An Old Entertainment Center Becomes A Potting Bench

My Mom, Erika, has been organizing her garage.  A couple of weeks ago, my husband Chris and I went over to haul away some of the larger boxes that she wanted to donate to charity.  I began obsessing over what was in the boxes and which items should go where.

I was too busy obsessing to pay much attention to a little plan that Mom and Chris were cooking up – a plan to repurpose a huge piece of unwanted furniture.

But it turned out to be a great project.

What To Do With An Obsolete Entertainment Center

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Decades ago, my parents bought a large, solid wood cubby cabinet.  They customized it to use as an entertainment center.   It had room for the big speakers, LP records, and other bulky media components that we used back in those days.

I didn’t think to take photos of it before Mom and Chris worked their magic, but this is roughly what it looked like.  (Apologies for my horrible computer mock-up.)

Over the years, Mom’s media needs became more streamlined, so the entertainment center ended up in the garage – where its huge profile took up space and blocked natural light.


Converting It To A Potting Bench

One reason Mom was organizing her garage was so she’d have room for something she really needed:  A potting bench.  She and Chris had the idea of cutting the entertainment center down so that she could use the base piece as a potting bench.

So Chris did just that.  By this time, I at least had the presence of mind to snap this photo of the base.

From here, Chris would add a countertop and install shelves in the open cubbies on either side.  The rest of the entertainment center would be scrapped.

Or would it?

Mom realized the bank of horizontal cubbies that topped the entertainment center could be turned vertically.  So Chris flipped the bank upright and attached it to one end of the new potting bench.

He cut, installed, and finished a piece of 5/8″ ACX plywood as a countertop.

He installed pegboard and pegboard hooks to the wall behind the potting bench.

And he installed this shop light, complete with plant and aquarium bulbs, above the bench.  The light and bulbs he used are fluorescent, and he used them because he already had them on hand.  Otherwise, he would have gone with an energy-saving LED option.


The Result

An obsolete piece of furniture had been transformed into something useful and attractive.

Chris cut the countertop to be a bit deeper than the bench, so Mom has space for a soil basin – and plenty of room for repotting and overwintering plants.


And, with the cubbies and the pegboard, there is a place for everything that Mom needs to keep on hand.



But what I love most of all is that this potting area, like the rest of Mom’s house, is such a cheerful space.

To recap, the entertainment center went from looking [kind of] like this

to this.

In the end, only the center panels of the entertainment center were scrapped.  All the rest was put to good use.

The Organizing Possibilities

Chris is still on a roll – this time here in his own shop.  He’s done some organizing and created some space.  And he’s installed pegboard so he can store his tools and supplies vertically.  Until now, I had no idea how many options for pegboard hooks and pegboard accessories there were out there.

Previous Visits to Mom’s House

Here are a few of Mom’s other projects:

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.



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