February 08, 2010
by Arlen Schweiger
Talk about a fish out of water. This New Jersey homeowner is a Boston sports fanatic, but thanks to some creative thinking and some help from a local custom electronics firm, his nightly trips down to the basement take him into the Hub rather than the Holland Tunnel.
As an equal-opportunity Boston sports nut, this homeowner and his family actually get to enjoy pieces of all the major Boston sports teams, as the space combines elements of the Sox, Pats, Bruins and Celtics.
We’re not sure if the room design made the good folks at Newton, N.J.-based Premier Home Theater cringe working with all of that memorabilia (although it probably made the homeowners cringe since the Giants and Yankees have provided a measure of revenge over the last few years), but this basement is definitely a Boston sports mecca and fantasy-come-true.
“Our client was a huge Boston sports fan who somehow is stuck in New Jersey. So when this space in his basement was designed and finished to allow to get away to his own little sports escape,” says Premier’s Robert Kowalski. “It also gives them plenty of extra entertaining that really becomes the talk of the town.”
The electronics are almost secondary, so let’s start with the decor. That begins with a giant wall mural painted like Fenway Park’s Green Monster—it even has a replica scoreboard from the Red Sox’ storied comeback against the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS. That’s near a main viewing area whose sofa seating is on top of parquet wood flooring that would make Bird, McHale and Parish proud. In another room there’s a replica Bruins hockey rink painted on the floor, which is to serve as the billiards room. And throughout the basement, framed artwork celebrating the Patriots’ Super Bowl victories, Boston sports legends and more provides a nice finishing touch to the ambiance.
On the electronics side, there’s good viewing from flat-panel TVs in multiple areas, including by the bar and in the hockey room, with a 60-inch NEC plasma serving up the main high-definition dish for all that sports action.
Audio runs throughout the basement rooms via multiple Sonance speakers, while the several viewing areas are tied together with a Crestron control and Key Digital Matrix switching system—and that also allows for further video expansion in the future.
As part of the Crestron system and the ability for the family to command all of the A/V and other systems in the multiple areas with ease, Premier added more Boston nods to the touchpanel programming. “What we did was to change the background on the touchscreen to reflect the theme of the room,” Kowalski says. “That allows them to know exactly what area is being controlled at any given time.”
As you’ll note in photos within the slideshow of this project, the room backgrounds feature the prominent logos of the four Boston-area teams. It all makes this sports escape about as authentic as they come.
“The hockey rink has custom-made hockey boards to make it authentic and also protect the wall since now it is being used by their kids to bring in their nets and play hockey. Also the green monster is a great place for family and friends to take pictures by,” says Kowalski. “Needless to say this space is a lot of fun and getting plenty of use.”
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.