Residential project


Mike and Dawn were building a custom home with our partner Cornerstone Homes. They decided that since they were starting from scratch, they might as well integrate a dedicated theater into the home. They had a number of other A/V items that we took care of in the home, but the showcase was the theater. Working with the family and Cornerstone Homes, we settled on a location on the 2nd floor, just off the loft. They wanted to incorporate a projector and screen, stadium seating, and high-quality audio and video. As this was new construction, running wires was not much of an issue. However, we had to make sure we got the correct wiring in place in the construction phase, as retrofitting wires down the road would have posed a major obstacle based on the structure of the home. So, we set about the task of designing this theater from the ground up.


4 major areas of concern in the design and implementation of this theater:


  1. Relocation of Equipment
  2. Controllability
  3. Affordability/Quality Balance
  4. Aesthetic


#1: Mike and Dawn did not want to have a bunch of equipment exposed in their theater, nor did they want to install cabinetry or an entertainment center. We chose a closet in the hallway just off the theater that would be dedicated to our equipment. This allowed the gear to be hidden, while at the same time providing easy access to change DVDs or make system adjustments. To ensure the maximum length of equipment life, we installed a Middle Atlantic DUCTCOOL to vent hot air into the attic.


#2: Mike and Dawn wanted simplicity in controlling their system. We chose the Control4 system to integrate everything into a single handheld remote. With its onscreen GUI, navigation to and control of their components is a breeze. A Sony 400 Disc DVD/CD changer communicates with the Control4 system to scan discs loaded into the tray and hunt down the cover art from an internet database. Thus, their entire DVD and CD library is right at their fingertips at any time. Control4’s scalability means that if they ever want to add to their system, it can be easily accomplished.


#3: Building a customer home is expensive – thus, we chose products that provide excellent quality at an affordable price. Denon, Sonance and Panasonic, among others, were chosen to achieve excellent quality without breaking the bank. This allowed some of the budget to go toward the other furnishings in the room.


#4: As much as they wanted a great A/V experience, they wanted the room to look great as well. The carpeting, sconces, drapery, in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, and theater seats that were chosen allow the room to look almost as good with the system off. And the fabric treatments on the walls and ceiling look great, and help acoustically. They even went all out with the entrance – there are granite stairs leading into the room and cool theater drapes flanking the doors.