Custom Home Theaters - Where to Start
Advice on Custom Home Theaters
The whole point of a custom home theater is that it looks great in your home. If you’re looking for a custom-built system, that’s probably because you see the ideal home theater as an integrated whole in which the room and the equipment combine to create a great overall effect. That means that you have to negotiate the nitty-gritty of installation while simultaneously considering the design aspect, because you need your theater to look great and work well.
Some people hire contractors to help them create a custom home theater, and this is a good idea if you’re spending a large amount of money on creating a certain effect. Contractors are essential for certain parts of the job unless you’re a trained professional yourself. For example, if you’re building an extension to your house to accommodate your home theater system, you’ll almost certainly need builders and electricians to create it and do the wiring. If you have the money and you’re building a custom home theater on a large scale, you might also want to hire other professionals, such as an interior designer to advise on layout.
If you’re not doing any renovations, you’ll probably want to create your custom home theater through clever use of furniture.
Our pages on seating and cool furniture give an idea of what’s available off the rack, but many people choose instead to get furniture made specifically for them. Of course, this is usually more expensive than buying furniture from a regular store, but your furniture will have the cachet of having been made especially for you. Word of mouth is important when you’re looking for a skilled furniture-maker, so ask friends for recommendations.
If you’re purchasing a home theater system at the more expensive end of the market, it’s likely that it will come with a large screen. The screen is the first thing people notice, so it’s important to show it off to its full effect. Fake antique cabinets are a no-no. They’re for people who want to hide their home theater, whereas you want to show yours off. It’s better to mount yours on a unit in full view. The unit for mounting a TV screen is a little like the setting for a diamond – the right unit can make your screen look even bigger and flashier. Glass base units are great for enhancing the screen’s appearance without competing with it. Of course, you might have a front-projection system for your home theater, in which case you should be thinking about the best way of displaying the screen. Should it be tucked away when it’s not in use, or should you leave it out to make it clear that the room is based around your custom home theater? That’s a question you have to answer yourself. Of course, if you have a large plasma screen, your course of action is easy: wall-mounting. That way, the screen integrates with the room while still grabbing plenty of attention.