Tips for the Perfect Media Room

I love when I’m asked to work on media rooms of all types for my design clients from Yardley to Philadelphia to Princeton. Today, media rooms fall into two classifications: Dedicated Media Rooms look and feel like full out home movie theaters or there are Integrated Media Rooms, which are gaining trend today. This new term covers media rooms that also function in other ways – most usually as primary or secondary family rooms on the first floor or basement level of a home.

To get Media Rooms that hit the mark, one needs to keep in mind the following.

  • Budget. Always start here. I know it’s dull and nobody ever likes talking to me about this when they first begin meeting with me. But “b-word” is to design as stick is to lollipop…it holds the whole thing together. Set your budget first, see how to get the most mileage and performance out of that budget. And if need be, be willing to break things into phases.
  • Preferred Seating and Capacity. I have to consider with clients not only how many people they want to seat in their media room, but also how often and in what position. Are you snugglers and floppers? If so – theater seating will disappoint.
  • Room Shape. Generally, longer spaces shaped like shoe boxes work best. Too shallow a viewing depth and you compromise, among other things, ideal viewing distance and site lines. Longer, deeper rooms also nicely accommodate projection screens.
  • Ratio Size of TV to Ideal Viewing Distance. The general guideline here is that you multiply your TV size by 3 to determine your optimal and furthest comfortable viewing distance. So if you have a 150” long room, with the screen mounted at one end and let’s say a sectional sofa on the far wall, your TV should be not less than 50.” Ignore this and you’ll regret an expensive mistake.
  • Consider ROI. You get back what you invest. Designers and media specialists are really the best way to go on media room design. To get that optimum home theater indulgence and experience, you need some pros. There’s specific design and engineering necessary for optimal sound, viewing experience, comfort and “Gee, I love spending time here” media rooms. And after all – if you’re already investing your precious resources to bring this fun dream into reality, be wise with how those resources are used.

You work hard, you want to play hard. Media rooms are a great treat. My job is to insure that we delegate your budget wisely so that we can get you the end product you and your family are wishing for. For fun, if you engage us to begin a media room with you this month, we’ll gift you with $100 gift certificate to the retailer of your choice toward the TV of your choice! Ah…that luxury media room, that fun reward and indulgence that make spending time at home even more of a treat. Somebody…pass the popcorn and who took the remote?