Then I tackled this:
When the giant TV broke I thought hubby was going to start crying. Video games on a 60+ inch screen are that much more awesome, I will admit. We've been using our 29 inch "spare" TV (which used to be our main one). To give you an idea of scale, the TV in the photos is sitting on a 20 gallon tote bin. Even more perspective - I'm 5'1" and I barely had to duck to walk inside the giant TV hole.
First things first: remove the mantle. It was only held on by an L bracket and two screws. That's pretty unusual for the homeowner that built all the stuff in the house, he generally built like there will be a herd of elephants tap dancing on everything.
Then I got out the hammer and started waling on it. What I wanted to do was start with the upper compartment where the DVD and game consoles lived. But that was too hard and required using the drill instead of hitting it with a hammer. The bottom part showed much more favorable results with the hammering. And I found two outlets that had been covered up by the built in. Not unsafely covered up, just rendered useless since they were hidden behind the giant TV.
A little more than one hour into the demo and I had the above. It looks so easy in photos.
On to the upper compartment...
About two hours total, and I ended up with this:
And, is it just me, or do the ceilings look taller?
Directly after this project I decided to vacuum the carped stairs with the hand brush since I had the vacuum out anyhow. Glutton for punishment, I am.