HT-friendly Living Room Layout?
I just closed on my first very own home, a spacious condo in a good neighborhood. Moving from a cramped shared place I'm happy with the purchase (there's more space than I know what to do with), but I realized that arranging the living room in an HT-friendly manner would be tricky. It's important for me to decide on the layout asap because of speaker placement, really; I might be doing work on the ceiling so it's the best time to lay conduit.
1. I'm looking for advice on speaker placement - once I get that I think everything else would fall into place.
My best idea is laid out in Map #2 . (I like the 8' distance to the TV, if I get a projector I could move the sofa back a bit.) I'd mount the surrounds to the ceiling (not in-ceiling, there's a neighbor upstairs...)
2. I'm thinking of running conduit to one of the X marks for future projector mounting. The right X is the center of the room but I think I'd always be offset to the left to leave plenty of walking space(?).. Hence the left X. What do you think? Which spot is better? Is the difference negligible with modern projectors` offset capabilities?
3. All that space between the TV area and the balcony... what should I put there? (doesn't have to be HT-related :) )
From a purely technical standpoint, map #2 looks like it would work well, as it offers the most 'enclosed' space to work with. However, I personally don't like that layout in terms of the overall aesthetic. First of all, when you first enter your condo from the front door, you are immediately standing in your "living room". Similarly, when watching TV, the entrance is just off to the right. I think having your living space/sitting area deeper inside your condo would create a greater sense of comfort and privacy.
Have you considered placing the TV on the shared bedroom wall? It would give you a little more width to work with, if/when you ever get a bigger TV or PJ screen. Since it would be adjacent to the dining area, that means anyone sitting in that area can also see the TV. You can always install blackout curtains along the balcony doors if you want to reduce the amount of light leaking in during the day for more critical viewing. The couch/sofa might partially block the sightline from the front door to the balcony, but really, it should be low enough that the only part of the view it would cut off is below the railing.
Totally unrelated, but if it's within your means to do so, I would also think of opening up that wall separating the kitchen. It would open up the space even more, and make it work much better as an entertaining space.
The problem I see with placing the TV on the shared bedroom wall is the placement of the left front speaker. If the listening position is too far south, the sofa would obstruct the way to the kitchen, and otherwise, the left front ends up needing to be almost in front of the entrance door.
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