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DIYer Turns Basement into Theater, Kitchenette

By Rachel Cericola
Chris Martino took his L-shaped basement space and turned it into a full theater - complete with a kitchenette.

Not all basements are perfect. Some have spiderwebs and leaks. Others just have weird shapes. Chris Martino's basement has an L shape at least the part that's usable.

Of course, the room with the water heater, furnace and other home necessities may literally be the hot spot, but it's not where he and his wife Beth want to spend quality time. So the couple took the rest of the underground space and turned it into a home theater, which opens up to a kitchenette area. Yes, there's a bathroom, too. Let the movie marathons begin!

Chris was sold on that space from the very start. From the beginning, I more or less embraced the L-shape, Chris says. I considered closing in the theater completely, but quickly decided that a more open space was really what I wanted.

A big open space doesn't mean that the project didn't have its challenges. A lally column separating the theater and kitchen areas made things difficult. Instead of bumping into the structure on your way in and out, a few tweaks to the bar area added to the design element, while making the transition between rooms seamless.

Chris wanted this theater no matter what the challenges were. I've always been into computers, gadgets and technology, he says. Combine that with reading the AVS Forum for a number of years prior and you've got a recipe for disasterat least as far as the bank account is concerned. Still, when he moved into his current house in 2005, a space for a dedicated theater was a high priority.

Chris and Beth did most of the work, including the framing, low-voltage wiring, insulation, carpentry, paint, wood and tile floors, cabinets, A/V equipment installation and decor.

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