Best looking home cinema accessories: making your gadgets beautiful
If you can afford a home cinema, then in all likelihood you're already a pretty stylish chap. Sure there's the occasional movie fan who kits his setup out like the inside of Liberace's house but those are a rarity. So, given that you've already spent the big bucks on having the joys of a home cinema, then you may as well go the extra mile and accesorise it. By this we mean adding to its style and street cred, not vajazzle your PVR.
If this is your idea of cool, sure go ahead, but don't expect to be getting any special mentions in this article. Its Style Week over at Pocket-lint and we're interested in only one thing; looking good. Here's our roundup of what we think will make you the talk of trendy town in home cinemasville.
Posh seating is an easy way to add that extra bit of flair to your home cinema. Sure you might have a gigantic projector and screen with a sound system capable of ripping the scalp off a small monkey, but what you don't have is cool seats.
No one wants to sit through the whole of Das Boot without at least something swish beneath their buttocks, hence the need for this category. First up has to be the Body Sound Chair, which incorporates uber quality Italian leather with a fully-integrated 7.1 soundsystem. If that isn't enough, you get a back massager built in to keep you nice and relaxed during your movie. A snip at £7500 for a pair, or £4000 for a single seat. Not going to be cheap picking one up for each of the family then.
If you are going for the more authentic look, or perhaps even actually building an entire cinema in your house, then you can always opt to pick up some genuine used cinema seats. Personally if we were going for the ultimate in style we would construct some sort of 1930s art deco setup, perhaps with a set of these red vintage cinema seats.
Then again there isn't that much style in being as uncomfortable as the common man who visits the cinema with the general public. Fix this by getting some Rembrandt cinema seating involved, the in between of authenticity and comfort. The red seat backing and touch of wood is a particularly nice bit of flair and something that wouldn't have looked out of place in even Howard Hughes's own personal cinema.
There is another option with home cinema seating though which bizarrely does away with the need for the cinema part at all. Bear with us on this one.
Let's say for arguments sake that you live in a sort of post-modern Clockwork Orange style apartment; ladies with milk coming from their bits and all. Well you wouldn't want a home cinema detracting from all the style, so how about adding to the look by splashing out £75,000 on an Ovei. Put together by designers over at McLaren, of F1 fame, it's a giant white blob that seals you inside so that you can focus solely on whatever entertainment devices you have stuck inside.
Eating and Drinking
Most people stick with the usual bag of Frazzles or Skips when watching a film - nothing much stylish about that. Others try and up the ante a bit with a bag of Kettle Chips and perhaps some humous and carrot sticks. Sure it might taste great, but you're still munching on a bag of fried potato slices. The true home cinema snacker embraces proper movie food with things like nachos and popcorn.
Obviously you can't the front end of the Odeon into your living room, so it's best to keep things miniature on the snack front. First up is the Movie Popcorn Machine, which is just the right side of retro. It's authentic looking and produces tasty popcorn. The other choice on the popcorn front is something like the Giles & Posner mini retro hot air popcorn maker. It's great for those who don't quite feel the need to have a full blown cart sitting inside their home cinema but still want something a bit vintage and kitsch.
It might take a while, but you could consider churning out pizzas for your guests using a Stonebake home pizza oven. Then again if you already own a fully equipped home cinema then what's wrong with splashing out on a few chefs to cater for your movie nights? If you really want to go all out, why not get Jamie Oliver to come down and stick one of his own wood fired ovens in your back garden. The pizzas those bad boys produce will have friends coming over to watch movie after movie, even if it is Driving Miss Daisy.
Getting nachos stylish was a real tough one. Giant slabs of cheese just aren't commonly associated with design icons. Still, no need to sacrifice snacking fun unless you absolutely have to. We reckon that this cinema grade nacho warmer and bags of liquid cheese will go well with a retro movie popcorn machine. You could even get a full blown old style cinema going, vintage seats and all.
So you've got your mates sitting happily on your specially made retro style cinema seats munching away on popcorn and downing pints of liquid cheese, but they're still not impressed.
This is easily fixed with a proper custom install which will have even the biggest of home cinema cynic converted when they see your speakers rise from the floor. Having an install designed just for your pad means you can add your own sense of design to the viewing experience. Plus the term 'custom built' is practically a by-word for cool.
You could go for a complete custom install from customcontrols.co.uk using something like the B & W Theatre 800 sound system or even the nautilus, which is insanely expensive but acoustically brilliant and looks undeniably stunning. Say you go all out and pick the platinum setup at £150,000 from custom controls, then you're pretty much sorted from the word go on the style front.
If £150,000 is a little on the cheap side then you could consider something like this interior setup by Synergy Technologies. At £250,000 it incoporates Tron like styling and superb quality video and audio. It's essentially a cinema in your home, not a home cinema. This level of design freedom also means you can adapt the setup to be and look however you want yet still perform incredibly.
You'll be wanting to get the lighting correct in your home cinema for several reasons. First up because any glare or reflections is going to ruin your viewing experience. Second because all that money, style and design is going to be ruined if you have the interior lit like a hotel toilet.
We suggest taking a look at starscape.co.uk who create simple fibre optic lighting for home cinema installs. It isn't fussy, looks great and wont get in the way of your viewing experience. You could, however, take it one step further and go vintage. These 1940s studio lights are turning up all over eBay and and could make an awesome retro addition to your cinema if you had them properly fitted. We also like the idea of some sort of art deco wall fittings, giving your setup a BioShock style twist.
Another option would be to go all out and use something like Extra Dimensional Technologies, which create super stylish custom lighting setups - some of the best in the world. The £5000 system 170 is designed to sit low profile in your home cinema, contributing to the atmosphere with intelligent LED lights that don't detract from the viewing experience. Imagine a Chemical Brothers video living within your walls. Cool or what?
So how are you going to control all these electronic goodies without a giant black plastic slab of a remote getting in the way of your style? Easy, opt for the Bang & Olufsen Beo6 remote control. It's capable of controlling an entire home cinema, audio setup or lighting solution from its small designer aluminium ball and square glass screen.
If you aren't a massive Bang & Olufsen fan, you could always look into getting an iPad 2 wall mounted. Something like the modulR Slim Wall Mount is unintrusive, white (vital for any stylish tech) and will grab hold of your iPad without detracting from its design.
You might have the most incredibly stylish home cinema setup known to man, have filled it with supermodels and be sat watching a movie in a hand cut suit, but the second those big black Terminator style glasses go on, all sense of cool is lost.
The fix? Opt for some bespoke 3D glasses from somewhere like LG, who pulled in Giles Deacon to spruce up its set of passive specs. Gucci also has a set of aviator style 3D glasses in the barrel which are well put together by a world renowned designer and really look the part.
Active 3D glasses are a lot harder to track down. The extra tech needed in the lenses makes keeping them compact a problem. As such, you normally end up with big black thick frames balanced on your nose. Not a good look. The best we can come up with to solve this is Samsung's SSG-3700CR glasses which are the lightest set of 3D specs available. They also make you look slightly like Brains from Thunderbirds, which is no bad thing, particularly with most fashionistas embracing the geek look these days.
You can read more from Style Week on our Style Week homepage.
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