Home Theater

Ultimate Makeover: Michigan Integrator Helps Home Gym Transform Into a Home Theater

Automation Design + Entertainment flexes its integration muscle to turn a 3,500-square-foot home gym into an Elan controlled home theater.

Ultimate Makeover: Michigan Integrator Helps Home Gym Transform Into a Home Theater
This converted home gym is now a fully functioning home theater featuring Lutron lighting, Elan touchpanels, and more.

Photos & Slideshow

Lisa Montgomery · April 25, 2019

There’s a lot you can do with 3,500 square feet: massive rec room, headquarters for a business endeavor, apartment for a college graduate now living at home. When given the opportunity to use that spacious real estate for a home theater, Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Automation Design + Entertainment counted it as a blessing.

This was not a bare, blank-slate kind of a project, however. Occupying the area was a home gym—with a hallway running through the middle of it. Challenge accepted.

To modify the space into something more fitting for a theater, in the hallway he installed custom barn doors that slide open to reveal a Craftsman-style home theater complemented with a bar and lounge area.

“Starting out this project, we knew that the layout of the space was going to be a challenge,” says Peter Cook, president of Automation Design + Entertainment.

New Theater Features Lutron Lighting, Security System, More

With that hurdle cleared, Cook was able to concentrate on controls for new home theater. A dealer for Elan, Cook recommended the company’s g1 System Controller.

The Elan app on smartphones and tablets, as well as several strategically placed Elan touchpanels, would give the owners control over the home theater gear, Lutron lighting system, plus surveillance cameras, security system, A/V and lighting in other areas of the home.

An Elan S1616A Multi-Zone Audio Matrix/Amplifier was also added to allow for the tailoring of sound to match each listening zone’s unique acoustic environment.

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A variety of lighting elements—all controlled by Lutron—complement each environment, too.

In the theater are rise step lights, proscenium sconces, backlighting for the 2.35:1 screen that’s fed by a 4K projector, two zones of can lighting for the upper and lower levels, walkway lighting, plus cove lighting that casts black-light onto the theater’s signature feature—a custom-painted mural of the constellations.

Lastly, Cook ensured that the equipment of the theater would stay in mint condition by protecting it from outages and power surges with a Furman F1500 UPS battery backup.

Take a look at the slideshow to see more photos of the new home theater! 



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  About the Author

Lisa Montgomery has been a member of the CE Pro and Electronic House editorial teams for nearly 20 years; most of that time as the Editor of Electronic House. With a knack for explaining complex high-tech topics in terms that average consumers can understand, her style of writing resonates with people who are interested in adding electronic systems to their homes, but are unsure of the steps involved and the solutions available. From basic lighting control systems to full-blown automation systems, Lisa understands the home electronics market well, and is able to point consumers in the right direction on their quest for a smarter, more convenient, efficient and enjoyable home. Over the years, she has developed close relationships with key manufacturers and seasoned custom electronics professionals, giving her a keen sense of what home technologies are hot now and what is on the horizon. She shares this wisdom regularly through feature stories, product roundups, case studies technology spotlights and comprehensive guides and books. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Lisa at lisa.montgomery@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics


Home Theater · Projectors & Screens · Control & Automation · Automation · Lighting · Security · Projects · Media · Slideshow · 4K · Elan · Furman · Lutron · All Topics
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