Capture “Red Carpet” magic in your Texas Hill Country home!

With all the long lines waiting to see Hollywood’s end-of-the-year movie releases, ‘tis the season to consider running the show with your own theater right in the comfort of your home.

Imagine dazzling your holiday guests with the ultimate cinematic setting located just steps from your living room suite. Home theater technology has evolved to such a level that it not only enhances the value of your property, but also can reduce energy costs while adding a “WOW!” element to home entertainment.

The home theater experience reflects the overall quality of watching TV, movies, sporting events or other types of media such as Playstation. Basically, the concept derives from the idea that you can incorporate the movie theater-type atmosphere into your home in an exciting yet affordable way. Studies show that home theaters cultivate more gatherings of family and friends spending quality time together.

Smart home technology offers an amazing selection of audio visual amenities to transform any ordinary room space into an extraordinary theater. From creative multimedia room designs and luxurious hanging LCD or plasma screens to state-of-the-art home electronics and surround-sound systems, movies and entertainment can be just as exciting at home as they are in the big theaters.

As this technology has become increasingly less expensive, installing a home theater can actually represent a significant savings in family entertainment. In addition, the concept of such a room is something new to many homeowners and often not considered when house hunting or building. Instead, some find themselves installing a theater long after they have moved into their new property.

If you recently purchased a home in Texas Hill Country, you may have noticed that many are now constructed with audio-video wiring and smart home technology details to afford you the option of extensive media room automation. Features such as speakers installed within walls and ceilings, universal remotes, access controls, surround sound, wireless networks and others are now a standard consideration in many home construction plans.

Exciting custom design features like infrared technology, automated screens, HD projectors, lighting controls, media servers, security systems and designer speakers with subwoofers are easily installed, meaning fewer wires and eliminating labor installation costs due to the new home-automation system designs.

Home theater design consists of four major components: room design, construction, acoustic treatment and system setup. First, you have to plan and construct the space. Examine the room and create a game plan on how you want it to look. There are many home theater consultants to choose from in the Austin and Hill Country areas who can assist you with custom lighting and sound and other design aspects.

Next, you will purchase your components. A home theater room should include a television, a theater projection system and the installation of these devices. From there, you can add gaming systems, perhaps a Blu Ray system and any number of other accessories, such as an all-in-one smart remote. You can choose to install the components yourself or hire a company to do it for you.

Now comes the fun part of decorating and accessorizing the room. Once all the electronic devices are installed and ready to go, you can decide on the type of furnishings. Features like rich dark colors, textured walls, lighting with dimmer switches, big plush seating with reclining sofas and thick drapes and red carpets all add dramatic theatrical ambiance to your home theater room. Add movie posters or paintings to spice it up and include other personal touches such as a refreshment bar to give the home theater room your favorite film theme and special movie house flavor.

Popcorn, anyone?

Carolyn Boden is a marketing consultant at Belvedere, Texas hill country land for sale real estate community. They sell beautiful hill country acreage located west of Austin near Hamilton Pool. For more information please visit


Explore the Texas Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail

In the Texas Hill Country, a ride on a one horse open sleigh may be hard to come by, as one necessary ingredient (snow) is a rarity.  However, don’t let that dismay you – the Texas Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail leaves nothing to be desired.  Just pile the kids into your sleigh on wheels, and go for a wonderful drive through the Texas Hill Country to see the festival of lights in the small towns that dot the landscape.

The Regional Christmas Lighting Trail encompasses 11 central Texas communities.  The participating communities are Boerne, Burnet, Dripping Springs, Fredericksburg, Goldthwaite, Johnson City, Kerrville, Llano, Marble Falls, New Braunfels, and Wimberley.

Last night we had the pleasure of driving through Goldthwaite, a bucolic community located on U.S. 183 north of Austin.  The light display was beautiful, and we noticed one couple enjoying the tour of lights on a horse drawn, open air carriage.

The Johnson City display features over 1,000,000 lights adorning the Pedernales Electric Cooperative’s main office, with another 300,000 lights on the county courthouse.

In addition to the famous specialty shopping, brew pubs, museums and bed and breakfasts, Fredericksburg serves up seasonal cheer with lights all along Main Street and in the central Marktplatz park.  The park features a 26 foot tall Christmas pyramid, Christmas tree, and an outdoor ice skating rink.

Llano’s festival is called “Starry Starry Nights” (named after the famous Van Gogh painting) and includes animated displays, a 55 foot tall Christmas tree, and a 30 foot tall snowman which is this year’s newest addition.

Wimberley’s “Old Fashioned Christmas” includes not only the requisite trail of lights but also a Yule Log with marshmallow roasting.

Marble Falls’ “Christmas Walkway of Lights” is the host to over one million glowing bulbs on the shores of Lake Marble Falls.  The lights are ablaze nightly from 6 pm until 10 pm through New Year’s Day.

Kerrville lights up its courthouse and downtown area with over 100,000 lights and includes various food and festival activities depending upon the date you attend.

Burnet’s “Christmas Festival” is easily reached from Austin via the Hill Country Flyer steam train. What a romantic evening that would be – to ride a steam train to a Christmas light festival in Hamilton Park featuring lights, luminaries, and other Christmas décor.

Making a trip to the scenic and festive Hill Country communities is one of the best ways to enjoy time with the family as well as to get filled with Christmas cheer. Be sure not to miss out!

Carolyn Boden is a marketing consultant at Belvedere, Texas hill country land for sale real estate community. They sell beautiful hill country acreage located west of Austin near Hamilton Pool. For more information please visit