Movie Night Done Right: Designing the Home Theatre
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Movie Night Done Right: Designing the Home Theatre

Already an over-the-top convenience, home cinemas should have the plushest seating, a stocked mini-bar and dark, moody colours.

By Jennifer Tzeses
Thu, Feb 3, 2022Grey Clock 4 min

There’s a lot to love about a media room. The epicentre of cozy, it’s a place where the whole family and their friends can curl up in the comfort of home.

“These spaces should be as inviting and stylish as your living room,” said Christine Gachot of Gachot Studios in New York. “A common impulse is to style home theatres after traditional cinema experiences, but these days even forward-thinking commercial theatres are working to make the vibe more residential,” she said.

For ideas on giving your media room a starring role in your home, follow these tips from the design pros.

Bring All the Bells and Whistles

“A home theatre is excessive by definition, so go all-in: a blanket for every seat, tons of pillows, drink tables, accessories throughout that provide an inviting sense of layering. Treat the room with the same care and investment of design that you do every other part of your home.

“In the spirit of great hospitality, every home theatre worth its salt has an amply-stocked minibar including beverage options and snacks.

“For a media room we designed for One Boerum Place in Brooklyn, we created a lounge area with the home theatre room separated by a partition. Oversized seats create a lounging experience that you can melt into for hours. Another luxe option is a succession of sofas arranged in rows like movie seats—that kind of installation provokes a sense of wonder because it’s something you could never see in a public movie theatre. A great trick is to employ upholstered panelling on the walls. It absorbs a ton of sound and feels extremely luxe when you choose the right fabric.

— Christine Gachot of Gachot Studios in New York

Make It Functional

“If you are doing a sectional, go for a deeper seat than usual, extra down and fluffy cushions, and lots of soft throw pillows. Leather motorized chairs are great or lounge chairs that recline or swivel as well.

“High-performance fabrics allow you to put your feet up and enjoy snacks and drinks without any worry. I love including an ottoman that can be pushed against the sofa for extra leg room, and drink tables are great as well.

“Having a great sound system can make a big difference in the overall experience. At the very least, having a Sonos bar can enhance the centre speaker for the voices, but when you are able to do the whole speaker system it’s so much fun.

“The No. 1 rule for the lighting is to be dimmable, it is very important. I love being able to have split circuits to enjoy just having a few lights on while watching a movie. Using a control system is great, and you can program your perfect lighting scenes to enjoy them as you watch a movie.”

Oversized floor pillows add a whimsical touch to a media room designed by Gonzalo Bueno.
Stephen Karlisch — Gonzalo Bueno, architect, interior designer and co-founder of Ten Plus Three in Dallas.

Set the Mood  

“Creating a moody aesthetic by adding darker tones on the walls, ceiling and furniture is key. Also incorporating texture through those pieces adds layers of definition and is great for acoustics.

“Whether you need to store an AV cooler or other electrical equipment, designing a custom-built cabinet for your space is a great solution. Alternatively, there are some great prefabricated media cabinets that can do the trick and look great.

“Comfortable, deeper furniture allows for snuggling up with friends and family. Think oversized sofas, chaise lounges, chairs and ottomans. I like to vary the furniture row by row for increased circulation and added visual space and work with the largest pieces in the back and the smallest in the front.

“We love working with acoustic panels when designing a theatre. There are so many options depending on the design of the room, some of my favourites are suede wall coverings, wood wall panels and textured felt.

“Consider a layered approach when it comes to lighting. Adding in different light sources across different levels to create ambience and interest in a room.”

Punchy hues and soft seating make this media room designed by Marina Hanisch a space to settle into. Marina Hanisch Interiors — Marina Hanisch of Marina Hanisch Interiors in New York 

 

Make It Cozy 

“Instead of using your average movie theatre seating, we prefer to go with something really stylish. Cineak makes really cool movie theatre seating. Or we’ll custom make wide chaises and sofas where people can put their feet up and just relax. We always go with stadium-style seating, whether it be high back or not. We also suggest getting something that reclines.

“Often, we’ll use carpet that has some kind of a mylar thread in it so it’s sparkly. We also prefer to use dark colours because it’s better for viewing movies. When it comes to acoustical padding, which is helpful for absorbing sound, we like to design/use cool shapes rather than using typical moulding. We’ll create different square shapes that kind of fit together like a puzzle

“Side tables for you to keep your popcorn, drinks, etcetera, as well as a candy or snack bar either right outside of or inside the theatre are other musts.

“Although statement lighting and chandeliers are beautiful, we don’t recommend them for a movie room, as you don’t want anything to distract your eyes from the movie. Be sure to have lighting that can be completely dimmed.

Cozy daybeds function as theatre seating in this home theatre designed by Michelle Gerson. Patrick Cline

— Michelle Gerson of Michelle Gerson Interiors in New York

Reprinted by permission of Mansion Global. Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: February 2, 2022.

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New research from Knight Frank’s International Waterfront Index shows waterfront properties are costing more than double their inland counterparts in Sydney while in Melbourne waterside properties attract a 40% premium.

Australia’s coastline attracts some of the highest waterfront premiums in the world with Sydney topping the index — an average premium of 121% — compared to an equivalent home set away from the water.

Auckland ranked second on the list of 17 international locations — a premium of 76%. The list saw Gold Coast (71%), Perth (69%) and the Cap d’Antibes (59%) on the French Riviera round out the top 5.

Australia continued to feature prominently in the research with Brisbane’s waterfront premium coming in at 55%, with Melbourne also in the top 10 at 39%.

According to Knight Frank Australia’s head of residential research, Michelle Ciesielski, there has always been strong appetite for Sydney’s waterfront homes.

Australia’s luxury residential market has advanced, it lacks the depth of prestige markets in more established global cities said Cieselski.

“As a result, our Australian cities can achieve a significantly higher premium on the waterfront compared to a similar property inland without access to, or a view of, water,” she said.

“Also, Australia is known for its balmy outdoor lifestyle, so many buyers in this super-prime space are willing to pay a premium to secure the ideal position along the waterfront.”

The data also suggests that beachfront homes were most desirable, commanding a premium of 63% compared to harbour locations fetching 62% premium and coastal homes with a 40% premium.