Entertaining at home

More and more people – from young families to empty nesters – are having fun by staying at home. This process of “cocooning,” rather than dressing up and going out on the town, has led to many interesting advice websites and columns, such as this one – 32 Stay-at-Home Date Ideas.

Having a great time at home is easier and more fun when there are special areas of the house that are dedicated to home entertainment. Three of the most popular entertainment spaces are media rooms, wine cellars, and outdoor entertainment areas. In each of these spaces, including brick construction can greatly enhance their look, feel and sound.

The Media Room – It's More Than Lights, Camera and Action!

The old days of a home theatre room consisting of a projector, screen and a couple of comfortable chairs are long gone. Today’s media room has a dazzling array of high technology that can challenge the sensory experience of any commercial movie theatre.

For example, multiple flat screen panels are now a part of many home theatre rooms. This allows the homeowner to watch multiple channels simultaneously. Needless to say, this advantage is not lost on sports fans who need to know the current status of several games at the same time. When an additional large, ceiling-installed screen is included in this system, it can be pulled down to cover the flat screens and movies can be projected on it.

Home theaters now can play content from media-streaming devices, such as Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire. As this website notes, “These devices, which you can connect to your A/V receiver or matrix switch, distribute a wide variety of streaming services that you can directly watch from your home theater projection screen. That means you can watch YouTube and Netflix content – and even live streams – in a theater.”

Many families love to interact with social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, while watching high-profile broadcasts, such as awards shows and sporting events. This capability is included in many contemporary home theatre rooms.

Voice control of this entertainment room is also becoming a part of many systems. This means that voice control devices, such as Amazon’s Echo, can be integrated into the search function of the online and broadcast media of the room.

“Brick walls enhance high-tech media rooms in two ways,” said Jacob Emery of Acme Brick. “From an aesthetic standpoint, there is nothing quite like the richness of color and warmth found in brick. This traditional look is a nice visual counterpoint to media technology. In some home theatre rooms, thin brick is used as an accent wall to give the room a unique look.

“As a practical matter, brick can help with the acoustics of the home theatre. With brick construction, outside noise is kept out, and the inside volume of loud sporting events (and enthusiastic fans) and movies are kept inside the room.”

A Wine Cellar – A Cozy Place for a Couple and the Vino

Having a wonderful “date night” at home can be greatly enhanced with an intimate dinner in a cozy wine cellar. This also has the advantage of reducing the number of steps necessary to open that next bottle of wine!

Brick wine cellars have been used by homeowners and restaurants for centuries because of their quality of insulation. Dramatic variations of heat and cold, which can wreak havoc on wine, can be minimized and humidity held at a consistent level when brick construction is combined with temperature and humidity control devices.

“For wine cellars, brick is often used for the walls and the floor,” noted Emery. “In addition to providing protection from the environmental elements for these, often expensive, bottles of wine, the rich patina of brick gives the room a rustic look and adds to the visual tranquility of shelving and wine bottles.”

An Outdoor Space – Where Entertaining Is a Breeze

Outdoor entertainment spaces are on the wish lists of many homeowners who would rather entertain friends and family at home than go out. They add another “living room” to the home and, depending on the climate where the home is located, these outdoor kitchens, dining areas, media areas, and conversation nooks can be enjoyed virtually year around.

“The durability and low maintenance of brick make it an excellent choice for these outdoor entertainment spaces,” said Embry. “There is no better material than brick for outside fireplaces, pizza ovens, and built-in grills and stoves. When outdoor entertainment space is coordinated with the look of the exterior brick, the effect can be stunning. It gives the homeowner another great space to enjoy their home.

“There is also a practical advantage of incorporating brick in these entertainment spaces. Brick construction enhances the value of the home, and this has a very positive impact when it is resold.”

If you are considering building entertainment spaces in your home, contact us for ideas on how you can incorporate brick.