May 01, 2008
by Steven Castle
It’s young, it’s hip. It’s kind of a retro mod, says interior designer Eddy Doumas of this basement theater used a lot by the homeowner’s teens.
The playful design—with its pumpkin-colored walls, ceramic tile fireplace, retro-looking chaises, and colorful custom-made equipment cabinet—sets the stage for big-screen home theater fun, courtesy of a high-performing home theater system.
The room’s orientation also makes it feel unencumbered. It’s wider than it is long; the 25-by-18-foot area lends a feeling of spaciousness to the sides. That was the result of selecting an area of the basement not flooded with natural light, says Doumas of interior design company Worth Interiors. A chimney and flue was turned into a ceramic tile fireplace to add visual interest.
Barbara Barry chaises in the front row were fitted with tables that fold down when not in use, and Worth Interiors complemented the chaises with a custom-made sofa in the back row. The comfortable seating and style of the room make a great place to kick back, put your feet up and enjoy a movie or sporting event.
But hey, a home theater is only as good as when the lights go down. And there’s nothing retro about the electronics system. A 5.7-inch Crestron touchpanel remote lowers the lights, and a Runco VX-2000d DLP projector shines 1080p worth of “Full HD” brilliance onto a 110-inch Stewart Filmscreen. Sound comes from three Triad InRoom Gold speakers hidden in the custom-made cabinet along with a Rel subwoofer, while four more Triad Gold InWalls fire surround sound from the side and back walls. As if that’s not enough, there’s also a Kaleidescape movie server that stores DVD movies to hard drives for instant access and displays movies by genre, director or actor on the big screen. It’s all governed by Denon’s AVR-4808CI receiver, also stored in the cabinet.
“The theater was designed to be a solid performer in a specified price range,” says Barry Reiner, president of systems contractor Innerspace Electronics. “We chose to do that by using a really good middle-quality Runco projector. We saved money by using a receiver instead of separates and bumped up to the Triad Golds.”
Innerspace and Worth Interiors collaborated on the custom-made cabinet. “They gave us the dimensions of all the components,” says Doumas. The front left and right speakers are in the cabinet’s left and right sections, with the center channel, subwoofer and audio/video components in the two middle sections. The colorful fabric grilles allow the speakers to sound through. The pattern, says Doumas, also made [the cabinet] more of statement piece and incorporated the colors in the room. It also brings another dimension of fun to this retro-cool space.
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates