Media wall ideas can transform the look of your room, whether it’s a freestanding unit or an integrated wall-to-wall solution. The purpose of a media wall is to house your audio and visual electronics in the most stylish way. It should also be comfortable to see and access, with unsightly cables and components tucked away neatly.
A media wall provides the perfect foundation for all your smart home technology. This can include your TV, DVD player, soundbar and music system stored neatly in one place. You can also include storage for all your CDs, DVDs, vinyl, books, and valuables. piece of art – either hidden behind cabinet doors or on display.
Media walls can work well in the living room or open-plan kitchen. They’re equally effective in a cozy movie theater or dedicated home cinema, using the best TV brands for a cinematic experience.
When it comes to style, you can choose from a range of bespoke or off-the-shelf solutions. So to avoid tangling your cushion tassels trying to accommodate all the technicalities, we’ve shared the best expert tips on how to plan your media wall here.
First, list all the items you want to include in your media wall, such as a TV, Sky Q box, subwoofer amps, consoles for PS5 and Xbox, etc. You will need to measure beforehand to make sure they will all fit your TV mounting idea. “If you’re happy with a soundbar that typically boosts your TV sound, there’ll be less to put in cabinets,” says Cinemaworks’ Owen Maddock. (opens in a new tab). “But if you want to get seriously immersed, you’ll need the classic AV receiver and speaker arrangement, so make sure they fit.
‘You can also include a Blu-Ray player. Although they are not as popular as they used to be, they still give you the best possible sound and picture playback. You might also have one or more game consoles.
Since it can be expensive to install, you’ll want your media wall to be the star of the room, without being overly imposing. You can choose to place it in a dedicated home cinema or media room, or adapt it to your living room or open kitchen. Wherever you choose to place it, you will need to think carefully about the line of sight from which you will be sitting. You’ll need to watch your TV and easily access the rest of your media.
“Don’t Forget to Think About Noise, Too,” Says Alex Josling of Seven Integration (opens in a new tab). ‘Some items will have fans running to keep them cool, so ask yourself if they’ll be subtle enough or bother you? You may consider placing a rack with essential equipment in another room if necessary.
3. Choose between a freestanding cabinet or a custom wall-mounted design
You can buy attractive off-the-shelf units from many major furniture stores to serve as the base for your media wall, but you’ll need to check the dimensions carefully to make sure your gadgets will fit. Alternatively, you can hire a bespoke furniture maker who will work closely with your AV expert to create the perfect living room TV idea. To find someone in your area who can advise you on installation, visit the CEDIA website (opens in a new tab) (the global home technology industry association).
“Don’t expect a carpentry specialist – whether a craftsman or a large company – to also be an audiovisual expert,” says Owen Maddock. ‘If you need it, contact a CEDIA-approved installation company to help you. Our best projects worked well when me, as the AV specialist and designer, along with the lighting designer and cabinet maker worked together as a team so we could focus on all the details.
“The problem with standard units, which are probably cheaper, is that you have to be diligent.” Is the height of the screen suitable for your room? What about the size of the TV? Some furniture companies seem to forget about ergonomics and comfort settings when it comes to TV stands – we don’t know why.
4. Consider material and style
While there are many colors and finishes to choose from that can match your furniture and accessories, opting for a neutral colored media wall will ensure longevity. A wood finish can be timeless and suits both modern and classic environments, for example.
“Fabric media walls are great and very trendy right now,” notes Owen Maddock. “As well as giving a soft, luxurious feel, they allow you to conceal speakers, acoustic treatments and some electronics. But you may also need a wooden cabinet for equipment such as Skybox, record player, surround amplifier and gaming equipment either underneath or on the side.
‘I saw Cinema Build Systems (opens in a new tab) offer stunning fabric-based media wall designs, with an extensive network of installation partners. Acupanel (opens in a new tab) acoustic wall panels are also popular, offering improved sound performance and a Scandinavian feel.
Owen emphasizes the importance of using matte finishes throughout and ideally darker colors to improve contrast performance. ‘Shiny is distracting, so keep him out of the viewing area. Instead, put metal frames or your artwork to the side or behind you.
5. Check the dimensions
Ensuring that every gadget has its ideal space is key, especially if you’re going for a ready-made idea for hiding a TV or audio equipment. Alex Josling suggests you start by drawing a scaled picture.
“Use something like Sketchup to figure out where everything will go,” he says. “Check the dimensions of the products you are going to hide and make sure they match the internal dimensions of the space you want them to go in. Leave space so that at least your fingers go down on each side. And think about how you’re going to plug all those cables into the back of your AV receiver? »
“The loudspeakers can be built into the cabinet and hidden behind an acoustically transparent material to conceal them. The space behind the enclosure will need acoustic treatment to allow the enclosure to function properly. You may be quite overwhelmed by the technical aspect of this. You want to make sure nothing is going to vibrate when the speakers are on either. Talk to a professional who can help you.
6. Allow ventilation
Media wall shelves will need to be well ventilated to protect all of your gadgets from overheating. “We use a custom furniture maker for our projects where possible, as this gives you maximum flexibility with the overall look of the furniture and materials,” says Luke Crutcher of Living Home Tech. (opens in a new tab).
“It also means we can liaise with the carpenter to make sure the correct ventilation is included. Airflow is necessary around your gadgets as the heat generated needs to be able to escape. Any heat buildup will cause equipment failure over time.
7. Have access for fixing, wiring and updates
As well as having easy access to your gear – so engineers can fix cables or update your system – you should also think about leaving room for new gadgets you buy in the future when you plan to upgrade. a TV on the wall.
“Being able to access the back of your components is really handy when you need to remove the power cable to restart your Sky Q box,” says Alex Josling. ‘Remember to put plenty of Cat5/Cat6 for wired network connection to all your devices. They may have built-in Wi-Fi, but everything will work better if it’s hardwired to your network.
“If you want to get really smart, install a PDU so you can easily restart your hardware without having to hunt for a power cable to pull out when your Sonos needs a restart.”
Cinemaworks audio and visual engineer Owen Maddock recommends using a sliding TV mount and positioning your TV so it can be viewed at eye level when seated.
“A sliding bracket is an absolute must for long-term maintenance and guarantees access for new wiring,” he says. “The HDMI specification changes over time, so never fasten cables tightly in case you need to update or replace a broken cable.”