When people think media rooms, they frequently see opulent simulations of movie palaces in their own home. But don’t haul out the red-flocked wallpaper and stadium seating just yet. Multi-functional media and entertainment rooms have come a long way and don’t have to break the bank. A home media room can be a great way to use extra space, and since natural light is not necessary, basements and similarly cavelike spaces can be ideal for conversion.
Technology is obviously the most important feature in your media room, and the one that can put the biggest dent in your budget. Deciding what kind of screens, speakers and accessories to purchase is largely dependent on how you’ll be using the room and how much money you want to spend. If your room is going to be multi-purpose, you should probably consider a cabinet or mechanized screen that hides away, so that the tech isn’t always the focal point of the room. On the other hand, if you are a 24/7 gamer, maybe your screen becomes part of the decor. Acoustics are important as well: a professional acoustician can advise how to make your room deliver the best possible sound for your environment.
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Once you’ve decided your technology needs, it’s time to think about design. Color expert Martin Kesselman, owner of INCOLOUR in TriBeCa, says, “Having been in fine arts with a creative point of view, I think about all of the senses when designing interiors, and it’s especially important in a media or entertainment room. It’s a place where senses are heightened so you want to be conscious of that in choosing colors and textures.” He continues, “Balance is important. Movies and games have a lot of visual stimulation so neutrals would be ideal. Warm earth tones would work, or maybe consider blues instead of blacks because blue is a calming color. It could be a saturated blue, and it doesn’t have to be dark. I hear and see the ocean when I think about designing a room like this. Play with the positives in gaming and tech, and create a design that is smart and cohesive.”
If your room is multi-functional, home theater seating is not for you. Consider something that can be reconfigured, like a sectional that can be separated for intimate seating arrangements or rejoined for binge-watching with bunches of buddies Another alternative is a deep, comfy sofa with ample pillows and cozy throws, paired with a super chic recliner or two. And don’t forget side tables for everyone’s martinis and popcorn.
Lighting is an important element in any design scheme but even more so in a media room. Again, if your room is going to be multi-purpose, you will need more flexibility in lighting options as the optimum lighting for socializing will be very different than what’s needed for movie viewing. Thus, dimmers are a must. For rooms with windows and abundant natural light, consider motorized blackout or UV shades —and think about the placement of your screen so that it isn’t in direct sunlight. Smart technology makes it possible to control lighting, shades and all the media technology in your room with a Smartphone. So when you’re ready to move on to the feature presentation, you can dim the lights, reveal the screen, and let those opening credits roll!
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Last modified: July 8, 2019