Home & Design
Home cinema - Interior Design Services
Home cinema - Interior Design Services

Case Study Audio/Video + Lighting

Entertainment Value: A cramped and dingy attic becomes a chic, sophisticated home theater

When they tapped Anthony Wilder Design/Build to renovate their Bethesda house, the owners requested that their unfinished attic is transformed into an inviting media room. Working within the existing pitched roof, the designers conceived a home theater that is stylish and sophisticated yet kid-friendly.

Since the original attic was only accessible via a trap door in the ceiling, “the first thing we had to do was figure out how to get up there,” says architect George Bott. They solved the dilemma by removing a linen closet on the floor below and creating a new stairway between two children’s rooms.

The new media room measures 14 by 25 feet, with a 110-inch screen and a projector that suspends unobtrusively from the ceiling. Storage is concealed on the periphery where the slant is too low to stand, and electronic equipment is hidden within the walls. A new HVAC system housed in the attic boasts insulated duct-work to minimize noise, and the floor is padded with sound-proofing rubber, two layers of sub-floor and a carpet.

Interior designer Keira St. Claire-Bowery reflected the client’s traditional aesthetic while “amping up the atmosphere,” she says. Dark-painted wood walls and moldings frame white acoustical panels while acoustical ceiling panels embedded with tiny lights create a twinkling night sky. Behind two banks of seating, cowhide stools by Arteriors pull up to a granite-topped bar. A beverage center on the back wall and a small fridge make entertaining easy. Art Deco-style sconces also contribute to the mood.

Renovation Architecture & Contracting: George Bott, AIA, LEED AP; Interior Design: Keira St. Claire-Bowery, Allied ASID, Anthony Wilder Design Build, Cabin John, Maryland. Home Automation: Strategic Home Media, Stevensville, Maryland. 

George Bott’s Trade Secrets:

  • Attention to sound is the most important thing. A quarter of the cost of this room went to A/V equipment. We installed in-wall speakers and integrated the wires for the sound system behind the walls.
  • There should be sufficient lighting in the space and it should come from different sources.
  • Seating should be a priority. Do you want theater-style or would you prefer to lounge on sofas?
  • Consider all uses of the space. This room was far from the kitchen so having a fridge for easy access to snacks and drinks was important, particularly for entertaining.
  • Think of the design in terms of the rest of the house. Do you want to match the home’s style, or would you like it to be totally different?

You may also like:

Rural Retreat
Muse | Kirwan Architects marries a vintage farmhouse with sleek, minimalist outbuildings on an expansive property near Charlottesville
Fresh Start
A Columbia Heights row house gets a new lease on life from Finesse Design Remodeling
Fresh Start
A condominium renovation overlooking the Potomac garners BOWA Builders, Inc.
HOME&DESIGN, published bi-monthly by Homestyles Media Inc., is the premier magazine of architecture and fine interiors for the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

The company also publishes an annual H&D Sourcebook of ideas and resources for homeowners and professionals alike. H&D Chesapeake Views is published bi-annually and showcases fine home design and luxury living in and around the Chesapeake Bay.

The H&D Portfolio of 100 Top Designers spotlights the superior work of selected architects, interior designers and landscape architects in major regions of the US.

Stay Connected with HOME & DESIGN Newsletter

Copyright © 2024 Home & Design. All rights reserved. | Back to top
magnifier