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Entertainment Center

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Definitive Design Guide to TV Stands, Television Stands, Entertainment Centers and Speaker Stands! Home Entertainment Audio Video Furniture

Who knew that the best seats in the house for movie and music entertainment would be right in your home entertainment center? Home entertainment technology like high-definition, flat-panel Televisions and advanced sound systems that respectively deliver cinema-quality video and audio bring movies and concerts right into the comfort of your own home.

While we will leave the actual electronic equipment recommendations and advice for the qualified experts, this guide will take you, step-by-step, through the interior design of your own high-tech entertainment space from TV StandsEntertainment CentersSpeaker Stands.

1. Choosing an Ideal Location for Your Home Entertainment Center

Not just any room will do when your objective is creating a true movie theater experience.

The most ideal spot would be a room without too much outside light. Outside light might disrupt the environment you are working hard to create. A basement or attic, for example, would be perfect. However, if you have neither, you can also cover up your windows with “black out” curtains and shades (available in most home improvement stores).

In addition, your walls and floors will also play a role in minimizing viewing disruptions. While not seemingly a problem outright (since you will be turning off the lights), having darker wall and floor colors like charcoal, brown, or even a dark red, can reduce any disruptive reflections from your screen. What’s more, you can even use textured wall paper to do the same job.

Of course, while most of your time in your home entertainment room will be spent in the dark, you will still need light. However, in this case, we recommend staying away from overhead lights that could cause too much glare. Instead, like in movie theaters, recessed lighting or wall lighting will work best.

Furthermore, you should consider installing a dimmer control. This will give you the power to adjust the brightness especially after a viewing (when eyes will be more sensitive to light).

2. Planning Home Theater Seating

You cannot expect to have the best seats in the house if you don’t put much planning into your home theater seating. Whatever budget you have, make sure that family and friends will be comfortable and relaxed while being entertained. However, it should not be so comfy that they are bound to fall asleep in the middle of the movie. After all, this is not the bedroom!

Of course, what seating you design is based on both the space you have to work with and what you can afford. However, here are some recommendations:

Movie Theater ChairMovie Theater SeatingYes, the same seats at your neighborhood movie house can be purchased and installed in your own home theater.

Row Movie Theater ChairsYou can select from an individual Bass Contour Individual Movie Theater Chair to a row of five seats Movie Theater Seats.

These contour rockers are made of kiln dried wood protected by black laminate. You can even choose from a variety of upholstery to match your design, including woven fabric, velour, nusuede, and leather. They also come in a selection of colors to further complete your vision. A cup holder is even built-in for popcorn or drinks.

Leather Home Theater SeatingHome Theater SeatingThese seats remain faithful to traditional movie theater seating yet were made especially for home use. The Tandem Montecristo Curved Home Theater Seating looks like it would be (no pun intended) at home in your living room with its leather sofa looks and recliner functionality. However, it also lets groups of 2-4 recline and relax individually.

Home Theater LoveseatIf you have the budget, the Bass Tristar Home Theater Loveseat even has an optional motor for motorized reclining that you will not find in most movie theaters but that you can have in your very own home theater.

For a more casual, family environment (and a significantly, less expensive budget) opt for a sofa.

Brown Tufted SofaJust make sure to skip sofas with high backs since they may disrupt sound. Some good choices for sofa seating ideal for home theaters include Avenue Six Plaza 79”Brown Tufted Sofa

Hardwood Convertible Futonand the simple yet elegant Lifestyle Solutions Fashion Hardwood Kobe Convertible Futon in Java Finish

3. Audio Furniture

To achieve the movie theater-like “surround sound” environment, many high-end audio systems will require multiple speakers that need to be strategically placed around the room. While we will leave arranging these speakers in your home theater to the audio experts, we can recommend some of the best speaker stands to use.

Silver Speaker StandThe VTI UF Series Silver Speaker Stands adds a “techy” touch to any home theater with its heavy-gauge steel plate and pillars. Not only do these make for an attractive way to display your speakers, but the metal bits/sand fill found in these stands also help to increase stability while decreasing sound distortions.

Oak Speaker StandFor a more traditional look, the Wood Technology Furniture Grade Hardwood 26” Speaker Stand in Oak and

Hardwood Speaker StandsWood Technology FGH-8 Hardwood Speaker Stands even have a hollow groove in the rear to camouflage unsightly speaker wires, a frequently asked about/requested feature in entertainment furniture.

While space for your audio equipment will be included in the Entertainment Centers we will be covering in Video Furniture below, you may also choose to have a separate Audio Rack.

Audio Storage TowerOne creative choice includes using the Bush Furniture Weston Audio Storage Tower in Black that seems to be more at home in your dressing room or bathroom. However, this piece was truly made for your audio equipment, featuring highly functional adjustable shelves and concealed storage. It even has easy rear access to keep your wiring hidden from view and neatly managed.

Glass Audio RackOf course, for a more contemporary feel, the VTI RGR-406 Shelf Silver Glass Audio Rack has plenty of room to grow with accommodations for up to six audio and video components.

4. Video Furniture

Your big screen TV will undoubtedly be the centerpiece of your home theater. With most flat-screen TVs barely taking up more space than a large painting, your options for Video Furniture are many, including full Entertainment Centers, TV Armoires, and even the tried-and-true TV Rack.

Well, maybe the latter should be saved for that small TV set in your kitchen. A home theater demands “larger than life” pieces especially if you have the best video equipment to house.

Black Entertainment CenterThe Studio Tech U-EX-5-BA-B Black Entertainment Center has enough space to house your large flat screen TV, audio equipment, and other AV components. In addition, it has adjustable depth for ventilation and for space-hogging equipment that will demand more space. Furthermore, it has “cinema” stylishness to it that you can even customize some red velvet curtains to cover your screen, and it still would seem natural.

Maple Plasma TV StandFor more traditional room designs, the Stanley Furniture Toluca Lake Plasma TV Stand has a luxurious, rustic look that can house the most modern video systems.

51 Plasma TV StandMeanwhile, American Drew Beacon Ridge 51” Plasma Entertainment Center TV Stand includes a 51” Entertainment Center Set as well as 2 Ridge Wall Storage units. This set instantly adds warmth to techno cool.

TV ArmoireTV Armoires like the Coaster Mandalay TV Armoire

Wynwood White TV Armoireand Wynwood Hampton Cove TV Armoire are ideal for bedrooms but can also work in smaller home theater setups,

5. Media Storage

Finally, with your audio and video equipment properly housed, your equally valuable entertainment collection (consisting of Blu-ray discs, DVDs, music CDS, video games, and more) should be organized and secure as well. While many of the Entertainment Centers and Video Furniture covered above have room for your library, you might just opt for more space.

Floating CD DVD Storage TowerIf you are finding yourself short on space, the Prepac Triple Floating CD DVD Storage Media Tower holds a large library and is easy to mount on your walls, taking up no floor space at all.

CD DVD Media Storage CabinetOn the other hand, the Spartak Top Load CD DVD Media Storage Cabinet lets you elegantly store and organize your media with both top and front access. It conceals your collection when closed. Therefore, it will appear to be just a minimalist piece of furniture to the naked eye.

To successfully design your home theater requires researching all your options for the aforementioned interior design elements we have covered:

However, even if you have an unlimited budget (which most of us do not), when deciding on the elements above, make sure that your objective is NOT to showcase your AV equipment and library BUT MORE SIGNIFICANTLY to choose furniture and create an environment centered ultimately on entertaining your family and friends.

Nicolette Interior Design Diva

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