The integration team at King of Prussia, Pa.-based Stone Glidden was enlisted by The McMullin Design Group interior design firm to collaborate on a technology system solution for a multi- purpose media room installation in a basement for a basketball pro who spends only about a third of the year home due to a rigorous travel schedule. Besides a theater, the space offers a gaming area, a kitchenette, a home office and a children’s playroom.
“The client wanted a fun, colorful space that could be used for adult entertainment as well as a space the kids could be comfortable in,” said Thomas Stone, Stone Glidden’s principal, about the project.
Stone gives kudos to the enormous contributions of the designer in this project. “[McMullin Design Group Principal] Bridget [McMullin] had a lot of fun designing the space to reflect who these clients are,” Stone said. Not only is the husband a sports pro, but the wife was also a one-time college athlete — and this athleticism is portrayed front and center in the use of a collection of outsized sports sneakers as a visual focal point of the room. “When I opened up a closet,” said Stone, “there was this tremendous collection! There were hundreds of them, and we had designed a storage space for them, but we ultimately thought, ‘You know, these are your artwork.’ Thus was born the pegboard display of giant Size 17 sneakers — always a conversation starter when guests are present. There is even a hutch within the theater area that is designed like a giant sneaker shoe box.
McMullin is equally complimentary about Stone. “What we love about Tom is, when we introduce him to clients, he is very pro-active in engaging them. He doesn’t scare them off in the beginning with the technology. I always tell clients, talk to him. I tell them that technology is not my strong point but that I design around it, but until you know what you want, it’s hard for me to make that design happen. So by engaging Tom and figuring where your budget is, he’s about to give you a package to meet your criteria, and give you the experience you want.”
The space, besides being a family hub, is also used as a place where the husband can review and examine his basketball plays on video, explains McMullin.
That client need prompted Stone to specify the use of Screen Innovations’ projection screen along with an Epson projector. “They love it,” Stone said, “because the screen, which has ambient-light- rejecting characteristics, allows them to have lights on in the room when watching – which is great since this isn’t a dedicated theater room but rather an open basement layout. When you have a space like that, you don’t want to have to turn off lights.”
Because real estate was limited, the allotment of space to the mechanical room holding the gear had to be very limited, and components placed relatively close to one another. The designers were tricking out so much of the rest of the basement that putting in a central rack wouldn’t have made sense, explained Stone. “So we built the rack within the media room and hid it with cabinetry. We collaborated pretty closely with Bridget and her design team to make that work.”
Color and texture are used to great effect in the space — particularly in the choice of Flor carpet tiles, which come in different pile heights, and are designed for rugged use. “The colors are dynamic. We knew the room would be neutral, in some sense, with the greys and dark trim. So we wanted that ‘pop’ of color, with a palette that works well with the greys and blacks,” said McMullin.
“Getting the technology to become part of the overall look – to not have it scream ‘Look at me, look at me…’ We wanted it to feel like the technology fit the application and the space well,” said Stone. “And I think we succeeded.”
- Screen Innovations Ambient Light
- Reducing Screen
- Epson Projector
- Triad Silver 7-Channel Surround Speakers
- JL Audio Subwoofers
- Integra A/V Receiver
- URC Remote Control
- Araknis Network
- Sonos (music throughout)
- Sonos Playbar
- Sony TVs