By Dave Adams, Marketing Manager
A home theater system isn’t just the focal piece of a room; it’s the entertainment hub of your home. And as you enter the best years of your life, quality, value and style become even more important in your purchasing decisions.
You deserve a living room you love—and while your TV stand may have sufficed for many years, it may be time to look for features and design elements the bring the “home” into home theater. There are a wide range of products available on the market, but they’re not all designed equally.
When you’re choosing a home entertainment center, find one that not only matches your lifestyle, but is full of user-friendly features and engineered to last—and grow—with your entertainment needs. Here at BDI furniture, we recommend looking for the following:
Contemporary or Traditional?
Aside from your sofa, home theater furniture is typically the most prominent piece of furniture in your room and sets the tone for your living space. Steel, glass and gloss finishes provide a contemporary look, great for coordinating with modern interiors, while natural wood finishes can bring a more transitional or traditional look.
When selecting your home theater design, choose a finish that complements your existing furniture—unless you’re ready to change things up! One thing to keep in mind is that TVs generally look best when paired with furniture that is at least as wide as the TV. But if you pick a cabinet that is too wide for your TV, your screen may appear smaller in comparison.
Open or Closed?
Open shelving puts your home theater system on display, giving a contemporary appearance and providing easy access to the front of components. If you would prefer your TV to be the star, then an enclosed cabinet may be the right choice. It allows you to conceal components, speakers and even media behind closed doors, keeping them out of sight but still within easy reach. Components are well protected in an enclosed cabinet—just make sure the cabinet you choose is well ventilated to allow for heat dispersion.
Adjustability & Accessibility
Needs change and entertainment systems grow—and shrink—based on the items you choose to include. And you’ll want furniture that can adapt to those changes over time while still allowing easy access to your electronics. For this reason, adjustable shelves are a must, as they can move around effortlessly, making room for all of your components.
When selecting your furniture, always look for easy access to the rear of your components and connections. A design with removable back panels can be of great assistance during set up and maintenance, while a design with wheels allows for easy movement when having to switch out components or moving the furniture around.
Sit back, relax and enjoy the show without looking through a web of wires. The ideal home theater furniture has an integrated wire management system that allows you to interconnect your components while keeping the cables neatly controlled and out of sight.
Rarely is home theater furniture used for only a television. In addition to the electronic components, you may also want to use your furniture to store your DVD collection, display photographs or house a collection of games. Choose a home theater system with enough storage space—either open or closed—that lets you keep your items organized and accessible.
Electronics put off a lot of heat, and that heat has to go somewhere. Your furniture should include built-in ventilation to promote airflow, allowing heat to escape without damaging the furniture—or your electronics—in the process. This ensures you maximize the lifespan of your home theater components and get the most use from them possible.
Even if you think you have lightweight electronics, that weight can add up. Especially once you factor in a 75-100 pound television. Your home theater furniture should include sturdy, structural support and all glass should be tempered to withstand heavy weights.
But above all else, the right home theater furniture must be able to turn a home into your home. So make sure your home theater furniture helps bring more life to your audio/visual components – and to your entertainment experiences.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dave Adams is Marketing Manager with BDI. BDI is a premier designer and manufacturer of high-performance furniture and an industry leader in home theater, office and modular shelving systems. Guided by the philosophy that everything has its place, BDI’s furniture combines great design with innovative functionality to seamlessly integrate technology into the home and office environments. BDI products are available through leading furniture and electronic retailers throughout the United States, Canada, the UK and around the world. More information can be found at www.bdiusa.com