Return to Painting and Decorating Library Index

Color Concepts for Family Media Rooms

by Gail McCauley

As consumers remain closer to home (a concept which has remained steady throughout 2003), continued hectic lifestyles result in homeowners aspiring to spend an increasing amount of time enjoying the warmth and familiarity of their own surroundings. The desire to incorporate a media space within the home interior indicates one specific example of this home design trend which shows no signs of slowing down in the foreseeable future.

Many homeowners are abandoning traditional room layouts in favor of designing specialty rooms or areas within the home. The media area represents a space where the entire family can enjoy their entertainment media requirements both independently or together as a group. Depending upon the size of your current home and your family's media requirements, a media space can be as compact or as large as your existing home permits.

Examine all possible options and do not overlook unanticipated locations within the home, when deciding upon the ideal spot for the family media area. If your home affords the luxury of a basement and your family's main interest is the home theatre, consider converting the basement into a media space. By nature of its location, naturally dark basements may be painted practically any color scheme without having to worry about the interference of natural light and reflections from windows and mirrors that can blot out television screen images. Large family rooms can also be quite easily segregated into family media centers, with the use of various room dividers such as painted decorative screens, fencing materials or oversized shutters that have been hinged together.

Select a color scheme and consider painting the walls a different shade of color, clearly delineating the "lounging" area from the "media" area. Remember to select shades which share the same intensity of color, to allow for the most harmonious combinations of color within the same area. Opt for deeper shades of color for media spaces that will function as home theatres, as well as oversized open spaces that need "cozying up". Paler, more muted color combinations are perfect choices for smaller multipurpose areas where the entire room serves several functions (i.e. an open space family room that also serves as the home office in addition to the media space).

In order for the media space to graciously coexist with the rest of the home, you may consider designing an area that mimics the same style of decor that is found throughout the rest of the house. If your media area will share living quarters with a rustic styled guest room, help blend the functions for the entire area using style and color. Consider applying the identical earthy faux brown logs that appear on wall coverings onto the wall unit or custom cabinetry that houses all of the media needs.

Bookcase styled pieces with wide side shelving can accommodate components and DVDs, in addition to personal items and essentials required by guests. Painting the inside of open faced bookcases using a contrasting, color (such as any of today's popular shades of red) makes a dramatic fashion statement that adds interest to the entire room.

Furnishings for the home media space are available in every color, style of decor and price point. Inexpensive padded seating is not only comfortable, but can also be purchased in today's hottest colors. Particularly appropriate for a child's media space, various chair styles can be painted by the youth, showcasing his or her unique artistic ability.

Use color to designate the division of space when designing a child's shared play room and media space. Using a color block paint technique, for example, a do-it-yourself paint enthusiast can opt to paint the top border perimeter of the walls belonging to the play area portion of the room using sunny yellow and white color blocks. Then, paint the top border perimeter of the walls belonging to the media area of the room using candy apple red and white color blocks. The entire space can be integrated visually with color and paint technique, by applying solid royal blue paint to the entire bottom border perimeter of the wall around the entire room. Consider painting a coordinating canvas accent rug and window treatment valance using the identical color block design that features the same tones of the royal blue, white, sunny yellow and candy apple red color scheme. As within in any interior area, these small decorative touches will add an enormous amount of personality to the child's play/media space.

If your family enjoys participating in various forms of media, either alone or as a group, consider searching your home to devise a media location. Regardless of its location within the home, the clever application of color and paint can assist with designating the media space as its own entity. Designing a unique home media space is yet another creative way that we can enjoy both our family and our home in the months and years to come!

Gail McCauley for the
Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute

Return to Home Decor and Decorating Articles Index