Concrete Column Becomes Kitchen’s A/V Hub
Ugly support column transformed into TV and bar area.
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May 22, 2009 by Steven Castle

Most of our time is spent in the kitchen—and the owners of this space are no exception, even though they have a serious hi-end audio system in the nearby living room.

They definitely wanted some audio/video enjoyment in the kitchen and dining area, but they also wanted to keep a clean look and a focus on the scenic views powered by the floor-to-ceiling windows.

The original plan was to place the TV on the wall near the kitchen counter, but it would not have been visible from all spots in the area. In addition, design and installation company Sensory Environment Design (SED) had to deal with an ugly 18-inch-thick concrete support column. “We had to do something to get rid of that column,” says Shane Seira of SED.

The support column could be wrapped in fabric. That was a start. But then SED realized it could also be disguised as the audio/video hub of the room. Steel poles were fabricated to hold a 26-inch LG LCD TV, and shelves that surround the column were each built from three pieces. The resulting bar area was crafted entirely by SED, and a telescoping and pivoting Chief mount allows the LCD to be pulled out and made visible from each side.

“Once we knew we had conduit run [to that location], we ran the wire to the TV. And seeing how they used the kitchen, we could move the TV over there,” Seira says.

The result is a striking column bar/TV stand that looks sleek, modern, and puts the concrete column to great use. In fact, it’s hard to notice that the large column is there.

In addition, the LCD can be positioned for optimal viewing during food preparation and entertaining. Meanwhile, in-ceiling James Loudspeaker speakers fire from above the counter to fill the space with music or audio from the TV. Audio and video from distributed home-wide systems are available in the kitchen. A counter-top AMX Modero control panel is the only other technology that’s visible in the room, and it can control everything in the house, including the motorized shades for the floor-to-ceiling windows.

This kitchen may not have the woop-de-woo of the living room’s hi-fi audio and video, but it sure looks like a great place to gather and grab a bite, watch the news, keep track of a game, or listen to some music with an evening cocktail. We’ll toast to that.

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Steven Castle - Contributing Writer
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates.

Installers/Equipment List

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  Find custom electronics installers who provide home theater systems,
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Systems Design and Installation
Sensory Environment Design (SED)
Minneapolis, Minn.

Panamax MFP500-EX surge protector
James Loudspeaker 62CFX in-ceiling speakers (2)
AMX MVP-8400
Lutron RA-3LD
Lutron RA-6D (2)
Lutron RA-5NE
Liberty Mini coax 50 ft.
Liberty RCA ends 6
Monster 14/2 50 ft.
ESI Shades (1 bank)

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