The 8 Elements Every Media Room Needs

Alexa Tucker
Photo credit: David A. Land

From House Beautiful

When it comes to designing the perfect media room, there's more to it than mounting a massive TV on the wall (although, hey, that is a key part of the space).

Unlike a dedicated home theatre, a media room is designed to be a multipurpose space designed for more than just movie marathons—think board game nights, Sunday afternoons spent cheering on your team, or quiet time curled up with a good book. Take the media room in House Beautiful's 2019 Whole Home in Nashville, for example. Outfitted with cozy nooks, top-tier tech, and useful entertaining features, it's the perfect blend of everything a media room should be.

Here's how to get inspired by the Whole Home's media room to create an inviting, versatile hideaway in your own house.

1. A Perfectly Sized Screen

Photo credit: David A. Land

There's no question that a statement-making TV is a major part of the media room experience. Bigger might seem better, but the key is to choose a television size that's optimal for your viewing distance (the space between the TV and where you'll sit) so it doesn't overwhelm the room.

To find out how big your TV should ideally be, measure how many inches your current TV is from where you'll sit on the couch. Divide that number by 1.5 to 2.5 to determine how many inches your TV should be (diagonally). For example, if your couch is 100 inches away from your TV, your optimal TV size is anywhere from 40 inches to 67 inches.

Pro tip: Mount it on the wall rather than using the TV stand to give yourself a little extra viewing distance, which means you can go bigger. You can buy TV mounts on Amazon for $20-$40, and they’re pretty easy to install with some basic drill action!

2. A Big, Comfy Couch

A plush spot with plenty of room to lounge is your next essential. If you're looking to splurge, Restoration Hardware's Cloud Sofa is exactly how it sounds—sink into it for a weekend binge-a-thon or an afternoon nap, and you may never want to get up.

Plus, a modular sectional like this one allows you to configure your seating perfectly to your space, and it's got plenty of room for stretching out solo or sharing with the whole family.

3. Blackout Shades

Shut the world away and create an immersive viewing experience with blackout shades. Honestly, they feel like the height of luxury! They're also great for cutting TV glare, so you can enjoy a clear, vibrant screen picture when you decide to hole up for some much-deserved time off.

4. A Wet Bar And Built-In Mini Fridge

Photo credit: David A. Land

As seen in the 2019 Whole Home's media room, a wet bar complete with a built-in mini fridge is the feature you didn't know you needed. It comes in especially handy for casual entertaining—whether you're having friends over to watch the big game or just hanging out, there's no need to run to the kitchen to grab a cold one. If you don't have space for a wet bar or mini fridge, though, a bar cart is also a chic touch.

5. Vintage Board Games

Speaking of entertaining, vintage board games add a fun touch to family game nights and your décor. This retro edition of Clue is the perfect addition to your bookshelf or a cool stand-in for a coffee table book.

6. Super Soft Throw Blankets

Sure, purely decorative throws can add a warm, polished touch to a space. But in the media room, you'll also want blankets you can actually snuggle under. This ridiculously soft throw has a fun pom-pom trim. When not in use, toss it on the back of your couch to keep it on display, or fold it up in a blanket basket.

7. A Cozy Reading Nook

Photo credit: David A. Land

The media room in the 2019 Whole Home proves that not all entertainment needs to come from a screen. With two back-to-back chaises complete with task lights and drink trays, this reading nook will almost make you forget that a TV's even there as you get lost in your latest read. A reading nook can also offer flexible seating options for when you have guests over.

8. A Sleek Media Console

Because video game systems, cable boxes, and random remotes don't exactly lend themselves to a relaxing vibe, hide unsightly wires and devices using a media console with cabinet doors.

This is also the perfect spot for a sound bar, so you can recreate the captivating, high-quality sound of a full-on speaker system with one streamlined piece of equipment. With a Carrara-style marble top, this console's mixed-media elements add an interesting design touch.

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