Home theater furniture - husband vs. wife

I'm sure this is a common source of friction for a lot of folks here. What kind of furniture do you use to hold your gear?

My situation: I need to hold a Parasound 2200 as well as my receiver and HTPC. I also have a big 200lb 36" tube HDTV. Currently I am using an ugly old pressboard entertainment center to hold the TV, receiver, HTPC, but it doesn't have the proper ventilation for the 2200. I was going to buy a nice looking rack to hold everything, but my wife says it is "too industrial" - and wants me to get something from Pottery Barn. They have a lot of nice wood furniture, but nothing that is designed for 19" rack mounted equipment.

Does anyone have a suggestion? She is actually quite reasonable about it... I am trying to collect some photos of what people have done to make things look nice so we can plan on what to do.

Oh yeah, I remember those conversations!

We compromised on this by getting some nice BDI racks.
(They are quality made racks, that have nice lines.)
They have both metal/glass and wood/glass racks. We went with the wood, as we both liked the cherry wood, as it was not too dark.

I went with the Ventura line for both racks that we have, which is no longer in production, but it is quite similar to the axis line. (They look nice, but do require a bit of regular dusting. I get quite a few compliments on them actually.)

BDI - Axis

My two cents worth anyway.
Good luck with the WAF!
You want a functional rack and she wants something that looks like good furniture. Mission not impossible, there are actually quite a lot of choices that could satisfy both of you.

I like the inovaudio racks... they're expensive, but the pics might give you both some ideas anyway. Happy hunting!

inovaudio racks page
I would put the HCA2200 on and amp stand on the floor. It really needs the open air. If you do that, maybe get a something from Pottery Barn for the other stuff.
Call Peter at Bavaria Racks, (Audiogon member) he built me the most beautiful rack with a very high WAF. Great price as well.
Gooooood Luck!
Since your wife mentioned Pottery Barn (Ethan Allen is another possibility), and since you mentioned that they have nice wood furniture, it appears that your taste and decor is leaning towards wood rather than metal.

One common wood option is a console table. The difficulty that I have found with these is that they're not typically made for larger 36 inch CRT TVs. The table top is not deep enough. Or the shelves below are not large enough for your equipment.

The second common wood option is the larger entertainment centre type of thing. You have a deeper table for larger TV's, and you have shallower equipment racks on either side of the centre table. The problem with these is that the shelves may be too enclosed or too small for serious audiophile gear.

Perhaps these are the issues you're facing. If so, a lot of auidiophile furniture makers do make larger wall unit stands for large screen TV's that is a bit more equipment friendly. However, I have found these to be quite expensive compared to another option, and that's the custom built option.

Take some pictures of the Pottery Barn units that you like, or other similar ones, to a local woodworker. You can then adjust size, shelving, etc. as required. I'll bet that you can get a custom unit, with choice of wood, stain/colour for less than what the audiophile furniture manufacturers charge for their large, wood units.
Salamander is another good option. You can get perferated side panels for cooling.
check out unfinished furniture places. If you're willing to finish it, you can find some very nice furntiture that may suit both of you.
when home theatre arrived it was made to be share with the family. lets your wife figure it out(they love a mission). two channel stereo, and the room its in, is a guy thing.
Agree on the Salamander. A lot of variety, and looks good in the living room.
My wife and I ended up buying a nice heavy wooden dining room buffet with drawers near the top and shelves underneath (see pics in my system). I took out the back for ventilation and wiring. It actually works very well and my wife likes the looks. I have an ir repeater so everything can be operated with the doors shut. I have my tube amp and tt on the top. Someday I might replace the shelves with something heavier, although I am running short on room. I have a 2" maple block and BDR cones under my CDP. One issue is it is a beast to move.
My wife fell in love with cherrywood Salamander Twin Synergy 40 the fist time she saw it. That was easy. :> )

It sells itself. I didn't have to do anything.
just stumbled into your spouse-effect dilemma. I am a furniture maker and created my all-wood racks many years
ago from recognizing that todays audiophile needs to have
his wife's blessings in order for him to openly display
his toys. But beyond wife-acceptance-factor, my extremly
sturdy racks are a true audiophile component, please
take a look, thanks and good luck, Peter .
Another suggestion more along the furniture look rather than stereo stand look is The Custom Shoppe. They have a variety of styles and finishes, but more importantly you can customize not only the wood, doors, finishes, glass, hardware, etc., but also the dimensions.

One of my local furniture stores had a nice display of the various finishes as well as some pieces and the furniture seems to be very well built. The website has more information:

The Custom Shoppe

Best of luck!
No battle here - wife is very accomodating. Yet I need an audio rack that 1) doesn't break the bank 2) Is vertical as I have very little width available in the room 3) Is functional for audio. I am told not to stack yet rack over 4-5 shelves seem "cheap" or "too expensive".(plus it seems stupid to have 12" of space for a 4" DVD) It is also a horribly difficult task to get behind it. My Salamander wheels fell off. So far, BDI looks OK - anyone have comments on them - can you add extra shelves, durability, hide wires, et. I live where it is hard to find places that carry good racks. Thanks, I sincerely appreciate the help. Budget $1500 Ed
Shaqspack (Interesting name, btw),

I really like my BDI racks.
They look great and have a very high WAF.

They are not movable (or at least mine are not - I have the now obsolete Ventura line), but they are pretty accesible for wires and such, as there are two supports at the two front corners, and only one in the center rear, which means the racks are faily open. This allows me to easily reach around the units to plug/unplug wires.

Mine have a 6 inch wooden support that runs down the center of the rear, which as allows for hiding wires, as there are large holes in the support for just that purpose.
(The Axis line has a much larger wooden support, which should easily hide all of your wires.)

The successor to my line is the Axis line, which allows the shelves to be moved vertically up and down, so you can narrow up that space for the DVD, and widen the space for your amp/turntable/etc.
(My Ventura line does not allow this unfortunately, although in terms of looks I prefer mine, as it is rather unique, in as that the glass sheelves are supported by "cuts" in the wood, rather than pins, which allows the glass shelves to actually stick out the front, which gives them a nice modern look, that my wife really likes.

The only thing about these shelves is that being open, they do let in dust, so you will have to dust them more often then you might normally. (However, you'll never have to worry about you amp having cooling issues either, as they are not in a confined space.)

Hope this helps!
Good Luck in your search.
Thanks Kurt. I am surptised I don't get mor comments on the name. mY DOGS NAME IS SHAQUILLE (which being a kings fan used to be a problem). His huge paws, playfulness and overall size made it a natural. People have reacted funny. Our black frinds think it is cool. Our white friends seem uncomfortable. (we are white). That seems odd as when you name your child after somone it is generally a COMPLIMENT, not racist or an insult. The pack is because we like the idea of living in a pack. Our website is a mees, but someday it can be viewed at shaqspack.com. Also, I thing we'll go with BDI. We both loke it and price is reasonable. I'll tell shaq you asked about him. Ed (the big dog)
Have you considered Nobelesse? I think they look quite nice, although I haven't "heard" them.


I had mine custom made.
Only about $200 in Thailand, where I live.

I do think the BDI are the best looking commercial units available
We just built a new house with a music room and I decided to be creative and match my room with the overall look of the house.
I installed a triple set of kitchen cabinets Adel Medium Brown from Ikea and I fit them with the glass doors for their wall cabinets. On top, I have a 1.5" thick butcher block counter top (stained medium brown) also from Ikea.
The cabinets are 30" wide and they are all half open in the back. The shelves are adjustable and there is enough room for any component. Those that need more air flow, I keep on top. The whole setup is extremely stable. The look is very appealing to both of us and the cost was very reasonable.
There is a picture under White Room. Please, feel free to take a look.
Check the following link, picture on the right at the top. If something like that (in solid 5/4 inch quartersawn oak) might interest you, let me know and I can hook you up with where to purchase. - Tim

have very nice Ethan Allen entertainment center for sale...raleigh nc