Adjacent to the home theater is the game room, which has a foosball table, videogame consoles, two 38-inch Loewe Aconda direct-view HDTVs, and Sonance ceiling speakers. The kids can watch TV and movies in the room as well as use the separate sets for two-player competitions.
Many of the theater's sources are shared with the upstairs family entertainment room and are hidden in closets upstairs. But there's also a small rack in the basement for the projector's outboard processor/scaler, the seven Genelec speaker amplifiers, the Lexicon processor, a Crestron ST Tune AM/FM tuner, a Sony DVD recorder, and a microphone preamp for the karaoke setup.
As impressive as the gear is, what really makes the home theater stunning is how seamlessly the electronics are integrated into the room's Arts & Crafts design. This can be attributed to the close working relationship between Baumeister's team and the architects, and to the architects' attention to period details.
"We get involved with a lot of older homes," says Steve Liska of Stephen Knutson Design. "And we like to make new construction blend in seamlessly with the existing house. One way is to hide the electronics in a master control closet instead of the room they're serving."
Liska says that the cooperation between the architects and the installers was established early in the planning. "The home theater is built like a box within a box. Its walls were soundproofed and are separate from the basement walls, and the ceiling was dropped down with a special grid system that has rubber gaskets to prevent vibrations from traveling upstairs through the floor joists." Liska had carpenters build and install the same Arts & Crafts-style crown moldings, baseboard trim, and handrails used upstairs, and he chose complementary colors and fabrics for the basement.
Those details were carried over to the theater's seating. Liska commissioned Cinematronix to build 11 Mission-style reclining seats. To emphasize the Arts & Crafts feel, the architects had faux beams and soffits created, and they used period fixtures. Also, the stage's proscenium arch was designed to match the room's curved ceiling arches. Of course, a home theater designed and executed with these kinds of electronics and this kind of attention to detail doesn't come cheap. Baumeister pegs it at about $450,000, including construction.
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