Silver Winner: Fun Room
Design is very import to Rob Dzedzy, founder and president of Media Rooms, Inc., West Chester, Pa. That’s why, for rooms like this basement remodel, the company handles absolutely everything for a complete turn-key solution, from system design and installation to interior design to build-out. In fact, with a degree in design, Dzedzy personally handles all the design work himself. Media Rooms even operates its own in-house custom cabinet shop to give customers a complete turnkey solution.
In this award-winning fun space, for example, the Media Rooms crew designed the stage (see “Hiding an Eyesore”), columns, and crown molding. Then Media Rooms fabricated, stained, and lacquered all the woodwork in its in-house cabinet shop.
That beautiful cabinetry goes a long way toward hiding most of the gear in the room, giving it an uncluttered appearance, whether the system is on or off. “The homeowner wanted a very clean room, so it was important to hide the components,” says Dzedzy. “We even built a special area in the front of the stage with a flip up door so the videogame console could be hidden but easily accessed.”
Likewise, the SIM2 projector—chosen for its specific throw distance due to an existing steel beam—is enclosed in a soffit. The Draper screen is also concealed behind crown molding. But when the screen drops and the projector fires up , audience members are in for a visual treat.
Form follows function in the audio arena, as well, where Dzedzy and team chose Triad in-ceiling speakers for their wonderful performance and unobtrusive appearance. Meanwhile, front left and right speakers are hidden behind columns, while the subwoofer and center speaker are hidden behind the stage curtain. Even the components are tucked away in an equipment closet with an RF remote provided for system operation.
As the plans for the theater matured, the homeowner looked to Media Rooms to finish the rest of the space, which included a pool room, exercise area, and game area. Next on the to-do list was a custom bar that looked like something you’d find in a high-end Miami resort. “He wanted the bar to appear more like a commercial bar and not like a typical residential-style bar,” says Dzedzy. To accomplish this, the team installed a quality bar rail on the front edge of the counter and a drip rail on the inside edge. Appliances behind the bar were left unhidden to further contribute to the commercial appearance. The lower level’s beautiful woodwork ties all the different areas together visually.
In the end, Media Rooms, Inc. exceeded the clients’ expectations for this stealth theater and family fun room. “The family enjoys performing in band concerts together and watching movies. And now, the family room and media area, bar and gaming areas are the favorite place for the family to be together,” says Dzedzy.
Hiding an Eyesore
One of the biggest challenges that the custom electronics (CE) pros at Media Rooms, Inc., West Chester, Pa., faced with this fun room project was an unsightly sewage cleanout that protrudes 14 inches from the basement floor. To make matters worse, the cleanout was two feet off the back wall, smack-dab in the audience’s viewing area. At first, the thought was to pack out the wall—actually build a new wall further out into the room. However, that would mean the room would narrow the space by three feet, meaning the homeowners would more than 30 square feet of space!
Media Rooms president Rob Dzedzy developed an alternate plan that involved adding a 15-foot wide by 7-foot deep stage in front of the viewing are, which was the perfect way to cover the sewage cleanout without sacrificing usable space. The stage also meshed perfectly with the lifestyles of family members, who all play instruments and love to perform together. “The stage was the perfect solution,” says Dzedzy. “When the family is not performing, a motorized video screen drops down, and the family can sit back and enjoy a movie or play video games on their 106-inch screen.” EH
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