UNFINISHED BASEMENTS are full of opportunity for homeowners who want to show how much can be done with a blank slate. There’s a sense of pride that comes from being able to take a room once used for target practice or ATV storage and transform it into a glamorous entertainment space for the entire family to enjoy.
Many remodels begin with the odds stacked against the contractors, which in this case came in the form of the space being previously planned and measured. The theater setup and seating had already been quoted by a contractor and a previous home systems integration firm had outfitted the home with an automation system that wasn’t living up to the owner’s expectations. That’s when the home systems integrators at Gramophone, of Timonium, Md., stepped in to “rescue” the project.
After a month of tinkering with designs and materials, construction began on this gorgeous design that seamlessly sweeps from a billiards room to a kitchen/bar to a professional-grade home theater. And if it looks like everything blends together extremely well, there’s a good reason for that.
“We handled this entire project from the beginning,” says Bethany Johnson, interior designer at Gramophone. “We came up with everything, from the interiors and artwork to the accessories and A/V system design and installation. Just last year we grew our business to include a design/build division and hired a contractor along with other key team members so we can now handle entire remodel projects without any outside contractors.”
This means that every step of the remodel went in the correct order, nobody was ever waiting around for someone else to finish, and all team members worked closely together to deliver exactly what they had designed and budgeted for. With hidden doors, LED accent lighting, custom millwork throughout, attractive distressed beams, a new fireplace, automated lighting and A/V, a billiards table, and a fiber-optic star ceiling in the theater area, it was a remarkable feat. It’s the kind of work that led the homeowner to call Gramophone after they had finished to say, “I can’t stop smiling!”
The crown jewel of the new space is the home theater, which combines a top-of-the-line Sony 4K projector, a Sony 4K media player, a Stewart Filmscreen projection screen, and Wisdom Audio in-wall speakers to present movies in the highest definition video and sound available. A motorized drape just beyond the bar helps separate the theater from the rest of the basement, isolating both light and sound and evoking a true theater feel.
With everything as beautiful as can be, both the owners and Gramophone wanted a control system that would cleanly tie everything together with an easy-to-use interface on their iPhones and iPads, and they achieved this using the Savant home control system. It allows them to wirelessly manage the Lutron lighting, the theater, and the multi-zone video delivered through several Sony flat-panel TVs.
Photography: Todd Baker, Maryland Photography Systems Design & Installation: Gramophone, Timonium, Md.