Here's how we created our great room's media wall featuring a "faux fireplace," as featured in HGTV Ideas magazine.
Hanging a 50" TV above a fireplace was not an option - we'd have to crane our necks to see it from the sofa only 9 feet away. So we made the TV look like a fireplace in a mantel instead of hiding it in a cabinet. My inspiration was a very realistic fireplace DVD online ($14.95) from plasmawindow.com.
Our builder built the arched niches from my drawing above. Jim and I did the rest in about 3 weeks using economical paint-grade poplar, pine and MDF from Home Depot.
We installed the Fairfield mantel in poplar from Premier Mantles, custom sized for the 24" deep niche. Then we built the removeable frame above that fits inside the mantel and around the TV. That was the hardest part of the entire project.
This was our first-ever woodworking project (winter 2006). I did the miter cutting, trim and finish work. Jim handled the table saw and router. We now have a garage full of power tools. Our favorite is the Paslode nail gun. Everyone should have one.
Jim built the cabinet boxes out of sandeply plywood. Shelves are MDF. TV is a 50" Samsung DLP HDTV. The arched plantation shutters were custom made to fit the back of the niches by Blinds4Less, St Augustine.
The mitered doors with euro hinges were not quite so easy. I applied the trim and stapled on the speaker fabric from Acoustical Solutions, Inc.. after Jim assembled them. Hanging them was frustrating, but we had patience and got it right.