Greene and Greene Inspired Entertainment Center

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Project by briwalkr posted 07-04-2009 04:37 AM 6908 views 15 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

OK – this is one of those give and take projects. I wanted a new flat screen TV for our great room. However, my wife said that the only way I could get it was if I built a piece of furniture to sit it on that matched the Arts and Crafts style house we just finished building.

Since the woodwork in the house we inspired by the Gamble House built by Greene and Greene in 1908 in Pasadena CA. (pictures included – no the pictures are not of my house.) I looked to see which details I could incorporate in the entertainment center. I choose the classic “Cloud Lift” and rays used by the brothers Greene to represent the sun in the window screens on the house.

The main piece is made from 8/4 Cherry milled down to 1 5/8” to match the some other pieces I have in the house. The depth is 21” to accept the stereo components, and the top is 60” wide. The back is all open to aid in ventilation of the components. The front black mesh on the doors is from Rockler. It is a fabric mounted to a semi-stiff plastic backer that is perforated for use on stereo speakers. It allows the signal from the IR remote to pass through to the receivers and allows airflow to keep them cool.

—UPDATED – 7/4/2009
Based on the comments, I added some detail pictures of the doors. Here is the process I used to transfer the detail to my project.

  • I used the picture of the Gamble House window
  • I enlarged it and printed it on plain paper until the proportion was correct (I have another picture with my wife’s hand in it as a gauge).
  • I then cut out the printed picture and transferred it on to a full size drawing of the door.
  • Then the detailed marking and cutting process began

I made the screen retention system easily removable. I have a small one on the way, and I expect I may have to replace this at some point in the future (even with the plastic backer there is going to probably be a point with a finger, hand or toy wants to push its way through).

-- Brian - Virginia

17 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118309 posts in 4916 days

#1 posted 07-04-2009 04:42 AM

Hey Brian
This is a way cool entertainment center ,fantastic design G & G and features from the Gamble house. Well done


View kolwdwrkr's profile


2824 posts in 4929 days

#2 posted 07-04-2009 05:30 AM

Cool. I love the doors. Nice piece.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View CodyC's profile


39 posts in 4768 days

#3 posted 07-04-2009 06:27 AM

Very nice. What is the finish?

-- Cody Crisp

View dmoore's profile


177 posts in 4653 days

#4 posted 07-04-2009 07:22 AM

Wow this is a great piece. Well done.

-- Duane, Ohio

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4929 days

#5 posted 07-04-2009 08:12 AM

Very nice design.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View degoose's profile


7286 posts in 4693 days

#6 posted 07-04-2009 09:11 AM

I had not thought much about G and G prior to joining this site but the more I see the more I admire the style.
You have brought that style to your piece perfectly. Double Wow!

-- Be safe.

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 4665 days

#7 posted 07-04-2009 10:05 AM

Beautiful piece my friend…VERY nice. You nailed the G&G style perfectly….all can say is WOW !!! And I have to agree with degoose...never really even thought much of the G&G style untill I joined L/J’s… my mind is clicking with ideas.

-- Don S.E. OK

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 4787 days

#8 posted 07-04-2009 11:36 AM

nice design, really like the G&G…looks great…very well done

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 5113 days

#9 posted 07-04-2009 11:59 AM

Beautiful piece and design! Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5557 days

#10 posted 07-04-2009 03:09 PM

Beautiful reproduction and adaptation of the original design!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View CreekWoodworker's profile


409 posts in 4637 days

#11 posted 07-04-2009 03:43 PM

Wow! really nice. I like how you designed the doors.

-- Mike ...Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction

View briwalkr's profile


19 posts in 4588 days

#12 posted 07-04-2009 05:18 PM

Thanks everyone for your comments and support.

For those who haven’t seen much of the Gamble house. The website has a good set of pictures. I happened to stumble across it when in was in California for work a few years ago. If you ever happen to Pasadena, I recommend taking the tour. They also have a nice walking tour of other Greene and Greene houses and some designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I am hoping I can coordinate one of my trips to CA to catch one of the “Details and Joinery” tours.

Details and Joinery - A Craftsman Tour

As far as the finish – I use an combination of things I have found over the years. I typically gravitate to a flat finish that protects the wood, makes the grain pop, and doesn’t look like a thick film on top of the work. Since I really haven’t found a product that provides that perfect combination of those attributes, I have derived this method.

—Sand the piece to 600 grit until the wood starts to shine on its own and all of the fine swirls disappear.
—Apply a sanding sealer used on commercial floors Bona Drifast. This provides the closest thing I have found to a flat finish, and since it is a polyurethane based product it really brings out the grain. This product is designed to dry in ~ 2 hours (I always give it 24 hours just to be sure).
—Lightly sand again with 600 grit. This is just to knock off any grain that raised with the finish or to remove any dust that may have found its way onto the finish while drying. If I sand light enough this will not put any noticeable scratches in the finish, but that is not always the way it works out.
—On pieces like this one I add a couple of coats of bowling alley wax and buff to a light sheen.

The Sealer alone provides a good level of protection, and that is all that I have on all of the wood trim, posts, beams, and wainscoting in my current house. It has survived multiple parties with people setting (and spilling) drinks on the wood. We have been in the house for 4 years, and I haven’t needed to touch up or re-finish any of the wood work in the house.

Bona DriFast Sealer

For a piece like the toy box that 2 deep in the project list, I will finish with Bona Traffic which is a waterborne floor finish. I tested this stuff on the floors in my house in Idaho. We lived there for two years, and I played a lot of fetch inside with one of my dogs. When we were moving out of the house and really started cleaning the house getting it ready to sell, we noticed the floors still looked brand new. However, the wood HVAC vents that came pre-finished had most of their finish scratched off from the dog’s claws sliding across the floor chasing the ball. On either side of the vent you couldn’t even notice that there was a scratch, and the vents were in low fetch traffic zone. The rest of the floor was getting much more abuse than the vents. One coat of the Traffic is plenty of protection for most furniture pieces, but it does add a slightly noticeable film on top of the wood.

Bona Traffic

Thanks again for all the encouraging comments.

-- Brian - Virginia

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 4664 days

#13 posted 07-05-2009 12:45 AM

I wonder what you will design to get the high def projector and cinema room ;)

The cloud design looks very fluid. I like it.

View briwalkr's profile


19 posts in 4588 days

#14 posted 07-05-2009 04:30 AM

mtkate – I think I would have to design a new house to pull that one off….

Thanks for the comments.

-- Brian - Virginia

View cobbler's profile


350 posts in 5129 days

#15 posted 07-06-2009 01:22 PM

really nice piece. You did a great job.
I also like to put my spin on established furniture styles.
Thanks for posting.

-- ''Carry on my wayward son''

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