Believe it or not, I'm having an Armoir professionally built because I neither have the time nor the tools to build one (to my wife's likeing.) BUT, I have a few observations for ya considering I've been through a Phase I with our Cabinet Maker.
Since it sounds like it's going into a Family or Living Room, design the 'face' such that it neither looks like your Kitchen Cabinets NOR a piece of Bedroom Furniture. In short, you want it to 'look' like it belongs in the FR or LR; NOT in the Kitchen or Bedroom. See what I'm saying?
Before you do any cutting and such, be sure of your dimensions. What I mean is (and I'll use my case as an example), I had to measure my 'gadgets and guts' to be sure they'll fit in the Armoir. Mine will be a Computer Armoir. Since I have a 19" Monitor, a Scanner, a Printer, a PC, and a need for various drawers and slots and such, I had to give the Maker some Equipment Measurements first. From there, he'll deal with 'air space', unconventional sizes, and 'holes' for all the wiring. Right now, I don't have any measurements BUT we have maximum measurements. Since ours is going in a relatively 'unused' Living Room, we don't want it too big where your eye is always drawn to it.
Now, as for material, the FRONTS of the Armoir (on the outside) and the 'faces' on the INSIDE (including shelves and pull-outs and so on), are solid oak. The sides and back are Laminated Plywood. Also, the unit will be 2 pieces since you will need to move it one day or another. And if it's in 1 piece, you'll be sorry you didn't build it with 2 pieces (top and bottom.) Our particular Armoir will have a swing-out 'desk'. The doors will be full wrap-around doors. We opted NOT to have the 'pocket' type doors because we want the unit to be small AND conserving space is important. (Again, we don't want ours to stand out too much in the living room. Right now, it's the largest piece of furniture in that room.)
What you could do is go to Sears (for sure) and look at their pre-made Armoirs. They're constructed of laminates and particle board (which the latter is a no-no.) They look very 'office-like'; NOT something for our Living Room. Ours is being built by the Amish and we have to wait until March or April for completion. (This is about a 5 month wait from when we started.) Soon, we'll be getting our first 'pass' at the design along with a price. Rough estimate: $1800 - $3000. (It is a custom piece of furniture.)
Perhaps others will have some input. If you have more ?'s based on what I've given you, do post up. My best to ya and hope this helps.
Jay J -Moderator
PS: There are TONS of WEB sites displaying Computer Armoirs but the few that I've looked at don't show TVs in them. However, if you'd like to see some of the displays in the showrooms, visit Computer Armoires and start poking around. Some have dimensions listed. But remember, they're COMPUTER ARMOIRES. (Also try Computer Armoirs