to design and equip a media room
Thinking of making your
own home theater experience? Slow down, there's
a lot think about. A true media room isn't
the old family room with a plasma television
hung on the wall. Yet that's what many people
do. If you want instead to build a true, state-of-the-art
media room, you could spend up to $50,000
for equipment alone and $50,000 more on furnishings.
OK, most people don't have $100,000 to blow, so here are some
suggestions for turning any room in your house
-- garage, basement, attic, spare bedroom
or family room -- into a reasonably nice media
"It always comes down to
how the client envisions their use of the
room," says Bruce Goff, principal of
the Domus Design Group in San Francisco and
Reno, Nev. "Is this a client who will
use the room every night -- have dinner in
the room --- or uses it after dinner."
Goff is seeing three types of media entertainment rooms being
created. The first one is used all the time.
It's the family room turned into a media room.
The homeowner adds a large-screen TV, audio-video
components and all the technology. "It
is no longer just the TV set," he says.
"Part of this is due to the growth as
well as the affordable price of flat-screens."
For those homeowners on a tight
budget who want to turn a 15-by-20-foot family
room into a media room, budget $7,500 to $10,000
on equipment. This gives you the speakers,
a flat-screen TV, a DVD player and controllers
-- something to watch and listen to. Depending
upon what you purchase, the furnishings may
cost an additional $5,000 to $10,000.
The second type of media entertainment
room is in a home large enough so it is actually
a separate room and may only be used every
few days. The third type of media room is
a true in-home movie theater.
"Wood paneling of various widths, different
than the paneling of the 1960s, is back in
style for media entertainment rooms,"
says Hilary Sopata of Interior Visions Designs
in Park Ridge, Ill. "Rich, medium-to-dark
woods, such as cherry and oak [stained dark
brown], can create an intimate theater setting.
Even pine is being used to create a different
look," she says. "This wood paneling
doesn't have the dark grooves of yesteryear."
However, Sopata recommends wood paneling not
be used in a basement.