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.
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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