A very popular amenity that’s found in many homes, newly built or existing – and one that’s on many homeowners’ wish lists – is a Home Theater or Media Room. Not only can a customized entertainment space in your own home bring the entire family a great deal of enjoyment, it can also add considerably to your home’s resale value.
Your media room can provide friends and family with a comfortable, relaxing space to gather and enjoy entertainment on a large scale. The room can be as complex or simple as you wish, depending on your budget, space, and needs. So if you’re primed and ready to design and build a media room you can be proud of, read on for some terrific suggestions.
Choose your space and make a remodeling plan
Ideally, a good starting point is the square footage. A 20 foot long by 13 feet wide space that doesn’t encroach on the primary rooms in the house is a great place to start if you have it. The chief consideration here is to not have the media room so close to rooms where the sound can disturb others or interrupt other house activities.
Many people choose to convert basement space into a media room – which is perfect if you have a basement – or they’ll consider an unused or spare bedroom or den that’s isolated from more high-use areas or on a second level. The room should measure at least 12 x 12 feet. If you have the budget for it, you could consider building a room addition to your home.
Get the shell in shape
If you’re building your room from scratch, as with an addition, be sure it’s insulated with adequate soundproofing. The standard rating for insulating media room floors, ceilings, and exterior walls is R30. For interior walls, go with R11. Both kinds of insulation can help muffle very loud movie blasts, but won’t totally shut out noise, and you’ll need to install added soundproofing when the pre-wiring of the room is completed.
Get wired for sound
You can design your sound system to suit your needs, from using the speaker system from your TV, to installing a complete surround sound system that will give you the total, blockbuster movie experience.
For many media rooms, the 7.1 surround sound system is usually the standard choice. It will provide you with a subwoofer, channel speakers covering the center, left and right side, plus two surround sound speakers for each side and the rear of the room.
Where you’ll run your wiring for the speakers depends on the location of your speakers. A center speaker will go at the top or bottom of the screen. Left and right speakers should be at an equal ear level on opposite sides of the screen. For the surround sound effect from the side and rear, speakers should be placed behind your first row of seats (if you’re designing a theater-like room). The rear surround sound speakers can be placed on the back wall. Bluetooth-enabled sound systems are also a good option, to keep as much wireless functionality as possible.
Make sure your room has a good sound balance, so there aren’t any strange effects, like heavily muffled sound or echo chamber reverberation. An acoustic ceiling may also help you achieve a proper balance. Allowing for easy access to your sound system components can make it easier for you to make upgrades or adjustments as needed.
Find your point of view
Choosing the perfect video system is a big part of creating your media room. Some TV’s are made for wall-mounting, while others work better on a stand or wall unit. The size of the screen also plays an important part of your media room experience. You don’t want something too small where everyone has to huddle up close. A good size to start with might be a 50 or 60 inch monitor, depending on your room size. From there, the choices expand. Always remember, though, that you should allow for the room to grow, as your preferences and desires could change over time.
The lighter side of things
You can create amazing ambience with good lighting, whether it’s recessed lighting in the ceiling that can be controlled with a dimmer switch, or LED lighting that accentuates areas in the room to create the perfect mood. A lot of people are choosing dimming LED lights and track lighting to be able to create the perfect lighting effect for any activity — from a family play night to a romantic date-night movie.
However you imagine and see the perfect media room for your home and needs, there are plenty of perfect solutions that will work for any home and practically any size room. Explore the possibilities that are out there, and start building on your dream today!