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Designers Create Plan for Budget-Friendly Media Room

Designers Create Plan for Budget-Friendly Media Room

Design experts Monica and Jess meet with homeowners Jess and Baron to talk about their vision for a home movie theater where they can entertain friends during movie marathons and spend time with their three daughters.

Couple Jen and Baron want to create an over-the-top movie room that's fun and functional for when they host their movie marathons. They have a rec room that they currently use to hang out as a family with their three little girls, but they'd like to transform it into an ultimate media room with some old Hollywood glamor for entertaining. Their budget? $800 to $1000.

"The ideas that we have and the budget that we have... not quite marrying like the two of us," says Baron.

The homeowners' inspiration photos are great, but definitely over budget at thousands of dollars.

"Most people can't afford a media room. It's a bit of a luxury," says Jess. "But no worries. We have a plan to create one without the big price tag."

Monica and Jess are impressed with the large space that the room offers. The couple hopes that the room will be comfortable and great for entertaining guests. Plus, Jen wants it to be pretty, since the house is dominated by girls. The designers put together a plan to make this room a functional space for entertaining with a nod to vintage glam and great for watching movies.

First, Monica and Jess want to rearrange the TV and the large sectional sofa. Then, to simulate the effect of expensive sound panels, they plan to cover the walls with hanging fabric to match the couple's inspriation photos of draped stage curtains and provide better acoustics. To get a movie theater feel, they also plan to put in some new lighting. And as for the photo of the popcorn stand the couple sent? While a real one can cost up to $2000, Monica and Jess plan to create a concession-stand style snack station.

Everyone gets working, clearing out the room and readying it for the transformation. First, Jess and Jen start by painting two walls of the rec room black. Although most homeowners would be put off by the color, Jen wasn't scared.

"Black is not a color that we would normally recommend for any kind of space. It's perfect for this room because it's a media room, but if you were going to use black in another space, just do it in moderation. Maybe just an accent wall or a small area in a room," says Jess.

Meanwhile, Monica and Baron get working on the cornice, which Monica describes as "a fancy word for really big moulding." The cornice will go along the top near the ceiling and the fabric that will cover the walls will hang from it. After they cut the wood to size, they paint it with a high-gloss grey paint to make it look more glamorous.

Next, Monica and Baron start to put together a snack station for the room, creating the feel of a movie theater concession stand at home. They use a simple cube storage unit and a mini-fridge, topped with a pre-cut laminate countertop to create the station.

Baron helps install the room's new lighting, black lighting sconces that will make the room feel like a movie theater with lit aisles. Jess and Jen put together an upholstered ottomon using an old coffee table they purchased at a thrift store for $35. After spray painting the table a high-gloss black, they put on 2 inch upholstry foam, cut just a little it smaller than the table top to give the finished product a nice rounded edge. Over the foam goes a layer of batting, which is stapled to the underside of the table. Finally, they cover it with a zebra-print fabric and add purple buttons, making it look like the fabric is tufted in a diamond pattern.

Now that the cornices are cut and dried, Baron and Jess work to hang them on the walls. They've taken fabric and stapled it to the back of the cornice, pleating it to give it the look of heavy drapery.

"This is really going to help with dampening the sound, and it's going to give us that old Hollywood movie theater feel," says Jess.

Monica created some fun pop art for the room by using some family pictures, adding fun filters and colors with editing software, and then blowing them up to movie poster size.

To create moveable seating to accomodate the large number of guests, Monica and Jen sew simple box slipcovers for inexpensive beanbag chairs with a beautiful floral print fabric in bright colors. Together, Monica and Jess put the finishing touches on the room to surprise Jen and Baron.

"This is amazing," says Baron when he sees the room. "This is our house, right?"

The couple loves the snack stand with the counter-top popcorn maker which cost just $175. Jen loves the pop of color that the bean bag slipcovers give the room. If they had purchased bean bag chairs with custom slip covers, two of them would have cost at least $220, but their DIY slipcovers cost just $44. The down lights give the room a great movie theater vibe and they cost just $215 for all the materials. The fabric to cover the walls, in place of sound panels that would have cost thousands, rung up to only $175, and the supplies for the custom ottoman cost just $90. All the accessories the designers added added up to another $260.

"There's no way you came in under budget," says Baron.

The grand total? $979. The couple is floored and thanks Monica and Jess for their help.

"Let's watch a movie," says Jen. "A girly movie."

"No chick flicks," says Baron.

"We'll let you guys work that one out," says Monica.

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