July 23, 2007
Now that the walls have fallen and construction is starting in earnest, we are beginning to feel the pressure to make some smaller, but key decisions.
In the billiard room we need to figure out where a flat screen TV might go so we can nail down where our lights go. There are two obvious places: on the narrow/far wall, or on the wider/near wall.
In addition, we are restoring an antique gas/electric fixture for the pool table. If playing cards the near wall might be better…if hanging out on the seating area by the window the far wall might be better. Any thoughts out there?
Also, we've debated whether to have sconces on the walls in the entryway plus going up the staircase, versus a chandelier in the well of the stairs or in the main entryway. This decision will impact what types of fixtures we lean towards in the living and dining rooms. We are leaning towards sconces so that we draw more focus to the great woodwork. Take a look at this picture…any comments appreciated!
And our kitchen lighting has been quite a complex operation. Maddy is would like to use an antique fixture as the centerpiece of the room. That requires us to think about other fixtures that are appropriate for each part of the room—such as pendants over the island—without competing with the major focus.
Our lighting designer, Susan Arnold from Wolfers, has been a great help, but the devil is in the details! While I thought we'd tackle these decisions later, resolving the lighting selection and placement now while the walls are open will minimize re-work later. Plus, the sooner it is done, the less time Maddy will be surfing the net at 2 am for those elusive fixtures!
photo by Anthony Tieuli
(20) CommentsComment on this Blog
Regarding the TV placement, I would be most concerned with the light coming in from the window. Unless you have some nifty (and expensive) automatic blinds, if you put the TV on the wall opposite the window, when the sun shines in your tv will get all washed out. If you mostly plan on using the TV at night, then you also need to keep in mind where the lights are. There is nothing worse than realizing that there is a reflection of a bright light smack in the center of the TV when you're sitting in your favorite spot.
If you are interested in highlighting the woodwork of the stairs, then maybe consider low voltage floods aimed at the stairs. Put some in the ceiling of the stairwell, and some low on the right hand side stairwell wall aimed at the raised panels (or wall washers). Use recessed wall washers for the rest of the woodwork in the entry. Then I would use some small gas lamp replica wall lights (using low wattage lamps for a light yellow glow) for accent pieces in entry and stairs.
To me the walls are very dark but then most billard rooms are for some reason. Placement for the flat screen needs to be away flying billiard balls and that is based on the size of the room. Will there be a different sitting area than the window seats? Which you prob said and I didn't pay attention, hope I gave you a few things to think about!
On TV placement - If it's possible, I think the best spot might be the side where you took the photo. A pool shot from the side rail of the table could possibly go careening into the side wall and into your TV, as the previous poster mentioned. I'm a fair hand at the game, and while I might not do it often, sooner or later someone makes a mistake. At least going down the length of the table, you have a decent chance of the floor or wall getting the ding, and not the TV. I'd say the far wall is out, since the light will be coming through the windows. So that leaves where you took the photo, in my opinion.
Also, I take it you won't be putting the traditional low hung, green glass shaded lamps in. Your view across the room shouldn't be too bad.
I'd go with the wall sconces, or maybe both - but a chandelier's usually don't give off enough light for my taste.
Great points on the lights and reflection. We'll probably have to drop shades if too light outside. Being sensitive to light placement (and controls) is a good tip as well.
Low voltage floods aimed at the stairs is intriguing. We are thinking of recessed wall washers as you come in, and I like your overall ideas about accenting. Thanks!
Thanks for bringing up the flying balls...I broke a window trying to jump balls when in college, so I am sure my youngsters aren't too far away from that! So we might need to think about protecting TV with doors if close to table.
There is a different seating area...basically from where the picture was taken. There is a window there and a closet on the other side. The house tour has a picture that shows most of that, and we're beginning to think that that might be a viable option.
As for color, we're going to remove old wallpaper and paint. Thinking of colors now (any ideas?), but will take our cue (no pun intended :) from the green on the pool table for the room.
Thanks much for your comments!
We are begining to think that the side where the photo was taken might work. There's another photo on the house tour that shows the area - it's tricky, though, because there's a window and a closet, but flying pool balls are starting to worry me!
Originally, we were not thinking of a traditinal pool table fixture. But the home came with a period-appropriate, antique gas-electric pool table fixture, which we are going to restore. This obscures viewing a TV from anywhere in the room, but makes it more of a pool room with other stuff than a rec room with a pool table. The picture shows the fixture we are going to restore.
Otherwise, we are leaning towards wall-sconces. Hadn't thought about lack of light from chandeliers, but good consieration.
Thanks much for your great comments!
Why not hide the TV under a piece of furniture and have it come up out of the floor on electric lifts? Neat
Electric lifts are interesting - we saw a lift for a cover in George Mabry's home in Cambridge. Not a bad idea, but it would impact budget and is also something we could consider later. We'd still have to figure out where it would be best placed. I suppose we could consider something coming down from ceiling as well, if we ever got to that point. Might be easier since it would come from attic. Thanks for the idea!
Hi I have an idea to protect your t.v. that is low cost and should look o.k.. I was in a bank a few days ago and they have a widescreen t.v. there where they show bank advertisements. They had used plexiglass to protect the screen from damage. They had a wooden backer board to which they had fastened the t.v. and then they used extension rods that allowed the plexiglass to be attached to the front of the screen. These extension rods were like tubes that allowed special screws to be fastened. I am not sure how something like that would look in your pool room but if you want a t.v. there you need to protect it somehow. Have you thought of maybe getting a bracket that would keep your t.v. up high close to the ceiling? That would look good there and maybe even better than the cover. I agree with the other posters about the windows and the lights. Good luck!
I think that using plexiglass is a great idea if we are thinking of using the far or near wall. That would preclude the need to build a protective cabinet, which wouldn't provide protection when we are playing. Thanks for the great idea!
I had a thought about the TV in the Pool Room. Instead of a wall mounted flat screen TV, why not a ceiling mounted projection unit. You could use a computer style projection unit that has an S-video input. The TV tuner could be a surround sound unit in a small cabinet in the corner out of the way. Your screen could be painted on the wall. When not in use, the screen could be hidden with a set of curtains.
Cieling mounted is an interesting idea, and might actually provide more flexibility in the long run. It's a little tricky because of the light fixture in the middle, though. Maddy is not too keen on this...I can keep her out of the man cave only so much! Anyway, definitely a good idea for keeping main circuitry in a cabinet or otherwise out of the way Thanks for your comments!
Some of the pojection units very small, and have geometry adjustments. You could mount it in a recess in the ceiling, so that most of the unit is out of sight. A small three sided cover could go over the rest of the unit. Or if you are not dead set on the hanging light over the pool table, you could mount it in that area with a decorative box over it that also holds three low voltage spots for the pool table.
Thanks for the follow up. At this point we are going to go forward with the light. Interesting thought about recessing, especially since attic is above.
Personally, I think the hallway will feel that it's missing something without a hanging chandelier. It's not only traditional, but it balances out the upward sweep of the staircase. Also, that's a great place for a gorgeous rug, which you won't see very well with only sconce lighting.
Great to hear you're restoring the billiard lamp! Speaking of colors for that room--wallpaper is actually making a huge comeback, not in the countrified grandma styles, but in very modern, fresh approaches. Something to think about. You've got a lot of wall to cover in that house!
Since your room has enough light to have problems with reflection, I highly recommend that you buy an LCD rather than a plasma screen. Our LCD is in a very bright room with the light from a bank of windows shining on it and the color and picture quality are excellent during the day even with the blinds open. Any reflective surface (such as that on a plasma screen or the protective plexiglass being recommended) will detract from the quality of your picture. P. S. I love your house.
I love the grand staircase and although it doesn't appear you had one, have you thought about a newel post light? Our shingled cottage was built in 1915 on a 1896 design. Ours is not as grand as your home, we had to redo everything including adding back woodwork,a 2 year retoration. We do like our newelpost light and it makes a great nightlight. We use amber bulbs in it and it adds a warm glow.