HOW TO CONVERT A BEDROOM INTO A MEDIA ROOM
“What are we going to do with our spare bedroom?”
“We can always just turn it into another guest room.”
“We almost never have guests–it’d be a waste.”
“Good point. Why don’t we turn it into a media room?”
“Now you’re talking.”
If this sounds like a conversation you’d have, read on!
If 2020 taught us anything, it is that staying at home does not have to be boring. In your home’s own spare room, with a few comfy chairs that you can definitely find for the low on Facebook Marketplace, one of those free-standing popcorn machines, and a specially-curated home entertainment setup, you can basically replicate the experience of a millionaire’s personal home theater.
Further, adding a media room will increase home values. According to West Coast property management giant Utopia Management, the desire for ‘extras’ like a dedicated entertainment room is on the rise in large cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle. “In particular with luxury residences with 3 or more bedrooms, we are seeing media rooms and offices being combined into an appealing draw to both renters and buyers.”, says Pete Evering of Utopia.
Forget about trips to the overpriced movie theater, and forget about needing to be ultra-wealthy to afford a theater of your own; turning a spare bedroom into a personal media sanctuary is within almost anyone’s reach via double sided frames. You do not have to be an architect or engineer to transform a bedroom into a place where you can make great memories with loved ones and entertain friends and family.
Yes, you might have to deal with a technical issue here and there, but once things are all properly set up, there’s not too much that can go wrong. If you are not technically savvy, the vendors that sold you your home theater equipment should be able to offer to help you avoid the risk of technical problems.
Turning a bedroom into a media room requires a little bit of planning that starts with developing a realistic budget. You cannot buy what you cannot afford, so it is important to lay the financial groundwork before you determine the media room’s design and seating. The good news is that there are many ways to save money when it comes to the little details and all of the facets there are to dressing up the room and making it into something special. Never forget that doing it yourself is the best way to save money that might have otherwise been spent.
Media Room Design and Seating
While you put the final touches on your vision for your media room, think about what might make the best bedroom for making the transition. The bedroom does not necessarily have to be unoccupied. Your own personal bedroom might be the best option for a media room depending on several factors, including size, lighting, and how you prefer to optimize the space. The optimal shape for a media room is rectangular, with no awkward openings or walls protruding into areas where you want people to sit.
Acoustics matter as well, but as we will see, installing acoustic panels can help address any potential issues with sound, and prevent unwanted echoing. You should also pay attention to the ceilings, floors, and walls, as these surfaces play a dominant role in how sound travels throughout the room.
After you select the ideal room for your personal theater, the next step in the design and seating phase of your media room project involves modifying the room to match the specifications of the home theater system you plan to buy. For the best viewing, place the seats at least as far from the screen as double the width of the screen. Video equipment manufacturers refer to the optimal distance as an immersive viewing experience. If the home theater screen is 45 inches wide, you should place the seats no closer than 90 inches from the screen.
Here are some other questions to answer:
How many seats do you want to place in the converted bedroom?
Do you plan to create a room dedicated to watching movies and television programs, or do you want to create a multimedia experience that includes music and gaming?
Do you want to integrate smart technology into the room?
Is the current electrical load sufficient to meet an increase in energy demand?
Will you need to mount equipment on the walls to save space?
Add a Motorized Projector Screen
If you want to maximize the potential of your new home theater and deliver the highest quality viewing experience from the projector you’re using, you should consider investing in a motorized projector screen. Representatives from Selby, experts in home theater design, report that most of the motorized projector screens they sell are being utilized in dual-purpose media rooms. The idea of putting away the screen changes the feel of the room so it can be used alternatively as a shared office or playroom, rather than just a theater room.
Optimal Image Resolution
A premium motorized projector screen gets the most out of your projector by presenting movies and television programs at the highest possible resolution. Any surface that is not 100 percent flat and/or has a granular texture will distort the images coming out of your home theater projector. If you want a ‘smart’ experience through your projector, find one that supports the Android TV platform that will give you access to YouTube, PrimeVideo, etc, (if not, you will need to plug your projector into your Android TV box or laptop).
Authenticity of Colors
Manufacturers calibrate a high-quality motorized projector screen to project each color accurately. Although it seems like second nature for white to look white and red to look red, the fact is inferior projector screens blur the fine line between colors across the entire spectrum. A properly calibrated motorized projector screen does not influence the colors when they start to shift.
A motorized projector screen allows you to control brightness levels. If you buy a large motorized projector screen, you want to increase the brightness of the screen to maintain the right level of brightness for the images projected on the screen. To enhance the darker images on the screen, or make images appear more to your liking, you can make adjustments to the projector’s setup and visual settings like brightness, contrast, and saturation.
Install Acoustic Panels
Installing the finest acoustic panels is well worth the investment because of three significant benefits.
Many brands of acoustic panels include easy-to-understand instructions for installation. You can mount acoustic panels with just about anything, from powerful magnets to sturdy metal plates. Some home theater manufacturers include installation in the price of the entire system.
We are going to assume that you do not plan to use your new media room to hold sensitive arms treaty negotiations with the Russians. However, the best acoustic panels will provide you with much more privacy.
What goes on in your new media room stays in your new media room.
A More Comfortable Ambiance
Installing acoustic panels blocks the noise that erodes your sense of peace and quiet while you relax in another room. Absorbing the sounds that come out of your home theater system also makes the viewing experience much more comfortable on the ears.
Tips for Converting a Bedroom Into a Media Room
When you start converting a bedroom into a media room, expect a few bumps along the way. However, you can smooth over the bumps by following a few tips.
Complete an inventory of your supplies and equipment before you shop for a new home theater system. If you realize that you are down one HDMI cable in the middle of the installation process, you can expect a delay in the completion of your project. There’s nothing worse than getting everything together, and being finally ready to use your new setup, when you realize that you are missing one little piece of the puzzle. Next thing you know, you’re waiting for another delivery.
Do not install cords beneath carpeting or through an aisle or entry. This makes cords difficult to replace, access, and install. Instead, you should run every cord along a baseboard. One of the reasons why you want to convert a rectangular bedroom into a media room is you have four straight baseboards in which to attach cables.
Testing One, Two, Three
“Assumptions are made and most assumptions are wrong.”-Albert Einstein
Do not assume that every component that you add to your home theater system will work the way the manufacturer intends for it to work. Test every component right after you connect it to your new media room system. Confirming as you go allows you to troubleshoot minor problems before they morph into major headaches.
Equipment Before Furniture
Install every piece of electronics before you turn into an interior decorator with the furniture. There is no use in arranging furniture if there is nothing to see and hear. If your new media room has a hardwood floor, cover the floor to prevent scratches from damaging the smooth surface. This will also help control acoustics and prevent potentially unwanted echoes. Also, equipment tends to be much more expensive than furniture (if you’re a savvy shopper). This is why it’s always smart to look for discounted or second-hand furniture when furnishing something like a home theater since the purpose of the room is more so for the theater experience than it is for interior design.
Be Flexible in Design
The world’s greatest painters rarely like the first version of a project. They tinker with design elements until they achieve their vision. Treat the design of your new media room the same way. Even if it takes you six months after installation to notice a design flaw, changing how your new media rook looks increases the ambiance for everyone enjoying it. Don’t rush the process, try to enjoy making little improvements along the way.
The Bottom Line
Utilizing space in your home that is currently not used is a great way to create a media room. Another thing 2020 taught us is that our homes are much more important to our daily lives than we may have previously realized. When everything changes and the workplace paradigm completely shift, it helps to have a space in your home that is devoted to nothing but the good fun of watching a movie, streaming a live concert performance, or listening to some high-fidelity vinyl records.
Even as many of us begin to head back to the office, our homes remain an important thing worth investing in. We never know when we might need to work out of our living rooms for weeks, or when we might need to depend on our spare bedroom for a recreational refuge.
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HOW TO CONVERT A BEDROOM INTO A MEDIA ROOM