Where does your family gather? The kitchen used to be considered the “heart of the home.” That is until entertainment choices from Netflix, video games and 500 TV channels arrived!
If you have space in your home that’s being underutilized, a custom media room could be a great addition. These days, homeowners are building media rooms outfitted with flat-screen TVs, theater-inspired sound systems and comfortable seating. This makes for the perfect atmosphere for watching movies, playing games or hosting friends and family.
A media room can be created in any area of the home; even if you don’t have a dedicated “TV Room.” Interior designers recommend using your existing living room, however many New Englanders opt to use their finished basements for a media room. A basement media room is ideal for its dark and cozy, movie theater-like atmosphere as well as making great use of space from an otherwise underutilized area in the home.
Media rooms are appealing to homebuyers since they are traditionally less expensive than adding a dedicated theater room. Oftentimes, a dedicated home theater room requires more specialized systems installed as well as acoustics for the room, such as sound-proofing doors and walls. Because of their multi-purpose use, media rooms are also more versatile. A home theater is made to replicate a movie theater, with the focus of the room being the large screen TV or projection screen and sound system. For some homeowners, this can be a bit limiting.
On the other hand, media rooms provide more options for activities and can be designed to reflect the homeowner’s lifestyle or interests. Media rooms also have a “relaxed” interior design that flows with the overall aesthetic of your home’s vibe. Meanwhile, home theaters usually have a stark contrast to the rest of a home’s overall design.
Media Room Idea #1: Theater-Style Seating
Snow, ice and freezing temps. Yikes!
Any New Englander can relate to wanting to hibernate during winter months. A media room designed with smart home technology and automation creates the perfect entertainment space that’s comfortable for friends and family.
To accomplish a perfect movie theater-like quality, comfortable seating is designed in your media room. At Lifetronic Systems, we create seating based on your preferences, including theater-style chairs set up in rows, a large sectional couch or a lounge chair with a coffee table in the middle, perfect for your movie or gaming snacks!
Media Room Idea #2: Motorized Projection Screen
Lifetronic Systems loves adding projection screens to our media room projects. Projection screens create a larger viewing area than a TV screen (and, at a more affordable price!) Do you think your 60 inch TV is big league? Motorized projection screens can double that size. They are just like the projectors you see at a movie theater but in the comfort of your own home.
Worried about resolution? These days the quality of 4K Ultra HD Technology ensures an incredible viewing experience. When compared to a TV, 4K projection screens offer unmatched clarity. 4K TV can be hard to notice when viewed on smaller screens due to the number of pixels being fit into a small area. Ask an expert, on a jumbo projection screen, the devil is in the details — its resolution is crystal clear and details are seen noticeably better.
Media Room Idea #3: Motorized Shade Control
The dreaded television glare; every homeowner hates it, but avoiding this in daylight hours can seem nearly impossible.
Thankfully smart motorized shade control can completely block out any light from entering your media room. This system creates the perfect ambiance and takes the thinking out of your movie or gaming setup. Motorized shade technology can be used on any window in your home and is ideal for those hard to reach skylights or high windows that are often difficult to open and close. The “Movie” and “Music” settings create the perfect audio and video experience by lowering the shades and closing the drapes when it’s showtime.
Motorized shade control is great for your viewing pleasure and your wallet. When integrated into your whole smart home, these blinds leverage Mother Nature to open and close at optimal times to save money on your next electric bill.
Media Room Idea #4: Seamless Surround Sound
Lights, camera, action!
Quality sound packs a punch into any well-planned media room. These installations are typically created using the strategic placement of one subwoofer and five speakers in the design that envelops the audience and makes them feel like they’re part of the action. Need more? It’s easy to add sound to your custom setup.
Surround sound systems in media room installs feature a large projection screen or TV that can either be built into the wall or ceiling. This way, unsightly cords and outlet plugs are not visible.
A different approach may be taken for clients that opt for a TV versus a large, motorized projection screen. For installations created with a Samsung Frame TV or Séura Mirror TV, “invisible speakers” may be used. Stealth Acoustics creates award-winning sound systems that are a perfect fit for these applications. These speakers are created for the discerning homeowner and deliver an unparalleled surround sound experience.
Media Room Idea #5: Universal Control
Who likes fumbling through remotes for their TV, sound system and gaming consoles?
Having a different remote for each function is simply obsolete. When designing your media room, we ensure everything can be done in one place with a universal remote control. This makes it easy to use your cable, satellite TV, and streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc. This seems like a simple consideration, but it is one that is often overlooked or too difficult to manage if you choose the DIY route vs. hiring a professional.
Media Room Idea #6: Lighting Control
Creating the perfect ambiance for your game night or movie marathon is made easy with the use of lighting control. A smart light and a dimmer, which can be controlled via iPad or iPhone, is integrated with the rest of your smart media room so that the lighting and shade automation can work together. For example, when the “Movie” setting is selected, shades drop and the lights dim simultaneously. All that is required is the initial programming by a professional based on your preferences. We often include this in our media room installations and can recommend the ideal lighting for your home.
Media Room Idea #7: Entertainment Options
Media rooms are not limited to TVs and gaming systems. Homeowners can add more fun entertainment elements to this room, such as a card, tennis or pool table, bar area and wine cellar. We’ve seen some seriously cool interior designs inside a media room.
This is one of the major perks of having a media room in your home vs. a home theater. There are much more options to customize to your family’s lifestyle.
Media Room Idea #8: Smart Home Integration
A simple voice command allows your motorized projection screen to quietly come down while lights dim and window shades shut. This is home automation at its finest!
All of our media room ideas are made possible when integrated into your smart home. You see, smart devices and a whole smart home are worlds apart from one another. Utilizing a smart home setup creates one “ecosystem” that works in tandem with one another, communicating information and data back and forth to create a seamless experience for the homeowner. A smart device is simply one piece of that puzzle.
If you have questions about what media room elements could work for you, contact us to set up a free consultation today.