Home Theaters

Home theater, media room, whatever you call it—it’s a place to get cozy with family and friends and watch a good flick. But what sets it apart from an everyday living room? Sunrise Home owner and former Marin Designers Showcase media room designer Annie Bowman says, “Media rooms tend to be used for film or television viewing only and therefore the layout, furnishings, lighting and wall treatments can be more specific.”—S.F.

1. The Zane home theater seating sectionals provide ultimate comfort (and functional drink holders), with 70 different color leathers to choose from. Entertaining a large group? The chairs are available in several different configurations to fit as many or as few guests as you’d like. Price available upon request at Sunrise Home (San Rafael). 415.456.3939, sunrisehome.com

2. This home theater was created using state–of–the–art equipment including the Kaleidescape System (a DVD server), Cinewide Projection system and custom acoustic treatments. Although this particular theater is $250,000, which includes furnishings, equipment, design and installation, the company does do a wide range of custom home cinemas that start at $75,000. Entertaining Spaces (SF). 415.626.1951, entertainingspaces.com











Annie Bowman talks home theaters




What should the homeowner consider when choosing furniture for the room? Furniture for media rooms will frequently be tactile: mohair, chenille, leather, suede—fabrics that are more sensuous or enjoyable to touch. Chairs may recline or have the ability to swivel. Cup holders may or may not be built into armrests.

Can you recommend any accessories? Fun accessories may be vintage movie posters or shots of famous stars. A popcorn machine is always fun; a bar or some sort of refreshment counter or kitchenette is a nice addition to a media room. One media room we did included folded, color–coordinated blankets draped over each seat.

What else should a homeowner consider when building a media room or home theater? If the homeowners enjoy loud sound systems they may want to consider insulated walls covered with acoustical fabrics that help to deaden sound. If there is only room for more traditional seating such as a couch, then rolling ottomans are wonderful to pull up to the couch for added comfort. Propping your legs up is a nice option when you’re watching a long movie.