Info & Answers
Design Tip: Curtains for Better Entertainment
Draperies can do more than block light. They can help improve sound and hide unsightly equipment.
Photo Credit: Joe Daylor
November 10, 2008 by Lisa Montgomery

I recently ran across a unique home theater installation. The entire space, from top to bottom, was covered with draperies. It looked so unlike other home theaters I’ve written about in the past, I just had to learn more about this room.

Anika Ruff, president of Integrated Electronic Interiors in Winter Park, FL, presented a strong case for the curtains, saying that they simply looked better than typical fabric acoustical wall coverings. Because the room is so tall—15 feet—the acoustical panels would have broken up the space visually, she continues.

Aside from blocking light, here are three ways draperies can improve a room.

Better Sound
They also help absorb unwanted acoustic reverberations. Without those curtains, Ruff explains, the room would have suffered from having too many hard surfaces, which would have made it sound overly “live.” In a live room, your ears can have a hard time tuning into the dialogue and special effects. The soft absorptive surface of the drapes combined with the room’s reflective surfaces (wood paneling and leather furniture) combine to offer an optimal acoustic environment.

Hide Clutter
If you’re aiming for a clean, uncluttered look, curtains can be used to hide light switches, equipment racks and other eyesores. They can cover up doorways to equipment rooms and, of course, windows that can let in too much sunlight.

Set the Mood
Last but not least, draperies can help set the mood for movie viewing. By attaching them to a motorized track, they can move to reveal your home theater screen. It’s the perfect prelude to a movie and adds a sense of drama and authenticity to your home theater environment. When the show’s over, the curtains can swing back over the screen.

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Lisa Montgomery - Contributing Writer
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.

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