Small Media Room Ideas
Media rooms and home theaters are an increasingly popular feature in homes. Two major benefits are that they boost a home's entertainment value as well as its potential resale value. If you're planning to install a media room in your home but space is limited, you'll want to explore these small media room design ideas to ensure you maximize the square footage you have to work with and provide a comfortable and entertaining space for family members and guests.
The Disappearing Media Room
See more of this space. This room functions primarily as a family room, and is not a dedicated theater space. The clients requested specifically that the technology not be visible when the system is not in use. The screen, front speakers and projector are all concealed whenever the system is turned off. Flush-mounted grills on the rear-channel speakers give the only hint that this is a media room.
See more of this space. This basement media room, designed and decorated to suggest the casual feel of a pub, was created primarily as a space for watching sporting events. A video wall processor and JVC projection system equipped with a fixed Panamorph lens permit up to four sporting events to be viewed simultaneously in split-screen format.
See more of this space. This man-cave media room caters to the tastes of an avid golfer. It includes a high-performance theater system for enjoying movies and TV as well as a separate screen for a PGA golf simulator.
See more of this space. The objective of this media room installation was to deliver exceptional-quality picture and audio while having minimal impact on the aesthetics of the room. Theater elements, including a 103" plasma screen and Steinway Lyngdorf subwoofers, were discretely installed. Remote speakers installed in a billiards area behind the main seating space expand the listening area.
Not Your Typical Media Room
See more of this space. Far from the traditional home theater experience and furnishings, this media room — code-named "The Holodeck" — was designed as a futuristic ultra-lounge, complete with nightclub lighting and a fog machine. Microsoft Kinect hardware enables the system to incorporate high-end gaming while a sensor mounted above the screen tracks the player's movements.
See more of this space. The key objective with this media room design was to ensure that the technology had minimal visual impact and stayed consistent with the contemporary aesthetic of the space. The screen is flush-mounted, all speakers are mounted in-wall and in-ceiling, and the equipment rack is concealed in an adjacent closet. Vote for your favorite media room.
Prior to deciding on the small media room design that's right for your home, you'll need to decide on a location for this entertainment hub. The most important features of a media room are light and sound—it's important to place your media room in the space where you'll have as much control as possible over these key elements. For this reason, popular locations for small media rooms are basements, adjacent to living rooms, or in spare guest bedrooms—places that are self-contained, quiet, and won't interfere with the home's day-to-day operation when in use.
Once you've decided on a location for your small media room, it's time to start thinking about technical, audio-visual (AV) and design requirements. First up, you'll want to investigate your chosen location's suitability for custom wiring—you'll likely need it for lighting, video, audio and internet access. The first three categories are a must for any media room. Internet access is recommended, as streaming video and multiplayer gaming are more popular media room features these days. You'll also want to ensure that you can hide the wiring for lighting and electronics in the room's drywall, or in discreet tubing throughout the room; clumps of wires are an eyesore, and they can be a fire hazard as well.
When the wiring's done, it's time to consider the AV and electronic equipment you'll feature in your media room. Since your space is small, choosing the right size TV or projection screen is a must—you don't want to overwhelm guests with a screen that's too big for the space, or feature one that's too small and doesn't provide enough cinematic feel. Ultimately, size matters most for small media rooms—the room's dimensions will go a long way toward determining the size of the TV or projection screen needed, the number or speakers required for your sound system, and the scope of the lighting system.
Once you've procured the AV and electronic equipment for your small media room, it's time to think about the interior design and furniture. The scope and layout of the room will be a major consideration when it comes to the amount and type of furniture and accessories you'll choose. While larger media rooms sometimes use a movie-house theme to create a real cinema-style design, smaller rooms are more apt to feel like a traditional family room, with a comfortable configuration of couches and chairs for guests to utilize while they relax and enjoy the show.
See Also: Planning Your Own Home Theater
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