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Draw Inspiration from these Home Theater Design Ideas
Many scoff at such a room, but truth be told, these once-reserved-for-luxury-homes rooms are becoming more and more common place. The technology, while still expensive, is in many ways accessible to more and more people.
Sure, some of the media rooms featured here cost more than $100,000, but you need not necessarily spend that much.
As the cost of going to the movies increases, more couples and families are choosing to rent movies at home. The average cost of going to the theater to watch a new release is $34.60 for a family of four, but that does not include the snacks, which is often the most expensive part of the movie-going experience.
Instead of paying 50 dollars or more in the theater, many families are creating their movie theaters at home. Here are some home theater design ideas that could inspire one to create one of your own.
A. Theater Needs
A home theater doesn’t need to be expensive to enjoy watching movies at home, but there are certain pieces of equipment that are necessary to create a home theater. You may need:
- A projector or DVD player
- Wi-Fi for internet access
- Movie screen
- Sound System
- Comfortable Seating
1. Set a Budget
Before you begin shopping for equipment that will bring the cinematic experience into your home, you should set a budget for your theater. The sound system, which will be one of the most expensive pieces of equipment, costs on average of $969. However, a nice system can cost up to $8,000, so you could spend a lot more unless sticking to a budget.
2. Consider Your Needs
Not everyone is going to need a professional screening room like home theater system in their house. For many families, a room with a large flat screen television, a sectional, and internet access for renting movies may be sufficient. However, if movies are your passion, then you may want a more elaborate room for enjoying them with friends and family.
3. Where to Shop for Equipment
There are many “big box” electronic stores where you can purchase home theater systems, but the employees in those stores may not be very knowledgeable about them. Instead, a local electronics store specializing in home theater systems will have employees who can recommend a system for your home.
Many of these stores send out people to evaluate the room where you are creating the theater to recommend a projector, sound system, and movie screen. While you may pay more than the discount stores, you can usually get better advice and equipment.
4. Theater Location
The room in which you install the equipment is a crucial decision. You’ll want a room where the light is easy to block if you’re going to watch movies during the day. Also, it should be large enough to accommodate your family and guests who you invite over for a movie night.
A finished basement or a family room with few windows is a good choice for a movie theater. If you have an apartment or smaller home, you can still add a theatrical system, but on a smaller scale.
B. Choosing Equipment
The quality of sound and the picture will depend on the type of equipment you choose for the home theater. Use this information for buying equipment when choosing from home theater design ideas.
1. Video Source
In order to watch a movie, you will need a good source for them. While many people have DVD collections, you can also watch movies from internet websites like Netflix, Hulu, or one of the many other entertainment websites online.
Instead of watching movies on a flat screen television, you can purchase a projector to hook up to a DVD, a cable connection, or to an antenna for receiving broadcast signals. Some projectors also have built-in Wi-Fi so that they can project movies from internet sources.
Even though they provide a real cinematic experience, home theater projectors can be expensive. The cost of a decent projector starts at $1,000. The cost depends on the features of the projector and the type you need.
To help you choose the right one, you should purchase a projector from a store that specializes in home theater equipment. They have the knowledge you will need to choose the right projector for your theater room.
2. Video Screens
If you choose to buy a projector, then you will need a video screen for watching the videos you select. Video screens come in many sizes, from room size screens to small portable ones you can put away after watching a movie with the family.
Along with white screens on which videos can be projected, there are also electronic projection screens for home theater systems. The type of screen that you choose will depend on whether you’re projecting two-dimensional images or 3D ones.
While electronic screens will need to be installed a wall or put in a cabinet, a manual or motorized white screen can be hidden in a cassette when not in use. The cassette can be installed from the ceiling or on the wall, depending on its size.
Being able to hide the screen allows you to use the room for more than one purpose. For instance, you can install a home theater system in the family room and hide the equipment when not showing videos. Home theater screens can cost as little as $300, or they can run over $20,000 depending on what you need.
3. Home Theater Sound System
Whether you buy a projector and video screen or create a home theater using a flat screen television and Wi-Fi, you’ll need a good sound system. Wire connections are no longer necessary for sound systems thanks to new technology. If you don’t want to stretch wires across the room, then a wireless sound system may be a good choice.
However, to work correctly, a wireless system still needs a transmitter with a direct connection to the source of the sound. Otherwise, you will need to buy a wired system to get theatrical-like sound from the speakers.
There are many home theater sound systems that come with everything you need, so you don’t have to buy a separate transmitter or speakers. However, unless you understand aspect ratios and know how to hook electronics together so they work, you should get help buying and installing a home theater system.
One of the non-technical aspects of your home theater will be soundproofing the room. Along with keeping sound inside of the room, you will need soundproofing to keep outdoor sounds from filtering into it. After all, who wants their movie interrupted by passing trucks or barking dogs?
There are many ways to soundproof a room, including using noise dampening curtains alongside the video screen, as well as cover any windows there may be. The carpet and the fabric of the furniture will also help to absorb some of the sounds.
Instead of installing a typical interior door, which usually has hollow cores, for your theater, install a door that has soundproofing insulation in its core. Weather-stripping the door and the windows will also help keep out sound, as well as keep it in the room when watching a video or TV show.
If your home theater is in the basement, use acoustic ceiling tiles to help absorb sounds. If the room is on the main level on the house, then you can have sound-dampening drywall, also called zero sound drywall, put up during the theater’s construction.
All these product options and efforts to reduce sound should keep the theatrical sounds in the room while keeping other noises out of it.
5. Comfortable Seating
Lastly, you will want to add furniture that is conducive to watching a good movie. You will find many seating choices when researching home theater design ideas.
a. Reclining Furniture
A good choice for most home theaters will be reclining furniture. A reclining chair or sofa allows users to lean back and prop up their feet while watching a film. It wasn’t that long ago when the only reclining furniture you could buy was a chair, but now you can buy reclining:
- Lift chairs
- Massage chairs
Recliners can hug the wall, which is a good choice for smaller rooms as they take up less space, or you can choose from rocker recliners. Reclining furniture is available in a wide array of fabrics, colors, and patterns, so it will suit any design aesthetic.
b. Home Theater Seats
If you want to create a replica of a real theater in your home, then you need to buy home theater seats to complete the picture. Most home theater seating is contemporary in design, which is a popular choice for most home theaters according to a recent survey. Out of over 39,000 home theaters in the survey, 11.4% of them used contemporary furniture designs.
Home theater seating consists of three to four chairs made as one unit, some of which recline. However, separate chairs and chaise lounges are available for your home theater as well. Some theater seating has cup holders built in, as well as trays, and storage for blankets, pillows, and other items you may deem necessary for your comfort.
c. Fabric Choices
Like other types of furniture, you will have several fabric and color options for home theater seating. While vinyl and leather are popular options because they are easier to clean in case of drink spills, they are also available in a wide variety of soft fabrics. You will even find seating with velveteen material for a comfortably soft, plush surface.
d. Measure Space
When creating a home theater, you may want to accommodate several people and add rows of chairs like you would find in a real movie theater. If the room is large enough, you can elevate a second and third row of chairs on platforms to make it easier to see over people sitting in front of you.
To make sure there is room for someone to walk past the chairs in the row, create aisles that measure 18” to 24” in the front and back of each row of seats. Most home theater seating is large, so the aisle depth will ensure people can easily walk down the aisle when going to get another drink or some popcorn.
C. Small Theater Spaces
If you don’t have a large room to put a cinematic type of home theater, there are still many ways to design a home theater from which you can draw inspiration. A sectional is a good choice for a small home theater because it is comfortable and can accommodate several people. During family movie night, everyone can cuddle together under blankets on the sectional.
A traditional sofa and loveseat set is also practical for a home theater in an apartment or a small house. If you have kids, they could sit on bean bags if there isn’t space on the sofa or loveseat. Large pillows on the floor would also make comfortable seating for people who like to stretch out on the floor while watching a movie.
D. Outdoor Theaters
While the drive-in theater is almost a thing of the past, you can easily create an outdoor theater of your own. For around $200, you can buy an inflatable projection screen for watching movies outdoors.
The screen connects to a projector to display the video and speakers to be able to hear the sound. Most inflatable screens are easy to set-up and connect to a system, so you shouldn’t need too much technical help picking one out and setting it up.
Use an outdoor theater to show movies during a barbeque, when celebrating a special anniversary, or for a children’s camping adventure. Everyone can bring their camping or folding chairs and enjoy a night watching movies under the stars as they did at the drive-in.
There are many home theater design ideas online which you can use to create a theater in your house or apartment. Along with furniture ideas. You can also read about the equipment that is necessary for showing movies on large screens or the accessories you can buy for your flat screen to create a theatrical-like experience in the family room.
If you don’t understand the technical aspects of buying and installing the equipment, seek out experts to get their help in creating the perfect theatrical experience at home.