We wanted a built-in entertainment center / wall unit in our basement that we were finishing. Custom cabinetry was considered but it was way out of our budget. Then, we came across examples of others using HEMNES cabinets as a starting point and loved the idea.
Full disclosure – a tradesman (who did all the trim work in our whole basement) did all the work. If you are looking for someone to do it, the skill you would likely want is a custom kitchen cabinet installer – which is this guy’s trade. It took him only a few hours to do the wood work (he is awesome).
Making the HEMNES Built-in Entertainment Center
We bought 5 cabinet pieces and while the walls were still open we made sure the electrical and wood supports for the eventual TV mount were in the right place. This also allowed us to correctly position a fake wall on the right side. This gives the wall unit an edge to build into and also provides a separation to the two sides of the rather long room.
Using wood studs, MDF sheets and a lot of cutting of small trim pieces he built up the boxes on top and added trim wherever the cabinets didn’t meet correctly. All seams were caulked or drywall mudded to get rid of any lines between the cabinets and mouldings. A lot of sanding and then priming and it was done.
We used the same paint as the basement doors, trim and baseboard. It was sprayed on at the same time as everything else and all the shelves and doors were painted as well. Spraying is the only way to go for something like this – it just looks so perfect. I couldn’t imagine trying to match the paint and only paint selectively – I just can’t ever see it matching well enough. Also, I like the higher gloss and whiter white that we ended up with.
We ended up buying ceramic handles off Amazon (similar, here). They came from India apparently and were about $40 total.
It ended up costing about 1/3 less than we were quoted for a custom built-in entertainment center. Your costs will vary greatly depending on if you do it yourself or hire. If you do it as part of a basement reno like us it doesn’t add a heck of a lot to your overall trimwork or paint costs in the end… of course, that depends on your contractor and we had an awesome one.