...because home doesn't happen overnight.

It seems you all enjoy it when I open up and am honest about my thoughts on home decor, family and life in general. At least, that’s what I took away from this blunt post detailing my experience living without a bathroom door for three months. So, I’m declaring Mondays here on H*T ‘Honest Mondays.’ I’ll share my unedited feelings on something related to house and home, interior design, family, life, kids, motherhood, wifehood…or maybe something completely unrelated to any of those topics. Ha! Just whatever strikes me at the moment. I may divulge one truth or ten. I’m going to be spontaneous. I think it will be a great way to start the blog week. My hope is that for the rest of the week you’ll feel more familiar with the girl behind the posts. I am a real person! I encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments section as well.

So, let’s cut to the chase. Today is Monday after all.

Truth: I could care less about surround sound systems. See that unsightly speaker in the wall behind the couch? I don’t like it. I may even hate it. And it gets worse.

There are two of them. They stare at me like two empty robot eyes. I had a welcoming entry all planned out in my mind for that wall. A console table. A nice mirror above it. Maybe a lamp. A vase. Fresh flowers. You know, something that says ‘Hi, welcome to my lovely home.’ {Of course, I’m talking after the front door is functional. Of course.}

But no. That wall most definitely doesn’t invite you into the house. It doesn’t make you want to see more. If anything it says ‘Hey. C’mon in. Grab yerself a beer, sit on the couch with yer hand down yer pants and watch the game.’ That’s what that wall with two large speakers says to me. Do you not hear it?

When HH first told me about the speakers, I didn’t ask a lot of questions. Obviously. All I got was something about speakers in the wall that would be painted to match the wall. I didn’t realize they would be nearly a foot tall and live right where my beloved – if only imagined – entry mirror was going to hang. Details. I didn’t pay attention to them.

After they were in, I was disappointed. To say the least. Even painted, they didn’t recede into the wall like I had pictured. They just looked like painted speakers. But I thought ‘HH has worked so hard on this house. He needs his man stuff. If a few speakers in the wall make him happy, then so be it. I’ll figure something out.’

But then a few weeks later, more speakers starting popping up.

Whaaaaaaat?! It’s like there was a surround sound mating convention in our family room. Seriously? I would go to bed delirious from dealing with a crying newborn all day then wake to find more and more of these little orb-like speakers popping up like ugly pimples. I finally confronted HH.

Me: ‘Those boob speakers are a joke, right? You can’t be serious. They’re ridiculous.’

HH: ‘No. What? You don’t like them. They’re soooo cool.’

And that, my folks, is where HH and I clearly do not see eye to eye.

I see three pairs of boobs or cajones looking at me when I sit on the couch. HH sees gloriousness. Electronics in boob form. Every man’s dream.

Tell me those don’t look like boobs.

And those?! HH says those can’t resemble boobs because boobs aren’t placed vertically. If anything, they look like two-thirds of a traffic light then. Still. Not pretty.

At this point, I’m furious. How could HH have not told me about all these speakers before he installed them? We had surround sound in our last home but not to this extent. He was going overboard. He kept saying it was all about the audio experience. He even said that this would be a good learning experience for me since at some point I’ll be helping others design/decorate their homes and that there will be a man who wants surround sound in the family room. I told him in that case I’d strongly discourage it.

And even if the speakers were completely invisible, I don’t get them. When I watch a show or movie in surround sound, I’m constantly looking behind me thinking there’s someone there. Or I hear Mabrey crying when she isn’t. Trickery. That’s what surround sound is to me.

If I lived alone I probably wouldn’t even have a TV – much less four pairs of surround sound speakers. But, if I lived alone then I would be…well…alone.

It took me a while to get over the robot eyes and boob speakers. It was rough. I couldn’t sit on the couch without glancing up at the damn speakers and cursing them for their similarity to woman parts, man parts and traffic lights. But I’ve finally accepted them. I would never have chosen this setup myself but it’s here now and I’ll just have to work around it.

HH felt a wee bit bad and compromised by recessing the boobs speakers under the TV. That way this pair of speakers won’t be visible once we install the tongue and groove plank around the TV and up the wall to the ceiling {after we finalize mechanical plans for artwork to raise and lower over the TV}. Still, we’ll have to use a grate just below the TV or something of the sort to allow sound to carry into the room from the speakers. Because, you know, it’s all about the audio experience.

I have a Plan B for the wall speakers behind the couch. I think I’ll have HH install wall shelves along the wall and I’ll place accessories just so to disguise the speakers. It’s no console table + mirror = perfection but I may just get a vase of fresh flowers in there somewhere.

As for the two pairs of boobs on either side of the mantel? Well, I’m stuck with those. I’ll continue to give them the evil eye. A la McKayla Maroney style. Maybe they won’t be so noticeable once we hang the large canvas art piece in front of the TV? Maybe. I’m not holding my breath.

And what happened to HH? He’s still here. I’m not mad at him. We see things differently sometimes – although not often. Four pairs of speakers got nothin’ on us. Not that I’m counting. Okay. Maybe I am.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

98 Comments

20.August.2012

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! My boyfriend and I are moving in together next week (!), and all he can talk about is the surround sound system that we’ll be setting up in the living room. Terrible, but made worse by the fact that we can’t recess the speakers into the walls. Hello, wires. Everywhere.
It’s a good thing he’s cute, you know? ;)

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20.August.2012

Love your post! My husband would be so jealous of the surround sound! I’m on the same page as you though…great attitude for making it work anyway!

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20.August.2012

For the rectangle speakers on the entry wall, why not take off and paint the grill covers. Make the outside edge the frame and transfer a painting you like onto them. You’d have to make sure what ever method you use leaves the holes open, so they’d still be functional.

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20.August.2012

What is it w men & their tv’s/audio systems? We are currently I the process of reconfiguring our living room & den bc of the urge to mount the tv over the fireplace (his idea, not mine) & some other things. :/ I’m a creature of habit & lived the set up we had, but hey, this is his house too, so we’re trying his way for now…. And he’d be jealous of the boobs, I mean speakers, that your HH has installed. :)

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21.August.2012

Ok, for the record, I’ve never once uttered the words “audio experience”. I’m not THAT big of a dork. The rest is fairly true :)

All’s fair in love and war. Sometimes it’s necessary to gently surprise your significant other if it’s something important to you. It keeps them on their toes. Just like I never know what color a portion of my house will be when returning from a business trip. Dana will always wake up wondering if I’ve installed another anatomically-correct consumer electronic.

All that aside, if there are any readers out there who do enjoy home audio, you must check out these speakers. They are from OrbAudio.com. I’ve received no kick-back or discount for mentioning them, I’m just thoroughly impressed. They sound incredible for the size, they’re made in the USA, and I think they’re beautiful. The rear in-wall speakers are from HTD.com. I’ve purchased from them in the past and have never been disappointed. Very high quality for a reasonable price. Two merchants I highly recommend. Dana, not so much.

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replied on August 21st, 2012

Okay, so maybe the exact words ‘audio experience’ didn’t escape HH’s mouth but there was definitely talk of watching a movie and wanting it to feel/sound like a theater.

It’s true. I paint and tackle other home decor projects while HH is away. What else is a girl to do when her man is gone? Sometimes I do my best work then!

Finally, I think HH’s recommendation further proves his geeky commitment to surround sound. Dork.

Oh! And I totally took the ‘Dana, not so much’ part the wrong way. I thought HH meant he wasn’t recommending me or my opinion but he meant I don’t recommend the speaker merchants seeing as how I detest surround sound and all.

Love you, HH. ;)

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replied on August 22nd, 2012

You guys are cute. :)

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21.August.2012

LOL! I almost cried when I came home one day to speakers hanging down from the ceiling in our new house. I’m with the Dana camp on this one, surround sound creeps me out too. But, hubby and our 3 boys love it, so who am I to complain :)

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21.August.2012

Ugh. I had the EXACT same experience with my husband. The speakers just seemed to multiply before my eyes. I’m still trying to come to terms with them.

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21.August.2012

My hubby has done something similar, but MUCh uglier in our theatre room. I spent a week painting it (with 2 kids and another on the way) and then he went and mounted these 12″ high speakers mid way up the wall in each corner. Plus the ones at the front are as tall as our 6 year old. They are the ugliest things I’ve ever seen, black and HUGE.
Not to mention the ginormou subwoofer, the bluray player and the reciever he spent thousands of dollars on. And then put on a lowline entertainment unit. And then gets shirty when the 3 year old touches it.
I’ve accepted that he’s ruined the asthetic of that room, but I take heart in the fact its got doors on it, can be closed off and I almost never go in there, I watch tv in the family room, where the sound comes out of the tv (god forbid) and does a perfectly reasonable job to my ears.

Men!

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21.August.2012

Okay HH, of course you think they are beautiful…they look like boobs, artificial perky boobs, you were dazzled, couldn’t help yourself. Dana…here’s where I’m jealous and you should do a little cartwheel of thanks…our surround speakers….black. BLACK, try to merge those in. Anyhow…I digress, I have seen though I don’t recall where (but bet you can track it down) “paintings” that hang over the robot eye speakers. You could select the image and they canvas is actually a screen sort of thing, but it looks like a painting. Maybe it could work to warm up your entry without going robot! FWIW! Good luck, great post!

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21.August.2012

I am SO glad. SO SO SO glad to know that I am not the only one. I hate my husband’s surround sound. Hate it, and he knows it, because I complain about it on a daily basis. How it looks ridiculous. How it ruin any sort of decor attempt, and so on. And yeah, I think it’s obnoxious not just in its appearance but also at how loud it is, and how it makes me feel like I am surrounded by whatever is going on in the movie and that even if I go to our room in an attempt to get away from it all, I can still feel and hear the subwoofer. Hate hate hate….

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21.August.2012

I personally have no experience with surround sound in my own home but I did grow up with my father having it and still remember how obnoxious it was. I love your idea for Monday posts although I’m not sure my husband feels the same way since he was waken by me giggling in bed while I read your post and handy hubbys comment. I love your blog and get excited everytime there is a new post.

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21.August.2012

I am with you Dana, I hate those things. We have them too, but ours are not on the wall like that, but standing on the floor and it is, of course, absolutely impossible to change the position of the furniture, too, because the speakers are set up to the current position of the couches… So we are stuck with the current position of the couch in the middle of the living/dining area. And who needs surround sound anyway (it’s much too loud, too! You know, you HAVE to turn it on really loud, or else the “audio experience” is not the best possible) – if I watch a movie I am absolutely ok with normal sound out of the TV and I don’t need 3D and HD and whatsoever (I don’t even recognize a difference between normal and HD TV). When I watch a movie, it’s just a movie and that’s ok (I don’t want to be IN it) and I have enough surround sound all day at school with 30 kids/teenagers yelling all around me from 7:40 a.m. to 15:35 p.m. ;)
Jule

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21.August.2012

Too funny! I also have a strong dislike for speakers and I blame my dad. Growing up, we had the most complicated surround sound system you could ever imagine – wires everywhere, lots of black boxes with little black buttons, big speakers on the floor and little ones perched in every corner. Turning on the radio was no simple task. I just don’t get it. I don’t need that kind of “audio experience to enjoy music or a movie in my home. I am totally against speakers now and just have a cute, little cherrywood Tivoli that suits me just fine. Thank goodness my boyfriend is not a stereophile!

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21.August.2012

Oh dear. I’m definitely Team Dana on this one. Maybe you could attempt to hide those speakers in a gallery wall? Or would that accentuate them even more? I’m so OCD that they’d drive my absolutely bonkers.

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replied on August 21st, 2012

I agree with Cate and Teri H – hide them in a gallery wall, and see if you could find some canvas paintings to go strategically over them. The canvas should let out enough of the sound, and the chunkier frame will hide anything that sticks out from the wall. Maybe you could move the boob ones up near the ceiling so they are less noticeable?

I do have to give Handy Hubby props for installing them in the wall. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s wires. But marriage is about give and take, so I’m sure the two of you will work something out.

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21.August.2012

Surround sound annoys me to no end. It took about six years for my husband to get rid of the surround sound speakers and tell me that the experience isn’t as great as it seemed to be in the beginning. I finally (sort of) got my way with a mounted tv with a MacMini mounted right behind the tv. Completely wireless system in the living room and we are both so happy! Glad my husband came to his senses (on his own).

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21.August.2012

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think the speakers look that horrible. They’re modern and minimalist, and there isn’t a bevy of wires everywhere. I wish my partner would get something similar – he has two large boxy speakers that stare at me whenever watching tv. Thank goodness I was able to disguise the other two (smaller) in our shelving unit. Prior to moving in with my partner, I was just fine with a tv and no surround sound. But, I have to admit surround sound does make chick flicks that much better. ;)

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replied on August 21st, 2012

Thank you, Marcy! My loan voice of reason :)

Thanks for recognizing that I did keep aesthetics in mind and tried to make them as un-obnoxious as possible. I chose in-wall for the rears with paintable covers. And small (very cool looking, in my opinion) fronts. The center channel (or boob speaker) will be completely concealed. All the components are in a small furniture cabinet, hidden from view. The remote uses RF so you don’t have to open the cabinet to operate them. Not too bad compared to big honkin’ black speakers on 2ft stands. Am I right? Hello??

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replied on August 21st, 2012

I’ve got your back too, HH! My family and I are a bunch of technogeeks, so I love this kind of stuff. Some of my fondest memories as a child are of my dad waking me up for school by blowing up stuff in a video game, pumped through the speakers and set so loud that the house would shake! Other times my mom would put on a silly song and dance into my room, serenading me as I woke up :) Your kids will love these! Ours were FAR uglier too – giant boxy speakers with awful brown fabric that dog fur always stuck to. I imagine there can be a cute and easy fix to disguise these while also keeping the integrity of the audio experience ;P

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21.August.2012

I’m with Marcy and Cate, the speakers aren’t that bad for me and can be worked into a gallery wall of some kind. But the eyeballs … OMG !! You’ll have to be creative for those … Honest Mondays are going to be fun ! Take care !

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21.August.2012

No, it doesn’t look like boobs. You don’t know how sweet your husband is in thinking of you, and how lucky you are. This souund system could be a lot bigger and a lot uglier. Trust me, I know! I say Compromise and Acceptation.

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21.August.2012

This is definitely a man thing, and the reason we have a man cave in our basement. Somehow I talked my husband out of them in our great room but now that we are talking about downsizing I fear the subject will rear its ugly head in our future! Looking forward to seeing how you disguise them.

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21.August.2012

When I saw them, I thought of Erin Loechner’s office . She framed silk scarves to cover up the speakers in her office, it was a really great idea I thought. Maybe you could do that around the entryway? I grew up with ginormous brown speakers with that awful brown nubby fabric covering them, which were so tall we used them as end tables at the end of the couches in hte living room :) I wonder now if they bothered my mom? I never thought about it as a kid. I have wonderful memories of my dad’s sound system, so the kids will appreciate it! Anyway, here’s the link to Erin Loechner’s post.
http://blog.hgtv.com/design/2011/11/18/let-there-be-tunes-and-a-renovation-playlist/

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replied on August 21st, 2012

Love the idea of placing fabric canvases in front of the speakers! That’s kind of what I had in mind with the open shelves. Nice to see it working in real life! Thanks for the link.

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replied on August 21st, 2012

That’s exactly what I was going to suggest. My hubby also has a surround sound system (be thankful you don’t have a GIANT subwoofer to deal with, too) and we’ve put most of the speakers on an entertainment center. We’re planning to build door frames with fabric inserts (much like a glass cabinet would have, but fabric instead). I think pretty fabric canvases would be perfect for both of you. :)

BTW, Honest Dana is hilarious. And so is honest HH. :)

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21.August.2012

What if you covered them with a canvas or something and then he could take them down when he absolutely needed them. Or somethin else creative? Maybe a gallery wall and put your mirror in betweeen the two. I think the big wall is definitely something to work with. The other three sets are definitely boob-ish. The vertical ones are just sideways boobs. ;-) Maybe you can set something in front of them?

Hubs hasn’t put out the surround sound in our new house, even though we’ve lived here for 5 years. Our TV room is small so we don’t really need it – thankfully! I don’t mind the little speakers in the corners though and we’ve done that before. My brother had bigger speakers and he’d set them on furniture or underneath tables to help hide them.

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21.August.2012

Oh, I know how you feel! Thankfully, I’ve talked my husband out of surround sound for now (hate it!) but we still have some terribly ugly speakers next to our television and they drive me nuts on a daily basis!

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21.August.2012

I know exactly how you feel, and it could be so so so much worse…We live in an apartment, so no option of recessing things into walls or anything. My boyfriend’s surround sound “audio experience” involves a black speaker, about a foot high, sitting on my end table! At least I was able to disguise it’s mate on a shelf…Yikes!

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21.August.2012

I read,” Dana , not so much “the same way;0 so glad you clarified. Poor sweetie , nursing those babies and being reminded of it every time you look up, what’s a girl to do? Men & their toys. We need some clever woman to start designing for a better”audio experience”.

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21.August.2012

1. Wires would be worse, hooray for HH knowing how to wire things behind the walls. 2. With 3 kids as well (8, 6, 3 months), we watch TV with very little volume so as not to wake up the kids. Will you even use the SS in your new house?

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replied on August 21st, 2012

Already have! All the kids sleep with sound machines going so we don’t have to tiptoe around the house at night.

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21.August.2012

They look like boobs! I feel your pain completely. The hubs hasn’t gotten around to installing surround sound yet in his mancave, but I know it’s going to happen sooner or later. My only hope is he doesn’t go with the boob looking speakers.

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21.August.2012

Team Dana on this one. I also don’t “get” the surround sound dealio. I mean, it bugs me when I can feel the subwoofer in my chest!

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21.August.2012

I’d compromise again and agree they could stay under the TV, but NOT on either side. They do look like boobs. Or maybe you could paint them to look like Kermit the frog eyes….jk
What if you build wood frames and stretched burlap or something similar over it? I’ve been thinking of doing this with our nappy 2nd hand speakers (brown frames with black fronts) in order to lighten up our living room. I think what I react to is that the speakers look SO modern, so manufactured compared with vibe you have created with the leather couch, basket and chair I’m sure HH could take the speakers apart, use the insides and create something amazing and something that aesthetically fits?

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21.August.2012

Boobs. Totally. Boobs.

I love Honest Mondays. I had a good laugh over your bathroom experience as the same thing would likely happen in our house because our bathroom door doesn’t latch properly (thank you, 90+ year-old house).

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21.August.2012

We too have surround sound. Only one speaker really bugs me. It HAD to go over our french doors. I had planned to hang a curtain rod up to the ceiling but had to move it down 5″ since for some reason the speaker couldn’t move 6″ to the right. I have to say that I saw eyes, not boobs when I looked at your speakers. Three pairs of eyes staring at you while you watch TV. Just need to add eyeballs:)

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21.August.2012

Too funny! I don’t know what it is with sound quality and all this tech stuff either. My husband came home with the Bose system and we have a woofer thing and two speakers on our ” minimalish” industrial shelf in our family room. So I was complaining that all that gobbly gook has displaced vision of a few coffee table books and frames. He didn’t seem to get it and talked about how necessary sound was. I actually thought about “What would Dana do?” so this post I actually quite timely. Boobs yes but agree that you don’t have to deal with wires or dusting and vacuuming behind any tangled hoopla.

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21.August.2012

For our wedding 10+ years ago we received what was, at the time, a high-end system as a present. We lived in a 990 sqft apartment so I have no idea why the husband’s friends thought a system with eight speakers was a good idea, but they did. When we moved to SF, we downsized to a 475 sqft junior 1 bedroom. The speakers were packed away until we moved into our loft that had 12 foot ceilings. The husband mounted them all over on the exposed pipes. Minus the visible zip ties, the sound was actually quite phenomenal. When we moved into our craftsman bungalow there was talk of setting up the surround sound again but I vetoed that plan. TVs are so advanced these days I don’t know why we need such crazy equipment.

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21.August.2012

hilarious!! i can relate too…..looking forward to more honest post!!!!

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21.August.2012

This reminds me of when my handy hubby said “look, we can get this bigger TV for cheaper than the original one we were going to get!”

I am notoriously bad at spatial relations and measurements mean nothing to me unless I actually tape them out, so 52″ didn’t sound too big. I mean, they are just inches right?

When the box came, and it took up half our hall — the hall that runs the entire length of the apartment — I definitely had a moment. I may have even said the wtf phrase right in front of the four year old, even thought I knew he would repeat it to my mother at the first opportunity.

My baby bostonites quickly started referring to it as “the monstah TV.” And it had surround sound. And a subwoofer the size of a coffee table. And 3D glasses. And it reproduced and spawned an electronic drum kit inthe corner for a ‘better Rockband experience.’ A FULL electronic drumkit (think in the $5-10k range).

But, in time, I grew to love it. Especially while watching Dr Who. Or the Castle finale. Or watching the baby bostonites rock out while Papa practiced his drums. Plus, I never had to feel guilty about buying ANYTHING, ever again. I took my revenge by endlessly asking his opinions on new rug styles, colors, new bedding styles, colors, and on and on and on… and any complaining instantly earned him the monstah TV stare of death.

Marriage is fun. Even the surround sound parts. *evil*

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21.August.2012

Ha! At my house, I’m the one that wants the awesome surround sound system and my husband is the one that wants to make due with the old one. I would be quite happy with boob speakers, as it looks better than the ugly black ones and their wires trailing all over the ceiling. Also, I was once watching the horror movie Black Sheep, about sheep that are genetically modified and start killing people, when I heard what sounded like a sheep in my front yard. Even though we live in a little suburban neighborhood, I nearly peed my pants until realizing that there was no sheep and the surround sound had tricked me once again.

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replied on August 21st, 2012

Just wanted to say that both your story and your user name are cuh-racking me up. Carry on :).

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21.August.2012

I seem to be the only girl here who likes surround sound. I still think those are pretty ugly speakers up front. When my fiance said he wanted a surround sound system he thankfully let me pick it out. It’s not the top of the line but I went for the sleek looking, though tall, Samsung all in one system. The front speakers are about 4 feet tall but they are just sleek black pillars on either side of MY 55″ tv. The rear speakers are wireless so they just hide amongst the knick knacks on the bookshelves behind the couch. No our system doesn’t completely disappear but I think it’s beautiful for what it is.

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21.August.2012

Yikes, those boob/eyeball speakers are a little weird. It would be a real shame if they got knocked off the wall by some sort of boy rough housing or something…that’s at least what you could tell HH.
Marriage is all about compromise, right?!

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21.August.2012

I am with you! My husband and I argue about surround sound all the time. He really wants it, I don’t (it’s ugly!).

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21.August.2012

Girl you did lose out on the aesthetics in this case, but a very funny post. And I agree, surround sound is just plain scary. I guess Mars is full of surround sound though and I am glad your love is strong with your man. It seems worth it, but still – those speakers! Knowing you though, before we know it, they won’t even be visible. You will find some ingenious way to distract the eye.

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21.August.2012

In the scheme of things, there’s are really low-profile speakers. I’ve seen plenty of rear speakers twice that size that aren’t in the wall and have wires running from the speaker to the floor. It looks like HH went to a lot of trouble to make them discrete!

In terms of helping other people design rooms, please don’t always discourage having surround sound! There’s a legitimate reason to have it. Some tips for making it less obvious are:
-Ceiling speakers are more hidden than wall speakers, you can even use them for the front and center speakers. Not so much if you have high vaulted ceilings, though.
-Acoustic fabric (like these http://acoustonespeakercloth.com/ACOU_SPEAK_CLOTH.asp) is your friend for hiding things. For your entry you could make 4 or 5 frames covered in this cloth and strategically place them so 2 cover your speakers. You could even spray paint a stencil over the cloth. Similarly, in the front it’s not the ideal speaker placement but you can get away with putting all three under the TV then hiding them all behind a rectangle of black or white speaker cloth. Or just embrace the boobs :) Enjoy your movies!

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21.August.2012

Ha! You crack me up – I feel the same way about surround sound. I’m constantly wondering who/what is behind me. Thanks for you honesty and the laugh this morning :)

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21.August.2012

My solution would be to rechristen your mudroom as the “man cave” and relocate the TV and speakers to that area — then install a door between the great room and the cave. I feel particularly sorry for Mabrey having those speakers mounted in one of the walls of her bedroom.

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21.August.2012

Oh my God, that was the funniest thing I’ve read in so long. Our surround speakers are wireless and sit on our end tables flanking the sofa. The ones next to the TV are a hot mess, though. I’ve seen speakers that are really small and slim, and I think Bose makes one that simulates surround sound but is only one speaker vs 7.

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21.August.2012

P.S. I just went to orbaudio.com and the single speakers look like they should sprout legs and crawl away like creepy little robots.

But the bright side is that these are still relatively small. Our TV is almost 10 years old and is about a foot deep and is a 47″ projection. It’s a behemoth.

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21.August.2012

Hi Dana. Would you consider a fall fashion post?

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21.August.2012

Could you counter sink the boob speakers so they don’t stick out so much? Then disguise them behind some pretty accessories?

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21.August.2012

Haha! Love the post! I do agree – the speakers on the wall in the entry way makes me think I’m entering a Best Buy and not my comfy home! However, they just need to be House Tweaked! You’ll make it look fabulous. I have seen great register cover ideas so maybe those ideas can be applied?

I love the Honest Monday idea (hopefully you are being honest every day!) and I would also like to throw out a Handy Hubby guest post or two as an idea. :)

I get so excited when your post pops up in my reader. Truly a treat.

– emily

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replied on August 22nd, 2012

Oh yeah, still going to be honest every day but I don’t like the idea of only sharing the good parts of renovation/family,/design/motherhood, the easy parts, the parts that go right. Reading blogs like that all the time usually just make me feel inadequate. I don’t want anyone on here to feel that way. We’ve definitely got obstacles…daily…even minute-to-minute. In fact, Everett is chasing Layne around the house right now with Mabrey’s floor gym. And Mabrey’s gettin’ fussy.

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21.August.2012

So funny how different everyone’s experiences are. Dana & HH, I have been begging my husband to spend some money on speakers for the house (I love background music) but he is pretty frugal and we just keep waiting for the right combination of price/technology. I will be sure to send him the info about these speakers, thanks for the link!

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21.August.2012

Poor Dana! Your husband is a good sport and you are hilarious. I’m sure you’ll come up with a good design plan for hiding the boobies. So many clever ideas have already been suggested – can’t wait to see what you decide to do!

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21.August.2012

You are SO not alone. I had a 13 inch TV stashed in a cabinet just because my then boyfriend (now husband) whined that he couldn’t watch basketball at my house. I would be perfectly fine with no TV, and consequently no $80 monthly cable bill just to watch football and basketball and soccer, ever. At least I won the no TV in the bedroom war. But probably more because that was before TVs could hang on the wall and there is only 2 feet between the end of the bed and the wall. Boys, TVs and speakers.

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21.August.2012

HILARIOUS post today! I think I am going to love Mondays!

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21.August.2012

Ha! Ha! I couldn’t help laughing out loud while reading your post. I can so relate. But I admire how your handling it. I love Honest Mondays!

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21.August.2012

That was hilarious. My boyfriend’s surround sound speakers are black, and mounted on standing poles around the living room. They really don’t add anything to the appearance of the room. But at least they don’t look like boobs. Yay for Honest Mondays!

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21.August.2012

“And even if the speakers were completely invisible, I don’t get them. When I watch a show or movie in surround sound, I’m constantly looking behind me thinking there’s someone there. Or I hear Mabrey crying when she isn’t. Trickery. That’s what surround sound is to me.”

i died reading this. i cannot count the times i’ve paused a show to listen for whichever little was crying, only to discover it was the speaker above/behind/in front of my head tricking me. and please don’t get me started on subwoofers.

love your willingness to share, as it’s obvious so very many of us can relate. :)

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21.August.2012

LOVE Honest Mondays!! I won the surround sound war for now, but we still have a lot of big black boxes in the basement – for Brandon’s someday man cave. I’m pretty sure the ONLY reason I won was that he didn’t have a complete set of speakers – but I’ll take what I can get. Until then, we’ll work on compromising what constitutes a “pretty bottle” of man stuff that can be left out in our new bathroom (used the same floor tile as you!). He’s grumbling now, but I’m 99% sure he’ll get used to it eventually :-)

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21.August.2012

Check out this diy project where you cut designs out of stretched canvas. The cut outs would let the sound out, and you could paint them whatever color you wanted too! A trio of these or a couple of oversized ones would look nice!
http://joyfullyjensen.blogspot.com/2012/07/cut-canvas.html

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21.August.2012

I like the idea of a hiding the rear speakers in a gallery wall. Stretch & frame fabric bigger or different shape (square or short & wide rather than tall & narrow) so that you could place off center of one or both speakers to break up the symmetry. You can transfer photos to fabric or maybe use a cross stitched saying you like – all kinds of things. In the short term the silk scarf idea sounds good if other ideas take more time or money. And you could still do your console table with flowers and include a mirror in the gallery.

Unfortunately I have no ideas for the front speakers – maybe when you’ve arranged some things on the mantle they will not attract as much attention. I can’t wait to see how the art to cover the TV will work – that just sounds so neat!

Now if you have any ideas for how to decorate around a 102 inch screen for a projection TV – let me know because that is my living room/dining room decorating issue. Gotta love engineers!

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21.August.2012

Uuuugh I have very much been part of a surround sound argument. My guy went out of his way to find a wireless setup which, yay! I was thinking “I can work with that.” Problem is, that just means it’s wireless from the main unit to the back speakers, but then those back speakers are wired.. which he then insisted on hanging on the wall.. It ended up with a lot of “WHY CAN’T YOU JUST REST IT ON THE BOOKSHELF THATS LITERALLY RIGHT THERE, RIGHT NEXT TO WHERE YOU WANT TO MOUNT IT?!” and “It’ll ruin the sound! It’ll be uneven!”

ugh. I gave up. Some wires and screws just aren’t worth the fight.

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21.August.2012

Two words for HH: Ear. Phones. OK, maybe that’s actually one word. We have surround sound in our TV room and its so loud we never use it – the only time hubby and I sit down to a movie that might benefit from surround sound is after the kids go to bed – and the surround sound wakes them up. Its the deep base that gets me – it shakes me and the windows.
No matter what the gizmo, they’re ugly. TVs, chargers, games consoles etc. Why can’t they make blank TV screens white, why do they have to be this giant black THING on the wall? And why do they have to be giant?. If you want to feel like you’re at the football, why not just GO to the football? *sigh*. I hear you.

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21.August.2012

‘honest mondays’ is a great idea. It’s difficult to find an interiors blog that meshes diy, inspiration worthy pics, and real life.

I can totally relate to this post!

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21.August.2012

Haha, I like Honest Mondays already! :) We’ve got some surround sound in our family room to and I don’t love it- at all. Ha! But, like you said. Sometimes you have to compromise… so there you go. At least all the wires are hidden, that’s where I would really draw the line.

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21.August.2012

“. . . sit on the couch with yer hand down yer pants and watch the game. . .”! I thought only my husband did that! You mean it’s a man thing? Live and learn.

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replied on August 22nd, 2012

HH actually said ‘great, now all your readers are going to think I act like that’ after he read that part. Well, if the shoe fits…

In reality, he doesn’t do it all the time. But come football season {HH is a HUGE Steelers fan}, it will happen.

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21.August.2012

I had the same problem in my last house! I compromised by hanging open weave baskets over the speakers. The sound still escapes, but the speakers are hidden!

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21.August.2012

I loved reading this. I mean, sorry about the surround sound ugly speaker issues. But it is so refreshing to hear about things other designers have to work around and don’t like. So often it seems like everyone else is able to work things out exactly according to plan, or that they love everything, while i definitely have these kinds of frustrations! so thank you so much for keeping it real!!

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21.August.2012

This was one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time. After two days of endless back from vacation work and two grumpy kids this was the best medicine. Hope you continue with the honest monday posts.

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21.August.2012

This was so funny! I think we all can relate to this gender dispute!

I vote that they look like BOOBS! Way to go for brainstorming ways to work around all those boobs in your living room!

At least they are better looking than the huge 50 inch black flat screen TV hanging on the wall in our family room! I still haven’t figure a way to design around it. :) I fear it is hopeless! I too would live happily in a tv free world! :) But, my other half (dear man that he is) loves his 50 inch flat screen mounted on the wall.

~ Ali

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22.August.2012

Actually, I would kill for those speakers. Why? Because my mister recently went out and bought a pair of four-foot tall 12 inch diameter heinous black speakers that take up about 1/3 of the available floor space in our fun-sized home. Men.

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22.August.2012

No lie, I totally thought, “Those look like boobs,” before I even read what you wrote.

Better than black boxes and bunch of wires, but really???

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22.August.2012

I went through the same thing with my husband. Our living area isn’t nearly as spacious as yours and I didn’t quite understand why we needed surround sound in our cozy lil living room…well it was done and I can live with it, but I can totally see where you are coming from!

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22.August.2012

You could possibly stretch a bold fabric over a wooden frame meant for canvas and hang it over the wall speakers. It would let the sound through, but disguise it behind the fabric panel. There are totally options!

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22.August.2012

I don’t mind surround sound as a concept. In my house though, I am the one who brought the thing into our marriage (graduation gift from my parents). Of course, I won’t allow it to be used the way it was intended, because yes . . . I’ve got the old school giant speakers you can’t hide and crazy wires. It’s all contained in our tv cabinet. Totally defeats the point, but I don’t really care much. I’ve got little kids and I’d much rather that stuff be contained and able to be closed up for my own sanity. To me, with your situation, I can understand the frustration, but I think the ones built into the wall aren’t *that* bad. As others have said I bet you could figure out a creative way to cover them so they are still functional, but not so unsightly. I’m totally with you about the boob speakers though. Having those out all the time would drive me bonkers.

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22.August.2012

After 3 years without a tv I caved and agreed to let my hubby go wild (within budget). We now have a huge tv and surround sound. He was very accommodating and made sure the surround sound had a wireless receiver for the back speakers, let me have final say in the placement of all the elements, and had a professional hang and install everything so it was done quickly and correctly (not that he wouldn’t have done it correctly- there were just a lot less “fancy” words used). I’m sure you will be able to do something to hide them. Just think of it as the ultimate design challenge.

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22.August.2012

We have a similiar speaker situation. Men…psshh. I wish my husband picked out tiny boob speakers. Ours are huge and hang from the ceiling. We actually had to move our planned nursery because the bass and volume rattles the floor of the room above the living room. Holy crap, it’s ridiculous. I’ve told him when we plan for baby 2 those suckers need to come down. I think he actually started pouting.

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22.August.2012

Oh, heck no! I would still be mad. You’re a better woman than I. :)

As I was reading this post, I was laughing and thinking back to the battle in our home 3 years ago over surround sound. Let’s just say we had a similar conversation (only no boob-tastic speakers were in play). Luckily Hubby understands that his techie endeavors must, first and foremost, be in line with the aesthetic leanings of his spouse. We ended up with simple speakers recessed in the ceiling (where I think they should be)… oh, and a subwoofer that lives in a covered basket. ;)

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22.August.2012

Oh my. You are so right on every.single.level. They’re all awful, visually, but I hate the “surround” sound experience even more. I think the round ones look like ipod earbuds. While that’s not exactly a compliment, it’s better than boobs. I would hang art over both of the robot eyes, and a mirror in between, if possible. You might not be able to hear from those speakers, but you won’t have to SEE them either.

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22.August.2012

One of my favorite H*T posts to date! I love the candor & I know you’ll come up with an amazing solution!

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23.August.2012

SOOO true. That is why surround sound was discussed before hand and I won that rock, paper, scissor discussion.
I love your white tufted chairs in front of the boobs. Where did you find those?
Look forward to more posts!

Ali M.

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23.August.2012

‘Furious’ seems a little over the top. Especially with all the compromises he’s already made.

I just think it’s silly.

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23.August.2012

Ugh, totally with you on the boob speakers. Rectangular ones would be MUCH less offensive, in my book. Could a rectangular box with a fabric or screen front be built to cover the “vertical boobs”? I know you will find a way. I love your design style and the solutions you come up with!

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23.August.2012

Hilarious discussion – thanks for keeping it real, Dana.Totally cracked me up with the ‘hand down yer pants’ comment.

You and HH seem to be on the same page with so many design issues (or similar pages, anyway)… good to know you still argue over things. :) I mean, not good that you argue, but… you know. My husband has completely opposite tastes than I do, so design in our home can be difficult. I think you guys are lucky that you agree on so much. But yeah – the speakers look like boobs to me too, and I’m with you – I’m sure you’ll come up with some aesthetic solution.

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23.August.2012

I feel for you! My DH has a tv so large in our bedroom that I have to sit with my back back against the headboard to avoid vertigo when we watch anything….

If I had the vertiboob speakers to deal with, I would hide them behinds a couple of decorative lampshades. You could make your own from Ike’s, or you could get the kind that are designed to go over night light bulbs only bigger….am I making any sense here? Whatever you decide I am sure it will look fab. Thanks for sharing your home and your family with us all!

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23.August.2012

Ah, surround sound. We have those same robot speakers–one on each side of the TV, and two on the wall behind the couch. Along with several in the ceiling, and a giant black subwoofer on the floor in the back corner. Thankfully this is all down in the basement where I don’t have to look at them 24/7/365. Actually, I can’t remember the last time I even watched the TV in the basement “theater”…which makes me wonder why we spent so much $$ on that room in the first place… ;)

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23.August.2012

I have to say, at least 50% of the fights my husband and I have had in life have been about his “audio” equipment – speakers, huge other crap, how expensive they are, how far they have to be from the wall for the sweet spot – on and on and on. And of course, I just want them all to disappear into my beautifully designed home. We even had a piece of furniture designed to hide his speaker stands (you have no idea the amount of fighting over these $3000 speakers and their placement – and what we could do with that $3000!!!). I now just consider how far we’ve come – when we first moved in together, oh so many years ago, we had Soundex panels on the wall for the sound – basically big foam squares about 2′ by 2′ wide each!!! The price of marrying an audiophile, but I guess we each have our passions in life…?

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I love honest Mondays and I know some of this post is tongue in cheek, but I have to side with HH here :-) They are actually quite unobtrusive but the point is you both live in this house so you should both be able to have a say. For you, aesthetics are most important, but for him it’s the “audio experience” (I do wish he had actually said that, LOL) He’s probably just as bemused about some of your decor decisions and probably doesn’t understand the importance of getting it just so, but he leaves you to get on with it.

Same goes for when you’re consulting with clients. YOU might want to discourage having surround sound, but life is about compromise and being able to live with your home and for a lot of people surround sound is part of that. So finding creative ways to deal with the speakers is good (I don;t see why you can’t still have your console and mirror, just disguise the speakers as if they were artwork.)

JMHO of course :-)

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23.March.2014

My husband and I just got married and we just moved into our first ‘home’ – and our first ‘fight’ in our new home is over speakers. I didn’t know there was such thing as a surround sound system, nor that this consisted of five speakers in total….and that our place would be so small that there would be no entrance way…..and that because it’s a rented place we are not allowed to install anything into the walls. Thanks for your post! Look forward to reading more of your blog. x

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26.March.2014

[…] already discussed my thoughts on surround sound here. In short, I don’t care for it. BUT my husband enjoys it and I do care for him so I’m […]

12.August.2014

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