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Please help with my basement design.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
We are in the midst of renovating a house we just purchased.

The basement has finished bedrooms, bathrooms and closets, but the rest of it is finished as one massive room, approximately 31' x 35', less a stairway and mechanical room.

I am proposing to cut up the massive room by framing out a fitness room, leaving the rest as a media room and games area.






We would like to put a pool table and/or ping pong table in the games area. Possibly a card table. Did I mention my wife is a Mrs. Packman addict ? Maybe a video game as well.

That leaves a space of about 13' 6" x 18-20 feet as "media room" space. We don't watch enough movies to want a dedicated theatre room. We want a room where people can be just as comfortable hanging out as watching various media, though when they are watching media we want it to be a high quality experience.

I have no AV equipment except a JVC RS45 projector. We really like it, but could probably be persuaded to replace it with a very large high quality display.

The basement has 9 foot ceilings throughout except for an HVAC duct about 12 feet from the basement wall end of the media room. There is about 8 feet under the beam, so headroom shouldn't be an issue, even if the projector has to hang under it.

The basement has in floor heating, so its warm and comfy all year round. Humidity is well controlled as well.

I realize that light control will be an issue, though luckily the RS45 has a fairly bright image. We could use black out blinds on the windows as necessary. I presently have the RS45 in a similar (worse, actually) room and am familiar with the drawbacks.

Sound will, of course, make its way up the stairway to some extent. We are prepared to live with that.

I have drawn the fitness room as having french doors opening to the front of the media room. If I didn't do that, the fitness room would feel like a cave. Its not ideal that they open into the media room at that position, but I don't have much control over it.

What say ye of my proposed basement layout ?

How would you finish the games and media room out ? Carpet, flooring, walls, colors, ceilings, lighting etc.

Any special wiring, other than cat 5 and HDMI to the projector and copper to each of the speaker locations ?

Thanks !
post #2 of 15
You'll need to fix your images to make them readable... Make the dimensions and captions much, much larger and get rid of the black background so we can see it...
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Is this better ? Google downsizes them in Picaso, which is what I use.

basement layout1.jpeg 104k .jpeg file

media room layout 1.jpeg 50k .jpeg file

Thank you for taking an interest !
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmerfudII View Post

Is this better ?

Not really... But at least we can read the dimensions. So your "media area" in the top right is 13'6" wide by 18' deep. With the open back, windows and french doors around, I think you'll be looking at in-ceiling speakers for the surround/rear channels. You've certainly got plenty of width for a screen, but light control is going to be your big challenge with this open area.

Where do the stairs start on the basement level? I see the arrow up, but not sure where the landing is - at the curved area? If not, enclose that triangle-shaped area into an equipment closet and have your rack set into that wall.

Jeff
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Not really... But at least we can read the dimensions.
Thanks for putting up with that.
Quote:
So your "media area" in the top right is 13'6" wide by 18' deep.
Yes.

There is no hard wall between the media area and the games area. Its kind of where the couches end and where other stuff takes up space. Other stuff = pool table, arcade game, etc. The media room in our present house is about 15 x 21, but part of the 15 feet is a walk way on the side to get to another room via a door beside the screen. So I figure that 13.5 feet should be a tolerable width for the media room in the new house. ???
Quote:
With the open back, windows and french doors around, I think you'll be looking at in-ceiling speakers for the surround/rear channels.
Not sure about that. I was going to put in ceiling speakers for sound from the media server/ amp. I was hoping for real rear surround speakers suspended from the ceiling, maybe free standing.
Quote:
You've certainly got plenty of width for a screen, but light control is going to be your big challenge with this open area.
I wouldn't expect the bar and games area to be lit when we are watching movies. Yet the RS45 seems to do fairly well in a semi lit area. Certainly the screen area has to be as dark as you can make it.

I'm looking for guidance on paint schemes/lighting to pull this off. Pot lights at the front of the media area on a separate dimmer and then 2 or 3 lighting zones as one goes back ? My current media room has whiteish walls and they are terrible. This room needs to be black for the first 8 feet ????
Quote:
Where do the stairs start on the basement level? I see the arrow up, but not sure where the landing is - at the curved area?
The stairs are entirely in the "framed off" area. Anything not in the border is landing, ie on the basement floor. The stair case is curved. The reason its so long is that the basement has 9' ceilings, plus the joist thickness = 10' plus of risers.
Quote:
If not, enclose that triangle-shaped area into an equipment closet and have your rack set into that wall.
There is a closet as part of the stairway/ mechanical room that I haven't outlined. We are working with a designer and she recommends leaving the space you identified open. I'm not sure where I will locate the equipment rack. The amps for the house (multi zone) and receivers will be buried in one of the closets along the bedrooms. Not sure which one. Will run a conduit there (and elsewhere around the house). Not sure I want an equipment stack in the media room. Looking for direction here too !

As far as I can tell, all my media will be served via a Linux DLNA server and XBMC or mythTV. The amps for the house will be centrally located. Presently all the speak wiring goes to the great room on the ground level, but I think I'll relocate that to the basement via another conduit.

As you can tell, I'm still trying to figure a lot of this out.
post #6 of 15
Just a few things you might want to consider. You have a nice long room, so your going to want to break it up someway to provide some seperation between the two areas. Sirst off I would consider puuting a counter behind the theater seating. This provides transition between the two rooms and draws them together at the same time. You guests in this area can watch both the action on the TV and whatever is going on in the game room. Also make sure you break up your lighting zones. I would think you will have at least 3-4 different zones lighting up the space.

As an alternative to the french doors, you might consider a pair of glass pocket doors. Overall look would be the same but you could open up the room without them bumping into your screen.

You likely want to keep carpeting in the theater area, the back game area could be a different surface, wood, tile, etc.

If you do build a counter between the two spaces you could house the AV equipment in a cabinet underneath
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat91 View Post

Just a few things you might want to consider. You have a nice long room, so your going to want to break it up someway to provide some seperation between the two areas. Sirst off I would consider puuting a counter behind the theater seating. This provides transition between the two rooms and draws them together at the same time. You guests in this area can watch both the action on the TV and whatever is going on in the game room.
Quote:
I have mixed feelings on doing that. On the positive side, it does divide the room. On the negative side, it divides the room. smile.gif

I'm going to leave it open at first, but design things so that a counter with stools could be added at a later date. I can see where it would be really nice for watching a game on the projector (versus sitting on a couch) but I can't bring myself to formally divide the space and I'll lose about 3 feet for the counter itself plus another 2 feed for stools. Do I really have that much extra space ? I'm not sure.
Quote:
Also make sure you break up your lighting zones. I would think you will have at least 3-4 different zones lighting up the space.
I agree. What were you thinking the zones should be ?

I think we are going to have paint zones as well. The front 8 to 12 feet up by the screen needs to be black or at least very dark and non reflective.
Quote:
As an alternative to the french doors, you might consider a pair of glass pocket doors. Overall look would be the same but you could open up the room without them bumping into your screen.

I was thinking the same. I'm wondering if glass in the doors would reflect too much light when the projector is running and also how I would shade them if someone is working out in the fitness room and has the lights on. The other thing we need to consider is soundproofing the fitness room.
Quote:
You likely want to keep carpeting in the theater area, the back game area could be a different surface, wood, tile, etc.
Yes.
Quote:
If you do build a counter between the two spaces you could house the AV equipment in a cabinet underneath
That is a great idea, but I don't know if I have the commitment to do it. The counter would look very nice though. I have to give this some thought.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know of pictures of a game/media room layout like I am planning to do ? Specifically the bar counter behind the couches separating the games area from the media area ?

My wife is thinking that the wall between the closet kitchen and the games room would be the counter part of the bar. We'd probably close it in with shutters between the counter and the ceiling when its not in use and enter the space via the door.

I have to do a bit more planning in this area.
post #9 of 15
Go to Houzz.com

start searching under photos for "theater game room" "theater bar" "Theater counter" you'll find a ton of inspiration for your room, be warned the site can become pretty addicting!!! You can save any pictures you like into your own personal ideabooks for reference later.

For the lighting zones it all depends on what you want to do with the lighting. At least one area for the Game Room / one for the Theater seating and one for the screen area. The theater portion of my basement has three seperate zones (wall washers on screen, front seating, rear seating. Then the game room area has two additional zones. My lighting is pretty basic. If you start adding in wall sconces, ceiling stars, LED rope lights, riser lights........you can see where it can get overwhelmiing quick.

For the sliders you might want to consider solid pocket doors. Not sure you want to look at the gym, while your using the other room anyway. This way you can keep it open while your in the gym, but keep it closed off when not in use.
post #10 of 15
Also try


http://www.finishedbasement.com/

Search photo's under open theater design, some really cool stuff
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
I guess this is the sort of layout we are after, assuming that we are standing at the screen end of the room.

http://www.houzz.com/photos/63642/Kukio-tropical-living-room-hawaii
post #12 of 15
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmerfudII View Post

Does anyone know of pictures of a game/media room layout like I am planning to do ? Specifically the bar counter behind the couches separating the games area from the media area ?

My wife is thinking that the wall between the closet kitchen and the games room would be the counter part of the bar. We'd probably close it in with shutters between the counter and the ceiling when its not in use and enter the space via the door.

I have to do a bit more planning in this area.

I'm doing exactly this in my current build. Check out my 3.0 link in my signature.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies guys. Very helpful. We are tearing the house apart at the moment. I'll review and get back with my comments.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
FYI, I widened the media room from 13'6" to 17 feet. It allows us to space the seating (couches, generally) wider, giving everyone a front row seat. Before we did this, our seating plan would have had 2 rows of seating, pretty much necessitating a riser under the second row.


Making the media room wider reduces the width of the fitness room to 18 feet, but we feel that will still be adequate.

I'm just framing the area right now, while we are doing major renos on the house. I'll finish it out in the fall of 2013.
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