Before & After: Home Theater Den Renovation

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There's a bit of debate going over in this Reddit thread whether painting the brick was the right choice or not, but I think overall this den makeover resulted in a big improvement . The owners transformed a traditional den into a modern home theater space with large projection screen, hidden flat speaker wires, and audio system, ready for the finishing touches before movie night...

The "after" photo is unfortunately tinged green; the color correct dark gray walls are complemented by new laminate flooring (replacing an outdated vinyl floor underneath, with a no-glue or nails solution from Lumber Liquidators) and brand new baseboards; the system is connected with a set of flat audio cables, a 3D HD projector mounted overhead, alongside finishing touches like brushed metal outlet covers.

The original poster, meeeeoooowy, explains a valid and utilitarian reasoning for the dark gray walls: 

The dark color wasn't chosen for a "now" look, but more-so for the theater. When you have light walls and ceilings there is a lot of light reflected back into the screen which washes it out.

He's right, darker walls are best suited for dedicated home theater spaces, as we explored when discussing paint colors and flooring choices.

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Even if you don't have a whole den to renovate into a home theater space, it might be worth considering incorporating elements of the project above. I've enjoyed years of using a HD projector with a pull-down 92" screen, and it's probably as close as I'll ever get to having a movie theater experience from the comfort of my own couch. I can store it away when I don't want it visible, even though guests have hardly noticed it when the screen is pulled into the housing, but then pull it down for some BIG screen action. A digital paint application to any wall can allow you to ditch a traditional screen altogether if a pulldown model is still too much of an eyesore or difficult to position.

Here's our Tech 101: A Crash Course in Home Theater Projection Screens  and also our Installing Flatwire 5.1 Surround Sound Wiring how-to's as refresher courses if you've got the itch for planning your own den of cinematic pleasures.

(Images: meeeeoooowy; Gregory Han)




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