“I want to have an outstanding audio video system throughout my house, but do not want it to interfere with the overall aesthetics that my family just loves.” We hear some version of this statement nearly every day. And if we didn’t have viable workarounds, we’d either be out of business or at the very least have a lot of unsatisfied customers out there wondering if the components they bought could have been installed with a better end result.
Hiding your home’s audio and video equipment is an art form in and of itself that allows you to enjoy a multi-media sanctuary that seamlessly blends into any living room, library, bedroom, bathroom, outdoor living space, etc. To be sure, you don’t have to endure the presence of electronics components, wires and screens that confound design aesthetics while your gear is not in use.
Following are a few products and tips that will help you create a true multi-purpose room that is both a stealth A/V system AND a relaxing, aesthetically pleasing living environment.
Speakers—especially floor-standing models—are notorious enemies of interior design. However, there are some wonderful solutions available that will have your guests asking: “Where is that amazing sound coming from?”
For example, there are invisible speakers that are mounted flush with the wall, installed like a drywall patch and can be finished to exactly match existing surroundings for a completely covert audio system. In-wall and in-ceiling options are fantastic and most can be painted to match the surrounding wall. We’ve seen expert faux-finished versions that match wood grain, stone and even wall murals. If not, in-ceiling speakers are usually circular to match round recessed lighting to create design consistency. In-wall subwoofers are also increasingly popular, eliminating these squat eyesores from view.
For a true home theater where more oomph is needed, consider false walls to hide large speakers and subwoofers. We simply stash side and rear speakers behind high-performance, 100 percent acoustically transparent fabric. Meanwhile, front speakers live behind an acoustically transparent projection screen.
Audio aside, the display itself can be a huge space hog. At expanses from 42-to-120-plus inches, wall real estate can be easily gobbled up by large screens that detract from design and ominously loom at guests in your gorgeous living area. But fret not because ample solutions exist to hide even the largest flat panel displays and screens. For wall-hanging TVs or screens, a motorized display appears as a painting when the screen is dormant and lifts when you want to watch a movie. Another option is a two-way mirror TV system. When the TV is on, you can see it through the mirror. When powered off, the mirror appears as a design feature—usually with a nice frame to boot. Mirror systems are also great for bathroom installation.
We love flat panel TV lifts that allow you to install a TV in a cabinet. A lift causes the display to pop up when you’re ready for it—a great option for a room with gorgeous views or where wall mounting is not optimal. Some lifts can even go into the floor or ceiling. Likewise, most projection screen manufacturers offer recessed in-ceiling or pop-up screens and there are plenty of options to keep your projector hidden from view.
Now that you’ve concealed your audio and video, what to do with all those sources like your cable/satellite box, Blu-ray player or gaming console? We suggest either a solid piece of entertainment cabinetry which will have the proper ventilation for equipment and wire-management features, or centralizing components in an equipment room or closet. The only caveat here is that you will need a wireless radio-frequency or infrared remote which can operate through walls and doors.
With so many new technologies available and new ones being introduced all the time, hiding your equipment to maintain overall aesthetics can be easy. The best place to start is to stop by our store and talk with our trained professionals who will be happy to show you all the latest technologies and make recommendations tailored to your unique needs. Look forward to seeing you soon!