Old meets new: modernising with a home cinema

A vicarage became the home for a new immersive cinema, which was shortlisted at two major industry award ceremonies.

There’s never a dull moment in our job, and no two briefs are the same. When a client approached us with the basement of a converted vicarage, we knew we’d have our work cut out for us. This Cheshire-based project was shortlisted at the Home Cinema International Design and Architecture Awards, as well as being a finalist for Best Home Cinema at the CEDIA Awards.

From traditional to modern

While the SONA team was working on a larger home integration project for the whole vicarage, we paid particular care and attention to the basement. The space itself was challenging. It was empty with bare brick walls and ceilings. Our mission was to transform it from cold and unwelcoming to a place of relaxation.

We paired up with the inimitable interior designer Keeley Green to bring the design to life. It would feature a vast screen with ultra-high-definition images and booming audio, perfect for movies, television and sporting events.

Seeing is believing

Every private home cinema project we take on begins with computer aided design. We drew the floor, walls and ceiling before adding seating and speakers to complement the best cinema experience.

We’d also need to follow industry guidelines for the best quality and user experience. To that end, we positioned 13 speakers around the room in non-intrusive spots, with some hidden in the walls and ceilings. This would give the sound the best three-dimensional projection: just like a real cinema.

Similarly, CAD allows us to visualise the screen from the viewer’s perspective, making sure it is on spec and comfortable at the appropriate height.

Human design

While our computer images would guide the project, the shrewd eye of Keeley Green would bring it all together. She developed a panelled concept for the room, which we integrated with the walls for perfect symmetry. We managed to keep to her aesthetic without compromising speaker positions, lighting or user walkways.

With everything in situ, our client now enjoys a specialist anamorphic projection system with Dolby audio. Everything is fully customisable with a bespoke tablet interface or hand-held remote. With the touch of a button, guests can control dimming, lighting, screen position and of course, their viewing material.

Full control

The cinema has been set up with the Kaleidescape streaming platform, featuring content made specifically for cinema viewing. Guests will enjoy the superior viewing, plus other visual interest in the form of a coffered ceiling. This offers acoustic stretched material which covers the speakers and incorporates acoustic treatment.

Users can download the latest films with the best quality audio and video through Kaleidescape. It is complemented by an intuitive on-screen interface that groups titles by genre, actor, director and more. No more hours wasted scrolling – they simply relax and take in instant playback.

From industry leading interior design to superior quality audiovisuals, this project transformed the home, and our client was thrilled with the results.


Conforming with all industry standards for sound and vision, we installed:

  • Anamorphic projection system
  • Bespoke iPad user interface
  • 13-channel Dolby Atmos system
  • 4000-watt amplifier power
  • Kaleidescape movie server.