7 Ways to Create a Modern Media Room
As early as the 1950s, Americans have been refining the idea of the modern media room: an area of the house focused on creating a cinematic experience in the comfort of your own home. The 1980s saw bonus rooms take a big leap from showing off home videos to viewing movies on pre-recorded VHS tape or LaserDisc. At the time, home cinemas, if not in a separate den, were part of the living room, seating arranged around a bulky tube set, and—while the curtains may have been drawn during viewing—little else was available to create the ambiance of the theater.
As technology progressed over the last 40 years, we’ve seen what was once a high end but common practice go through a wave of luxury and return once again to a place of accessibility. With affordable AV and smart control technology, streaming and digital ownership, and professional and inclusive installation, having a very lux media room is well within reach.
So how does one go about creating this space? The first step is to come up with a plan. Ask yourself some questions to help you outline a path to your ideal design.
Where are you creating this space? Would you like it to be its own room, or does splitting a space make more sense? You may prefer to build your media set up where people are most likely to gather.
Now that you know where, you’ll need to decide the focus of media room needs. What will you primarily be doing in your media room? Knowing what you’ll really be using the space for can help you to decide on things such as lighting, seating, and what AV package fits best.
Lastly, who is this room for? There are so many who would enjoy a media room, but how does it fit into your life, who will benefit from it the most, and how can you fit the needs of those people?
So now that you have an idea of what your ideal media room or home theater is, what do you need to create it? Let’s take a look at some of the key components to the most common set-ups.
Whatever you’re using your media room for, you’re likely going to need a screen. With everything from tablets to wall-sized projection screens, you can find solutions to fit your needs. Keep in mind where any sources of light may be coming from when placing your screen. Make sure to address windows or entries to other rooms and position your screen away from any possible points of glare. Next will come seating, so account for that as well when figuring out placement.
No matter what size your space, how large your budget, or how many viewers you’ll have, it always pays to have flexible and affordable seating. Regardless of the variables, there are two directions you can take: theater-style, or home-stylex. With theater-style seating, the idea is to put your seating in rows, and elevate them on risers if possible, to give that cinematic feel. With home-style seating, you can be a bit more creative, choosing bean bags, gaming chairs, big comfy couches, etc. These seats would be arranged more organically, usually in a semi-circle or bunched together for a more boho, familiar feel.
It almost goes without saying that your media room should have surround sound. There are so many options available to fit a wide variety of setups. But knowing the optimum placement isn’t always a given. Working with a professional technician can take your media space from the ordinary to the amazing. It will have a huge impact on the experience if the speakers are mounted with the rooms acoustics in mind.
So, you have your screen placed, your sound system mounted, and your seating arranged. Next up is lighting. Because what is a media space without the ambiance of dimmable lights or gently lit floor tracks? Choose wall sconces of recessed ceiling lights for a real theater feel, or a collection of Wi-Fi connected table lamps for a more familiar and comfy vibe. The focus in your lighting choice should accomplish convenience along with atmosphere. Getting up to switch off a light doesn’t have the same effect as the lights magically dimming as the screen brightens and the opening sounds begin.
The worst part about going out to a movie is how cold it can get. It’s understandable that a building housing so many bodies at once would be better served colder than hotter. But when creating your ideal cinematic getaway or gaming station, you have the added benefit of controlling the temperature yourself. Fully integrated systems will allow you to control the thermostat for the whole home, and while it will definitely benefit your media room, it’s really an investment that will continue to serve your needs for years to come.
Your media space is really coming together and you are almost ready to view your first piece of entertainment. As systems and devices are put into place, you may notice an accumulation of remotes and controls. A simple basket might work to keep them all contained, but a more modern solution is to link all of those systems to one universal control. It is suggested to keep all over your associated hardware tucked away, but on hand, as a precaution, but for daily use, don’t skimp on the single point of control. Allow your experienced installer to link each system to an app for you that can be controlled by one or more devices, and never have to worry about someone misplacing a remote again.
You may have noticed that some of the suggested seating has room for drinks and snacks. That’s because having goodies and treats while you view is basically a prerequisite for any media room. Make this as simple or elaborate as your heart desires. Vintage style popcorn machine, mini fridge for beverages, snack tables, baskets of candy, the options are really endless. And it’s a cute excuse to buy these popcorn buckets.
With all of these components together, the only thing left to complete your media room, is to use it. Invite your loved ones in for a classic cinematic experience right at home. Your dreams of weekly movie nights and special celebrations is right within your reach.
Now that you have a solid plan, call Grand Slam A/V & Security to schedule a technician. They will turn your idea into a reality, answer any questions, and create a user friendly and cohesive automation design to fit all your needs.