The Amber Room
Description: Our home theatre is buried in the corner of our basement, just outside of the laundry room. We had the open space and decided to go all out putting together as much as we could in the only available, albeit tight, space in the house. From the outside, the only indication that the room exists is the large gold theatre door with molding surrounding the frame. Everybody who first enters the room is stunned by what weíve put together. The screen in a 90-inch retractable Draper projection screen, the 1080p HD projector is by Sony, and the surround sound is by Triad with three standing speakers in front, and two speakers built into the ceiling in the back (subwoofer is built into the back corner of the room, behind a custom-made end table).
As great as the system is, the rest of the room is what caps everything off. The room is flanked on either end with movie-theatre style curtains to give an authentic feel. Both sides of the room were custom-made using different shades of wood to give a classy feel, and each side has a set of built-ins (glass display cabinets on the left, shelves, drawers, and enclosed cabinets holding the theatre components and DVDís on the right). Two basement windows are covered with thick curtains (which match those at each end of the room) in order to block out ambient light. The carpet was special-ordered to match the walls, and was actually a remnant from a casino floor. On top of that, a Crestron touch-panel controls the Cable, DVD, VCR, Internet hook-up, and lighting throughout the room (which can be dimmed to varying levels in each of three lighting zones). Lastly, a string of lights surrounding the room slightly below the ceiling provides the perfect amount of light when watching a film.
One other cool feature is that we werenít able to use an additional space that exists in the basement behind the screen, so we made the curtain at that end retractable, and built a door behind the curtain so that we have access to additional storage behind the theatre. Iíve always been tempted to add theatre features such as velvet ropes or a popcorn machine (which I have, but am not currently displaying), but Iíve resisted as the space is small to begin with, and I donít want it to become cramped. Instead Iíve gone low-key with only a few pictures on the wall (a shadowbox of The Natural Ė my favorite film, and an autographed Joe DiMaggio print that matches the color scheme of the room)Ö after all, we worked so hard on the walls that I donít want to cover them up too much!
In total this was a two-year project that was absolutely well worth the effort. Itís a great place to relax at the end of the day, and now that we have it, we canít imagine our home without it!