Now that we’ve identified our needs (in this case, to watch movies on the big screen), the first step in getting the project going is to identify any obstacles or challenges that are in plain sight prior to kicking off the build. Is your ceiling too low? Do you have a furnace register right where the screen should be? Maybe your windows aren’t in the ideal location or you have a water pipe or gas line that would be better off elsewhere. Identifying your roadblocks up front will save you hours of work over the course of the project.

For this particular project, we were faced with two obstacles. While seating preferably would have been for 8 people, the client ultimately had to compromise and go with 6 seats due to a pesky stairwell.



The second issue had to do with a water meter that was inside the room. Ideally, the water meter would have been relocated to an area outside of the theater space, but local laws did not allow for this, so the owner was forced to build around the meter, while still allowing for access for monthly readings.

In a situation where an obstacle or eyesore can not be removed and must instead be covered up or hidden, the best approach is a design where this fix actually looks like it was intended all along. The design team chose to wrap the water meter and copper piping with a column that was then drywalled, painted, and covered with a fabric access panel that would also work to absorb some of the unwanted sounds in the room. To make this fix look less obvious, the column was duplicated on the same wall near the front of the room to add symmetry.


We’ll continue to track the progress of this installation in the coming days and weeks. Key obstacles that were overcome through the design will be referenced to show how identifying issues early on can not only help eliminate headaches throughout the process, but can ultimately enhance the design by creating a final product that has that custom, out of the box feel.

Before we close out today’s article, I’d like to mention one final element that can have an enormous impact on the project – inspiration. Check out the below picture of a sconce the homeowner came across LONG before the build began:



An inspiration piece can be many things. In this case, the homeowner wanted to bring in the amber and brown colors from the sconce, while creating a warm, rustic feel. This was ultimately achieved through a rich color palette, dark carpet, and deep stained wood. Your inspiration piece may be similar, or it may be very different. Maybe you have a poster of a favorite movie, or there’s a favorite theater, bar, or even room you may have seen somewhere. Any theme or item that you’re passionate about can not only help kickstart your design, but can also act as an anchor in the project. By constantly referencing your inspiration, you’ll ensure that your completed room will hold true to the look and feel you imagined on day one.