Thinking Outside the (Oak) Box


Oak furniture. Like oak flooring, it’s durable, tough, hard, and ubiquitous. The popularity of oak furnishings began in approximately 10,000 BC and ended in precisely 1986. Which is about when that built-in entertainment center showed up at your house. Since then, the behemoth has been sitting there resolutely in all its straight-grained, golden-hued glory, waiting for you to come back from a flea market with the two-foot-deep Sony TV/VCR combo you got rid of two presidents ago, and wondering if you’re ever going to dig out the board games on the bottom shelf one Friday night for another rip-roaring Monopoly tournament. The thing is bulky, hulking, and square, and it seems to compel its own gravitational force. The powers of your oak built-in aren’t limited to holding massive TVs with small screens, however. No. It has proven capable of compelling hours of searching for its own replacement on Dwell, Pottery Barn, Amazon, and Pinterest. Where everything is either two inches too wide, too narrow, or too tall.


The solution to the oak conundrum may not be another entertainment center at all. Owner Miranda Hersey sat down with Rob from IMI to lament the oaky domination of her living room, and the results speak for themselves.


Take a look at this combination of stock kitchen cabinet boxes from Jeff at Bayside Cabinets. We provided Jeff with dimensions and he put together a series of shallow base units and even shallower wall units, added some moldings, fillers, and a matching slab top, and voila: a new, light, bookshelf unit that enhances the rest of Miranda’s décor and reminds no one of their first apartment.


Rob and the team at IMI are always available to hear your ideas and work with you to solve design and construction puzzles—from oak entertainment units to whole-house renovations. Retro TVs optional.


Miranda took it took the next level by organizing her books by color!

Slideshow Below.

Have an oak problem? Reach out to Rob at IMI Construction info@olyglass.com or (206) 880-7443.

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