety from the traffic and claustrophobia from all the people) so my first time was a bit lacking. We did, however, find an entertainment center. (Well, Jess found one; its the same one I had picked out and rejected because we couldn't mount it to the wall.) But she talked me into getting it anyway, promised she'd make it work, so we loaded it up and went on our way. (My first ever purchase from Ikea!!)

Ikea EXPEDIT, in white
Putting it together was easier than most of the furniture I've gotten over the years, but it wasn't without its snags. Most of the pieces are only held together by pegs, and it was extremely aggravating at some points trying to get all the pegs to line up to go in the right holes! When we finally got it all together and ready to stand up, we realized we had put the backboard on upside-down (it has a hole to thread tv cords through and keep them out of sight, and it was at the top when it should have been at the bottom), so the top had to be unscrewed and taken off, the backboard flipped, and then came another fight to get all the pegs lined up again. Once we got all that straightened out, we stood it up, and I have to admit it was a thing of beauty (see it there above).

Now, don't ask me why (I guess to save ourselves the trouble later?), but at this point we went ahead and put the brackets on that you use to secure it to the wall (if you look closely you can see it in the top corners of the tv space). I didn't know it at the time, but that would end up being a big source of frustration, which I'll get to in a minute.

Brackets on the wall, all that's left now is putting up the tv
And now we faced a dilemma. We had bought a wall mount kit for the tv thats compatible with the expedit. But we realized that if we were to mount the tv to the backboard there, because of the cords we wouldn't be able to put the expedit close enough to the wall to secure it to the wall, as Ikea recommends you do. In fact, the only way we could secure it to the wall would be if we didn't use the outlet on that wall at all, because its completely blocked by the shelves. So then we started debating on whether the center would be stable enough without being fastened to the wall to hold the tv. And eventually decided on not risking it. So Jess got the brilliant idea to take the backboard off and simply mount the tv to the wall itself. (I know, such a simple, common sense idea right!? We're such geniuses.) So came the top of the center AGAIN, we removed the backboard, and replaced the top piece. And proceeded to mount the tv on the wall.

So we ended up not needing the wall mount brackets at all. The problem came in that one of the screws had completely stripped when we were putting them on. You can even see where we couldn't even get it screwed all the way in. We tried the rubber band thing that I've seen all over Pinterest, but I guess our rubber band wasn't wide enough or thick enough or whatever, because it didn't work. So now we are stuck with that bracket on there. You don't really notice it unless you're looking for it, but I know its there! I might paint it white one day so at least it'll hopefully blend more with the center and with the wall.

We even took advantage of this time to include some new organization! I found some colorful zip ties at - wait for it - the Dollar Tree! So all cords are wrapped up as much as possible, leaving a little slack for movement, and zip tied to keep everything as neat as possible. They're even color-coordinated! For instance, blue zip ties are Xbox-related cords, green is Xbox accessories, orange is for power supply, etc.

After we got the tv mounted and all the cords in place, everything else had to be moved from the old center to the new one (read: all of Jess' million and a half DVD's and Xbox games). So once that was done, this is what we ended up with:

You can still see all the cords dangling behind the cubes, but I have a plan to fix that soon. I also threw up a few decorative items for the picture, but I'm not happy with the arrangement, so next time you see it I'm sure everything will be moved around as far as that goes. Plus Jess has promised to make room so I can have a shelf or two. Eventually I want to get some of the baskets or drawers that Ikea has that work with it too, something to help hide all those movies and games until we get better storage for them!

On thing I LOVE is that little vase of faux grass beside the tv. Its my way of bringing in spring in a super cheap way! I bought two sprigs of fake grass at the Dollar Tree and stuck it in a small vase filled with faux river rocks that I already had (originally from the Dollar Tree as well). I stuck it there to use a little of that dead space, and I love it there! And surprisingly, so does Jess!

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