DIY Entertainment Center

Remember a really long time ago when I shared how I got into woodworking and then said I would start sharing my projects and didn’t? Well now is the time! I thought I would start by sharing the first project I ever completed, our entertainment center.

The Cozywood Life Pottery Barn Entertainment Center-7

The Cozywood Life Pottery Barn Entertainment Center-6

The Cozywood Life Pottery Barn Entertainment Center-4

The Cozywood Life Pottery Barn Entertainment Center-2

When we moved to Princeton the only furniture we had was a dining set and a desk. That meant we were sleeping on an air mattress and sitting in camping chairs in our living room. We used our desk as a tv stand and got a couch and bed a month after moving in. After we got our couch I wanted to start building our entertainment center. Yes, I chose to build the biggest project first. I don’t know if that’s crazy or hopefully determined, but that’s what I chose.

On our road trip from California to New Jersey we started browsing online for entertainment centers we liked. When we got more settled I started looking on Ana White’s website and saw what we were looking for. It was the knockoff plans for the Logan entertainment center from Pottery Barn (plans: media unit, lower side shelves, upper side shelves, and bridge). While we made a few modifications, like making the top shelves 5 inches taller and making the bridge have two shelves, I stuck to these plans pretty closely.

When I started this project in October I had one part time job. Once I got a second job it delayed my work time. In the end I used 4-5 big chunks of time in December and January. My goal was to have it completed by the end of February. This included a massive move of all the pieces to our apartment (I built them at Chris’s parents’ house), sanding and cutting beadboard in my bathroom, assembling everything, and priming/painting. The first picture was our preassembling at Chris’s parents to make sure it worked, the second is after we moved everything to our apartment (aka chaos), and the third is right after I finished painting it.

Sept to Dec 2013-223

Jan to April -50

Jan to April -55

During the process there were definitely moments of frustration. As I put all the pieces together I learned why it’s important for pieces to be square (the corners are 90 degrees and the measurements of each diagonal are the same) because when they are not, some things are crooked and don’t line up. This resulted in some problem solving when a few boards that should have fit ended up being too short. While this was frustrating, I also had to remind myself that I knew there would be imperfections and what was more important was that I actually built it! That is a huge accomplishment that I should be proud of instead of constantly focusing on the small imperfections that only I will notice.

Looking back at these pictures I am very thankful for how far our place has come in the past year and a half. And it has now experienced all the seasons!

The Cozywood Life Pottery Barn Entertainment Center at Christmas

Overall we love this entertainment center. It’s exhilarating and exhausting to finish a huge project like this, but we take joy in it every day as it is the central focus of our living room and it displays so many items that we love.


  1. Aunt Nancy Winfield

    August 14, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Sarah, you make me proud. You are continuing the tradition of woodworking on the maternal side of your family. It also makes me proud to see you grow into a strong, independent, self-sufficient woman. This brings back fond memories of my Grandma Mauck who demonstrated through her life that women can do anything in life that they choose. Hooray for you!

    (Now, will you make me a headboard for my new bedroom Up North? Ha! Ha!)

    • Thanks for the encouragement Aunt Nancy! And of course I will make you a headboard! And I thought you would be happy with this post because you can finally get a little peek at the curtains I made.

  2. I still can’t believe you built this. It’s so amazing.

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