If you’re anything like me, you’ve always been the guy who doesn’t have it all. In fact, you typically have lived right next door to the guy who literally does have it all. Of course, this makes it easy on game days. You never have to prep your place for the masses or worry about buying excessive amounts of processed goodness, but sometimes you want to be the the guy who preps his place for the masses and buys excessive amounts of processed goodness. The true dilemma is that the other guy always has the sweet setup. He’s got the 3,000 inch flat screen on one wall, and the projector on the other. He’s got surround sound that always seems to be perfectly balanced to the noise created by the party-goers. He has the world’s largest bean bag that just happens to be the most comfortable thing on the planet. He has a steady attendance for Halo Night, and to top it all off, he’s probably trying to steal your girlfriend.
Today I want you to come with me on a journey to find the awesome. We’re going to create an addicting living room design that will make your apartment the entertainment hub of the neighborhood. Buckle up.
ENTERTAINMENT CENTER (IKEA)
Wouldn’t it be great to have an entire wall dedicated to an entertainment center? This one is massive and it keeps the messy cubbies and shelves behind closed doors. It also is big enough to store all of your various game consoles and their unsightly power cords and cables. At $660, however, it might be a bit out of range.
I really like the idea of this entertainment center setup. You get space and style for just over $200. Besides, it can hold movies, games, and consoles.
Take advantage of the boxes of junk you likely have stowed away. Get a couple of these, move your stuff into those drawers, cover it with a solid color table cloth or curtain, and put your TV on top. You’ll have to be careful with this one though, as these stands can only hold so much. Try finding a board you can lay across the top, which will provide the central support you’ll need. You also might want to stack some boxes or other sturdy objects behind and around it just to keep it secure, and to give you a bit more real estate on top.
SURROUND SOUND (Best Buy)
Nothing says audio like Bose. I doubt I’ll ever understand how they get so much boom out of such small space. So if I got to pick my own dream surround sound setup, it would likely be this. You’ll also notice that it’s got a little adapter to plug in your mobile iDevice and jam to your new favorite Kanye beat in full surround. Oh sweet goodness. Too bad I’m sooner to actually go to Narnia than afford this fancy fellow.
Getting a surround sound system will still put you back a modest chunk of change no matter what. This Sony 5.1 Channel Blu-Ray System might be a great mid-range option. And at $350, it’s much more in the realm of possibility, no Narnia trips necessary.
In this land of Cheapy Cheaperton, the phrase “factory refurbished” will likely become your best friend. If it’s factory refurbished, it should have some sort of guarantee from the factory itself that it won’t implode three days after you install it. Take this RCA setup for example. You will still get a significant boost of audio, but you don’t have to spend a silly amount of cash on it.
Xbox 360. with Kinect. Playstation 3. Wii. All three will give you a wide variety of entertainment. You can use your PS3 as your blu-ray player, your Xbox as your media center, and your Wii (and Kinect) as your party fun, outside of the regular Call of Duty and Halo usage you will normally have. Xbox: $300, w/ Kinect $450. PS3: $300. Wii: $150 (includes Mario Kart Wii w/ steering wheel) Total: $900 w/ no games or extra controllers.
1) Skip the Wii and get the Xbox 360 with Kinect. They’ve got some great games that are also fun for groups. $450 before games and controllers. 2) Get a PS3 for some great game titles and a blu-ray player. Then add Playstation Move for the social experience. $400 before games and controllers.
The great benefit to the Wii right now is that the original console is only $150. There’s still a whole lot of fun to be had with an original console, and it’s cheaper. It also has Netflix built in, so you can enjoy that as well. $150 before games and multiple controllers.
Sharp AQUOS 60 inch flat screen. $2069. In my dreams.
LG 42 inch. $800. Looks pretty.
RCA 46 inch. $500. Not a bad price for such a large tele.
If you’re curious, follow this link to do your own TV comparison at Bestbuy.com.
So here you have some college apartment ideas for your best home entertainment setup. Dive into these things and in no time your apartment will be the center of all-things-awesome.