I just purchased my first home in the Washington D.C. area and am looking to make the basement into a media room. Was hoping for some ideas on furniture/tv placement, bar decor, wall paint, window treatment, updates to the mantel around the fireplace etc.
All comments would be appreciated. Just so all are aware, I am going to put my 80" sharp aquos lcd in the room, and the main issue is whether to mount it on the wall adjacent to the fireplace, above the fireplace, or install a entertainment center. I also purchased a nice brown leather media type sectional in which four seats recline, so coffee tables (if brought up) would have to consider that. Will attach pictures. (Also FYI, none of the furniture in there atm is mine, anything in the pics is from previous owner).
AJThis message has been edited. Last edited by: flatpick24,
The rooms shape feels a little awkward, to me. Doesn't seem it lends itself well to the standard media room decorating treatment. Is there a half bath opposite the bar? And possibly a hallway and bedroom past the bar?
Assuming this room may have multiple uses, e.g. entertainment and general socializing. Do you play cards or board games?
First off, the carpeting feels extremely odd and formal for a basement. Any moisture issues? I would want to remove that and possibly substitute a more practical flooring, e.g. one of the nice, wood-look vinyl floors. (Sorry but the updated vinyls work extremely well in basements.)
What's your design style and what style do you prefer for the room? The f/p surround also feels extremely formal, to me. I would add a mantle and change it out but will wait to hear your style before making a suggestion or two.
Would it be uncomfortable (neck-craning) to place the TV above the f/p? Or, did you purchase the sink-into chairs so you're leaning back? It'd be nice to see a pic of your sectional and preferably placed in the room to note its shape and scale.
The stripe treatment below the bar needs to go. Is the wall paint 2-tone, i.e. gold and then white/cream? Obviously, it needs a paint job and hopefully you can afford to update the bar area, too. Do you have a lighting plan?
I'm assuming that's the entryway beyond the bar in the first photo. If you want to play up the media room aspect, it appears you have sufficient space there to possibly place both a glass-type, old-fashioned candy counter (along the back wall?) plus a popcorn machine (side wall?), if you'd like.
Depending on your sectional's size, it also appears you may have the space for a game table. If it were my room, I'd get out my blue painter's tape, probably after removing the carpet, and tape everything out on the floor.
Would love to see additional pics. If it works with the sectional, I'm leaning towards suggesting a built-in and setting up a dual focal point.
Congratulations on your new home and good luck with your basement project! It's all JMHO.
I like the carpet for its sound absorbing qualities.
Sound requirements for the room, where surround sound speakers will go. You can get a consultation from a sound expert to show you how to set up the equipment for the best possible experience. They need to be set at the right angles and you could also have them concealed in the walls (some can be painted like your wall color and be almost invisible)
YOu will need a center speaker with two or more at the front and then four more around the middle and back of the room.
You will also need room darkening blinds for the windows, you can have them remote control if you like that. This will help if you find your choice for the TV area has a glare from a window letting in sunlight that goes right to the screen. The second layer would be floor to ceiling drapery, this also helps to absorb vibrations to soften sharp sounds in the room.
Smaller chairs (comfy ones)or large pillows on the floor for visiting family little ones to be in front of the other seating can be nice too. You might need more seating for a larger group for game watching, this can be nice folding chairs (with cushy padding) you store somewhere else than in the room.
You need space for your DVD's players other equipment such as cable box etc and controllers.
A darker color on the walls to help bring that experience of a theater when movie comes on and lights go out. Recessed lighting, and mood lighting such as hidden behind crown molding at the ceiling (dropped down a bit so rope lighting can create a soft mood light) so when lights come back on it is not like 'last call' lighting that blares at you. Wall sconces can also set that kind of mood lighting. Dimmer switches also are useful. They do have preset switches they sell now so you can click on the 'movie' level so the lighting is low.
I do not see the need for all extra functions if this is only to watch movies and games on TV. The already built bar area is nice for serving snacks and drinks.
You can do a search online to find information about making a media room (like I did for this information). Once you know what you need, it will be easier for you to pick placement of the TV and then the seating, then the sound speakers. This will pretty much set your room and you can leave it like that since all is in place for your great movie watching experience!
Good luck with your project, and let us know what you decide on, and how it is going! How fortunate you are to have such a wonderful space in your new home for a media room!
*****We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are! ***** (Anaias Nin)***** http://pinterest.com/mary_ruth/
Is that wall to the left of the fireplace a solid wall? I can't tell from the pictures. If so, I'd put a whole entertainment type center there for the t.v. and components and place the chairs in the middle of the room, if there is enough room.
That space towards the other end of the room looks like it would be a good place for a small table and chairs to play cards and whatever. I like the space and the bar area. I don't see any windows, are there any? If not, I would keep the walls a light color, and yes, definitely do something with the bottom half of the bar.
Do you have any more pictures?
Good luck and keep us posted.
Agree with all of your media room suggestions, including the carpet retention, Mary Ruth. The shape and size of the space and bar just doesn't feel like it would work well as a traditional media room - to me, anyway. That's why I suggested setting it up as a multi-use or more typical basement. Hopefully the OP will fill us in on the intended use(s).
Thought about that other wall, too, Wanda, for the entertainment center. It appears to jut out in the first photo. That's why (IMHO) we need to see the size/shape of the sectional.
AJ, just noticed that what I thought was a doorway past the bar (at the opposite end of the room) is another small jog in the wall. Ok - so that might be your game area. Possibly the wall jut (left of the f/p) would work for a candy counter (if desired) with a popcorn machine on the jut's other side, facing the bar. Or, visa versa.
Unless they're turned off in the photo, it appears you may need some lighting in that potential game area. Depending on the sectional's size and shape, was thinking of a dual focal point between f/p and entertainment center.
All, JMHO. Good luck, AJ.This message has been edited. Last edited by: blueday,
Thanks all for the posts so far. I will answer all the questions more in detail shortly. I am going to provide a few more pictures.
(And also, I removed that pattern underneath the bar within 10 minutes of going in there!)
FYI - the total space of the basement is about 800 square feet. Behind the bar is primarily the hot water and utility room, there is a separate smaller storage room (which is not a bedroom due to no window/egress but I will probably put a smaller extra bed in there for overflow from the upper levels) on the other side of the steps. There is also a fully renovated full bath on the other side of the bar as well, the the annoying sticking out space is obviously a closet/storage. At this point, i'm not really wanting to demo that so the entertainment center on the one wall might be a good plan (there is a window on the wall to the left of the fireplace in that picture but otherwise it's solid).
Unfortunately I'm out of town for work for another couple weeks and then will be moving everything in, but I can at least provide a picture of the couch.
And a few more if you want to work the living room
The sectional is relatively deep and four of the 5 seats recline all the way back, so mounting above the fireplace is a possibility if the 80" will fit there and I put a mantel there to cut down on the heat if I use the fireplace a lot (I probably won't).
To answer your questions...
It doesn't necessarily have to be the all out media/theatre room with all the trimmings, but I think the idea of making it a more common basement area (making good use of the bar after I fix it up, re-Tile it, and get some shelving and other decor up around there) is just fine.
I answered some in previous posts, and it should show in some of the pics, but there is a full bath down there and an extra room which i'll probably use primarily for storage and maybe put a single bed in there when the top 3 bedrooms are full of guests after a party The stairs are back there as well as you alluded to.
I do like cards, and I think a poker table and chairs would be a good fit for that back section (which the previous tenant used for a workout space but I'll be likely placing my free weights in the garage or the other storage room so that would be fine).
The carpet is fairly weird for the basement. I like the idea of vinyl but might focus more on the built-in's and getting the bar nice and up to date instead of worrying about the floors. They are actually in much better shape than the colors in the pictures show. I also like Mary's comment on the sound absorbing.. I definitely have an 8 speaker setup with sub woofer surround that will be arranged correctly to the specifications of a sound expert, but that still needs to be tweaked depending on the room set up obviously.
I also very much like the fireplace so your idea of dual focal points is a strong one. It wouldn't be entirely uncomfortable to place the tv about the f/p but given I would have to move the sectional a bit further back (though it is deep and reclines completely), I wouldn't want everyone to have to always be sitting all the way back to be comfortable when watching. The corner with a built in could be the way to go.
The wall paint is actually one color but it's hard to tell from the photos. I'm thinking of going a beige/tan or even a little darker with a brown (though I don't want everything to be incredibly matchy since the sectional is brown leather too).
All that being said, welcome your additional comments!
Wow, AJ, I'm slightly overwhelmed by the size and scale of the sectional. Yes, it looks comfy. How will it be configured? Do you have options WRT its configuration? If so, what are they?
Hard for me to talk furniture placement, given their size and scale plus the room's odd shape. Have to go back to my previous suggestion to tape everything out. Alternatively, you could make a simple (to scale, hopefully) drawing and sketch out the furniture placement. BTW, online programs are readily available, too.
What's the plan for updating the bar? It does appear much better after your preliminary changes. And what's your design style, i.e what style/feeling do you want to incorporate in the room? I'd love to suggest a f/p update and think about your built-in but prefer to have more info before talking about them.
WRT the sound absorption concerns - is your main concern external or internal noise reduction/sound absorption? You can easily cover the window with a drop-in, pop-out, plywood + foam/eggshell or other sound material. For design purposes, the panel could be covered in leather or faux leather or even a print fabric of your choice.
Checked out your living room quickly and noticed you have some of the same challenges due to its size and shape. Is the furniture in the photo staging furniture or your own? Same questions WRT design style - the place appears to lend itself to contemporary but you can easily alter it to suit your taste.
DC seems to skew traditional but obviously it's not required. No design police exist, lol. How long do you plan to retain this home?
Good Luck! JMHO.
P.S. Any plans to use the room for gaming?This message has been edited. Last edited by: blueday,
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