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by Staff Writer
Making your television the focal point of your living room also puts your entertainment center in the spotlight. An entertainment center is more than just a place to store your TV. The right one is an accent to your home's decor. There are many options to choose from, so taking the time to think about logistics will ensure that you pick the right entertainment center for your home.
Think about what your entertainment center will hold. Any style of entertainment center or TV stand will work if you're just planning to set a TV and DVD player on it. However, if you need room for a game system, surround-sound stereo and media storage, you will want to get a large entertainment center with lots of space, shelving and storage cabinets.
Consider where you're going to place your entertainment center. Buying a large entertainment center for a small room can throw off the balance of the room and make your room seem cramped. Avoid this by purchasing an entertainment center that is proportional to the space it will occupy. Also, make sure your new entertainment center will fit where you want it without blocking heating vents or windows.
Match your entertainment center to existing style and furniture. Try to match color and style with any existing furniture that you have in the room. While you want your entertainment center to make a statement, you don't want it to draw attention because it looks out of place. Glass and metal entertainment centers go well with most modern and contemporary styles of living room furniture. Entertainment centers made of wood come in styles to match any style of home decor.
Make sure your TV fits your new entertainment center. For entertainment centers that surround your television, measure the width, height, and depth of your TV. With the popularity of flat-panel TVs, depth probably won't be an issue, but the width of a widescreen TV sometimes can be. Don't assume "fits most 32-inch TVs" means it will fit your 32-inch TV. Measure to be sure. This will help you avoid the hassle of returning your brand-new entertainment center just because it didn't fit.
Consider buying an entertainment center with additional features. Some entertainment centers have other features in addition to shelving and storage cabinets. Many feature doors to protect your electronic equipment from dust. Others have sliding doors that will close and hide your TV when it's not in use.
Published April 29, 2010
Updated December 12, 2014
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