Awesome Aesthetics Provide a Little Extra Pop in This Home Theater

Steve Loving added eye-catching design elements without disrupting his basement room’s acoustics.

When hanging out in this home theater room, it’s hard to feel anything but blue — and that’s a good thing.

One of the many design elements in Steve Loving’s basement theater is a blue ring that wraps around the ceiling of the room and gives off a warm glow from underneath the five cushy Palliser Elite theater seats. LED rope lighting doesn’t always seem that high-tech, but on this ceiling, it adds an elegant, incredibly slick effect to the space. The atmosphere it creates might have something to do with the way the lighting was “meticulously mounted” out of sight around the room, just below the crown molding.

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“The crown molding is 4 inches from the ceiling to allow for the natural ‘spill’ of light to fill the space,” Steve says. “I chose blue, since it would match the accent lighting underneath the seats and within the cup holders. We don’t have these lights on often, really only to show the room and for photos.”

While Steve may not show off the rope lighting all that often, there are other details that visitors can’t miss. For instance, the back wall is coated in dry-stack stone, which make this room unlike many out there. Of course, some may think there’s a reason for that, citing the effects that this material could have on the room’s acoustics. However, Steve says that despite the different appearance, it doesn’t interfere with the sound one bit.

What it does interfere with is what a lot of people think of as typical home theater decor. That’s because Steve wanted to use that space to make the room truly unique. Sourced from Veneerstone, the materials were special ordered from Home Depot. Besides the wait, however, it didn’t create any challenges with the installation, the calibration, or current use.

“Acoustically, it actually doesn’t pose any issues from what I’ve noticed,” he says. “I feel that this has a lot to do with the spacing between the dry stack and the variances within the stone.”

Another interesting aesthetic is the actual shape of the room. Measuring 21 feet long, Steve says that it has “modified T-shape,” which means it varies in width. “The front wall by the screen is 10-feet wide, the room bumps out to 14-feet wide, and transitions further to 17-feet wide in the back,” he says. “The entrance is a double French door angled for architectural interest and to align with the natural angles on the seating and the platform.”

That platform is pretty unique as well, designed to both accommodate the angles of his curved Palliser Elite Series theater seats, as well as to align a triangular pattern towards the center point of the front wall/screen, 12 inches from center.

Of course, there are plenty of other things to ogle in this room — mainly the imagery projected from the JVC Pro 1080p 3D projector onto the 110-inch DragonFly high-contrast screen. Steve can control everything, including lighting, through the URC MX-880 remote.

This relatively new room has been months in the making. After the home was first built in December 2012, Steve had theater on his mind and 2,100 square feet of basement to play around with. Once that space was finished, it did include a spot for a media room, but Steve was hoping for more. For one thing, it could only accommodate one sofa, about 6 feet from where Steve would mount the TV.

“The design was awkward and also had some unused dead space behind one of the walls,” he says. “I think the ‘media room’ as designed by the builder would’ve been best suited for something like a game room (maybe a game table for cards or something), a home office, or even a playroom for kids. For someone who wants a home theater experience, it’s certainly not designed for that — and needed a redesign.”

Steve started taking measurements and creating a killer design. He also hired carpenter Barry France to build out the room. “I don’t have the carpentry/electrical/HVAC/etc experience to do this myself, nor did I have the appropriate time to dedicate to something like this,” he says.

Barry tore out the media room and helped Steve to reclaim the additional space from an unfinished storage room. The duo also worked together to move a staircase, which is located right outside of the theater room. “While this may not have been the biggest challenge, I think it was probably the most unique challenge with the most stress, given we had really one shot to do this right based on the ‘lift and shift’ approach and the amount of cutting/trimming,” Steve says.

Steve estimates that approximately 290 hours was spent on the actual construction, which doesn’t include the conduit, cabling, terminating, the rack install, calibration, and the remaining little tweaks, all of which Steve took on himself. That storage room does remain. However, now it houses a 16u equipment rack, which also includes a subnet that’s separate from the rest of the home’s networking setup. Steve knew exactly what he wanted and for what he didn’t know, he turned to the AVS Forum.

With the end result, Steve has no complaints — how could he?

“I like the room in its entirety, as I feel every key design element supports another,” he says. “The columns, fluting, and crown were all designed specifically to match other columns and crown in the rest of the home to ensure consistency and continuity. While I wanted a very unique home theater, I still wanted to ensure that it properly flowed with the rest of the home aesthetically.”

Want a better peek at this room? Check out our slideshow for “Awesome Aesthetics Provide a Little Extra Pop in This Home Theater.”

Equipment List:
Apple TV
Definitive Technology Pro Monitor 800 Speakers (5)
Definitive Technology ProMonitor 1000 Speakers (2)
Definitive Technology ProSub 800 Subwoofers (2)
DragonFly 110-inch High Contrast Screen
JVC DLA-RS46 3D Projector
Marantz SR5008 7.2-Channel Receiver
Palliser Elite Series Seating (5)
Sony PlayStation 3
URC MRF-260 RF-to-IR Base Station
URC MX-880 Universal Remote Control
Verizon FiOS

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