Discreet media room - north west
The brief for this project was to create a multi-purpose room which would provide a high fidelity music experience whilst entertaining guests in at the bar, seating area and snooker table or a full cinema experience. The client wanted unparalleled audio and video performance without impacting the aesthetics of the room within this period listed building.
Initially the client wanted to remove the snooker table and existing sofas and have two tiers of cinema seating, however, after much discussion and careful consideration we recommended retaining the existing layout as the room was mostly used for parties with the seating and snooker table being the focal points.
We suggested that if the room became a dedicated cinema with a fixed screen and two tier seating then the client would miss the opportunity to have the best of both worlds and we were confident that we could create a solution that would provide this.
We designed 3D renders to help the client visualise the differences and to show how the client could keep their entertaining room without sacrificing any of their requirements.
The project provided plenty of unique challenges, not least due to the fact that we could not damage any of the walls in the period property as the wallpaper was many years old and no longer available for any patching up.
The cabinetry had to be designed to hide the speakers and the retro fit cabling. We sourced a matching wood and designed the units for the speakers and screen as well as coving to conceal the cabling, to be indistinguishable from the existing panelling. Four columns were extended from the existing cabinetry in the corners to house the front and rear speakers which were then fitted with brass art deco speaker grills to maintain the aesthetics of the room.
We calculated the maximum screen size based on the seating positions and commissioned a bespoke projector mount for the Sim2 MICO60 which holds the projector in line with the top of the screen to avoid the need for any video keystone correction and maintain the best picture quality. It was located as close as possible to the snooker table lights to minimise the impact to the room.
The system is all controlled from a Crestron TPS-6X with the option to listen to audio (without revealing the screen or dropping the blinds) from the CD player, iPod dock and Sky radio presets, or in Cinema mode with one touch activation of the screen, blinds and lighting scene.
The video sources are Sky HD, and Blu Ray and the 5 .1 audio is powered via an Onkyo SR-808 amplifier and B&W’s top of the range in-wall speakers, the Signature 8NTs.
The client wanted the seating to remain in keeping with the room and after making the initial difficult decision to keep the snooker table and existing seating we settled on having just 3 seats and matched the custom leather to the distressed chesterfield sofas. Supplying the seats with power was also difficult as we had to route cables through the 1ft thick floor to a spur in the garage below
The room already had 10 lighting circuits which had been wired conventionally to a switch plate on the wall. We replaced this with the two Crestron CLSI units and managed to run new cables to the fittings via a small riser, with all of the connections being made in the roof space. There was also a switch at the door which was replaced with a Crestron CNX keypad which controls several scenes as well as the blinds and a single ‘showtime’ button which lowers the screen, blinds and activates the movie lighting scene after two minutes, when the viewer is seated. We also made backing plates for the CLSI units in a wood that matched the rest of the room.
The room already had fixed curtains which the client wanted to keep but as the windows were quite deep we managed to fit roller blinds behind these curtains and had them colour matched to the wallpaper. Getting the cables to these binds without damaging the walls was one of the most challenging aspects of the project, however, in the two locations where we had to drill through the wall below the cable coving, we managed fit small squares of matching wood which concealed the holes and matched the window surrounds perfectly
The client was blown away by the picture quality and the fidelity of the audio. Whilst initially they thought the music aspect of the system would just be an extra feature of having a cinema (and probably not get used that much) they have said that because of the amazing quality they actually dug out lots of their old CD’s to enjoy in a whole new light.
Although they were originally focused on it being a dedicated home cinema they are pleasantly surprised at how much time they are spending in there just listening to music in addition to the movies, football and TV viewing that they had expected to benefit from.
They are also very happy that they took our advice to keep the existing layout and have a discreet media room as opposed to dedicated home cinema as the seating layout is much more conducive to entertaining than a two tier set up would be.
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