When Patricia and Anthony DiTomasso added a second story to their East Meadow home and moved their master bedroom to the second floor, Anthony got the room of his dreams -- downstairs. The two DIYers turned the master bedroom space into a home theater for the family. "It is like his man cave," says Patricia, 47, a school crossing guard in Nassau County. Anthony, 50, who is a painter by profession, did nearly all the work himself, with help from Patricia and their two children, Anthony Jr., 17, and Danielle, 21. Patricia and Anthony Sr., who say they hate paying others to do things they can do themselves, tackled everything, from laying the floor to creating decorative panels designed to allow access to wiring. "We wanted it to look more like an opera house than a movie theater, maybe an old-time theater." TOTAL: about $10,000 (Anthony estimated he saved $20,000 by doing so much of the work himself. The family had the electrical and plumbing removal done by family friends who are licensed professionals.) -- Sylvia E. King-Cohen
BEFORE. The DiTomassos built a master bedroom upstairs to make room for the ground-floor home theater.
65-INCH PANASONIC FLAT-SCREEN PLASMA TELEVISION, $1,800. This was a floor model. From Best Buy in Levittown.
STEREO SYSTEM, $450. From J&R in Manhattan.
ENTERTAINMENT CABINET, $330. From Furn-A-Kit in Lindenhurst.
HARMONY 1 REMOTE, $199. This is Anthony and Anthony Jr.’s pride and joy. From Best Buy in Levittown.
CHAIR AND OTTOMAN, $1,400. From The Cindy Crawford Collection at Raymour & Flanigan, Garden City. (August 2010)
PERGO WOOD FLOORING, $120 (for four boxes). When the perfect carpet was smaller than they needed, Anthony told Patricia to buy it and he’d deal with it. His solution: add the wood flooring to mimic a walkway. From Lowe’s Home Improvement Store, Garden City.
CARPET, $400. This high-traffic carpet remnant is from a casino installation. Patricia fell in love with its purple and bronze pattern. From Jim Flack Carpet Sales, Farmingdale.
TRACK LIGHTING, $60. They used it along the wood floor, to highlight the step to the platform and even along the crown molding to give it definition. From Lowe’s.
STUDDED STORAGE TABLE, $160. It is ideal to store blankets. From htmarket.com. (August 2010)
TITANIC MEMORABILIA, existing. It is one of their favorite movies. It includes a bell that Patricia joked that she rings when she wants Anthony to work the remote. (August 2010)
PLATFORM, $80 (materials). You just can’t call it a home theater if there’s not raised seating. Materials from Home Depot. Constructed by Anthony.
MICROFIBER LEATHER-LOOK SEATING, $1,860. It even has built-in cup holders. From Raymour & Flanigan.
PAINT, $123. Glitter ($3) from Michaels. Paint ($120 for two cans) is Martha Stewart’s Blueberry Pie and Bronze, from Home Depot. (August 2010)
WALL SCONCES, $234 (for six). From Lowe’s.
DECORATIVE MOLDING, $1,200. This was an expense. In addition to being painted, it also has gold leaf accents. All the work was done by Anthony. The track lighting also backlights the molding to enhance the theater effect. (August 2010)
DECORATIVE PANELS, $57 (for six). It houses both speakers and access to some electrical wiring. It was Patricia’s idea to create these framed faux panels to hide the access areas. Frames ($42) are from Lowe’s; fabric ($12) from Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts in Westbury; and Velcro tabs ($3) from Lowe’s. (August 2010)
POPCORN MACHINE, $70. From BJ’s Wholesale Club in Levittown. (August 2010)
ASIAN-STYLE DOOR HANDLES, $20 (for four).
From the Bellmore Lions Club Flea Market.
MOLDING and DOORS, $225. The doors were $5 at a garage sale in the neighborhood. The molding ($220) was leftover from various projects. The work was done by Anthony, who estimated he’d have paid $800 to hire someone to do it. (August 2010)
TICKET BOOTH, $80. Anthony surprised Patricia with the ticket booth window leading to the home theater. He used leftover material ($30) to make the window and had the lettering done at a booth at the flea market. He estimated that he’d charge $500 to do the work for someone else. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it,” Patricia says. “It was so cute.” (August 2010)