Our brief was to redesign the bar and home cinema space of this established property in Bowdon, Manchester. To make it an enticing place to relax on an evening with the family fully immersing in state-of-the-art cinema experience and an enviable semi-club themed entertaining space for long nights with friends.
Our young client had installed a cinema system as an early adopter in the very early days, but they recognised not only had the technology and audio had moved on considerably, but the interface was so complex and un-user friendly, they had lost the will to bother with it. The system needed to be as hidden as possible – no speakers and definitely no wiring. In fact as little technology as possible to be on display.
The lady of the house also found the rooms too dark, plain and uninspiring with a separate bar area that was underused due to lack of an inviting atmosphere. More lighting was requested but not at the cost of altering the darker mood. Rather than a complete overhaul we were to retain as many elements as possible to cohesively bring the spaces together allowing the bar to overspill into cinema and vice versa.
Once we had softened the bar area with tactile materials such as cowhide ‘s’ shaped benches, dark elitis faux fur wallpaper, padded sued bar front and deep backed bar stools pulling colours and mixing textures between the spaces the mood changed dramatically. To set a more moody atmosphere the ambiance called for some dramatic low level feature lights (as well as task spots) to allure the eye between the spaces and link the two without being a complete distraction to the open cinema.
There was a redesign of the cinema area to incorporate the hidden speaker and systems, all finished in a wonderful crushed velvet that refracts the colours from the projected movie and completed with hand finished metal wall lights, curtains and a lush black wool carpet.
Why does it work so well?
Our home automation specialist set about installing a discrete the state-of-the-art system with 7.2 surround and equalisers that delivers optimal sound quality according to where the clients sit in the room. The projector was upgraded to a 3D 1-chip HD projector which is future-proofed to progress up to full 3D as and when the client chooses.
The technology is as neat as it is impressive. As well as the concealed speakers, the system units were built into a wall cavity and hidden from view behind a wall panel.
The redesign of the adjoining bar space incorporating new task lighting, and feature drop lights allows the eye to be intrigued with the space beyond from either side. The use of similar textures and materials throughout allows the look to flow through to the cinema incorporating individual reclined double seating, cinema-style in two rows of three. We kept as much of the original items as was possible and yet transformed the space to a much more inviting and desirable place to be for friends and family alike.
We also addressed the all-important technology interface, which is now driven from an iPad that the whole family uses effortlessly. The result is something of a transformation.