You say your next project is going to be: A Man Cave… but where do you begin? What is the ubiquitous “man cave” anyway? Maybe you’re after more of a “Music and Movie Room” or for that matter a “Family Media Room”- after all, watching movies or sports is really more of a family and friends event.    A Media Room can take on many forms, from a dedicated basement space to watch blockbuster films, to a shared kitchen and family room where friends and family can gather to watch a game. Many systems are discretely fitted into a space with nary a gadget in sight, while other designs will showcase exotic equipment that begs to be the focal point in a room. So, now that you know you want to do something, but you’re not sure what… it’s time to call in Jim Richardson from R.S. Media and the collaborative design experts from City Sense!

If your priorities lean toward a great game, finger foods, and lots of family and friends to cheer with, your Kitchen and its proximity may be one of the most important considerations. Nobody wants to be alone in the kitchen preparing appetizers and drinks while all your guests are in another room enjoying the game. A large, open concept is perfect for this type of entertaining. A combined kitchen and family room that allows for a free flow of food, drink, and interaction will keep everyone involved and entertained. A larger TV and a great sound system will be sure everyone engaged in the action. When the game is done, a discreet system that is executed with on-wall speakers from British manufacturer Monitor Audio that are disguised as artwork will “disappear” and allow the room to transition to casual music listening while dessert is served. Instead of a “Man Cave”, a well-planned kitchen and family room renovation by the team at City Sense can become the multipurpose entertaining hub of your home for everyone to enjoy.

If you are a box office fanatic yearning for the next blockbuster release, you may need a bigger “fix”! Nothing beats a 110” screen with a statement level surround system for movie mayhem. The key to pulling off a great movie escape is the collaborative planning and experience the City Sense team brings to your project. Room layout, sight lines, light control, acoustic treatment, and furniture placement are all critical when the goal is to take your breath away. Equipment selection and speaker choice are made to maximize the impact or your space. The good news is that you don’t have to know any of the “tech”, you just get to retreat to a different time or place… in your own screening room that will make commercial theaters jealous. Just don’t call it a “Man Cave”!

A hallmark of the best system designs will be simple and intuitive operation for the whole family. If it takes 5 remotes and an engineering degree to watch TV, nobody will be happy! A single remote with a button that allows you to watch your favorite program at the end of a hard day at work is priceless. The big box stores can sell you a TV, other stores can sell you speakers- But nobody in the Rochester area takes such a “holistic” approach to your user experience as our lead technology designer, Jim Richardson. Your friends will be amazed at your “technical prowess” as you go from watching a game to putting on a movie- but only you will know the City Sense magic behind the simple operation!

Maybe your “Man Cave” should be more like the Cavern Club. They are even making turntables again- are they crazy? Not at all! There is a “rebirth” in music playback bringing joy to a new generation, and bringing back special memories to others. Music in the home has made a comeback, but there are two evolving camps with unique goals.

One method of delivering your favorite music is great for the whole family and even better for entertaining. Whole house music with Sonos has revolutionized the industry with an affordable and easy to use system that can be retrofitted into existing homes. High speed Internet access and Wi-Fi networking now allow Sonos to bring music from around the world into every room in (and even outside) your home. Families can play different types of music in different areas, pulling in music from both free and pay services like Pandora Radio. You can even cue up your favorite songs from your smartphone while you watch the kids in the pool. Rochester’s home town technology experts at City Sense can help you with your Wi-Fi network and your new Sonos system, teaching you the secrets of the system and unleashing a world of music into every corner of your home.

The other camp of music listeners is after a more intimate, personal, and even tactile music experience. Turntables are on the rise, and are now spinning vinyl for a new generation and communicating the artist’s message in a way many have never heard before. There is an organic element to a record that can’t be imitated, and a joy in rediscovering lost times though artwork and liner notes that simply don’t exist on an iPod playlist. There is also a wealth of new and previously released music that has been mastered in high resolution. You can think of it as the difference between your 27” tube TV and the new High Definition flat screens. These new recordings put you in front of the performers with breathtaking realism, and you find yourself listening through entire albums discovering details you never heard before in your favorite songs. High resolution digital and vinyl can both be played through traditional speakers, but many listeners are opting to add headphones to connect more intimately and carry on listening sessions late into the night. American manufacturer Grado has established itself as offering some of the best sounding reference headphones on the market, and the new Grados are available at City Sense along with U-Turn Turntables and Parasound Electronics- just ask for Jim!

Movies, the big game, your favorite album… Whatever your priorities are, the City Sense design team can tailor a technology solution for you that fits your style and is intuitive to use. Your new system may be house-wide, dedicated to a new space, or even your own personal listening system with a new leather chair in the corner of your den… So, a “man cave” it really isn’t, but we know what you meant!

– City Sense is Rochester’s best resource for home design, combining the talent from the area’s premier designers and artisans into your personal home dream team!