FINISHED!!! (mostly) PHOTOS!!! Our 80% Theater / 20% Family Room is now basically done. I still have a couple of minor things to complete such as staining one of the built-ins and building a cabinet door for another. It took around 8 months from start to finish... quite a bit longer than I originally anticipated. But most of the finishing touches were DIY, and my busy schedule only allowed so much progress at a time. We also lost about a month when we discovered the steel post during demolition and had to engineer a new header beam so we could remove the column.
But we've already been enjoying the room and have clocked several movies. We're very happy with the picture quality, and while my wife was worried at first that the screen would be too large, it already feels very "normal" and I couldn't imagine it being any smaller. I'm also glad we stuck with darker/flatter paints because I've seen for myself how important it is to eliminate ambient light. We used black for all trim, medium grey for the walls, and brushed suede for the ceiling (which looks awesome!). The carpet is medium grey as well. We still have to replace our aging sectional which is a dark olive color and doesn't really go well in the new room.
I had enough rope light left over to do lots of extra things. I added some behind the screen to add some nice glow to the wall panelling.
I had built-ins installed on both sides of the stairs, creating an equipment closet in between them. My gear is mounted to a MidAtlantic slim-5 rack.
There are a few things I'd do differently:
1. LED rope light was very economical, as one spool of 150' more than covered all our needs. However, the light in the soffits isn't very smooth or even, as you'll see in some of the photos.
2. I would add more light to the stairwell. We were already over budget with the unexpected structural work, so I stuck with only hand-rail soffit light. It's perfectly adequate to see your way down the steps, but the stairwell is still too dark.
3. I would change some of the dimensions for our cubbies. For example, I sized 3 cubbies to fit existing media binders, but my wife wanted to change to linear note binders that had room for DVD labels and I found that all of these are too large for the space we built.
4. I would probably use different puck lights for the soffits. We went 100% LED, but the puck lights we used have several diodes in them and they don't produce the nice cone of light I was hoping for. A single diode light would no doubt be better. Our main can lights have this and they produce very pleasing light.
For the most part, though, we are extremely happy with our new space!