For a long time, we watched all our 'television' on our laptops via what's-available-online. Surprisingly, my parents weren't so cool with 4 adults and 2 kids crowded in front of a 12" laptop monitor when they visited and wanted to watch something. So last year for Christmas, they gave us a television.
Like anyone who spent too many hours in front of the computer, our immediate thought was to hook the television up to a computer so that it could be A GIANT COMPUTER MONITOR, of course. We could store family photos on the computer and see them life size whenever we wanted! Hurray! We forget that a television can operate on its own. And the setup looked like this for about a year: (You'll need to look past the cute little keyboard surfer to see it.)
My father, determined to show us that a television doesn't require an expensive cable package or satellite dish, bought the antenae as well. Oh, cool, we're so retro!
Naturally, having all these computer pieces out and available to little fingers was less than ideal. You might notice the DVD drawer hanging open in the above photo. (See? I'm so glad Fritz doesn't read this blog. He'd be awfully grumpy if I knew I was taking semi-witty photos of the toddler and while letting our poor DVD drawer just hang there all exposed-like. Nevermind what's happening to the poor keyboard.)
It took us a year (and Ikea finally opening) to find some sort of semi-workable alternative.
We ended up buying two Vika Annefors, mounting them back to back, and covering the openings with a piece of board we painted to match. The board 'floats' away from the cabinet to allow for more air circulation. We cut pieces of plastic pipe to use as the spacers at the points where we screwed the board to the Vika Annefors. I'm going to let the photos tell the rest of the story.
It's definitely NOT a fine piece of furniture, but it's working well considering informality of the room and the short the lifespan of our furniture. (Have you noticed how quickly kids have a way of destroying things?) Also, I think that most people could do this themselves. The basic design would be pretty easy to snazz up with a different material for the floating center board or baskets for hidden storage on the shelves.
Fritz thinks we need a family seal to paint on the 'floating' center board.