(ARA) - If you've been thinking about selling your home in the near future, you may want to reconsider. The latest figures from the National Association of Realtors do not look good.
Sales of existing homes are down significantly. They plunged more than eight percent in March 2007, the nation's worst one-month decline in 18 years.
The news has dashed hopes that the housing market was finally beginning to mount a recovery after last year's big slump; but bad news for one industry is a boom for another. According to Remodeling Magazine, people are responding by staying put and sinking big bucks into upgrades.
Among the more popular projects they're doing -- kitchen remodels, bathroom additions and turning their basements and family rooms into home theaters. Of the three, the latter is a lot easier and more affordable to do than you may think, according to Keith Pribyl of Sanus Systems Inc., a Minnesota-based company that builds a broad variety of audio-video furnishings, mounts and accessories. "Once flat-panel television sets came on the scene, our industry really transformed," says Pribyl. "We are now able to offer solutions that allow people to bring entertainment to any room in the house."
* Home theater furniture
If you'll be keeping the TV in a recreation or family room with lots of space, you may want to invest in a piece of furniture specially designed to hold flat screen TVs. Among your choices are lowboys, which are extra- wide cabinets the TV sits on top of with shelves underneath; AV cabinets, which feature a large opening for the TV with adjustable shelves down below and a single door that can be shut to hide the whole system; and armoires which are a larger version of the cabinet with two doors instead of one.
Sanus Systems offers all three furniture styles in several different looks and designs. Among the most popular are Component, a luxurious line that brings out the beauty of natural hardwoods and contemporary design elements; Woodbrook, a classy line of wood furniture that is constructed of solid, resonance-absorbing materials to form the perfect match to today's digital televisions and AV gear; and Platinum, an elegant line of stands custom-blended in a silver or black finish that is beautifully complemented by smooth tempered glass shelves, creating a sleek, modern shape to please audiophiles and interior decorators alike.
* Wall mounts for flat-panel TVs
If you don't have the space needed to display your set on a piece of furniture, you can mount it directly to the wall. Three different types of wall mounts have been specially-designed for flat-screen TVs: full-motion, tilting and low profile mounts.
If you want to be able to swing the set in any direction -- a handy feature if you want to watch, say, in the living room instead of the kitchen -- you'll want to go with a full-motion mount. Those extend, retract, tilt and swivel in all directions, and offer easy access to the back of the set when you need to change the power supply and various cables for dish or cable, DVD and VHS players, and gaming systems.
Tilting mounts, meantime, tilt slightly up and down for better viewing from the couch, bed or even floor. A tilting mount is recommended when reflections from windows or lighting interfere with TV viewing or when multiple viewing angles are desired.
Low profile mounts attach nearly flush to the wall, making them the ideal choice for consumers who desire to maximize the sleek, thin look of their new TV. This type of mount is best suited for sets that will remain stationary 100 percent of the time.
* Ceiling mounts
If you don't have much free wall space, another option is to mount the TV right to the ceiling. This is a popular option in kitchens and dens.
* Recessed in-wall box
There's also an option for those who want to be able to give their entertainment rooms a custom look. Sanus Systems recently introduced a new recessed in-wall box that offers home owners a number of options they didn't have before. The device allows a flat-panel TV -- with a screen size of up to 50-inches -- to rest snuggly against the wall, hiding the mount in the process, or if you want to watch TV from a different room, you can pull the set away from the wall and turn it in whatever direction you need. The in-wall box is a good solution for those consumers who like the flush look, but also want the flexibility of a full-motion mount.
Not sure which type of mount would suit your set best? Log on to www.sanus.com for help finding the answer. The site also features a full catalog and store locator.
* Home theater seating
Once you've decided how to display your set, the next area to look into will be home theater seating. The options here are endless. If your home theater is in the basement or any other large room, you may want to install a row or two of actual theater seats. If you're working with a smaller space, a set of recliners or motorized loungers may be the way to go.
You don't have to go to a specialty store to find these. Home theaters have become so popular in American homes that most furniture stores carry specialty seating for them year-round.
* Special touches
Other ways to really dress up the space: buy a classic popcorn popper like those you see in the theaters and keep it in the corner of the room; hang a few illuminated poster cases on the walls and put your favorite movie posters inside; you may even want to invest in a special display case which will offer easy access to all your tapes and DVDs.
Courtesy of ARAcontent