Built-in entertainment centers are home features that require those renovating their homes to think ahead, going beyond what’s in vogue today. The ways we live and interact with our homes change with each passing year, so it’s important to consider how you will use an entertainment center well into the future.
Built-in entertainment centers were constructed two decades ago with massive CRT televisions in mind. As flat-screen panels have become the norm, extra depth for television footing is no longer a major design factor. It shows that interior home design evolves along with the world around us.
Make Room for Electronics
When people think of a built-in entertainment center, the first thing that usually comes to mind is a place to store and use the gadgets that keep people entertained. The world of consumer electronics is constantly changing, so you should look to current trends to predict how you will use your entertainment center. Streaming products, connected devices and voice-controlled equipment have grown in popularity. Here are some other electronics to consider when you’re still in the planning phase:
1. Game Consoles
Today’s gaming consoles serve as all-in-one-media solutions, giving users access to their movies, music and games on one device. They are the perfect item to make space for in your built-in media center.
The good news is that although game consoles have increased in power over time, their overall footprint sizes have remained relatively consistent. If you plan on including this form of entertainment in your everyday life, be sure that your media center has at least a 2’x2’x2’ cubby with an open front so you have somewhere to place your device. A flat shelf that rolls out when you want to access your gaming equipment works even better.
2. Sound System
When you’re remodeling a home, you have the chance to factor acoustics into your design. Whether you’re thinking in-wall surround-sound or otherwise, a sound system turns your room into the perfect place for the immersive movie, music, and TV show experiences.
Depending on your setup, you may be looking for a place to store bookshelf speakers — consider including speaker cloth inserts on the left and right sides of your cabinetry. With these simple additions, you can stow away your speakers where nobody can see them and still enjoy the sound that fills the room.
3. Smart Speakers
When our team is handling a lower level remodeling project, the entertainment center can become the focal point of the basement. And in many cases, that’s why a smart speaker makes sense inside a built-in entertainment center.
Smart speakers can be asked to do many things mainly because you can control compatible smart devices hands-free. These devices are also convenient for handling the mood with ambient noise whether you’re entertaining guests or having a productive day around the house.
The centerpiece of many built-in entertainment centers is the television. Even if you don’t watch much TV, making room for a flat-screen panel should still be a strong consideration. You may decide to sell your home one day, and many potential buyers expect a place to put their television.
The general trend in home televisions is a “bigger is better” mentality. Televisions that measure 50” or larger are becoming much more common in homes as consumers seek to immerse themselves in their entertainment. If you plan to include space for television in your built-in media center, include at least 60” in width and 40” in height to future-proof your space. A smaller television will always fit, but a larger one may not.
A media center doesn’t just have to house cutting-edge entertainment. It can be the ideal place to store heirlooms you’ve held in the family for generations. You can change a room’s ambiance by storing items in your built-in entertainment center that add character. Show off your personality in your built-in storage with the following timeless items.
You can get a glimpse into a homeowner’s style by looking at the titles on their bookshelves. Built-in entertainment centers often include shelving that works just as well as a standalone piece of furniture. You can include books throughout most entertainment centers or just use a few shelves for your favorites. Mix in craft books and the kids’ old yearbooks and reminisce over the coffee table.
It’s possible to roll right up to your built-in entertainment center and be productive when you include a desk in your setup. A small indentation for legroom and a surface for your computer or files is all you need to create a comfortable seating area. If you plan on spending hours at this desk, consider other features like a pullout keyboard tray or a sliding cover to stow away your work easily.
Your memories will last a lifetime when your home has family pictures always in plain sight. Utilize accent lighting to cast a soft illumination over your favorite photos, ideally with dimming functionality so you can turn down the lights when it’s time for a movie. Mix formal portraits with more laid-back pictures of everyday life to give your guests a glimpse of your memories.
Design Your Custom Built-In Home Entertainment Center
There are many considerations to make when you’re exploring built-in home entertainment center ideas, but thinking through this part of a home is well worth the effort. With the right blueprints, you can create a part of your home that entertains and radiates aesthetic appeal.
8. Other Entertainment Equipment
If you have cable or satellite TV service, you might own equipment that is similar in size to a gaming console. The same goes for Blu-ray players, audio receivers and DVR equipment. These devices will need a power source and enough room for storage and wires.
Before designing your custom built-in entertainment center, make a mental map of where you plan to locate all of these devices. It’s better to have too much storage than too little, so try to predict what purchases you’re likely to make in the future for home entertainment.
Don’t know where to start? Check out our luxury home additions to see how we create built-in media centers that leave an impression on anyone who enters your home.