Themed Home Theaters

Written by James Helliwell

Many families have looked into building home theaters as a great way to provide the ultimate television and movie watching experience for the family and for when guests come over. Move theater style seats, huge projection screens or televisions, and top of the line sound systems are all purchased in an attempt to get a great home theater. However, for people who want to go above and beyond in their home theater, there are themed home theaters. Themed home theaters are a great way for people to really set their home theater above the rest, and provide a truly impressive home theater experience.

There are several ways to go about creating a themed home theater. First, you must decide on a theme. There are many potential themes available. When selecting one, consider who you’ll be sharing your home theater seating with, and what type of things will be viewed most. For example, if you typically use your home theater for sporting events and have your friends over to watch the game, consider having a sports themed home theater. You could deck out the entire room including the seats with logos from your favorite team or teams, so the entire room is a complete dedication and representation that you’re a huge fan. This is a great way to truly enjoy a game, as you’re surrounded with support for your favorite team. Another option is to make the home theater resemble a sporting venue. For example, you could paint the walls in murals to resemble a baseball field or football stadium. You could also arrange for custom theater seats to be more like seats at a sporting event. This would really enhance the experience of watching a game, as it would seem like you’re actually at the event.

If your home theater is typically going to be used by your kids and their friends, you’ll likely want a theme aimed at younger children. Consider having characters from their favorite movie or TV show all over the room. Another option is to have several characters from different shows. This helps the kids feel like they’re completely surrounded by the show or movie, with characters and items from movies surrounding them.

You can also do a theme that’s completely unrelated to movies or television, but that helps enhance the home theater experience in general. For example, having a beach or tropical theme can be a great way to help your home theater ”take you away”. The walls could be painted to look like a beach, and decorations could be beach themed to add to the room. This way, no matter what you happen to be watching, you’ll always feel like you’re on vacation. If you don’t like the beach, you can do the same thing with a mountain view, a forest, or any other type of location that you enjoy and would like to spend more time in.

No matter what theme you decide on, you can be sure that having a theme is a great way to make your home theater even better, and set it apart from everyone else’s. Having a themed home theater ensures that you will truly enjoy your entertainment experience, and every time you use your home theater, it will be absolutely incredible.

Fresh water and poo shouldn’t mix

I went to the local aquarium the other day. Among the fishes and corals they had a big tank with a toilet seat standing in the middle, big dull looking fishes swimming around it. A sign next to the tank said that the capacity of the tank was 30 000 litres, equal to the amout of water a two-person household uses every year flushing toilet. People are using fresh water to dispose human waste. That’s a a lot, especially in this world of climate change and warming temperatures. Soon fresh water will be a scarcity – it already is in some areas.

A long time ago a solution was posted on Normal Room. The image showed a combined toilet/sink. The water used in washing hands went straight to the toilet’s water container, and was then used to flush the toilet. Excellent – no problem flushing the turdies with dirty water! The photo was posted from Japan, so I assume that it’s a japanese invention. That naturally doesn’t surprise anyone, I believe. That kinda combination is also a great way to save precious space in bathrooms.

A toilet seat in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa, Japan

Interior design (or no-design) is the new rock’n’roll?


I believe it was Johnny Rotten who once said that the purpose of rock’n’roll is to deepen the generation gap. It’s not like it use to be anymore. Rock’n’roll doesn’t shock anyone. Middle aged people don’t even get shocked by death metal, or violent gangsta rap. The ones who are now in their sixties grew up with the Stones and Led Zeppelin. They’ve seen it all, the holy trinity of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. There’s nothing so disturbing that could be used as a tool to voice generations frustration and anger. Except one thing – actual filth and dirt. Even though todays parents in their youth have spent their friday evenings hanging out in sleezy clubs listening to noise and thumping and consuming all kinds of illegal and legal products, they still want to keep their homes nice and tidy. A home needs to be in order. But look at the photo below. This decoration definitely is repulsive to the older ones! This is today’s punk and grunge and whatever. Pure rebellion. You over 40, admit it, you don’t want this to be your home? Just an idea of it makes you feel sick, Just like Johnny Rotten screaming ”God save the Queen, she ain’t no human being” made your parents feel ill.

A living room!

Bed quotes, part 2

What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.

– Bob Dylan

I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.

– Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s no treat being in bed with me.

– Howard Stern

A sold-out house my first night back. Do you have any idea what kinda pressure that is? I could have been at home in my warm bed, playing Nintendo.

– Richard Pryor

I was changing a light bulb over Groucho Marx’s bed, so I took my shoes off, got on his bed and changed the bulb. When I got off the bed he said: ’That’s the best acting you’ve ever done.’

– Elliot Gould

Sometimes, an afternoon spent in bed with someone can be the most important thing in the universe.

– Malcolm Wilson

If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.

– Anita Roddick

Why can’t you share your bed? The most loving thing to do is to share your bed with someone. It’s very charming. It’s very sweet. It’s what the whole world should do.

– Michael Jackson

Thank God we’re living in a country where the sky’s the limit, the stores are open late and you can shop in bed thanks to television.

– Joan Rivers

No matter how big or soft or warm your bed is, you still have to get out of it.

– Grace Slick

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A master bedroom in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, USA

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Santa Barbara style

I didn’t know that even Santa Barbara has it’s own distinctive decorative style. The place is of course famous for every wine enthusiast because of  it’s good quality wine production and large valleys with never ending rows of grape trees. I think the movie ”Sideways” made the place famous for the rest of the world.

But referring to an article in Remodelista, Santa Barbara also has it’s own design look which at least can be seen in local kitchens. That unique style means lots of pots and pans, bottles and glasses and an overhelming use of color beige.

Link to the article on Remodelista

The Normal Room -picture below is from user kerouac featuring an insider look to a fridge situated in Buellton (in the heart of the wine making valleys near Santa Barbara). Does this look like a fridge Miles (Paul Giamatti) could have?

Good Night Sleep

Good night sleep is precious. You miss it only after you’ve lost it.

Here’s info by staff on how to sleep well:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends, even if you didn’t get enough sleep. This will help train your body to sleep at night.
  • Develop a bedtime routine. Do the same thing every night before going to sleep. For example, take a warm bath and then read for 10 minutes every night before going to bed. Soon you’ll connect these activities with sleeping, and doing them will help make you sleepy.
  • Use the bedroom only for sleeping or having sex. Don’t eat, talk on the phone or watch TV while you’re in bed.
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark. If noise is a problem, use a fan to mask the noise or use ear plugs. If you must sleep during the day, hang dark blinds over the windows or wear an eye mask.
  • If you’re still awake after trying to fall asleep for 30 minutes, get up and go to another room. Sit quietly for about 20 minutes before going back to bed. Do this as many times as you need to until you can fall asleep.

A bedroom in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Get a flower – be happy

People are filling their homes and gardens with flowers, all kinds of flowers – yellow and red, tulips, roses and whatever. Flowers are even brought to hosts as gifts by polite and thoughtful guests. A lot of examples of houses with flowers can be found in Normal Room gallery..

I don’t know much about flowers, so it often makes me wonder what is it in bringing fauna inside the house. My opinion is that they don’t look great in vases, they are just a poor attempt to move the beauty of nature somewhere where it can be controlled.

But maybe all this is just subconscious action? Maybe people who decorate their homes and gardens with colourful flowers do that because there’s some psychological benefit in it? Maybe colour and nature help people to relax, or to concentrate better?

And actually this is the case. I just found a study that was published few years ago that confirms this. The study was done by Rutgers, the state University of New Jersey. According to the research presence of flowers trigger happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and has an effect on social behaviour in a very positive manner.

”What’s most exciting about this study is that it challenges established scientific beliefs about how people can manage their day-to-day moods in a healthy and natural way,” said the lead researcher of the study Professor of Psychology at Rutgers Jeannette Haviland-Jones.

The link between flowers and life satisfaction was explored by investigating participants’ behavioral and emotional responses to receiving flowers during ten monts. The results show that flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. Flowers also have a long-term positive effect on peoples’ moods and they induce intimate connections – if people are surrounded by flowers they want contact their loved ones.

Academic paper can be read here –

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A lobby in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Bed quotes, part 1

I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.

– Muhammad Ali

Rather go to bed with out dinner than to rise in debt.

– Benjamin Franklin

Don’t stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed.

– George Burns

We always get up about 5:30, and George gets up and goes in and gets the coffee and brings it to me, and that’s been our ritual since we got married. And we read the newspapers in bed and drink coffee for about an hour probably, read our briefing papers.

– Laura Bush

For six years, I kept my five Olympic medals wrapped in a plastic bread bag beneath my bed.

– Mary Lou Retton

If it weren’t for the rocks in its bed, the stream would have no song.

– Carl Perkins

Don’t get married to an actress because they’re also actresses in bed.

– Roberto Rosselini

A revolution is not a bed of roses.

– Fidel Castro

A man would prefer to come home to an unmade bed and a happy woman than to a neatly made bed and an angry woman.

– Marlene Dietrich

Being married means I can break wind and eat ice cream in bed.

– Brad Pitt

A bedroom in Auckland, New Zealand.

Today’s world is full of junk

Junk is everywhere. Finnish interior designer and professor of furniture design in Aalto University in Helsinki Simo Heikkila wrote in today’s newspaper Helsingin Sanomat that an average urban person during his/her life will be confronted with 20 000 – 30 000 different objects. Heikkila also estimated that normal daily routines in a household require only 50 objects including ten different pieces of furniture and smaller objects needed mainly for preparing and consuming food.

This means that there’s lots of useless junk everywhere. Heikkila argues that people in western world surround themselves with objects in order to boost their status. He says that it’s tragicomic that identity is built with junk.

Heikkila writes about his days in art school when the teachers taught the students that production of an object is acceptable only if the product replaces a worse object, preferably more than one. Today the situation is completely different – as soon as someone manages to design an useful object which is also easy to use, there will be several cheap copies.

Heikkila likes wood as a material, and dislikes plastic. He says that plastic destroys our relation to the nature. And the result can be seen in massive floating plastic waste rafts in Pacific Ocean and in Atlantic.

Heikkila believes that the new, slower world is coming. And that is a great challlenge and an opportunity for designers.

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Simple is beautiful – a flat in Miami Beach, Florida


Finance&Commerce magazine wrote few days ago that the existing home prices in US rose in June 2010 for a third straight month. Sounds good for the Americans, but don’t you there celebrate yet. The same article stated that housing markets across US are expected to resume their decline.

The article also listed the top three cities where home prices rose the most. And the cities were San Francisco, San Diego and Minneapolis.

I don’t know much about the US. I’ve never been there, and I’ve propably known less than ten US citizens in my whole life. My understanding of the country is based on television and films, and there’s something here that I don’t understand.

I assume that home prices are a sign of how desirable an area is to people. San Francisco I understand, all that cultural vibe and freedom and the nice bridge and that funny street that looks like a serpentine going on top of that hill – I’ve seen a lot of car chases on that street. San Diego is not surprising either for an average television viewer. I’ve heard that SD has a great Californian weather without all the LA problems. But Minneapolis? What’s that all about? Are people already moving north anticipating the global warming?

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A Flat in San Diego –