Article by Vivion O’Kelly
Today’s entertainment room is a wonderful world of its own.
Chilling is a relatively new word. It may grate on the ears of the older folks for whom it means placing a bottle of white wine in a fridge, but it is, nevertheless, a useful addition to our language. It means getting away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world and relaxing, and it’s something we should all take very seriously in today’s world. The best architects in the world take it seriously, and design accordingly. This is how the entertainment room was born.
The Americans, as always, got to it a long time before we did. They call it a man cave, but Americans, as we all know, are at a different time-scale of evolution. They like to sit back with beer and statistics in hand and watch helmeted men in unseemly tight pants move a yard or two at a time up and down a pitch while they throw an oval ball at each other and knock each other’s brain out of kilter when somebody catches it, and we like to sip our beers and watch men in short pants and striped jerseys chase a ball around a bigger pitch and throw themselves to the ground in agony when other players come close and shout at referees who hand out yellow cards for doing so. Each to his own and vive la différence.
We left our caves a long time ago, and we call them entertainment rooms. The difference, of course, is that our entertainment rooms are for all the family, and perhaps surprisingly for Americans, for all the family at the same time. And our entertainment rooms are a lot more sophisticated than the traditional man cave with trophies on the wall and a pool table in the middle. We sometimes drink wine in them.
The inspiration for this themed entertainment room came from the movie Gangster Squad. The client, an art deco fan, fell in love with the club, Slapsie Maxie’s, that was featured in the movie. He loved it so much that he wanted it recreated in his basement.
But on a more serious note, the entertainment room of the 21st century on both sides of the pond has become an essential part of good living, and all BRIGHT homes always include such an option. At its least, this is a space to escape to in comfort when the going gets rough, and at its best, it becomes the heart and soul of the house, where different members of the same family, or group of friends, can do exactly what they like when they like, whether playing computer games or real games, watching television, listening to music or doing all those things that former generations might have considered slightly hedonistic.
The entertainment room is this villa is just over 500 m2 and boasts a cinema area that seats up to 14 people, a sports bar, a DJ booth, VIP seating areas, a designer pool table and a state-of-the-art golf simulator where you can play any course in the world. This is Villa Alcuzcuz.
And this is what it’s all about. In a world where the enjoyment of simple pleasures can too often be spoiled by feelings of guilt, the entertainment room is a place for innocent pleasure that does nobody any harm. Quite the contrary, in fact. The entertainment room, at its most basic, is the ideal place for all members of the family to store their toys and play with them without disturbing anyone anywhere else in the house.
Entertainment rooms are anything but basic these days, and if, in the past, they were little more than storage space for adult toys and pool tables, they are a great deal more than that now. The first big change was one of attitude: recognizing the need for such a space in a house, and designing it for this purpose only. Just as tea can be made in a coffee pot, the entertainment room can be used for purposes other than entertainment, but in recent years, architects have begun to realize that this is a space which, if properly designed from the start, can be an essential part of a home design rather than an extra.
Today’s bodega isn’t just about storing wine, it’s about creating a feature wall and a comfortable space where you can enjoy spending time.
Looking at these photographs, one can see clearly that these rooms, each in its own way, are masterpieces of interior design, and for a great designer, the interior design of a house begins long before its foundations are laid. As we can see here, all of these entertainment rooms are as well-designed and luxurious as any top club or hotel lounge, some of them even looking as if they had come out of the pages of a book on ocean liners in their heyday.
Jason Harris, CEO and Creative Director of UDesign, tells us about the evolution of the entertainment room in this part of the world. “In Spain, when they build huge houses they start with large basements and build the house on top…so they have huge basement spaces that they must then think about filling. You might have one or two cars, but unless you’re a collector, to have a 600-square-metre garage doesn’t make sense…they started creating private cinema rooms in them, but the novelty soon wore off. It was just a big room with lots of chairs and sofas, and a very cold atmosphere.”
All changed with the advent of flatscreen televisions, online entertainment and an emerging realization that staying at home could be the new going out. Purpose built cinema rooms and basement pool rooms became a thing of the past, and developed into part of the highly sophisticated entertainment room that we now have, designed in every detail for one purpose in mind: having fun. And in a world where fun is beginning to mean less going out and more staying in, the architecture of the contemporary luxury home is re-defining the very concept of fun.
All entertainment rooms in this feature have been designed by UDesign and developed by BRIGHT. Contact us for more information.