Cornflake designs and expertly integrates bespoke home automation systems. Phillip Hine, design director at Cornflake, has a whole host of expert advice on how to ensure technology doesn’t overwhelm your beautifully thought-out interior design. In the second of our exclusive pieces from Phillip, he talks about how to turn your living room into that most-wanted space: a home cinema…
Home cinemas can be squeezed into all manner of spaces, we’ve converted attics (see below), garages, basements and even a garden shed into mini movie palaces. But you really don’t need a dedicated room to enjoy a cinematic adventure, your living room is perfect.
If you have sufficient space, a projector and big screen are great fun and movie buffs may never leave home again. But before you rush out and buy expensive kit, do a quick measure to check you have enough leg-room to accommodate the projection ‘throw’ [distance from projector lens to screen] and the space to store a large screen. There are a number of options when it comes to screens: whether it’s a permanent fixture or a drop-down option hidden in the ceiling, a pull-up model hidden in a floor cupboard or a portable foldaway version, which can be handily stored when you need the living room back for normal service.
For most home owners, a practical solution is simply a large smart TV coupled with surround-sound speakers. To add to the cinema feel, dim the lights and draw the curtains. Of course once the place is pitch dark you probably won’t be able to find the remote control. To help overcome this practical issue we recommend automating the lighting, window treatments, speakers and the TV all on one pre-set scene, usually controlled via an iPad or tablet, so there’s just a single button to set the mood and start the action.
If you have a large living room, a multichannel home cinema system is unbeatable for truly immersive surround sound or, for smaller rooms, consider an uncomplicated sound bar for high-quality all-round audio. Start off with one speaker, and then add more depending on the room size and where you want to direct sound. Many models allow you to form an expandable music system by simply adding extra speakers from a compatible range. We tend to recommend Sonos, but there are a great many other hi-fi systems of course and personal preference is key to the family’s enjoyment.
A bijou cinema (above) created in a tiny box room (3m x 3m) features mini sofas built on a stepped floor to maximise everyone’s view. The room was too small for the desired powerful projector, so it was simply sited outside the room and mounted to project via a small hole carefully knocked through the wall. Where there’s a will there’s a way!