Well, I should probably close this build out for the most part and thank everyone for all the help on these boards along the way. Even though this forum probably cost me an extra $5-10K (ha ha), I couldn't have done it without this forum. My room came out completely different than what I started with here, but it's so much better than I could have ever imagined. I finally got the carpet in the beginning of the year, which enabled me to move in all the speakers (5.1.4 with 3 DIY LCRs and a DIY marty cube), add chairs (Warwicks from HTmarket.com), build my false wall and screen and bring down all the other furniture. I just finally added my copper Paragon 4 oz popcorn machine the end of last week (took the pics before that came in) to complete things. Here's a bunch of pictures that show how it went from unfinished to 98% complete -- still need to add the balustrade, a light at the top of the stairs, and a door nob. It's really tough to get the motivation now that it's fully functioning. I have the whole room hooked up so that I can control everything (except the iNuke) with an iPad with the Harmony app and the milight app for the lights.
Here's what I started with. Half of the space was an old room with wood panels from probably the 70s and the other half pictured below was unfinished with lots of issues to work through.
My original plans called for a dedicated theater room that was turned around from what I ended up with. I also ended up (at my wife's behest) opening up the room, which I have to say was a great idea. The room looks much bigger and can more easily accommodate larger groups without the wall in the middle.
What it looked like before the carpet came in. The carpet came from Lowes and was Stainmaster.
My new 115" Seymour AV premier screen with UF material. I was going to DIY the screen, but I was so worn out with things that I decided to just pony up the extra money and purchase things so I didn't have to worry. The frame is incredible and the picture even better. Very happy with this purchase.
I ripped off Bigs minimal screen wall goalpost style for the front. I have a low ceiling (7'1") so I didn't put in a stage. Plus I was trying to keep things so that if for whatever reason I needed to take down the theater I could restore the room with just some spackle and paint. Hopefully, that won't happen. Here's how the screen wall came together. Very sturdy and easy to put together. I made fabric panels for the outside of the screen using GOM fabric that I bought online.
Here are the finished pics with the HTMarket.com Warwick seats and the rest of the furniture in place. I highly recommend their seats, by the way. Alan the owner is very active on the forum and the customer service and price/value is great.
With both the TV and theater on. Used this setup during the Super Bowl.
My step lights and tray LED strip lights. One of my favorite features in the whole room.