The "Concord Den" Small Dedicated Media Room - AVS Forum
General Home Theater & Media/Game Rooms > The "Concord Den" Small Dedicated Media Room
DapperDanMan's Avatar DapperDanMan 02:32 PM 08-24-2013
Hi All,

I'm moving my family to a new state and purchasing a new home. Our old house had a large basement that I dreamed of building a dedicated theater in, but the time/money/motivation never materialized. The new house doesn't have a basement, so I'll have to make due with a den that my wife has graciously given me permission to dedicate as a media room. It's a bit on the small side, but I'm excited to make it work.

Here's what the space looks like (the seller is using it as an office):

Here is how I plan to lay out the room:

We don't close until the end of September, so in the meantime I've been thinking about my plans for the space.

Philosophy of Use
  • 80% movies and TV
  • 15% video games (console and PC)
  • 5% music listening

  • TV: Samsung FPT5084 (50" 1080p Plasma). Will probably upgrade to a bigger screen eventually.
  • Receiver: Denon AVR 2313CI
  • Fronts: Infinity Beta 50
  • Center: Infinity Beta 360
  • Sides/Rears: Infinity Beta 20
  • Sub: Epik Caliber (Might use my old Acoustic Research 12" sub as a 2nd sub if there's room for it)
  • Xbox 360
  • Sony Blu-Ray Player BDP-S590
  • Custom gaming PC

  • Seating: Will need to purchase some seating, probably 3-seat home theater style recliner setup.
  • Storage: I've got an old Ikea entertainment console that should suffice for now.
  • Paint: Probably going to go with a gray or a "greige" scheme.
  • Floor: I'm sure my wife will be excited to shop for a rug or carpet remnant for me.
  • Walls: I'm planning to do some DIY acoustic treatments to hang on the walls.

  • Size: The room is small at 10'4"x11'4". It might be a challenge to fit everything.
  • Open to the house: There is a large opening to the rest of the house which may make it difficult to get good bass response.
  • Light: The large opening and big window in the room will make light control a challenge. Not a huge concern but something to think about.
  • Wall-mounting speakers: My surround speakers are pretty massive at 20 lbs each and I think it's going to be a challenge to mount them, but I will have to wall mount at least some of them due to the entry opening and window placement.
  • Network wiring: A few rooms in the house were wired with CAT5, but I don't think this was one of them. I want to have wired connections for all of my devices.

I think that covers it. I'll try to keep this thread updated as things progress. I'd love to hear thoughts and suggestions, especially regarding the challenges listed above.

- DapperDanMan

SupaKats's Avatar SupaKats 03:43 PM 08-24-2013
Can't wait to see it materialize. Also I don't think mixing in the second sub will be totally worth it. It might be to hard to get to work well with the Epik for little added value.
DapperDanMan's Avatar DapperDanMan 05:34 AM 08-25-2013
Originally Posted by SupaKats View Post

Can't wait to see it materialize. Also I don't think mixing in the second sub will be totally worth it. It might be to hard to get to work well with the Epik for little added value.

It probably won't be necessary and it would be hard to find floor space for it anyway. I used it in my last setup because it seemed to fill out the bass coverage for other seating positions in the room, but it doesn't hit very low or loud and bottoms out easily.

I'm a little worried that the size of the Epik will severely limit my options in terms of placement and could result in uneven frequency repsonse at the listening positions, but I guess we'll wait and see.
cheezit73's Avatar cheezit73 03:46 PM 08-27-2013



I like your plan and don't think your challenges will be hard to overcome.  I sometimes think having a smaller space keeps things more simple if you go with a clean design.  I think doing the acoustic treatments is a great idea as well.  Looking forward to seeing your progress!

Tedd's Avatar Tedd 03:55 PM 08-27-2013
Ever consider in-ceiling surround speakers?
DapperDanMan's Avatar DapperDanMan 07:03 AM 09-01-2013
Originally Posted by cheezit73 View Post


I like your plan and don't think your challenges will be hard to overcome.  I sometimes think having a smaller space keeps things more simple if you go with a clean design.  I think doing the acoustic treatments is a great idea as well.  Looking forward to seeing your progress!

Thanks! I was initially a little bummed that the house doesn't have any rooms that would be ideal for a dedicated theater that could seat 6+ people, but I've realized that small and simple is going to work well for me. The benefit of having so much time before we move in is that I am forced to think about planning a bit more than I might do otherwise. The DIY acoustic treatments aspect will be fun for me and let my wife get involved in the process too. She's a hobbyist seamstress and is already searching for fabric ideas. She'll also be making the curtains to cover the window at the back of the room.
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post

Ever consider in-ceiling surround speakers?

Not a bad idea, but I want to use my existing speakers and I don't want to deal with the hassle of installation in-ceiling speakers. That said, getting the surrounds to fit is probably my biggest worry at the moment, but it's hard to get a better sense of it without access to the room to take more measurements that I forgot to get during the inspection.
cheezit73's Avatar cheezit73 03:46 PM 09-01-2013



I will always have a theatre room in my house no matter how small/large a room I might have to work with so do the best with what you got because a small dedicated room will always be better than none at all IMO!  Also for what it is worth be honest with your self how many people will be using the room most the time. I don't know your family dynamic but most of the time it's just my wife and I and daughter using the room and very occasionally more than that.

DapperDanMan's Avatar DapperDanMan 08:35 AM 09-14-2013
We close on the house in a couple of weeks, so I'm starting to get excited about that (and hoping the moving process hasn't damaged anything important). Not much progress to report, I've been distracted by DIY subwoofer builds for some reason instead of getting a start on building the acoustic treatments rolleyes.gif.

My wife and I have been thinking about paint and fabrics for the room and I think we're narrowing it down:

Going clockwise from the top: Pillow fabric, curtain fabric, acoustic panel fabric, paint.

Planning to do brown leather theater recliners in a curved configuration. I'm hoping I can find something suitable on craigslist, but may need to buy new chairs. Recommendations on where to shop online would be appreciated.
Dradius's Avatar Dradius 02:35 PM 09-16-2013
I'm in a very similar situation... As far as online shopping for theater seats, I'm digging the Lagoons at and also have theater seats and plenty of reviews on here. Maybe consider Bass Shakers to supplement your sub? Good luck.
DapperDanMan's Avatar DapperDanMan 09:32 AM 07-06-2014
Wow, it's been almost a year since I posted!

A lot has happened since then (bought the new house, had kid #3 , etc.) and I sort of stalled out on the den project for a while and didn't see a reason to post when it was half-way done. A couple of weeks ago I got motivated on the project and now it's getting close to a complete state so time for an update:

What I've done:
  • Painted the room gray (did it immediately when we moved in).
  • Bought a set of microfiber theater recliners (~$300 on Craigslist).
  • Discovered that the 7.1 setup with subwoofer behind the seating would not work. So now it's a 5.1 setup with the subwoofer at the front of the room.
  • Built a set of acoustic treatment panels to hang on the wall (1x3 boards, burlap fabric, Roxul Safe'n'Sound batts).
  • New light fixture.
  • Wall-mounted the plasma.
  • Built a new gaming PC, so the old one is now on duty in the den as a HTPC (hiding behind the seats).
  • Replaced my old 50" Samsung plasma with a 60" Sammy plasma that I impulse-bought at Costco for $800.
  • Bought a Wii-U (love it).
  • Bought an Apple TV (love it).
  • Bought a Logitech Harmony Smart control (love it).
  • Blackout curtains (not great for acoustic treatment purposes) crafted by my loving wife.
  • Rug from Target (it really ties the room together).

To Do:
  • Run coax and cat-6 cable from the coat closet to the den. Everything in there is on WiFi at the moment, which is a bummer since most of the rooms in the house are already wired.
  • Replace the Sub. Performance-wise the Epik Caliber is fine, but it's too big for where I've got it positioned.
  • Replace the theater chairs with leather. Now that my wife is sold on theater recliners being awesome I want to get nicer ones.
  • Wall mount the surround speakers. Right now their sitting on some vintage Acoustic Research tower speakers that I need to get rid of. They're a little low at the moment.
  • Some general cleanup of wires and such.

Apologies for the picture quality, the wife is out of town with the good camera.

DapperDanMan's Avatar DapperDanMan 10:07 AM 07-06-2014
I guess I should also report on the room a little bit. We love it! My wife and I use it almost daily for Netflix/Movies. It's not ideal in terms of SQ and light pollution that the room opens up to the rest of the house, but it does allow me to use it without feeling like I'm sequestering myself from the family, and I think that leads to it seeing more use than it might otherwise.

It's really amazing how much theater-style recliners enhance the experience. Having only 3 seats has yet to be an issue for us and I like that the middle seat is perfectly centered in the room.

I ran Audyssey on it yesterday now that I have the acoustic panels up, but I can't really say with conviction how much of a difference all of it makes. At least it looks cool

Here are two of my daughters enjoying the room around Christmas when we had the 50" TV and no curtains, rug, or treatments.

WaterBottle's Avatar WaterBottle 04:30 PM 07-06-2014
I think it looks fantastic. The combination of the paint color and the acoustic treatment looks very classy.
Limp Fox's Avatar Limp Fox 07:02 PM 07-06-2014
I really like it. You made great use of a small space. Inspiring, this will be [yoda]
DapperDanMan's Avatar DapperDanMan 04:31 AM 07-08-2014
Thanks fellas! I've been really enjoying Blu-Rays in the room, the sound is fantastic with the treatments and the calibration. I watched Akira on Sunday and Drive last night.

In other news, I ordered wall mounts for the surrounds, they should arrive today.
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