A full-scale media room can still look homey and simple with technology hidden in the design, from a mantle-mounted flat-screen to lighting and audio tucked into wooden rafters. // by Mitch Lehde

Today’s home theater is a far cry from the walled entertainment stand or wired armoire of yesteryear. Savvy consumers and discerning home builders are placing more value, more emphasis and more centrality on the home theater than ever. How? By integrating the theater space into the open flow of a home, employing clever design solutions that maximize quality yet blend into even the most upscale home’s discriminating aesthetic.

Audio visual elements can live in any room of the home without distracting from tasteful design and decor.
Audio components specifically designed for exterior use can turn an outdoor seating area into an amplified, alfresco lounge.

Today’s home theater incorporates seating that invites conversation, rather than isolate the viewer. In fact, the best home theaters do double duty, serving as a welcoming gathering area, so they’re well-used even when the screen (or as is more often the case, the screens) are turned “off.”

An entertainment room should also function as a warm gathering area when the screens are turned off.
For those who desire a more traditional theater experience, tiered seating dressed in plush leather fits the bill.

And all the technological components that keep today’s home theaters on the cutting edge are tastefully tied into the home, so that the “performance” of the room is not a focal point, but rather a blended part of the space’s architecture. Vibrant, controlled sound, clear pictures, and 4K technology—or ultra high-definition display with four times the resolution of traditional HD displays—have made clarity and quality in the home theater better than ever.

Hidden technology, such as this large-screen television hidden behind a sliding wall, allows a room to function as a gathering space when the screens are turned “off.”

Showcasing multiple screens and multiple uses, the modern home theater is positioned to become the “keeping room,” of the next generation. And homeowners can only expect this space to keep getting better and continue getting more use over time.

Mitch Lehde is an acoustical designer with Kasted where he serves as director of acoustics and theater design. Kasted provides consulting services to top architectural and interior design firms across South Carolina and nationwide

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