Homeowners renovating or building a new property may describe their ideal living room or den to include surround sound and a large screen. Would they be more suited to a home theater? Or maybe your clients want a home theater, but also like the idea of spending time in the room for socializing. Home theaters and media rooms share similarities, but each room performs best with specific design and technology in mind. If you’re an interior designer or builder, this is an excellent opportunity to provide your clients with creative solutions.
As you chat with clients about what they would like in their Charlotte, NC home, consider the following questions to help build the best space for them. Whether they’d like a media room installation or a home theater, we share our expertise with both below.
Ask your clients: do you plan on entertaining during movies or while listening to music? Will you use your new media system for gaming or soundtracking a party? Is flexibility necessary for your space? If the answer is yes to these questions, a media room may be a better fit for socializing-inclined clients. On the other side of the coin, if your client already has a place for social gatherings and television, they will appreciate a dedicated home theater.
While the screen of a cinema may seem like the most critical factor, it’s important to remember the sound and room components, too. Home theater screens are available in impressively high-definition options now, with home IMAX screens and 4K projectors. If your clients are seeking the best and brightest, let them know that 8K is more widely available now, as well as enhanced 4K format that surpasses earlier editions.
Traditional surround sound has been a staple for years, but immersive audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are changing the game by doing away with separating audio into different channels. The result is a three-dimensional sound experience just as powerful as a 60-speaker cinema, and in a much smaller size. To balance the audio, private theaters need the right sound staging and acoustics, which a partnered home theater professional can help with.
A media room, unlike home theaters, is all about flexible seating that they can rearrange for conversations and games. You’ll still want to install an ample screen so that everyone can see, even from the bar in the back of the room. A helpful way to measure the ideal size is to take the screen’s diagonal measurement and double or triple it to get the length of the room. Viewers should still be able to see the screen clearly and remain impressed by the size.
If you’re an interior designer, media rooms are a fun opportunity to creatively incorporate spaces like wine bars, pool tables, artwork, and sound-absorbent carpeting. Smart lighting is an easy-to-use and exciting way for your clients to set the mood, whether it’s party time or the opening credits to a movie. With a smart system like Lutron or Control4, they can create settings for the room’s lights that are activated in one press of a button. Subtle downlights that fade as the film starts builds excitement, and tiny pathway lights will illuminate just the right amount for exiting and entering the dark room.
If you’d like to incorporate home theaters or media rooms in your future design and building projects, consider partnering with The Integrated Home to install speakers, screens, smart lighting, and more. Give us a call at (704) 412-4040 or fill out our online form to learn more about media rooms and home theaters.