Middle Tennessee might not appear to be a hot spot for smart home design at first glance, but integrator Hugh Cobb was onto something when he built an experience center adjacent to his own home in Woodbury, Tenn. While the company has projects scattered from Arkansas to North Carolina, this project belonged to the owner of their FedEx route, who was familiar with the many high-quality products moving through their location. The client walked into the experience center curious about what was possible and came out inspired to do his own home theater

Hidden Details  

The theater room was planned to take over a large bonus room. Coming into the project, the team’s crew gutted the space and brought it down to the bare studs. The ceiling was dropped to prepare for a custom inset ceiling, and a separate area for concessions was created. Cobb also designed built-in access in the space, making it easy to reach the home theater equipment from both the front and back. 

“When I design something, it’s very important that it is user-friendly to work on,” said Cobb, who is the owner of Cobb Home Innovations, explaining that the rear access to the equipment is through the closet. “For instance, with the raised rack, I don’t want the homeowner to have to slide it out, turn it around and pull the equipment every time. So we always design our spaces to be simple to work in.” 

The rack was also designed to make it simple for the homeowner to load his DVDs. Housed on custom shelving, the client’s expansive collection created an extra challenge for the team as they no longer see many homeowners using DVDs. In addition, the British homeowner collects both American and English format discs, requiring a special DVD player. 

The customization in this project continued with the floor enclosures, which the company designed in-house. Hidden under the seating area, the intense audio effect in the room is powered by Martin Logan sub-amps and bolstered by two loudspeakers on either side of the Samsung 98-inch screen. The transducers were built by Cobb Home Innovations and dropped into the cabinets. Columns and sconces were also added after the design had already been planned. 

“For a lot of these clients, they get into it and start seeing the progression of the rooms and how cool it’s looking before they start to make suggestions,” said Cobb. “They are just so excited, and we actually work with the client to give them their dream room.” 

Creating a Real At-Home Movie Experience 

One important part of this project was the lounge and concession area. Before entering the theater, movie-goers walk through a black, curtained-off hallway before reaching a padded door. Movie posters from the homeowners’ favorite classic films are illuminated when someone walks by. The lounge area is powered by Sonos, which plays the ceiling speakers. 

The room technology, including lighting, shades and A/V, is controlled by the Pro Control Z-Series. With a single remote, the homeowner can select the movie setting, signaling the lights to fade and the screen to turn on. Cobb also programmed other modes: a concession mode which lights up the snack area, as well as a wake and shut down mode, the latter of which delays the shutdown sequence for all systems to allow moviegoers to exit in dim lighting. 

The dark ambiance is telling of the detail behind this project. Walking into the room, no one would know there is an exterior window on the opposite wall. Cobb advised the client not to remove it because the outside gable was brick, which would be difficult to blend with. Instead, they covered the window with a blackout Lutron shade with side rails to completely eliminate any light bleeding in the space.  

Further into the theater is the concession stand. Catering to their specific needs, there is a full tea-making station, as well as a popcorn maker, refrigerator, and storage for beverages and snacks. Three candy dispensers — chosen specifically by the homeowner to store the family favorites — add pops of color to an otherwise dark space.  

“His color palette contained dark blues, grays to create an accent wall and columns to make the room appear taller with accent sconce lighting,” said Joyce Cobb, who led the interior design of the home theater. “The client also created his own art for acoustic panels to complete the design he had in mind.”

Ultimately the design the client wanted echoed a cinema he visited as a child. This muse had a vintage feel, with a sense of both elegance and comfort. The visual sophistication of this space comes into play through all of the high-quality materials chosen, from the textured black-and-white carpet to the traditional theater-style seating, complete with blue LED lighting. The homeowner was particular about the seating and what the screen would look like from each angle; the team had to adjust the floor more than once. In the end, the result was exactly what the client wanted. 

“For us it’s about seeing their face when they walk in and get this experience,” said Cobb. “You do a demo in their own home and their jaws drop open. That’s when you know, all right, we did it.” 


Hugh Cobb 

Cobb Home Innovations, LLC 

Woodbury, Tenn. 


Interior Designer: 

Joyce Cobb 

Equipment List: 

AC Infinity AI-ACT8 

Custom Star Ceiling 8×8 

LG UBK-M9 Multi Region Blu-Ray 

Lutron Caseta Lighting Control​​​ 

Lutron Remote Shading 

Martin Logan Dynamo 1100X Subs Front 

Martin Logan IW-S In-Floor Subwoofers 

Martin Logan MP-500 Sub Amp 

Martin Logan Motion FX Side/Mid 

Martin Logan Motion MC6 Atmos Height 

Martin Logan Motion MC6 Ceiling in Office-Lounge 

Martin Logan Motion MC6-HT Rear 

Martin Logan Motion XTW5-LCR 

Panamax MR4300 

Pro Control Pro24.Z Remote 

Pro Link.Z Processor 

Samsung 98-in. QN90 

Sonos AMP (Office-Lounge Area) 

XBox Game 

Yamaha Aventage RX-A8A