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Old 12-08-2014, 02:46 AM
 
67 posts, read 100,048 times
Reputation: 32

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I just closed on my first very own home, a spacious condo in a good neighborhood. Moving from a cramped shared place I'm happy with the purchase (there's more space than I know what to do with), but arranging the living room would be tricky. I want to accommodate a solid home theater setup without giving up on the flow of the space and the balcony view.

1. I'm looking to decide on speaker placement first: while I don't plan on doing much work to the unit at this point (and I don't have the budget ) I might be doing work on the ceiling so it's the best time to lay conduit. Besides, figuring that out means knowing where the sofa would be, which I suppose anchors the room, and then everything else falls into place.
  • As you can tell, the trickiest problem is that while there's plenty of space, the longest stretch of opposing walls is 7 ft.
  • If I put the TV (50") along the N/S walls I can't put the speakers more than 7 ft apart, and it'd be a shame to have such a narrow sound field in such a wide space.
  • I'm not a feng shui zealot but I love the balcony, tree-lined view, and line of sight from the entrance to the dining area. If I go for the layout in map#2 I wonder if it will be too obstructive (both visually and physically, every time I walk from the bedrooms to the kitchen). I'm also afraid I'd get plenty of glare during daytime viewing.
  • To further complicate matters, in a previous place and time I owned a projector and enjoyed projecting on the wall, getting a huge picture, zooming for widescreen, etc. I'd love to allow for that future option.
2. My best idea is laid out in Map#2. (I like the 8' distance to the TV, if I get a projector I could move the sofa back.) I'd mount the surrounds to the ceiling (not in-ceiling, there's a neighbor upstairs...) and run conduit to the "XX" mark for future projector mounting. What do you think?

3. All that space between the TV area and the balcony... what should I put there? Where would you place cabinets, bookshelves, etc.?

Thanks!
Attached Thumbnails
Living room layout-lr-panorama-copy.jpg   Living room layout-livingroom.png   Living room layout-map-2-ht-option.png  
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Old 12-08-2014, 04:16 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,601 posts, read 13,409,418 times
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First ... do the condo rules allow a "solid home theater setup" with surround sound? Personally I think surround sound should be completely banned in buildings with shared walls unless the soundproofing is, well, so good it actually IS soundproof -- but that is not the reality in most condos. I suspect your neighbors will hate you if you use surround sound in what is essentially a shared living environment -- even the "ceiling" mount of some of your speakers is so, so inconsiderate of the person above you, unless your ceiling and their floor are both soundproof. (Sorry, I know you're excited about your new place and I am really raining on your parade, but THE number one complaint about condo living is noise from neighbors.)

Having said that: it looks to me like your layout (the 2nd diagram) will work fine and will give you room to move back the sectional if you end up getting a projector.

RE: the extra space: I would probably put a bookcase or something perpendicular to the long (28') wall to use as a room divider and make a little home office or something in that area, if you could use one. Or a hobby area. Or a reading area. What kinds of things do you do at home besides watching TV?
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:11 AM
 
67 posts, read 100,048 times
Reputation: 32
Hi Karen,
I think you're confusing "surround" with volume. If "surround sound should be completely banned in buildings with shared walls" then we might as well ban all TVs and radios from condos. Surround sound simply means more speakers, and they can be operated at any volume, from 0 to a major nuisance. Furthermore:
  • The ceiling-hanged speakers would be satellites which don't produce low frequencies, but I'll research that more with experts.
  • For subwoofers, there are spike legs that isolate it from the floor.
  • As you can tell from the map the setup is not next to any other unit, it has the kitchen from one side and multiple bedrooms from the other.
  • I've had the surround setup in 2 condos so far and no one has ever complained a single time.
  • The first thing I did in the closing process was meet and greet all my neighbors in person, to establish a relationship and get to know everyone.
I hope this answers your comments about being "so, so inconsiderate".
As for approving the layout... thanks

One of the bedrooms will serve as a home office (at least until significant life changes happen); I'm actually looking forward to not having to work in the living room, I've done this for the past 4 years and it made me miserable and less efficient since I couldn't focus while the roommate or gf was watching TV.
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Old 12-08-2014, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
39,062 posts, read 48,006,211 times
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What else does your lifestyle indicate you need? Will you need more seating for guests, or not? Do you intend to place a table and chairs in the dining area?
I like the idea of an unobstructed view of the outside, so I would consider leaving it empty. You could use 2-4 upholstered chairs at the dining room table that can double as extra seating if you need it. Or, you could have two nice all weather wicker chairs on the balcony, which you could pull in if you need the seating.
I would keep books in the office. I might place a narrow bar/server piece of furniture on the long wall opposite the dining room.
What are you doing about lighting?
You can pull room darkening curtains (draw then to the left only) over the balcony doors, so you will be able to block the light if you are watching TV. Same for the DR window, if that interferes.
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,281 posts, read 4,960,755 times
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If this were my condo, I would use the layout you drew up for the TV and couch. I'd probably get a sofa/console table behind the couch for extra storage. Then I'd put a small bar type piece of furniture on the wall perpendicular to the balcony door and 2 or 4 chairs in that area to create a second seating area/lounge.
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:29 PM
 
67 posts, read 100,048 times
Reputation: 32
Thanks! Pretty much in line with what I had in mind, then. I like the idea of the darkening curtains. I'll start with the TV area and balcony and develop it from there.
Remember the days when half your living room could be taken up by a CD collection?
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,601 posts, read 13,409,418 times
Reputation: 23976
Quote:
Originally Posted by binba View Post
I think you're confusing "surround" with volume. If "surround sound should be completely banned in buildings with shared walls" then we might as well ban all TVs and radios from condos. Surround sound simply means more speakers, and they can be operated at any volume, from 0 to a major nuisance.
Um, yes, more speakers = louder noise. Are you really saying there's no difference between a "regular" TV with no surround sound and a home theater system with 5 or more speakers? The whole purpose of surround sound is more sound, sound all around you, etc. That's normally going to be loud -- in fact, that's kind of the point. (Just take a look at some audio-video forums, where people write about how much they love playing their home theaters LOUD to get the "movie theater" experience. I'm not saying you will do this, but for most people, to GET that "movie theater" experience, they crank up the volume.)

I don't mean to pick on you as it sounds like you are trying to be considerate, but I'm just not convinced that ceiling-based speakers won't be heard by the person upstairs (your point 1); or just putting subwoofers on spike legs will mean neighbors can't hear them (point 2) -- it should help but certainly won't magically get rid of all the sound; or that your upstairs/downstairs neighbors won't hear your sound system, and even your side neighbors MAY despite your layout (point 3); or just meeting your neighbors means your noise won't bother them (your point 4) -- I've usually known my neighbors when I lived in apartment buildings, but that didn't help at all when their noise was so loud it seeped into MY apartment.

(I know you didn't come here looking for a lecture on noise -- I am just always surprised at people who have surround systems when they have shared walls/ceilings/floors. If you take a look at the "renting" forum here, you will see how many threads are about noisy neighbors -- so that's the first thing I thought of when I saw your OP.)

ANYWAY -- you said you'll be using a bedroom as a home office, so that's taken care of. What other things do you like to do at home? I think I would make a little "lounge" area with good lighting and lots of books. (And I just realized my earlier suggestion about using a bookcase perpendicular to the long wall wouldn't work as it would block your line of sight from the living room entryway to the balcony/outside.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by binba View Post
Thanks! Pretty much in line with what I had in mind, then. I like the idea of the darkening curtains. I'll start with the TV area and balcony and develop it from there.
Remember the days when half your living room could be taken up by a CD collection?
Had to laugh at that line -- my upstairs hallway is taken up by CD racks with a few thousand CDs. I have digitized almost all of the music, but I still can't bring myself to get rid of the CDs -- I like reading the liner notes.
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Old 12-15-2014, 06:37 PM
 
12 posts, read 7,756 times
Reputation: 14
for references of ur layout design :
http://arsindociptakarya.com/wp-cont.../03/girkm1.jpg
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