A small media room is just what many of us need at the end of the day; a space to cozy up with the family.
While the first reception room may be the place for more formal living room ideas aimed at hosting guests, a media room is the part of the house where movie nights reign supreme.
Many small media room ideas are defined by one piece of furniture, usually a large unit or cabinet space where electrical items and accessories can be stored for TV viewing pleasure and game nights, and often work in unison with living room TV ideas.
We asked the best interior designers just what makes this kind of room a success.
Small media room ideas
Similarly to living room TV ideas, you want to create a family room that reflects your personal style and personality, whilst thoughtfully planning the area to ensure the TV stand ideas fits perfectly in with the design of the space.
1. Introduce plenty of textural elements
'Playing with different colors and textures is a great way to add depth and to create an atmospheric effect in a small media room' says Natalia Miyar, architect and designer at Natalia Miyar (opens in new tab). 'Mix bold patterns on your walls, couch and even your carpet to bring life to the space in a vibrant, yet sophisticated way. An extra deep seat couch is a must and a great way to create a sumptuous feel, whilst maintaining a modern aesthetic; layers of cushions and throws on top will add interest and will ensure maximum comfort for any movie night.'
2. Position a TV in a well-designed alcove or nook
Family room TV ideas are the perfect spot for gathering as a household, entertaining and even a quiet spot of relaxation, therefore, it is imperative that we give the interior design of these spaces just as much consideration as we would the rest of the home.
Here, an alcove featuring contemporary wall paneling is both pretty and practical. 'We took away the existing bookshelves on the back wall and created a unique area and focal point for the TV that kept the clean, sleek look of the room intact,' says Jennifer Walter, owner and principal designer for Folding Chair Design (opens in new tab).
3. Add depth and dimension with furnishings
If you want to up the comfort factor in a cozy living room or small media room, then think about using texture in interior design to add further depth and dimension. 'Natural textures, whether they are stone or wood or linen, can help to anchor a neutral color scheme,' says Karen B Wolf, creative principal of Karen B Wolf Interiors. (opens in new tab) 'It means that the overall look doesn’t feel too contrived, uptight or overly designed. They bring a laid-back quality that always works well.'
4. Get cozy with ambient lighting
'Ambient lighting or mood lighting as its also known, can transform an interior or indeed space, and the key to this is all about layering. It’s the combination of accent and task lighting, using a mix of floor, table and pendant to impact the mood of a room.
One of the most beautiful materials to diffuse light is glass and the use of sandblasted, tinted or clear glass creates variable degrees of diffusion, and when combined, has the most luscious impact on walls and ceilings, washing them with a soft glow.
It’s also worth remembering the controls on lighting output will allow you to determine degrees of luminaire within the space which is why all of Hadeland Glassverks lighting is dimmable,' says Angela Murray, country manager UK & Ireland of Hadeland Glassverk (opens in new tab).
5. Make your media room cozy with a dramatic color scheme
When choosing a color scheme for a small media room, it pays to think about light levels, existing furniture and the ambience you want to create,' says Tom Rutt, director of TR Studio (opens in new tab). If you’re not confident in choosing a scheme, go with a pre-selected paint ideas palette already picked out by the paint brand you’re using, or take inspiration from the color wheel on working with tonal, harmonizing and contrasting colors.
Interior designers will often say they don’t follow rules when it comes to paint ideas but something that is helpful to bear in mind is that colors never need to match, they just need to work together.
6. Make a small media area at one end of a games room
'An open-plan layout is a great way to turn any room into a multi-functional space and will feel more comfortable than having two small, closed-off areas,' says Natalia Miyar, architect and designer at Natalia Miyar (opens in new tab). 'Use different elements such as a rug or a sofa to help define the more intimate and relaxing zones like the media lounge from the busier and more active areas like the games room where you will need more space.'
7. Combine a media room with a home office
If you don't have a dedicated room for your small media or entertainment center, do consider carving out a space within an existing home office, living room or bedroom. 'It is imperative to keep these multi-purpose rooms as clutter-free and organized as possible to avoid any dreaded chaos,' Lucy Searle, global editor-in-chief, Homes & Gardens.
8. Add in U-shaped sectional for extra comfort
'This media room was designed to create a space that was both comfortable and also to create some drama,' says Lauren Lerner, founder and principal designer of Living with Lolo (opens in new tab). 'Here we added a custom chaise sofa as well as reclining chairs to ensure that whatever your movie watching preference is, you have a place to enjoy. We added gorgeous lighting throughout the space to light it up without taking away from the movie.'
9. Opt for deep seating
Curate the optimum space to de-stress with a small media room that embodies the luxury and warmth that you expect from this family room with entertainment center. 'To recreate the look and feel of a luxury cinema room, prioritize lighting,' says Jennifer Ebert, digital editor, Homes & Gardens. 'Good lighting can also help realize your small media room by making the very most of the space’s architecture, highlighting objects on display and artwork and, of course, creating a beautiful element of the room in its own right.'
What do you put in a small media room?
When it comes to designing a small media room, for most households, a TV is an essential tool for helping adults unwind, keeping the kids entertained, and facilitating cozy movie nights.
Optimum living room seating is another family room idea that should be considered during the initial planning stage. 'We recommend that you plan seating in groups to ensure conversation flows when you have guests and consider scale and how different pieces will sit together,' says interior designer Nina Campbell (opens in new tab). 'Seating heights vary so balance is key, but make sure that everyone is seated at the same level.'
Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 20 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time, both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor for indie magazine, 91, she trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for modern weddings and events. For H&G, she writes features about interior design – and is known for having an eye for a beautiful room.
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