Are You Designing a Home Theater?
Here Are Five Ideas to Delight Your Clients in Houston
Your client has asked that you incorporate a custom home theater in their new home. Building, remodeling, or just redecorating is a perfect time to incorporate some fresh ideas for their dream media space. Whether you go with a traditional movie theater look or match the interior design of the rest of the house, there are many options. Some of these options do involve planning ahead in the construction process to accommodate specific aesthetic and functional desires.
Home theaters have an almost infinite variety of forms they can take, but the best ones will all share a few things in common – a large high-quality screen, a high-quality sound system, comfortable seating, and simplified operation.
Beyond those basics, the sky is the limit for what can be done with a home theater design in Houston.
Read on for some design tips to create a dream home theater for your clients.
SEE ALSO: Home Theaters Are For More Than Movies
Hiding The Screen
While no one says the screen needs to be hidden, it can be done for dramatic effect or to use the room for multiple entertainment purposes. For a movie house effect, consider designing motorized Roman drapes that open at the touch of a button to reveal the screen just as the screen lights up. For a multipurpose space, the movie screen can be hidden, dropping down via a motor when needed. All of these options require planning for electrical and low voltage wiring, as well as affecting the placement of equipment like projectors. The earlier we are involved in a project, the easier it is to accommodate any requirements, no matter how complex.
One popular way to hide speakers in a theater is with architectural in-wall and in-ceiling models, but by no means is that the only option. In a custom theater, floor-standing or stand-mount speakers can be hidden in other clever ways. Panels with acoustically transparent grills can be used on opposite sides of the screen wall that cover the speaker and don’t affect sound quality. When it comes to audio quality, most separate speakers with their own cabinets will sonically outperform comparable quality architectural models. A center channel speaker can be hidden behind an acoustically transparent screen. So get creative with design; we can suggest materials and techniques to integrate speakers that will be ideal for the space.
Soundproofing and Acoustics
Sound quality often requires careful tuning in home theaters, and the design, materials, and furnishings used can all affect the sound. The first advice we give architects and designers is to work with us early in room design to explore what issues may arise with audio. The good news is that there is a wide array of techniques and treatments to fix audio quality. Did you know there is such a thing as acoustical plaster? Or special soundproofing drywall? If keeping sound in and out of the theater from adjoining spaces is critical, acoustic decoupling construction techniques can be used for floors and walls. Special purpose acoustic treatment materials can also be used to optimize audio quality.
Today’s theaters are not only featuring plush recliner seating but also adding amenities like a bar area with additional higher seats off the side or rear. For sports and other entertainment that’s not a movie, leaving space for standing and alternative, less formal seating allows for more flexibility in the use of the theater. The location of the seats has an effect on screen size and type, speaker placement, and sound quality. Design what your client wants, and we can help you with placement, materials, and other implementation ideas so that the sight and sound quality will be the best it can be.
Dolby Atmos and Immersive Sound
Dolby Atmos is the latest sound format for movies, providing a three-dimensional immersive sound experience. There are some design considerations for integrating Dolby Atmos, as it involves additional speakers and potentially more equipment like amplifiers in the setup. The placement of those speakers and the height of the ceiling can impact the quality of the effect. But there are many options for Dolby Atmos, including front speakers that feature upward firing drivers to deliver the-three dimensional field without installing additional speakers.
Let us partner with you to design and build the perfect home theater for your clients. Reach out to us today!