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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening all,


Here is the problem. My home theater setup is in the living room. We live in a Duplex appartment on the second floor.


My wife now think that the living room does not look like a normal living room anymore and is none inviting .


So i made a compromise and told her that we would try to make the best of both world.


What i am looking for is suggestion for website orpics that would guide me in decorating the living room to integrate the home theater system and at the same time making it inviting to receive guest .


2 idea i have in might right now is trying to find some decorative molding to hide the surround speaker cables on the wall and floor and try to find a way to build a module that would give the illusion that the television is recessed in the wall along with the HT equipement


Any suggestion is more than welcome



Alain
 

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I have the same issue. IMO the biggest factor is neatness and placement. Clean up the cabling, and then look at the placement of the seating. An "entertainment" (as in having folks over) room has comfortable seats facing each other. More conducive to conversation. An HT room has the seating facing the screen. If you've added curtains for light control, you just may have to get rid of them and come up with something else. Hide or de-emphasize the A/V rack. (If you don't have one, get one to centralize the pile and connections. And make it match the room furnishing theme.)


I am not a proponent of entertainment centers. Rather than conceal things they tend to dominate and overpower the room, while littering the sightline with the inevitable tchotchkes and screwing up speaker placement. Better the single TV stand and separate A/V rack.


OTOH, if your wife harbors dreams of living room as formal parlor, she's never going to be happy with the A/V equipment in the room no matter how nicely you do it up. Spend some time suggesting solutions to her and getting her ideas.
 

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Closets are great for increasing WAF if you can give up the space. They hide equipment nicely and can still be controlled by an IR repeater. Built in speakers can help a lot too though in an apartment that is a tough one.


Seating is a big issue that is faced in this situation. If you can compromise with some semi-circular type or arrangement, you still can have the conversational aspect without putting people completedly sideways to the screen. Another option is swivel rockers. They can be faced for conversation or turned for viewing. Arranged like this


| __ | or \\ __ / for conversation with a loveseat in between and then turned to


-- __ -- for viewing
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i will take some pics of the room tonight and post them for your review
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
here are the promised pictures your solutions are more than welcome
 

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You could try some custom cabinets to surround the set and better organize your gear.


You got a tight space though, so a huge set of cabinets may overwhelm the room a little. Maybe getting rid of one of the couches would give you a little more room to play with.
 

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I'd say just by cleaning everything up and hiding all the wires you could make it alot more welcoming.

The other huge improvement I think would be to put some pictures on the walls and paint to make it look a little less sterile. Plants would help as well. Add some color and life to the room.
 

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You go girl! Reclaim that man cave! What an effing mess!
  • all gear in a rack (not an entertainment center); dress and hide the cabling
  • some sort of color and style theme; new wall paint color
  • new furniture, sized for the room (you can fit three comfortable chairs in the space of one of those overstuffed couches)
  • something pretty (and sound absorbing) on the walls
  • some subtle lighting
  • it may not be possible, but do something with the black on black with black gear; just painting the mounts and boxes will help a lot; custom grill cloth is even better
  • a little stand to hold the remotes, and/or a universal remote

I'm totally with your wife on this one. You've spent a lot of $$ on the A/V gear. Now spend something similar making the room liveable. You don't have to do it all at once, but if she knows what the plan is she'll be a lot easier to live with.
 

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A couple of other thoughts


Your walls are all basic white (with a little yellow mixed in). Your equipment and furniture are all dark. So everything placed along the wall is in very high contrast which has the effect of drawing your attention to the "stuff"


If you darken the walls you will start to make the items disappear. The ultimate example of this is that a flat black object sitting in front of a black wall is very difficult to see. You don't need black but anything darker will move you in that direction. Then put some bright artwork on the walls and make sure it's well lit. That will draw attention to the art not the equipment. Time to take the wedding picture down and put something of a larger scale above the sofa. Remember not to hang it too high (like the wedding picture) Looking at the furniture you may want to think about an overall blue/Gray scheme.


I'm afraid that those wall mounted rear speakers are just a little too much for that room. How about slimming down for the sake of the WAF. Maybe some flat panel wall mounts (not in wall) that you could paint to match the wall (Paint the cables too). With the wall mounts you can take them with when you move. It might not sound as good but you can keep the wife.


Next purchase I think you need to get one of those skinny dlp or lcos sets to regain some space and put it on top of a low cabinet (IKEA maybe) that can house all the gear. I agree with getting everything out of sight.


Make some basic rectangular pedestals out of MDF and use for the L/R front speakers. Paint them the same color as the color you pick for the wall. Again one less thing to notice. Right now those stands stick out because they are black against white.


You might want to think about color coordinating the front speakers grill cloth with the color of the walls (similar color but use a different lightness(value) or intensity)


As for furniture, think about creating a conversation arrangement. The sofa, a coffee table and some upholstered ottomans that you can place between the table and tv. Since the ottomans are backless they won't be blocking the view from the sofa.
 

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To add to what the others said:


Darker walls. Smaller furniture. Hide the cables. Big poster sized art that is colorful (Vintage Movie posters, perhaps?). Curtain on window (Velvet?).


What are the room dimensions? Could you possibly turn everything on the diagonal (what kind of acoustic problems would that create?)?


BIGmouthinDC, DMF, and PeteMN have terrific ideas for you. Get with your wife, look through the gallery here, and make a plan!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Guys for all your suggestions i took notes and see what i can come up with. First thing we decided is to put french doors on that opening to close the room while watching tv. Room dimension is as follow:


front wall: 11'.5

right wall : 11'.75

left wall : 14'.00

rear wall: 8'.00

Ceiling: 8'.00


As for furniture there use to be 2 love seat and the rekame we moved one love seat out of the living room because it as getting too crowded.


Building a cabinet is something i am considering ..more of a way to simulate recessed equipement into the wall but i am still searching for pictures and DI plan for that.

Replacing my front speaker stands are also in the agenda
 

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A couple things I would do right away.


Put a darker velvet drape floor to ceiling behind your TV wall to soften everything up.


At the very least, get some richer colors on the walls in general, something bold.


Curtains on the window? Horizonatal blinds, by themselves, are very tacky.


Art on the walls... I couldn't get away with even classy movie posters. It HAD to be typical living room art for my wife.


Get your cables organized.. even that cable going up to your surrounds is on a long sweeping curve up the wall. My wife would have cut that with a set of pruning shears a day after I tried that. Since it's an apartment, I guess you don't want to try to run everything inside the walls. At the very least, get some raceway and paint it to match the wall color.


By the way, I sound like I didn't like compromising with my wife... but I totally appreciate the fact that I have a 75" wide screen in my family room. I did whatever it took to make us both happy. I'll post some finished pics tonight. The pics on my link are nowhere near what I have now in terms of decorating.


Bobby
 

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I was having horrible WAF issues as I had all my gear out in the living room in an open glass table that just was not cutting it "looks-wise" for her. I went ahead and put together a cabinet that my gear is in now (see my gallery for pics) and that helped the WAF a LOT.


I am now in the process of migrating my stuff to its own room. This is to:


1. Allow my wife (an me I suppose) to "reclaim" the living room for "living" and having guests over, family, etc. HUGE WAF here.


2. To create a dedicated "theater" space for movies, TV and listening to music.


Now this is possible mainly because I have promised to make the dedicated space as livible as the rest of the house. Room decorating goes a long way with the WAF - mainly because it is one area (for me) that my wife can (and wants) to be involved in. Picking colors, etc has allowed her to be part of the process. She could care less about the equipment itself - as long as it looks nice. Plus, paint is extremely cheap and changes the look of a room entirely!


My gallery has pics of the room in progress also.......
 
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