Audio/Video + Lighting: Case Study

That’s Entertainment: Gramophone designs a hub for movies and gaming in an Annapolis home

The cavernous basement of an Annapolis home was being used to store jet skis and motorcycles before the owners decided to transform it into a space for entertaining. They wanted an open media room that would transition to areas where their kids and guests could relax, play games and socialize in style.

After visiting Gramophone’s showroom in Timonium, Maryland, and reviewing home-automation options, the couple hired the company to design and build their 1,800-square-foot play space and also take care of the lighting, home technology and décor.

The finished project includes a billiards area with a stone fireplace, a game space with poker table and custom leather banquette, a kitchenette with a microwave and dishwasher to make parties a breeze and a media room with a custom leather sectional. A freestanding bar overlooking the theater area accommodates spill-over crowds on game day.

Simple-to-use controls enable the owners to automate A/V and lighting by iPad or remote—whether they want to change the colors of the LED lights installed in their cove or coffered ceilings or simultaneously view four to six different movies or shows on the 125-inch screen and four 55-inch Sony TVs installed throughout the space. Millwork and acoustic panels disguise A/V equipment while drapes on an automated track can block out sound and light from the theater.

The entire project was designed and completed in 12 weeks. “Because we controlled the build-out, things moved quickly,” says Andrew Davis, director and COO of Gramophone. “The owner believed in our vision and allowed us to run with it.”

Contractor: Steve Malat; Interior Design: Bethany Johnson; Lighting: Jeff Nale; Audio/Video: Andrew Davis, Gramophone, Timonium, Maryland. Photography: Maryland Photography, Inc.

Andrew Davis’s Trade secrets:

  • Too often, A/V and lighting are thought about once a project is underway so you have to retrofit. When a whole team sees a vision through from the get-go, the end result is much better.
  • Talk to a specialist and interview past clients to ensure a vendor’s work ethic and expertise.
  • Visit a showroom that can show off different technologies to make sure you’re not missing out on anything. Touch, see and play with a system to be sure it’s something you’re going to enjoy. What you see on a website can be different than what you actually get.
  • Thinking through a lighting plan is really important to making a designer’s vision come to life. Lighting completely sets the mood, makes a space look larger and enhances certain features.