Today we made the bold decision to have a dedicated home cinema system installed into our Reception Room.
We have always worried about having a ‘piano room’ in our house. You probably won’t recognise the term, it’s one we made up whilst we were house hunting. During our hunt we often viewed houses, even small ones, which had a poorly designed or located room which was obviously not being used much by its owners. It’s was very often the smaller reception room by the bottom of the stairs that you pass as you come in to a typical 1930’s semi-detached house but of course can be found in many other styles of house. Several imes we noticed a lonely looking piano sitting in that room and our term was born. When we were designing the layout of our house we made sure we did not end up with a room that would be just a bit too small to enjoy. We would rather have fewer rooms of a decent size, than several rooms with some or even one a little too small to use regularly. Anyway, back to our home cinema decision!
We had designed a fair sized reception room/library (5.7m x 5.5m) at the front of our house:
But the more we thought about it, the more we felt that this room would most probably end up being our very own ‘piano room’! We knew we would spend most of our time as a family, and with most guests, at the back of the house in the semi-open plan living and kitchen areas. So this reception room at the front of the house would probably hardly ever be used. We just aren’t the kind of people that send friends to a ‘drawing room’ while the tea is prepared in the kitchen.
So, unless we could think of a new additional use for the Reception Room, it would not really get used. We needed a dedicated function that would mean we would happily travel to this room and use it regularly: a cinema!
Rather than make it a dedicated cinema room – which we felt would look quite strange at the front of our house, we are considering the idea of keeping it looking like a formal reception room but effectively having a home cinema hidden within it.
A few hours of online research revealed a popular brand of in-wall speakers amongst home cinema enthusiasts by a company called M&K Sound. We had actually never heard of it until then but a bit more reading revealed that whilst it may not be in the mainstream it is actually the company which supplies many of the world’s largest film and audio recording studios with speakers. Most interestingly, they have a wide range of in-wall speakers including a popular model named the IW-95 which only measures 10.75” (27.3cm) by 7.4” (18.9cm) and 3.67″ (9.3cm) deep. This means we could easily install it into the wall and keep within our hidden cinema strategy. Even better was that the speakers come with mesh grills designed to be painted any colour you like, so it should be easy to blend them into our walls.
We used the M&K website to find a supplier local to us and drove 1.5 hours (yep, that was the most ‘local’ supplier!) to visit Alex Jones, a director of Potters Home Digital in Kent to audition some M&K speakers and seek further advice about setting up our home cinema.
The drive to Potters was absolutely lovely, through the High Weald. We enjoyed a medieval landscape of wooded, rolling hills studded with sandstone outcrops, scattered farms and quaint country villages on our way there, so the 1.5 hours passed much faster than we expected it to.
Feeling very relaxed, we arrived to meet Alex and spent an hour or so going through our requirements in detail, not only for the cinema room but the various other Smart Home aspects we were interested in. Alex was very attentive and clearly knew his stuff. We then followed Alex to their demo room and soon found out that not everything in the High Weald is quiet and peaceful! Suitably impressed (and feeling a little deafened) we thanked Alex and left Potters to enjoy the drive back home.
We are now waiting for Alex’s quote for supplying the various equipment required for our Smart Home plans and assisting on the installation.