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Garage Music Home Cinema in Cheshire

“...the client’s enthusiasm for the project was obvious and our close collaboration ensured that the cinema we created suited him and his family perfectly.”

Project Location: Cheshire
Project Cost: £35,000
Categories: Bespoke Home Cinema
Awards: Best Home Cinema under £40,000 by CEDIA

From a Garage Full of Junk…

The client wanted to convert an existing internal double garage into a dedicated home cinema with an unusual secondary purpose. Prior to starting a family the client had been a drummer in a band and when not performing spent a considerable amount of time watching movies. The arrival of two children in quick succession unsurprisingly put a stop to both these activities; it also consigned the drum kit to the garage and the big TV to e-bay. Now, a few years later and in return for clearing the ever growing pile of junk from the garage the client finally had permission to combine his two favourite hobbies.

Not only was the cinema to provide the best performance he could afford and be operated by a simple, intuitive remote it was also to double-up as a place in which he could listen to his music and practice his drumming without disturbing the rest of the family. The client was adamant that despite the small size of the room it should comfortably seat four on the front row on cinema seats (the rear tier to be left clear for the drum kit to be set up), it should have an understated, high quality finish and the room should be both acoustically insulated and treated to maximise the performance within the room whilst not affecting adjacent rooms.

Experiencing an Award Winning Home Cinema

As the cinema installation relied on the complete transformation of the client’s existing internal double garage it was essential that he had complete confidence in our abilities not only to provide the right audiovisual equipment but also the expertise required to design and project manage an extensive building project. A visit to the show house provided all the reassurance the client required; originally built in 1890 the house required extensive refurbishment even before it could be lived in let alone filled with cutting edge technology. The reference level cinema in the basement of the show house required the excavation and waterproofing of the original room prior to the installation of contemporary interior complete with acoustic treatments, reclining cinema seats and subtle lighting.

Bespoke 3D Room Design

Inspired by our approach to the show house renovation the client requested that provide him with computer generated 3D models of his cinema room so he could fully appreciate the end result which was somewhat hard to envisage in the existing garage. We briefed the client’s contractors and supplied them with detailed CAD drawings required to create a ‘room within a room’ to soundproof the cinema from the rest of the property and fit it out to a high standard including the incorporation of a floating central ceiling raft to conceal not only the rear surround speakers and lighting but also to lower the high ceiling to create a more favourable acoustic environment and just as important a more cosy feel to the room. A design scheme was developed with the client to ensure that the cinema’s interior reflected the client’s own style whilst at the same time being a suitable environment for a high quality cinema experience.

Hidden Equipment with a Simple Remote Control

As space was limited in the cinema itself we redesigned the cabinetry in the adjoining utility room so that the AV rack could be located immediately outside the cinema, fortunately this also allowed the rack to be internally ventilated within a relatively cool environment. A URC Complete Control system was used to provide a single touch screen remote that did not require a line-of-sight to the equipment so the cinema could remain uncluttered and simple to use

A bespoke AV rack housed a Denon AV receiver, Samsung 3D blu-ray player, a Sky HD box, Apple TV and the client’s own Playstation3. An Olsen power management panel was fitted to the rack and ‘connected’ devices in the rack were linked to the client’s existing router ensuring that all his equipment was kept up to date and that he could enjoy everything from on-line gaming to on-demand movies or music from his Spotify account.

Inside the cinema a JVC X-70 projector was used to provide an excellent combination of value and performance in both 2D and 3D that could be calibrated by our engineers to ensure optimum performance. Bowers and Wilkins 600 series in-wall cinema  speakers were placed behind a 8ft Screen Research acoustically transparent screen and the rear channels provided by two pairs of B&W in-ceiling speakers. Low frequency effects were provided by a B&W 10” subwoofer at the rear of the room. For added convenience we also added a discrete socket in the cinema to allow the client to connect ‘ad-hoc’ devices such as HD video cameras or his iPod.

Luxury Cinema Seating and Clever Lighting

Rako wireless lighting control was used to create four lighting scenes controlled via the on-wall keypad or the remote, in addition to the LED perimeter lighting in the ceiling raft, two circuits of down lights and a circuit of low level LED lights were added to provide plenty of options for illuminating the cinema for different purposes, from functional task lighting to a subtle ‘intermission mode’.

Signature electric reclining cinema seats were provided for the front row and the two centre seats specified as a ‘love-seat’ to allow the client to sit together with his young children for a more family-friendly layout.

…To the Perfect Cinema Room

From the beginning of the project the client’s enthusiasm for the project was obvious and our close collaboration ensured that the cinema we created suited him and his family perfectly. From the luxurious interior to the fantastic cinematic performance of the system the careful design of the entire cinema not only met but exceeded the client’s original brief. Below is an extract from a testimonial letter the client sent us following completion of the project.

“….From start to finish their service has been exceptional. I began with a rough idea that I wanted to soundproof my garage for musical purposes, but I also envisaged a screen on the wall so that it could be used as a home cinema as well. Having googled garage conversions, I came across Finite Solutions and never looked back. …. I had a modest budget and so was unsure as to whether or not I needed to set my sights lower. My first phone conversation put my mind at ease. I was pleasantly surprised to find out what could actually be done for the money we had available. A meeting was set up for one of their design consultants to visit our home and that’s when we met Matt. His background in interior design coupled with his audiovisual knowledge led to some brilliant ideas which we could hardly imagine whilst standing in our garage full of junk. At the time, my wife wasn’t as enthusiastic about the project as I was, but a visit to Finite Solutions show home in Leeds soon rectified that. The moment we set foot in their cinema, we were both completely sold on the idea. If you are considering a similar project I suggest visiting the show home, it is a real eye opener and will definitely get anybody off the fence.”

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