Dual Curtains Dress Theater’s Formal Attire


BRONZE WINNER: Best Home Theater $50K-$100K

Rich colors and curtains make a style statement in this New Jersey home theater.

May. 12, 2009 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Home theater means different things to different people. To the owners of this New Jersey home theater, the definition was more literal: She looked for the formal, richly designed theater from her childhood to come alive in her home.

“She wanted a very traditional feel to the room, not a ‘media room’ feel,” says Rob Kowalski of Premier Home Theater in Newton, N.J. “We didn’t have the luxury of going way over the top, so we went for a happy medium and created a powerful statement with design.”

The statement comes across colorfully, with burgundies, reds and gold used throughout. Curtains frame the 110-inch screen and adorn the rear entrance to the room because it could not be fully enclosed. You must walk through the theater to enter a dance studio and wine cellar, but the rear curtains make for a lavish backdrop when the daughter has dance practices or recitals in the adjoining space.

Kowalski dealt with the room layout first. It was being used as a passageway to the other areas of the basement, and its configuration required shifting: The width of the space needed to become the theater’s depth. That would allow for a greater viewing distance and tiered seating, a necessity for true theater replication. Premier Home Theater installed two rows of Acoustic Innovations Deco Theater chairs that fit the design, and there’s a countertop and barstools for some overflow seating.

Because the left side of the room is open under an archway, Kowalski installed the surround speakers in the 7.2-channel Triad system within the ceiling soffit. The speakers provide a narrower sound dispersion, Kowalski says, and are aimed toward the seating area.

Front speakers are positioned below the screen, along with one of the two subwoofers; the other is built into the side wall. Some sound leakage could not be prevented, but the insulated soffit, dual-layer Sheetrock and absorptive acoustic panels help keep the audio tight and relatively contained.

The room features one wily element that puts the “home” in home theater: Video from the driveway security camera pops up for about 15 seconds as a picture-in-picture when a sensor is tripped.

“You’re isolated from the rest of the house down there, but you need to know what’s going on when you’re sitting in the theater,” Kowalski says. If the projector happens to be off—perhaps during a dance recital—a WAV audio file provides the alert instead.

Click here to view additional photos.

  Find an Installer
  Find custom electronics installers who provide home theater systems,
  lighting, home automation, A/V and more! Click here to get started.

Systems Design and Installation
Premier Home Theater
Newton, N.J.

Spector Associates
Lafayette, N.J.

Windsor Lake Estates
Sparta, N.J.

Interior Designer
Fine Design
Augusta, N.J.


Runco RS900 projector
Stewart Filmscreen 110-inch Luxus Fixed screen with Firehawk G3 fabric

Triad IR Silver LCR (3)
Triad IW Bronze Surround (4)
Triad IW Bronze Sub with Rack amp (2)

Audio and Video Equipment
ReQuest VRQ1 Movie Management System
Sony DVP CX777ES DVD changer
Integra DTC 9.8 Pre Amp (balanced)
Integra DTA 9.4 Power Amplifier (balanced)
Panamax M5100EX power conditioner
Motorola Cable HD DVR

Control and Other Equipment
Crestron Pro2 Control processor
Crestron TPMC8X color touchscreen controller
Crestron ILux lighting controller
Key Digital KD SW 4x1 switcher
Tripp Lite HT-RL15UPS
Middle Atlantic ERK equipment rack with custom RSH shelves
Tributaries speaker wire and interconnects
Acoustic Innovations Deco Theater Chairs (8)
Acoustic Innovations Harmony Acoustic Panels
Custom Draperies by Fine Design

Return to full story: