While media rooms have been the trend in recent years, it may not be feasible or even desirable in many cases to have an entire room dedicated to electronic media and movie viewing. For many families, the family room is the most comfortable room in the house, and with great access to the kitchen and a half-bath it can also be very conveniently located. Often a family room is a great room, so it is also big enough to accommodate everyone comfortably, whether you are entertaining adults or the kids are having their friends over for pizza and a movie. And as media equipment has become more compact and streamlined, it has become easier to create a media corner just about anywhere: in a master bedroom, a lanai or sheltered patio, or a family room, for example. If creating a family room media corner makes sense for your home and lifestyle, consider the following planning tips.
Choosing a Prime Location in the Family Room
The first order of business is to assess which corner of the family room would work best for a media corner. Pick a corner that isn’t prone to producing glare from sunlight either on the screen or in the faces of viewers. If there is no way to avoid glare from a window, light-blocking shades can be used alone or in conjunction with other window treatments and drawn as needed. It’s also important to choose a location in the room that will allow for optimum viewing from all seating areas. This is one reason why a corner often works best: It is easily seen from all other areas of the room. It also allows space behind for cords and components and, by nature of the corner, the media area will be somewhat recessed in the room, so it doesn’t intrude into the rest of the room.
Choosing a Media Unit
There are many media units specifically designed for corners. Your main concern is to find one that will fit the size and number of components in your system, such as the TV screen, DVD/CD players, gaming systems, etc. The goal is to choose a unit that will house everything efficiently and neatly, so there are no unsightly cords or black boxes visible in the room. You also need to remember to leave enough clearance behind and around components for ventilation to avoid overheating.
Wireless speaker systems and newer flat screen TV’s that don’t take up nearly as much space as their recent counterparts make it easier than ever to fit a ton of fun electronic media into a small space. When designing your system think about what you want to do – i.e. watch movies, listen to music, play games, etc. – and customize your system from there. Also consider potential add-on components for the future. A media system that also includes room to store DVDs, CDs and ear phones can cut down on visual clutter.
Targeting “do it yourselfers,” Jessica Ackerman writes regularly for WallDecorandHomeAccents.com, offering simple illustrations of contemporary metal wall decor.