When big-screen movies and sound are great, but all that equipment in your living room ain?t, you need a hideaway home theatre. Kate Haycock explains how it?s done.

In this day and age, sleek aesthetics, slimline cabinets and lots of frosty surfaces are the order of the decorating day. It can be hard to make a home theatre or an audio system mesh with that, because by its very nature, a good audio-visual system requires a fair bit of space-consuming, clutter-inducing and dust-collecting kit.

It?s true that the iPod phenomena is changing the scale of audio and video systems, but for good home theatre and hi-fi, you still need speakers, AV receivers and other boxes such as DVD players and games consoles, wires and, of course, a display of that will no doubt be on the large size.

However, there is technology and cabinetry that will allow you to disguise your gear, hide it away, and ensure it is as unobtrusive as possible ? except when you want it to be as visible and audible as possible, of course.

Slimline, sleek aesthetics are the order of the day in interior decoration at the moment, to go with slimline sleek plasmas. Flush-mount speakers that virtually disappear into the wall offer audio performance without the large speaker boxes that consume floor space.