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    Hooker Furniture offers entertainment consoles that feature gaming solutions such as built-in storage drawers and shelving for gaming systems, controllers, games and other media equipment.

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    If you prefer to have everything out of sight until you're ready to use it, consider an armoire or entertainment center with convenient doors and drawers. Photo: Hooker Furniture

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If you prefer to have everything out of sight until you're ready to use it, consider an armoire or entertainment center with convenient doors and drawers. Photo: Hooker Furniture


Cut Down on Cord Clutter

Acquiring new electronics and getting rid of old ones can be a nightmare if your cords are a jumbled mess behind the TV. Use mailing labels and fold them around each cord and label the wire. Don’t forget to label the cords that connect different components to each other, as well as the cord to the electric supply. Then bundle like wires together to cut down on cord clutter.

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  • Game On

    Hi-tech gaming storage tips for the modern home.

    by Trisha Kemerly

    Do you feel like your electronics, video games, CDs, DVDs and other tech toys are taking over your home? The heap of various systems, power cords, controllers, disks and peripherals that come with them can turn your home entertainment center into a tangled, unsightly mess.

    “There has been a huge explosion in the gaming market,” says Kim Shaver, vice president of marketing communications for Hooker Furniture. “We’ve discovered that 34 million households now have a gaming system, and the right furnishings can help your family enhance the gaming experience by helping to organize and de-clutter your entertainment space.”

    With some clever display and storage solutions, you can streamline your home media center and turn your entertainment chaos into a manageable mix.


    Display vs. Hideaway

    “First, decide if you want to keep your media under wraps or on display,” says Vince Alberino, visual merchandising manager at Pilgrim Furniture City in Southington, Conn. “There’s no right or wrong here. It’s just a matter of personal preference and how you actually use the space.”

    “The thing to remember is that any piece of furniture today has to do double duty,” Alberino adds. “Your entertainment center should incorporate storage, whether that is in the form of cabinets with doors, drawers, shelves or baskets.”

    Some people like to have their large, flat panel TVs out in the open, but want to keep all the other equipment tucked out of sight. If that’s your preference, look for an attractive TV console with drawers for media storage. TV stands come in all styles from vintage to modern, as well as different heights—if you or your kids spend a lot of time on the floor playing video games, you’ll want something that sits lower to the ground. If not, you may want a taller piece that supports the TV at eye level while you’re sitting on the sofa.

    If you prefer to have everything out of sight until you’re ready to use it, consider an armoire or entertainment center with doors. Armoires are particularly effective for concealing the TV and any associated media clutter when you want a quick way to clean up the look of your living room. Alberino also suggests a motorized pop-up TV lift cabinet as a decorative option for hiding the TV in a small space when not in use.

    If space is the major issue, modular furniture designs allow you to extend your entertainment unit upward and outward at varying heights, and may help you create just the right size and shape to fit your needs.


    Maximize Your Space

    One of the best solutions for adding storage is to look up! Vertical space is often underutilized, and home entertainment centers are a great place to make a change. Start by looking for furniture that makes full use of the height in your room—for example, some entertainment centers feature a bridge and audio piers over the TV for storing DVDs, CDs and games; or choose a full-scale wall system that features several levels of storage space.

    “A lot of customers choose a low TV stand for components, mount the TV on the wall, then install shelves above and around the TV to display and organize their DVDs and other stuff,” Alberino says.

    Think of other hard-to-reach areas in the room—such as above tables or sofas—installed, open shelving can be used here to display things you only need to access occasionally. You might also frame your TV stand or armoire with tall bookcases, which give you more flexibility in changing the room around than one large piece of furniture.


    Work All Your Furniture

    “Make sure end tables and other furnishings work overtime,” Alberino adds. He suggests two-tiered coffee tables that feature an extra display surface or built-in storage, end tables with attached magazine storage, and ottomans with hidden storage for DVDs or game controllers.