Antique Cabinet     with TV Lift    

(Click any photo for a close-up view)




(Click any photo for a close-up view)


This fascinating project originated when the client acquired an old, distressed antique cupboard, which was to be added to their eclectic collection of fine furnishing in the living room.  As can be seen in the top row of photos, this piece of furniture had been around for many, many decades and had been heavily used, both outside and within.  However, it had acquired a patina and overall appearance that is hard to duplicate in a newly-manufactured piece of "antique" or distressed furniture.  The stated goal of this project was to strictly preserve the exterior appearance of the cupboard, but convert it into a cabinet which could be used to conceal a small flat panel television, DVD player, and cable TV box. 

Since it was to be located in the formal living room, those TV components would be seldom used, and thus it would be best to hide them within the cabinet, with a motorized lift used to make the TV "pop up" for viewing when desired.  Many manufacturers now make motorized flat-panel TV lifts, but what is often overlooked (and became an issue in this project) is that you cannot place anything on the countertop or surface from which the TV will emerge.  Although the lift mechanism is quite shallow and only occupies the rear section of a cabinet, anything sitting on the cabinet top (photographs, lamps, etc) will block the TV screen after it has been raised into position.  From the client's perspective, this was not an acceptable solution.

In order to address this issue, a motorized "platform lift" was installed instead.  This mechanism has a 300 pound weight capacity, which as seen in the photos above, is able to hoist the original top panel of the antique cupboard, an internal storage cabinet which holds the TV/DVD/cable TV components, AND all the decorative objects (lamps, books, etc.) which are sitting on top of the cabinet.  Storage compartments built into the internal cabinet structure allow DVDs and other accessories to be conveniently housed.  Once fully raised, the entire assembly can even be rotated for better viewing angles if desired.  A remote control unit allows the lift to be easily raised and lowered as desired.  The only "drawback" to this solution was the cost of the heavy-duty lift (approximately $1800), which accounts for nearly half of the entire project expenses.

The final challenge in completing this project was the structural integrity of the antique cupboard itself.  Though not completely falling apart, it simply wasn't sturdy enough to support the weight of the platform lift, the new internal electronic storage cabinet, and all the electronic components themselves.  As a result, the original cupboard was "gutted", leaving only an external facade which consisted of the sides, face and top panel of the cupboard.  An rigid internal shell made from plywood was built to support these original antique elements, as well as house the new platform lift and all the other added components.  Once completed, it's virtually impossible to tell the cupboard has been modified, unless of course you try to open one of the original drawers or doors, which are now sealed shut.

Approximate Dimensions

50" wide, 44" tall, and 24" deep.

Related Items

For other TV/AV stands and home theater installations, please visit the Home Theater page.  To see other traditionally-styled projects, please visit the Traditional page.


The renovated antique cabinet shown here, including the expensive motorized platform lift, was $3800, not including the acquisition of the original antique cabinet itself.

[Home Page]        [Back To Previous Page]