Media rooms are still a hot topic among homeowners, but local experts say more clients are including media room features in spaces once designated as living spaces or family rooms.
“Most theater/media rooms we create are both family and media combined with technology and a designer look,” says Hugh Cobb of Cobb Home Innovations, LLC. “This way, the room serves as a multi-purpose room appealing to both men and women.”
In agreement is Kurt Schusterman of California Closets, who says, “We’ve seen more and more homeowners building their media room into the family room. With wireless technologies and more beautiful finishes to the cabinetry, people want to create a room where they can hang out with the family, play video games, and watch movies, but keep the room looking beautiful and multi-functional.”
Although theater rooms were once the rage, homeowners are moving toward the use of multipurpose media room, according to Kimberly Kelly of K7 Interior Design. “Today’s media room functions much like the traditional family room, the difference being that most activities are filtered through technology. Media, home automation, web-based apps, and streaming media join to create today’s “smart home,” making infrastructure the backbone of the system,” she says. A great A/V company is worth its weight in gold, Kelly adds.
Kate Gray Fudim of Beth Haley Designs reports, “Media rooms are all about flexibility. People want to get the family together to watch a movie, have friends over to watch a game, and they want a place where everyone wants to get together and relax.”
Regarding client preferences, Fudim says that at the very least, some homeowners are looking for a big screen while others really need multiple screens to fit their lifestyle.
“Technology has changed so much in recent years it is now easier than ever to stream programming and to install integrated sound systems that don’t break the bank,” she says.
Among popular trends for media rooms, today is the desire for multiple screens. Kelly says multiple screens are becoming the norm, enabling homeowners’ need to “multi-task.”
“Advances in streaming internet content have fueled the trend for multiple screens and the way the client uses the space dictates the screen layout in the media room, Kelly reports.
Popular screen layouts include two or more large televisions mounted on the front facing wall, which works very well for sports fans who want to view multi-streamed events. Kelly says the other favored option is one large main viewing screen with additional smaller screens on adjacent walls. The smaller screens could be used for gaming, tablet, and smartphone powered social media and internet surfing.
Pointing out that the smallest amount of light infiltration can compromise viewing quality when using screen and projector systems, Kelly says these systems have fallen out of favor.
Amanda Sweeney recalls a time in the past when the only people who thought about or had a media room were the Rich and Famous. “Now media rooms are extremely common and homeowners are using these spaces for multiple uses,” she says. “About half of homeowners devote a room for a home theater including gaming and social media while about 10 percent of homeowners devote a room solely for a home theater.”
There are a number of sources for media rooms in the Greater Nashville area including:
Audio Video Experience
Beth Haley Designs
Cobb Home Innovations
Just Design This
Music City Audio Video
Pinnacle Home Theater