Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Enormous useless speakers made useful and pretty

Allow me to introduce you to a pair of speakers.

Aren't they lovely?  Of course anyone who is under 30 probably won't know this, but this is the way we used to listen to music.  I believe they date from that decade when we wore scrunchies, baggy jeans and ruffled white shirts. 

These speakers have sat quietly in our front sitting room, weighing about 50 kg each and taking up rather a lot of space but otherwise minding their own business for about 9 years now.  Because of course, we have other, much, much, much smaller speakers.  In fact I am not even sure where the connecting leads for these speakers are.  

But do you think I can send them off to speaker heaven? No, I can't.   The following comments have been made about these speakers by a certain person (the owner):

  • you would never be able to buy speakers of this quality today.
  • there is no way we are getting rid of these.
  • you never know -  we might use them at some point.
  • they are hardly taking up any space - you can't even notice them.
  • maybe the children can have them when they are a bit older.
  • maybe one of the neighbour's kids might want them.
You may gather from the above that if I put these speakers out for the hard rubbish collection, it may just break his heart.  But still.  He said he wouldn't mind if I tricked them up a bit. 

So, after thinking a bit, I found a way to hide them and use them.

I have now turned his speakers into two plinth side tables.

First I bought some plywood.  Oh, and a saw, because we don't have one. 

Then I made a cage frame template thing to sit over the speakers.  I got the pieces sawn into the correct shape and stuck it together using ducting tape to make sure they all fitted. 

Then after some lengthy wallpaper sample experimentation, discussed here, I chose a colour, a goldeny Chinese print from GP&J Baker.  And then I waited, and waited, and waited, for it to arrive from the UK (by barge presumably). 

Once it arrived, I wallpapered the wood. 

I then stuck them together with more ducting tape.   This was the hardest bit, as I had to kind of squirm inside the cage to make the bits stick together.  

And then I put the frame over the speaker and slid it into place.  I think you can see from the photos that some of the edges may need a bit more work to make them completely square and neat.    Especially that pesky one on the left.   

And here they are: useless speakers made useful.

My new tables have a number of benefits.  First they are high enough to reach as most side tables are two low for the couches in this room.   Second they take the place of a coffee table, which I am not allowed to have in this or any room.   Third, they just look pretty.   And finally, my husband gets to keep his speakers.   In a sense.


Unknown said...

Wow Jane that's fantastic, well done they certainly don't look like speakers anymore! Janette x

Laura said...

Your husband is very lucky to have such an accommodating and stylish wife! The end result is fantastic, you have dealt with his pack rat tendencies in the most wonderful way...I must learn from you, as I live with a similarly sentimental man.

Amanda (Small Acorns) said...

What is it about men and speakers just like these (Well no longer just like these, but how these used to be!)They are the hardest things to disguise, and you've done a great job!

Caroline Martin said...

What a great idea! So much better than throwing them out.

Ange said...

Ha MY husband said EXACTLY the same thing but in French!! Then we had our housefire ... Obviously a prettier option to do what you did ;-) They're gorgeous!

Mise said...

This is ingenious. We have the very same calibre of speakers which mustn't be thrown out for exactly these same reasons, though at least ours are in the attic. But now I know what to do. I'm ordering some wallpaper on that same barge from the UK and I'd like to order you, Jane, on a (well-appointed) barge from Australia to work your magic on the speakers here too.

You could cover those troublesome edges with glued-on toning bias-binding?

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

I just echo everone else's comments.... a brilliant job. ....you would never know that there are speakers in there !
Oh, and, sticking up for my country....it may take us a while to send things BUT, everyone comes to us for the good stuff !!!!haha XXXX

Pinecone Camp said...

Fabulous idea! Now if I only had a set of old speakers;)

brismod said...

Well done Jane! A fabulous disguise for those speakers!

Anonymous said...

You are brilliant!!! And what a lovely pattern too. Bravo, Jane!

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Jane once again you amaze me. Is there nothing you can't do my dear? These not only look fabulous, you are being 'green' by re-purposing old (don't tell your hubs I said that) speakers, and you played marriage counselor. Your color-scheme by the way is gorgeous. So two thumbs way up from America. xx Bravo my friend

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Great Job Jane
I DO remember these speakers.. and probably their parents too!!!.. Back in the day when BIGGER was BETTER electronically speaking!! although it seems to still apply to screen sizes!! Well you have done a fabulous job and you know that your beloved speakers are still in there someone.. although without the floor pulsating from Led Zeppelin!!

Have a great week Jane and thanks for your lovely comments.. I'll have to think about it.. xx Julie

Splendid Willow said...

Jane, aren't you brilliant! A PERFECT compromise! I think they turned out fabulous! (Huz is probably going to take credit, though..)

I don't know why you are not on my blog roll. It needs to be updated. And you will be on it!

xx Monika


Millie said...

Well done Jane, I so love it when you channel Martha, we all benefit. And lovely that you saved your marriage in the process. I just loved your comment over @ The Hedge today - I just can't get that picture of you in your black Celica doing 'the business' out of my head!!
Millie ^_^

Unknown said...

I did a similar version to this in the early 90's when we still owned our pair. Btw, he is right, you never will find a pair like it again! I just measured a piece of cheap mdf a little larger to cover the speakers top with a little edge. Which I secured that with plumbers rods and braces, and overlaid some fabric. With this way done I hid speakers and got to use them without fear of the vibration bouncing objects off.

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