Lounge Room Cooling

I have a friend who is installing a home theater lounge in his basement, filled with all the required devices of first quality—screen, receiver, surround sound, built-in bar with refrigerator, etc. This is an extravagant gesture for his family and he wants it to be comfortable and inviting. The air is a bit stale down there and he asked me what to do. He plans on game day parties, kids’ get-togethers, personal man cave time, a little private work now and then, and more. He wants a versatile space that is at the optimum temperature all year round. In other words, plenty of air in the underground depths!

It is prohibitive to install central air conditioning and heating for one room so late in the game, although it is rather large and in need of something to make it inhabitable. It is open with one lever-operated long cellar window high up on one wall. The room gets some natural light, but not enough. I suggested a large ceiling fan with a high wattage light fixture. Found with these online ceiling fan reviews. We both started to explore options—on line research of course. Colors, materials, prices, discounts, features, etc.

Your average blade fan looks good and does the trick. It covers a wide area, and the newer ones aren’t as noisy as the older models. If they become too breezy, you just reset the remote. It is old-fashioned, economical, and décor-enhancing. A little investment goes a long way. What more could you want! When you think of a “lounge,” you might have in mind something high tech, so you can go for chrome blades and a sleek light fixture. If you like homey with comfy leather chairs or a sofa, there are great blades in cherry, walnut, oak, and ebony stained wood. Maybe you don’t care about this, but your wife certainly does, so ask! I’m sure she is already planning some girl time down there.

The cost is about the same for good quality, whatever the style and appearance. You don’t have to splurge, but do get a good one that will last over many seasons of TV-viewing fun. It has to be kid-resistant. The tykes will love turning it off and on. A lounge is a place to lie back and relax, your head on a soft supportive pillow, your body on a cozy blanket. Maybe you are reading a favorite mystery on a Kindle. No doubt this will place you within full view of your fan. So make it meaningful when you go out shopping and select something you won’t tire of too soon.

If you do, or the room is converted into a bedroom for a parent down the road, you can paint the fans and change the fixture. A ceiling fan is so much more desirable than clunky portable models, even the new tower designs that pretend they are sculptures. They also help to camouflage ceilings that may be cottage-cheese finish or square tiles. My suggestion to my friend did not go unheeded and he is now enjoying a light, delightful remote-controlled breeze.

The Movie Theater is Dead, Long Live the Home Theater

So you think you want a home theater. Great idea. Who wants to trudge over to the local cinema in the rain, buy expensive tickets, and take your chances on good visibility?  Besides, it’s tiresome to hear intrusive chatter and feel dirty feet propped on the back of your seat.

Some say the movie theater is dead.  (Well, they are certainly smaller!) It’s probably not entirely true for kids and teens, but adults seem to go less and less. If they do, it is a special occasion to be sure and there is nothing really like the real thing. But busy lives means little time for a couple of stolen hours in the dark on Sunday. However, most people still want to see the latest films not available yet on regular TV. They would love to do it at their convenience—hassle-free.

If you are thinking of converting a basement room or unused den into a home theater, you have hit the nail on the head for facility and flexibility. You can entertain friends, amuse guests, keep the kids occupied, and indulge whenever you like.  This is freedom! The question is what to install and at what price. The options are numerous. It is a sophisticated realm requiring forethought and a considerable budget to get superior results.

Designing a good space takes a professional consultant, and there are services that do just that. They will consider how many seats, the size of the screen, and the quality of the sound and visual equipment for everyday use. You can count on a custom job once you provide details of your specific needs and desires. You can, of course, do it yourself if you do a lot of legwork. Basically, you need a high definition system including a TV, speakers, receiver, surround sound, Blu-ray player, etc. Don’t forget Internet connectivity and to look at a variety of options to make sure your choices are adequate and within budget. It’s all about a top quality picture and mind-blowing sound.

Once in place, the movie world is your oyster. You can watch in the middle of the night or on a day off from work. Nothing is better than a relaxing two hours in a comfortable leather arm chair with a tasty bowl of flavored popcorn on your lap and a cold beer at your side! You can use the pause button and check your email at will, tend to personal matters, or stop for a nap.  No worries about parking in the far distance from the theater or settling for noisy gum-chewing spectators. Forget $5 for a soda and $8 for a candy bar. Your own home is the ultimate in cinematic pleasure.

What’s more, you can share it with others.  Why not have a baseball game day, a Super Bowl party, a children’s birthday bash, or a bachelor party. There is no end to uses for your home theater space. Keep the wet bar stocked, the refrigerator full, and keep the guests coming.