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Let’s start with the basics: what is a media room?
A media room is a space designed to enhance the experience of watching TV and movies. Whether you need an out-of-this-world venue for your next Star Wars marathon or the ultimate shrine to your sports team of choice, a home media room offers everything you need to maximize the event.
It also means you’ll have trouble getting your friends to go home, but that’s a topic for another day.
Before you start enjoying the home cinema, however, it is important to begin with a careful plan. Taking the time to strategize will ensure that you avoid missed opportunities and really build the room of your dreams.
Where Should You Put Your Media Room?
This is sometimes narrowed down by your existing home’s layout, and what space is available. But, let’s imagine that you’re building or remodeling, opening the door to a wide array of location options.
The primary consideration here is the potential volume level. Let’s face it: media rooms should be loud! Not necessarily all the time, but definitely on movie nights, or when the space is being used to hang out with friends. Locating it a safe distance from bedrooms is a good idea, especially if kids are involved.
It can also help to hang your TV on a wall that isn’t shared by a room on the other side. A finished basement can make an ideal media room, offering natural seclusion, sound barriers, and a guarantee that nobody is on the other side of the wall.
What Should You Consider While Designing Your Media Room?
- Function – Is this a dedicated home theater, or will your media room be a multipurpose space for entertaining? It’s important to decide that now, especially as you plan seating, lighting, etc.
- Seating – A media room ideally offers a level of entertainment versatility. With that in mind, we recommend comfortable seating that can be easily moved around. You could form clusters for card games, a big circle for easily chatting, or face the seats toward the TV when it’s time to focus on the movie or game.
- Lighting – Again, versatility is key. Separating your lighting into zones can be helpful, allowing you to turn them all on when needed, or isolating the illumination to only specific areas.
- Your TV – We won’t get into the technical television options – that’s not our area of expertise. But, we would encourage you to carefully consider whether a wall-mounted, traditional TV would be the right choice, or if a projection option that can be retracted when not in use would suit you better.
- Hidden Technology – A theater-sized media experience can create a theater-sized labyrinth of wiring and cords, if you aren’t careful. Plan out in advance where your technology will be (speakers, TV, woofer, etc…), and make sure the bulk of the wiring can be hidden. Or, go wireless! You want as clean and simple an aesthetic as possible.
Media Room Bonus Tips
These extra tips are geared more toward home theater media rooms, but they’re helpful to keep in mind regardless of your overall goals.
- Go with Carpet – Comfortable, stylish, and it enhances the sound quality of the room as well. If carpet doesn’t do it for you, maybe just try a larger area rug instead.
- Paint Color – Choose as dark a color as you feel comfortable with. You can counteract this by planning for plenty of extra light sources, but when the movie starts you’ll be glad you chose the darker walls.
- Sound Proofing – The key is to insulate, both with traditional insulation (walls and ceilings), but also with absorbent materials. Carpet, rugs, even plush furniture can do the trick.
- Don’t Forget Decor – Retro movie posters, popcorn machines, a home bar; all of these features will take your experience to the next level.
Most Importantly, Have Fun with Your Space!
At the end of the day, your media room needs to work for you, your home, and your budget. Take the time to plan and really map out your goals, including a list of priorities, and then get to work creating a room you can enjoy with friends and family for years to come.