The biggest mistake I've made on this basement reno project is that I did not plan enough for seating arrangements early on in the game. I've had it in the back of my mind, but I obviously did not think this thing through enough.
I reached out to Roman yesterday and talked with him extensively about my options for chairs. He was extremely helpful with all of my questions and never for a minute did he push any of his products on me. He gave me some very sound advice on a variety of things. I am scheduled to head up to NJ to visit his warehouse in two weeks. His pricing is VERY reasonable.
If I were to go with recliners (I am looking at the Fusion Jives in leather Expresso Brown by the way), I am obviously going to need POWER out in the middle of the room. As of right now, I AINT GOT NONE! Didn’t quite plan for that.
I've got receptacles all around the perimeter in the walls...but nothing in the middle. If you’ve been following, you’ll recall that I demolished the drywall around the lally column which is dead center in the room (under a massive bulkhead that is about 80" off the floor). There used to be an outlet in that column. When I demolished it, I ran the outlet box back up into the bulkhead above and just nailed it to a floor joist inside. I can still access that outlet by reaching into the opening on the side of the bulkhead (where my PJ is going to be housed). If I really needed to, I could drop that outlet back down the lally column but then I would be forced to box out the column again (with wood) so I could set a new double receptacle within it. Just an option to think about it if I don’t do what I am about to describe below.
I had my wife down in the basement the other night and we were talking about many things...one of which was the seating, furniture, layout options, etc. The good news is that she is most likely on board with buying power recliners (she digs the Jives) if the leather does not look cheap and if it’s the right color.
Her other worry is that when you walk down the stairs and turn towards the screen, all you will see is the back of a sea of recliners! And, that’s a great point. AND THEN IT DAWNED ON ME. I NEED TO DO SOMETHING IN THE CENTER OF THE ROOM. One option would be to have some sort of a bar/countertop behind the seating area right in the vicinity of my lally column (below the bulkhead). Not only would this give us additional seating other than the recliners...but it would also block the view of the back of the seats at the same time. So, we got on Houzz last night browsing for ideas in home theaters and we found some photos that really inspired us:
We already had plans to do a countertop/bar/refrig along the BACK WALL. Perhaps I can get panels that match those cabinets and build a nice counter/bar in the middle of the room (looking into that now). We would of course match the granite with the granite on the back wall.
The other thing I am entertaining is building a platform for the seating (similar to the pics above). All of my problems with running electrical out to the middle would also go away. In the first picture above, I like the way they ran the platform all the way to the wall on the left. That would allow me to tap into the electrical in the walls and bring electric into the platform for some step lights and for outlets for the chairs, etc. I cannot run the platform across the whole width of the room because I’d like to keep a critical pathway open on the right side of the room (right side when facing screen).
This weekend I am going to head down with a roll of masking tape and start taping out some different scenarios for the bar, seating and possibly a platform. Before I do that, I have a couple of questions:
What is the minimum recommended height for a platform IF I were to consider building one for my row of seats?
How much room should one plan to leave on each side of a platform (outside edge of seat to the outside edge of the platform)? A foot or so? How about in the front of the platform?
Do I need to fill the platform with sand (like many here do for stages) or am I good using something else so it doesn't sound too hollow when walked on?
Ideally, I do not need any more than 4 theater chairs especially if I end up doing the bar where I can have an additional 3-4 stools that will be facing the screen. The biggest downfall of my situation is the massive bulkhead that runs across the room leaving me only 80” between it and the floor. If I was to put some sort of a bar/countertop underneath it, it may feel too close to the ceiling when sitting on a stool. Perhaps I need to bring a kitchen stool down there this weekend and sit on it. LOL.
If I decide to go this route with bar and a platform, it will be a major game changer.
Leaning hard on AVS forum for input on everything I’ve mentioned above…thanks everyone! This is new territory for me...