DIY Theaters of the Year Awards 2008
DIY Theater Translates In Any Language
Norwegian Bjorn Kristensen turned his 220-square-foot garage into a cozy and very professional looking home theater.
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June 30, 2008 by Rachel Cericola

When it comes to one’s love of entertainment, home theater looks good in any language. Norweigian resident Bjorn Kristensen has shown us that there are true A/V enthusiasts all around the world—and we’d be willing to cross continents for a glimpse of his handy work. 

Before this breathtaking room was born, Bjorn had a 42-inch plasma in his living room, which was complemented with surround-sound equipment. However, he couldn’t stop there. “I spent a lot of time planning,” Bjorn says. “Then we decided to make a home theater.”

It didn’t take much of the planning process to decide that the garage would be the best place. This room, located under the living room, just needed a few tweaks. Bjorn and his wife turned the garage door into a wall, and made a door coming from the house. “During the construction, I bought all the electronic equipment, and that was a good motivational factor,” Bjorn says of the workload.

The end result was well worth the four months of hard labor. For the money, Bjorn’s room is one of the most stylish theater creations we’ve ever seen. Aside from the excellent equipment, Bjorn chose a wallpaper design that really makes the room pop. Surprisingly, this room was a mere $20,000. To keep costs down, Bjorn researched his equipment carefully, and bought much of it on sale. “I bought the equipment in many local shops,” Bjorn says. “Looking for the best prizes.” He also recruited help to install the funky wallpaper and for the electrical work—from his wife, a former electrician. 

The room is cozy, but produces an amazing theater experience, thanks to Bjorn’s favorite piece: the Sony VPL-VW60 projector. It is located at the back of the room, along with most of Bjorn’s other audio/video equipment. That way, the light from the components won’t distract viewers. The one piece that deserved front and center placement was the Infinity SW-12 subwoofer, which is nestled comfortably in between the front row seating. “It is one of many possibilities I tried and it works fine in my room,” Bjorn says. “It does shake during the movies too.”

Once the equipment was placed, Bjorn turned his attention to the ventilation. With tight quarters and a killer system, it was a concern. However, this former garage is kept cool via an air channel in the windows and lightboxes around the room. 

Bjorn’s room is beautiful, but he’s not the only enthusiast on the block. “Home theater has become more and more popular in Norway especially after the projectors came HD-ready and now with full HD,” he says.

For theater enthusiasts in his homeland or abroad, Bjorn advises to look in magazines and on the web for tips—and be very hands-on in the process, from start to finish. This helped him accomplished the goal of having a professional looking theater. “I wanted a cinema look with the dark walls and roof,” he says. “I am a dental technician. I use my hands every day—and sometimes need to be creative!”

Quick Hits
Location: Norway
Year Completed: 2007
Room Size: 226 Square Feet
Length of Project: 4 Months
Total Cost: Under $20,000

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Rachel Cericola - Contributing Writer
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.

Equipment

DreamScreen V2 DynaGey 120-inch Screen
Infinity Beta 20 Front Speakers
Infinity Beta 20 Rear Speakers
Infinity C360 Center-Channel Speaker
Infinity SW-12 Subwoofer
Skeidar Leo Seats (5)
Sony BDP-S500 Blu-ray Player
Sony PlayStation 3
Sony VPL-VW60 Projector
Supra Cables
Yamaha RX-V3800 Receiver


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