The typical entertainment center in an American home is a platform for a TV and hiding space for a lot of corded equipment. Moss dared to re-imagine the concept as a showpiece (and storage unit) for an older form of entertainment. This unit displays books, travel momentos, and an array of fine wine, and it conceals the basics of a home brewing apparatus in its closed shelving.
(Like all Moss furniture, the Enlightened Man’s Entertainment Center is cat tested and approved.)
Know your Sources
We’ve talked often in our Furniture Feature posts about how much we love to source local and reclaimed wood for our furniture projects. Many, like the Willow Springs table and the LAX desk, are created from local trees that needed to go and were given new life as furniture.
Others, like this and many other furniture projects, are reused existing lumber. The Enlightened Man’s Entertainment Center was once a walnut barn in nearby Cambridge, IL. You can still identify the nail holes that mark its history, but the surfaces have been newly planed to shiny smoothness.
An Entertainment Center Stocking a Different Kind of Fun
We see this as the entertainment center for a new (or should that be an older) kind of fun. We like TV a much as the next folks at the end of the day but don’t think it should be the only area of our living space celebrated by beautiful furniture. This piece puts the spotlight on other things we prize like fine wine and our (tall shelf loving) collection of architecture books.
Form follows function
Since we knew that wine storage was going to be a big part of the purpose of this design, we started by figuring out how one should, and should not, store wine.
You can keep a bottle or two standing upright on your counter for a while. However, we like to buy favorites in bulk a few times a year, and the best way to store wine in the long term is on its side. Simply setting it out on a horizontal surface creates a system where the last few bottles tend to roll around making alarming clanging noises. Instead, we built the wine shelves at an angle so that gravity would always help us keep the bottles in place.
We sized the book shelves to hold our – typically oversized – architecture, travel and cookery books. And the storage underneath is intentionally fitted to the dimensions of home brewing beer containers, holding a carboy or a growler with ease.
Reprise: Herringbone Shelves for Bar Pastoral
In the end, this idea worked out so well that we returned to it for wine storage in the Bar Pastoral project, a Lakeview neighborhood bistro specializing in artisanal wine and cheese, several years ago. We repeated the herringbone shelf storage for the wine – no roll away bottles – that keeps corks moist, and attractively stores a number of the same type of wine at arms reach for busy bartenders with a minimum of fuss.
For Bar Pastoral, we executed the shelves in reclaimed Black Walnut (former barn boards sourced from Cambridge, IL) which coordinated with the gleaming dark wood surfaces and rugged materials featured throughout the space.
We’d love to see more homes feature this Enlightened Entertainment Center!