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Beautiful Persuasion Home Theater

July 24, 2009 By Brooke Lange

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Beautiful Persuasion Home Theater - The 3-inch-thick, diamond-tufted acoustical wall panels are padded with recycled, eco-friendly cotton insulation.
Beautiful Persuasion Home Theater
Beautiful Persuasion Home Theater - The CineBar anchors one end of the gallery.
Beautiful Persuasion Home Theater
Beautiful Persuasion Home Theater

In a battle of the sexes, a wife convinced her husband that building a home theater will light up their lives.

Take an on-the-street survey in terms of which sex will do anything to own a breathtaking home theater.

It’s always the man, right? He’s the one who craves “the cave,” pimped out with stellar A/V gear. Convincing the woman to sign on is the tricky part, right?


Beautiful Persuasion Home Theater - The 3-inch-thick, diamond-tufted acoustical wall panels are padded with recycled, eco-friendly cotton insulation.

“She’s the movie freak,” says homeowner David Markin of his wife, Tracy. “I thought a home theater wasn’t something we’d use and the expense wouldn’t be worth the usage.”

“I always wanted a great media room with a great screen and great sound,” Tracy counters, admitting that she already had the perfect room in mind before her hubby gave her the official “yes.” The space: a spare bedroom that was basically used for storage.

“A project like this is overwhelming,” she continues. “I didn’t know where to start— where to put the speakers, the equipment. So we didn’t do anything for a long time.”

Enter the mother-in-law. Interior designer Carol Kamenstein knew about her daughter’s hankering for a home theater. So Mom started researching luxurious theater seating.

Soon enough, she stumbled upon Jeffrey Smith’s CineLoungers—an artistically designed, customizable line of plush theater chairs that includes 30 different designs.

Enter Smith, owner of First Impressions Theme Theatres Inc., North Miami’s renowned theater design firm. With 24 years of theater design under his belt, Smith knew the scenario could turn ugly fast: The women were working behind the scenes to cajole the husband into investing in a home theater.

Of course, there was more to the story than that. After digging a little deeper, Smith uncovered two more plot twists: The husband’s entire collection of taxicab-themed framed art and model taxis—much of which was amassed before he was married—was proudly on display in the soon-to-be-demolished spare bedroom. The second collection included a large assortment of luggage in various sizes and shapes, all of which was residing in the bedroom closet.

Beautiful Persuasion Home Theater

Understandably, the husband maintained that his art collection had to stay. (He originally wanted the art work to line the theater’s walls.) The luggage couldn’t be evicted, either.

“Why can’t we create two spaces—a beautiful gallery entrance with proper lighting and a home theater?” Smith remembers thinking, adding that he knowingly plays referee and/or marriage counselor when it comes to the battle of the sexes and home theater design. “That’s how we sold it: a gallery and a theater—champagne, finger foods, and then go into the auditorium.”

“Jeff made it all so easy,” Tracy says, adding that the couple’s previous media rooms weren’t intuitive to use. “This home theater is so simple to operate. [Audiovisual systems] don’t work half the time, or it’s hard to play DVDs. My husband can watch DVDs or TV, and he can operate it all himself.”


Brooke...this is an awesome home theater. I wish i had one at my home. Thanks for such inspiring ideas.

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