Built in Basement Home Theater

We wanted to have a built in entertainment center for our basement home theater, it was currently sitting on some wire shelfs and none to stable for some rough and tumble NCAA Football action. So we came up with a plan using parts from IKEA!  We ended up purchasing 3 BESTÅ shelf units, 4 BESTÅ VARA drawer fronts, 6 Lack wall shelves from IKEA for this project plus a bunch of lumber and paint.

We started by building a base out of 2×4’s to set the BESTÅ shelf units on. This was sized to fit the convenient setback in the wall in the basement.

Next we had to size the three IKEA shelf units were about 1.5 inches to long in total, so we happily voided any warranties and I modified the unit that would go in the middle.

After the modifications were done, the bases of the shelf units were screwed down to the 2×4 frame and then they were fully assembled. All the wiring was run for audio, networking, and power hiding it in a gap behind the shelf units and in the walls.


We painted the back wall an accent color. The doors were installed on the unmodified units and we build a custom top to go over the BESTÅ shelf units to get the television the correct height. We also filled in the wall using the LACK shelves.  Oh and we played some RockBand to test all the wiring connections.


We finished by installing the trim and painting the new countertop white to match the BESTÅ shelf units.

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14 thoughts on “Built in Basement Home Theater

  1. Michele McCracken says:

    I LOVE this idea! Can you explain how you resized the middle unit? Boy, your basement is a lot brighter than mine!

    Michele in Oregon

    • jason says:

      Thanks! I cut the top and base to size on my table saw after taping the cut lines to reduce the splintering of the finish. Next, I drilled new holes for the cut end and center vertical segments and plugged the existing center holes on the base. Lastly I had to cut the back boards to size and then scored new grooves in them for them to fit existing channels, again all on the table saw.

      I should have shot more pictures :-)

  2. Matt says:

    Your Sony (?) AV receiver in the lower left… check your owner’s manual for required clearance on all sides, as it will likely overheat the way you have it installed. You may also look into a Middle Atlantic Component Cooler, a fan that sits on top of your AV receiver’s vent to increase circulation.

  3. […] See more of the built-in Besta media unit. […]

  4. carrollfully says:

    Love it! Looks great!! Do you now what the length was of the side way short boards used for the frame? Also, can you describe how you did the top in more detail? Thanks!!

  5. This is a great blog, thank you. I have a site that reviews some home theater projectors like the EX3200 Epson or the optoma hd 66, but nothing is better than a self-built home theater. Congratulations!

  6. Ellen says:

    We love your built-ins and want to copy them! We’re headed to IKEA tomorrow and are trying to figure out just what we need to get. Could you please tell me which BESTA shelves you used? Thank you!

  7. Ellen says:

    Also, did you paint the doors and shelves, or did you just try to find a white for the counter that matched the shelves? Thanks!

  8. Christine says:

    Love the end result. We are just putting together our Besta units on bases. Do you happen to remember what paint color you matched the Besta to?

  9. Velva says:

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this
    post was good. I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re
    going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;) Cheers!

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