Harley-Davidson Makes Its Mark

A his-and-hers compromise leads to subtle Harley accents in custom home theater.


THERE’S A LOT OF GIVE AND TAKE between a husband and a wife when a home undergoes a major redesign; building a home theater is no different. From its placement in the home to its furnishings and equipment, creating a space that both he and she will love is a delicate balancing act—and one that the owners of this 18-by-15-foot home theater entrusted to the professional home systems designers at Gramophone, of Timonium, Md. Per the request of the homeowners, Gramophone would inject the room with just the right amount of Harley-inspired design elements—enough for him to admire without making her feel as if she were sitting in a Harley-Davidson dealership.


  • Nailhead trim adorns Harley-orange acoustical wall panels
  • Metal accents make an aesthetic statement
  • Perfect blend of masculine and feminine design


  • Sony Video Projector
  • Stewart Filmscreen Projection Screen
  • Denon A/V Receiver
  • Paradigm Speakers and Subwoofer
  • Totem Speakers and Subwoofer
  • Middle Atlantic Equipment Rack
  • Apple TV

The Harley-Davidson nuances are intentionally subtle, like the end cap on the railing designed to resemble a Harley-Davidson emblem and the pattern of the carpet that looks like tire tracks. Nailhead trim—a common embellishment on Harley leather—lines the perimeter of each acoustical fabric wall panel. Plenty of iron and masculine colors, including signature Harley-Davidson orange on the fabric
acoustical wall panels, dominate the space, and although you can’t see the equipment—Gramophone tucked all of the gear into a special equipment closet—it harnesses plenty of A/V horsepower (see the equipment list) to make this room a favorite entertainment destination of both him and her.

Although the homeowners are thrilled with the results, the Harley-Davidsonesque design didn’t happen without some gentle persuasion by Gramophone’s resident interior designer Bethany Johnson. As is the case with many of her clients, Johnson posed questions about hobbies, passions, and interests before putting pen to paper on the home theater design. It was over casual conversation with the
owners of this theater that Johnson discovered that “he was a big Harley fan.” She also discovered that his wife was not a fan. “So what started as a joke to design the theater in a Harley style became a subtle design theme,” Johnson continues. Although she could have taken the theme much further—seats customized with a Harley -Davidson skull were considered then nixed—the A/V performance coupled
with a modest motorcycle-inspired embellishments was something that both parties could agree on—and appreciate in the end. — L.M.

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