A media wall is a special wall in your home that can house your audio, video and gaming equipment, as well as artwork, photos, books, trophies or other special possessions. You can design this wall in any style, from sleek and contemporary to a rustic country feel to anything in between.
Do YOU Need A Custom Media Wall?
If you’ve been planning some home remodeling in Phoenix, then one thing you don’t want to overlook is your living area. Kitchen and bathroom remodeling are typically the first to come to mind when someone says they are remodeling their home, however the family room and/or living room in your home plays an important role in your family as a place that brings everyone together.
Basic entertainment centers and consoles are simply “cookie cutter” designs. Is your TV and theatre sound set-up identical to your neighbors? Chances are, no. Not every home or homeowner requires the same sound clarity, level or size of television for that matter, so why would you want the same structure for it?
Let’s take a look at a few key questions which will help you determine if you’d benefit from a custom built-in media wall in your living room, family room, bedroom, child’s bedroom or anywhere else in the home where television and audio equipment are used.
Do you prefer that your media area match the overall look and feel of your living space?
Many homeowners in the Phoenix and surrounding areas find that their multi-media equipment sticks out like an eyesore within their thoughtfully decorated room. For example, the contemporary look of a home theater system can severely clash with a room that’s accented with rustic old barn wood making your living area feel hodge podged or worse yet, cluttered.
There’s a solution! By creating a custom media wall that matches the look and feel of the living space, your various electronic components and equipment, such as the satellite box or receiver not only have a dedicated spot, but can be hidden behind frosted glass for example. This keeps the electronics out of sight, while still ensuring that the remote control will work.
Is your equipment properly ventilated?
Most out-of-the-box entertainment centers have fairly enclosed spaces for your equipment, which do not allow the air to fully circulate around your electronics to keep the equipment cool. A custom media wall can be built to provide ventilation exactly where it’s needed the most, which helps prevents damaged electronics due to overheating.
Do you need additional storage space?
Not sure where to put that new subwoofer or gaming system? One of the key benefits of creating the ideal media wall is that it can include plenty of shelving and hidden space specifically dedicated to housing any equipment you have now or might be upgrading to in the near future. Built-in or floating shelves are great for displaying artwork, photos, and other belongings that you want to be the focal of your room, Niches with glass or wood doors are great for those items you don’t necessarily want to see every day such as books, DVDs, video game cartridges and more.
Do you have a lot of cords?
If you’re like most homeowners, you probably have a mess of cords behind your television or home theater. These cords include TV cords, DVD cords, DVR cords, cable or satellite cords, speaker cords and more. Not only do these cords get all tangled up, but they tend to be an unsightly mess. Your Phoenix home remodeling contractor can hide this mess within a custom media wall.
What Is My Goal (or Motivation) For My New Media Wall?
Standard run of the mill entertainment centers sold at the big box stores are a way of the past that many homeowners like you probably made due with for many years. With the custom market being as versatile and design oriented as ever with material selections and layout options, many local homeowners are choosing to have a custom media wall built to fully satisfy their family’s needs. Adding a built in area to your space can add character and finesse, but is a custom media wall right for you? Before you make your design appointment with a TWD team member, start off by asking yourself, and answering honestly, these 3 vital questions:
What are my current needs for the space right now?
The design phase can be both stressful and timely if attempting yourself without the guidance from a professional. Start off on the right foot by calling an experienced general contractor in your area, like TWD and be sure to ask if they have a qualified designer on staff. The job of the designer will be to meet with you to learn about your needs, style, and current, as well as future equipment plans. Knowing the specifications of your equipment to ensure proper ventilation and electrical capabilities are essential during the planning phase of your project, as they can determine how many shelves or niches will be needed or fit in the designated area. A designer will also provide you gorgeous finishing options to add character and depth to your wall, such as wood, stone, tile, and glass touches, while being mindful to suggest and select materials that fit within your budget to create the custom wall you are dreaming of.
Will I be upgrading my television soon?
If you have plans to trade your current television in for a larger or newer model in order to really enhance your “football Sundays” or family movie nights, then make sure to mention that to your designer. When drawing up the layout for your new wall, they can make sure to factor in additional space, whether in a niche or as a wall mounted install, so that you can make the switch without much, if any, modifications needed to the wall when the time comes.
Are there particular items I want to store or showcase in my new wall?
Custom media walls are just that, custom! Whether you have a favorite vase, piece of artwork or just wish you had the perfectly lit space for your family photo, your designer will want to factor those ideas into the layout. Adding dimmable lighting above the wall that highlights particular areas or within niches can help set the mood and ambiance for the room. Eyeball lights and other specialty lighting can be included to draw attention to your works of art. If you are a movie buff you might consider specialty pull-out storage to keep your favorite movie collection organized, yet stored away.
Upgrading Your Room With a Custom Media Wall
In times past, the entertainment center seemed to be a mass of electronic gadgets, wires and other items that simply didn’t fit into many living room designs. Today, however, you can get a custom media wall in Phoenix that matches any décor, while seamlessly hiding or disguising your electronics.
Here are just a few of the features you can choose for your drywall entertainment center or custom media wall…
A Beautiful Design
The reason so many people are insisting to install a custom media wall in Phoenix is because it can fit into any décor or architectural style. Let’s be honest, a media wall can look great on paper or in a rendering, however if it does not blend seamlessly into your space it quickly becomes the focal point for the wrong reason. For this reason, the professional design team at TWD will meet with you, not only to see firsthand the available space and theme in your home, but to get to know you and your needs for the wall.
When attentively planned by a professional, a well-designed wall will become the stunning focal point of your room while adding functionality to your space.
Be sure to discuss your pain points about the room. Maybe you don’t have a dedicated space to display your most precious keepsake, vase or the like. Quite possibly, there isn’t enough shelving space for your books, awards, or artwork. Perhaps the unattractiveness of electronic devices and/or cords drives you up the wall. Your custom media wall can solve all of these concerns when they are communicated to your general contractor.
Frosted Glass Doors
If you don’t like seeing your electronics, like the DVR or the receiver, then you’ll want a custom media wall that houses the electronics behind frosted or gray glass doors. Either glass option are ideal solutions because it allows your remote controls to work through the glass, yet they obscures the view so that you and your guests don’t have to look at the electronics. As an added bonus, enclosing the electronics also keeps harmful dust and dirt away from them extending their lifespan.
Ask your general contractor about further options such as tints and films that can be get the perfect look you’re going for.
Open or Floating Shelving
Many Arizona homeowners are avid readers and enjoy having their books out on display, or other knick-knacks for others to see. Open shelving or floating shelves are the perfect way to add storage space in your room, while leaving your items conveniently within reach and on show. Your designer will take into account the width and height of the wall to maximize your storage space with a balanced and aesthetically pleasing design.
While a custom media wall is designed to fit into your décor, it also has another important job: protect your electronics. That’s why custom media walls and entertainment centers are designed to provide adequate ventilation around all your electronics, so that they stay cool and in prime operating condition.
A well-designed media wall should incorporate plenty of additional electrical outlets for your all of your AV equipment needs. Talk to your general contractor about adding pass-through for cords between niches and ways that cords may be concealed, especially for wall-mounted televisions. It’s one small detail that you don’t want to forget.
There are many lighting options that can be incorporate into your media wall, from spot lights, eyeball lights, recessed lighting, up-lights, down-lights, etc. Then comes bulbs and wattage. Do you prefer, or know the difference between LED or CFL? LED uses less energy and has an extremely long life span as well, but is on the pricey side of the comparison. One major pro of LED is that they generate almost no heat or UV rays, which is ideal in enclosed or tight spaces. CFL is more affordable, however not as energy efficient (roughly 10% less than a LED bulb) or as long of a life span. CFL bulbs contain toxic mercury, which does put restrictions on their disposal.
Planning the proper amount of lighting needed in the areas that you’ll need it most is key. If your wall is being designed around showcasing the gorgeous vase or artwork that you have, you’ll want that to be lit up for all to see. Be sure to include lighting on a dimmer switch to create a relaxing atmosphere that you love.
Designing Your Ideal Media Wall
There are numerous reasons for wanting to upgrade your home entertainment center into a gorgeous new media wall. The entertainment or living space in your home is the second most used room that your family hangs out in, right behind your kitchen. So why shouldn’t you have the ideal wall layout that meets your needs? A well designed custom media wall will serve many functions that a standard entertainment center from the big box store cannot and will be designed with only your needs in mind.
What are your needs? Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when designing your new media wall that you definitely need to consider.
What type(s) of equipment do you have now?
Don’t stop there though. What equipment will you have in the future? Making a list of the equipment that you have with sizes and requirements of each can help decipher how many niches that you need and the space they will require in order to provide proper ventilation. Notate necessary items that will need electricity and/or have particular electric requirements, such as a dedicated circuit. Think about how your needs or equipment may change over the next few years. Technology is constantly improving and changing, so you’ll want to have some flexibility in your design should you need to switch out or upgrade a piece of equipment. Leaving this step in the process out could result in improper or insufficient space and the likelihood of overheating. See the list below for ideas to get you started …
- Cable and/or satellite box
- Audio/Surround sound receiver
- Speakers or a sound bar
- Internet Router
- Video game console(s)
- DVD/Blu-Ray player
Do you have any specialty storage needs?
This is a very important step in the design process. Ponder about what will be stored in the media wall. Will you need space for a wall mounted television or will it sit nicely on a shelf? Do you want your prized piece of art work to have a worthy display area making it the focal point of your room? Maybe you need ways to keep your space organized and wish you had pullout shelving for media or music storage. If a fireplace is on your “design must-have” list, where will the accessories, remotes, tools or kindling go?
What types of lighting options do you prefer?
Factoring in recessed or pendant lighting might be what you are thinking, however directional lighting such as eye ball lighting or spotlights might be of benefit if you are showcasing a cherished piece of art or delicate item. Adding up-lighting or down lights on a dimmer switch can help showcase the main points on your wall.
Will you need additional electrical ran?
If you are planning to store AV equipment or other electronic devices in your media niches, having accessible electrical outlets prevents having to connect unsightly cords to a main supply. Worse yet, connecting too many devices to one outlet not only causes clutter, but overload. Will your media wall house a charging station for mobile or other smart devices? Home automation is emerging as a top trend in the remodeling industry, be sure to talk to your electrician or general contractor about any specific needs to support it.
Contemplate which devices or niches will need to have a remote control access.
Or which devices can be fully closed off to remain out of site? Doors can be added to niches in order to hide equipment, though the type of door plays an important role. Magnetic glass doors with a frosted or smoke finish are great solutions for hiding unsightly equipment, while still allowing the device to be operated by remote. Cabinet doors can be used to keep other compartments secure that are not accessed quite as often, like movies or CD’s. Doors with mesh insets are ideal for any storage areas housing speakers that need to let sound out. On the contrary, many Phoenix homeowners prefer open shelving and do not mind seeing their sleek state-of-the-art equipment.
Will your new wall include a fireplace?
There are many types and sizes of fireplace options on the market. Going with a gas, wood or even electronic fireplace, whether compact or up to 100” wide, you can add the perfect ambiance to your room. Lighting kits can be included on your electronic fireplace for various color options to suite your mood. Don’t forget that having an electronic fireplace does come with very specific electrical requirements that will need to be known during the design phase. Be sure to mention to your general contractor if you desire seating in front of your fireplace or a mantle of any sort.
Do you prefer square or rounded corners?
Another important, yet commonly forgotten detail to consider … Think about the feel of your room and style of your home. Going with rounded corner bead for your wall can provide a softer feel, while square bead can play to more of a contemporary look with clean lines.
These are just a few of the ideas to keep in mind when designing the perfect entertainment wall for your needs. Adding items such as molding, stone or a mantle can boost the look of your wall to bring out the personality of your room. No matter your style, a media wall is completely customizable and will soon become the focal point of your room!
Displaying Your New TV in a Custom Media Wall
If you got a new large screen TV or other tech device that needs a home, or if there’s one in your near future, consider installing a new media wall to get the most out of it. An interior designer or remodel contractor can work with you to come up with a layout that fits your room and décor, while meeting your needs. Let’s face it, the avid football fan with a big screen TV that wants to feel like he’s at the game will have different design and television needs than the family with children that live for their video games, and even more so different from the quite couple that enjoys turning the TV on for background noise, but isn’t as interested in the picture quality.
A media wall allows you to display your TV at a height that’s ideal for watching enjoyment and have any of the associated electronics handy, but out of site. There are a few specifications that you’ll want to be mindful of though.
Precise dimensions of the television will be needed to ensure that it does not encroach on any of the shelving or niches. If you have been thinking about upgrading your television, be sure to factor in some extra space to be on the safe side.
How heavy the television is can have an effect on the backing that will need to be added to your way in order to withstand holding the TV safely. Last think you’ll want is your television bringing the drywall off of your wall crashing to the ground or falling through a niche because it was not sufficiently reinforced.
If your design includes the television resting on a shelf, then an actual mount will not be needed. In this instance, you’ll want to plan out the cords and electrical availability within the niche or on the shelf to avoid seeing a mess of wiring in the background though.
For those that prefer a wall-mounted television, you’ll want to purchase one that is rated for your TV’s size and weight. An experienced general contractor will add additional backing to the wall that can withstand holding a TV such as yours. Plans for hidden electrical ran through the wall is key with this layout. No one wants to see cords hanging out or running along an adjacent shelf.
Is An Electric Fireplace Right For You?
Many states and areas have no-burn days prohibiting the use of wood fireplaces, but adding a gas or electric fireplace can change the entire look of your room. With numerous options and features to choose from, take your time to choose the model that’s right for you.
- Recessed versus wall mounted. Either will come with its own set of specifications needed for proper install and ventilation needed.
- Including an electric fireplace in your custom media wall design does come with the need for it to be ran on its own dedicated electrical circuit.
- Heat or non-heat capabilities. Many models will offer air flow operation at your fingertips. You can turn up the heat for cold winter nights or adjust the temperature setting lower for low or no heat, when you still want to enjoy the ambiance of the dancing flame.
- LED or color changing display. The option of changing the color of flame from blues and purples to be reds and orange can have a direct effect on your comfort level and mood in your space.
- Touch screen controls and/or remote control operated. Choosing a model that is not beyond your comfort level to operate is something to be mindful of. If you are not comfortable turning off the fireplace, you may shy away from using it as often as you’d like.
- Electronic fireplaces come in a variety of sizing from your smaller compact units up to even 100” wide. Obviously you’ll want to choose a size and fireplace that compliments your design without over taking the entire space unless that is your intent.
Incorporating Materials To Add Character
The possibilities truly are endless when it comes to creating the ideal design for your entertainment wall. By incorporating materials that speak to you and your style, the look and feel of your wall design will begin to take on more depth and character becoming a gorgeous focal point in your home. Without the help of an experienced remodel contractor that specializes in custom walls, the material choices and coordination can become overwhelming.
PAINT → Main color, accent color(s)
WOOD → Grain, composite, species, stain, painted, glazed, distressed, natural
TILE → Travertine, porcelain, or other
STONE → Natural or man-made, slate, slab, flat, stacked, pebble
MOSAIC → Glass or stone, sheets or individual samples
GLASS → Clear, frosted, tinted, smoked
METAL → Tiles, sheets or corrugated
DRYWALL TEXTURE → Heavy or light, rough or smooth
Within each of these categories (and these are just the most popular ones!) are endless color pairings, tints and shades to decipher between. If you are stressing out over these decisions already, we recommend hiring an knowledgeable remodel contractor that has an on-staff designer to assist you. They have an eye for pairing various textures to give your project the wow factor you’re looking for.
Tip From the Pros
Whether you are choosing materials at a design center, showroom, big box store or the like, ask a trained associate about any required maintenance that will be needed or restrictions on cleaning methods. Selecting a material that needs regular sealing, upkeep or delicate care needs to fit the level of time and effort you want to put forth.
How Much Does A Custom Media Wall Cost?
As you can imagine, there is a tremendous amount of planning when it comes to creating the picture-perfect media wall for your home that meets all of your needs. Often times, we are asked what an average cost is for a custom wall and we find ourselves providing quite the range of budgetary pricing simply because of the vast array of enhancements that can quickly sway the price pendulum one way or the other. To take in the $7,000-$12,000 ballpark price range is difficult to do without knowing (and seeing) what all goes into creating the built-in.
Starting at the beginning in the planning phase of such a project, 30 - 40 or more hours alone can be put into the project by your professional designer. For this reason, a general contractor will require a design retainer contract be signed and paid in order to recoup these necessary labor costs. Your designer will visit your home to take measurements, meet with you to collaborate on ideas and material choices for the project, while getting to know your needs for the space, assist with determining a preliminary budget, and consult with their carpenter and/or other needed subcontractors that will be needed. All of this information is taken into account for the design phase when your designer will produce preliminary designs for the proposed space, along with concepts for the materials, finishes and fixtures. During the review of the initial design, the designer will discuss any alternative approaches to the design or build out process. Revisions or tweaks, if you will, are incorporated per those conversations in order to produce the final concept for your approval. Once approved, a scope of work can then be written detailing out every aspects of your project, the labor and specific material selections in order to determine the cost of the work.
Upon working closely with your designer through the planning and design phase under your retainer contract, the general contractor can then present to you a Construction Contract for the precise work to be carried out with an all-inclusive price for the project. The benefit to this type of lump sum contract pricing is that when allowances or allocations for materials are used, it opens the door for your pricing to increase (and perhaps at a rapid speed!). Think about the last time that you walked into a design showroom of any sorts. You immediately gravitate towards the showcased display that catches your attention or should a sales person on the floor want to show you something, it’s always the latest material that just arrived … and you fall in love! Deep lusting love and begin imagining what it will be like in your home or who is going to be envious of this luxurious item that is like something out of a magazine. The lighting in the showroom has it glistening and calling your name. Of course you will likely not find out that day, but that material choice is over your minimalist allowance that was included in your contract. Now you’ll find yourself at a crossroads. You either have to accept that your contract just increased more than you had planned, or worse yet you have to settle on another lower priced material that is not the one you fell in love with. Either scenario leaves you compromised and unhappy. For that reason, TWD does not price in this manner. We never want any surprises or let downs. We will work with you to create the perfect design with the material choices that you love and be confident and comfortable with your contract amount before anything progresses. That is our guarantee.
To give you an idea of what a construction contract amount could start out at, we’ve put together these helpful preliminary price points based on projects that we’ve done with real Phoenix valley homeowners.
Inclusive of 20’-0” x 10’-0” wall area with drywall floating shelves, electrical relocation as needed, LED lighting, stacked stone accents only and installing a homeowner supplied wall-mount fireplace for a simplistic and clean look …
Starting at $7,500 plus tax.
Inclusive of a multi-dimensional media center with mantle, gorgeous architectural tile accents, LED wall wash lighting around the television area, open glass shelving to add to the modern feel and electrical relocation …
Starting at $7,800 plus tax.
Inclusive of wooden media cabinetry keeping the A/V equipment out of sight, drywall niches appropriately spaced, two tone paint scheme, electrical relocation and lighting in all of the right places …
Starting at $8,500 plus tax.
Inclusive of drywall column and floating shelves, stunning 3-dimentional stone wall, directional lighting and painted to match the incorporated existing media cabinet the homeowner had …
Starting at $9,000 plus tax.
Inclusive of drywall and custom cabinetry niches added around an existing fireplace, smoked glass doors at the A/V niche, beautifully colored stacked stone on the fireplace surround, a custom wood mantle was built by our expert craftsman, LED lighting and electrical relocations …
Starting at $10,000 plus tax.
Inclusive of a 10’-0” x 9’-0” media center area with multi-tiered drywall shelving, a new 40” electric fireplace, and relocation of electrical as needed, a dedicated electrical circuit for the fireplace and LED lighting …
Starting at $11,000 plus tax.
Inclusive of an exquisite 100” Modern Flames Electrica fireplace with a dedicated electrical circuit to create the ideal ambiance for any occasion, drywall floating shelves, an oversized tile fireplace mantle, recessed television niche, LED lighting and electrical relocations all make for a stunning wall …
Starting at $15,000 plus tax.
Inclusive of a 18’-0” x 10’-0” media center area with horizontal display shelves, an attractive 60” LED electric fireplace with a dedicated electrical circuit, bold cultured stone accents, a recessed A/V niche with smoked glass doors, LED lighting and electrical relocations for a warm inviting feel …
Starting at $15,000 plus tax.
Inclusive of a 16’-0” x 10’-0” media wall with a state-of-the-art 80” electric fireplace surrounded by striking stacked stone, galvanized steel wrapped horizontal shelves, mounted supplied television, LED lighting, rich accent paint, electrical relocation and a dedicated electrical circuit for the fireplace turn this custom media wall into a work of art.
Starting at $18,000 plus tax.
A custom media wall is just that, custom. No two are alike because they are designed with your needs and style in mind to seamlessly be built in any room. A southwestern flair, modern simple lines or rustic industrial elements can be incorporated to bring out the charm of your home.
When you’re ready to begin exploring the possibilities, give TWD a call or visit our website for more information and to view our project portfolio. We’ve been serving the Greater Phoenix area since 1996 building our reputation one customer at a time. Our on-staff design team is here to walk you through the entire process for a gorgeous final reveal.