Some prefer to entertain formally; others thrive on deep, life-giving conversation with a few close friends; and some prefer topical get-togethers such as book clubs and study groups. But when it’s Friday night, after a particularly trying week, you really appreciate an invitation to a fun night at Maggie’s house!
“Maggie” is the name we gave to one of the four primary personas in our Finally About Me® design personas, which are uncannily accurate in identifying what people prioritize in their homes. Energized by being around other people, Maggies don’t tend to take life too seriously and are focused on fun, which is one of the reasons they’re so popular – they’re fun people to be with! Regardless of which of the four personas best describes you, we can all learn from Maggie when it comes to home design for fun-filled entertaining.
Where does the big-screen TV go? Maggies actually have a difficult time seeing themselves living in a particular home until this question is answered, because media-related entertaining is super-important for Maggie. More evident in modest-size homes, this can become a bit more important when you enter directly into the home’s primary entertaining space and the only pathway through the home involves interrupting viewers’ line of sight of the TV.
It could be the hottest must-see show or the Super Bowl. The Bloom (plan #29303) provides a traditional front entry hall to help direct traffic. Most people will put the big TV above the fireplace, though we sometimes hear complaints that such a viewing angle is uncomfortably high, inducing a sore neck.
Slightly larger in square footage, the Greenwich (plan #8621) provides space for your big screen TV alongside the fireplace in the family room. But by design, that family room doubles as a hallway, meaning everyone entering or leaving the home via the front door will interrupt TV viewers’ line of sight.
A companion issue to where the big TV goes may be related storage for associated electronics, from sound systems to game consoles. Preferred by some home buyers, built-in storage may be open shelving, discretely placed within cabinetry, or a combination of the two. But due to today’s wireless technology, which do not require line of sight, audio/electronics closets have sprung up in many homes.
Then there are noise issues, whether your sound system is too loud, or other things in your home are too loud to enjoy that TV. If your island contains the sink and dishwasher, since there is no full wall for the dishwasher to back up to and help absorb its noise level, you may want to invest in a quieter dishwasher if that island is open to your entertaining space. If that TV and speakers/sound bar are mounted on the wall shared with your bedroom and your spouse wants to rest, you may want to talk to your builder about various soundproofing measures that can be taken to reduce sound transfer through that wall.
The Revenna Springs (plan #35079) suggests built-ins on either side of the fireplace, a traditional approach when the TV will go above the fireplace. Or, the TV may be mounted directly above one of those built-ins. Notice also there is an audio closet off the hallway leading into the family room providing space for the necessary electronics, yet not necessarily right next to the big screen. And, that island sink and dishwasher are open to the family room. This is the time to spend more money to get a quiet dishwasher, so you don’t have to go elsewhere in the home to enjoy movies while washing dishes.
Finished Basements. In many households, and especially homes with an upstairs and a downstairs, two separate entertaining areas are essential. It could be a billiards room downstairs in a finished lower level and the great room on the main floor. It could be a finished room over the garage for the kids’ gaming, minimizing the noise interruption of your first-floor socializing. It could even be a separate main floor gathering area for your mom and her friends while you have neighbors over for a cookout.
The Tollefson V (plan #42155FB) is an entertainer’s dream! The main floor (below left) is wide open with spacious rooms to handle larger gatherings. Downstairs (below right), there is another full kitchen and eating area, which will likely double as your game table. The family room is spacious enough for air hockey and Foosball, or your kids’ video game tournament with all their friends. There is even a dedicated home theater, which can receive special attention when it comes to soundproofing. If building on a basement foundation, how much of that space will you finish off for entertaining?
Outdoor Audio-Visual. While outdoor entertaining was the topic last time, we want to touch on the fun of outdoor audio and video entertaining here. In case you haven’t kept up, there are numerous exterior solutions for big screen TVs, from all-weather cabinets to amazing weather-tight outdoor hi-def TVs in a range of sizes. Where, on your covered porch/deck/loggia/patio will you mount the TV to avoid sun glare washing out the picture? Outdoor TV brightness capabilities vary, all the way up to TVs that can be used in direct sunlight, but as of the time this article was written, an electronics store was selling 55” outdoor TV’s for $2,000 rated for “full shade,” while the same brand 55” TV rated for “full sun” was priced at over $5,700.
Some people are content with just having their favorite tunes playing. Is your preference to install speakers? If so, will power need to be run to those speakers? Or would you be happier relying on battery powered wireless speakers paired to your smart device?
Livability at a Glance™ is our proprietary color-coded floor plan system that highlights four different lenses especially important to women: Entertaining, De-stressing, Storing, and Flexible Living. Discover your Lifestyle Profile by taking our Livability at a Glance Quiz.
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