7 Things to Consider When Designing Your Home Theater
| Fact Checked By: Ashley De Zeeuw
Published: August 18, 2020 | Updated: September 2, 2021
Going to the movies is one of my favorite pastimes. Getting to see the latest project of your favorite actor while also snacking on popcorn, what could be better? But there are times when you don’t want to go out or your local theater’s closed due to, I don’t know, a global pandemic? Plus, if you go to the movies often the cost can add up. Why not design your own home theater with some fun home theater ideas?
You would be surprised at how easily you can have your very own theater when you have an extra room, and the extra time on your hands to get it done. Whether you are creating a makeshift theater just for fun or setting up a private movie oasis in one of your guest rooms, here are some tips, tricks, and things to consider for your home theater!
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1. Permanent vs. Temporary Home Theater Ideas
No matter how much you love the movies, before you set up your own home theater you have to decide if you want to set up an entire media room or a temporary setup for a fun movie night. While there’s not much difference, it comes down to how you want to dedicate your time and money.
Permanent Home Theater
So, you find yourself missing the movie theater, and with all your extra free time, you decide to build your very own theater. Maybe your kids flew the coop, or you decided that extra guest room does not get used enough. Whatever your reasoning, this is an exciting project that takes some planning with what room to use, and what money you can allocate for your movie oasis.
For a permanent home theater ideas, you’re looking at fixtures and flooring that are there to stay. The flooring, for example, should be wall to wall carpeting to help with sound quality. The seating will sit in the perfect position for the speakers and the screen. These staple pieces are necessary to distinguish your permanent home theater from just another guest room.
Temporary Home Theater
Maybe you’re not looking for a permanent home theater, but instead just a fun activity for the family every once in a while. This creates some good old fashioned bonding time and shakes up your daily routine. So grab your favorite snack, movie, and blanket and read on to get some fresh ideas for your family movie night!
Since this type of theater is set up in a multi-purpose room, like a living room, your fixtures for your theater should be more functional. For instance, you won’t be installing wall to wall home theater carpet in your living room. For easier maintenance and functionality your flooring and wall coverings will be more temporary as well. You might throw a nice area rug on the hard floor and get some dark curtains to create your movie night. Then, once movie night is over, you can revert back to the multipurpose room from before.
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2. Room Size
Whether you have an extra room, or you’re creating a temporary home theater, the room size dictates a large portion of the overall design of your home theater. Factors like your seating arrangement, the furniture, the flooring, and the screen size all depend on the amount of space you have to work with.
Truthfully, the “best size” home theater all depends on what you have. If you are creating a home theater out of the large guest bedroom, you’ll have more options on how to set up your theater. If you are working with a smaller room, you want to make sure you don’t overwhelm the space with too much furniture, or a gigantic movie screen. This can affect the viewing experience as well as the sound quality of any film.
An amazing home theater is based on how you use your space!
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Now that you know what room you’ll be using for your home theater, you want to decide on the equipment you’re using – for instance, your sound system, projector, and any DVD or Blu-ray or streaming devices you’ll need. These electronic devices need to be wired in the room before you install flooring, wall coverings, and furniture, so you don’t trip over wires when walking to your seat.
4. Walls and Wall Covering
For starters, what your wall is made of can affect the sound quality and soundproofing of your home theater. For instance, the insulation and drywall should be able to handle the loud sound effects of your movie. With that being said, you’ll want to make sure that whatever room you choose is properly insulated.
Once you choose your room and the walls, whether it’s for a temporary or permanent theater setup, you can cover the walls with a few different materials to help with the acoustics. Installing acoustic boards, thick curtains, or even carpet onto your walls will help to absorb sound bounce.
Temporary Theater Wall Options
To feel like you’re in a theater, invest in some blackout curtains to go over your windows. If you’re not in the mood to go out and buy blackout curtains, a nice dark sheet or some blankets will do the trick. This way, you can easily make the room darker just by shutting the curtains, but when the movie night is over, you can have a bright space all over again.
Permanent Theater Wall Options
To ensure awesome sound quality, you’ll want to make sure your wall has some cushioned barrier. Thick, blackout curtains over any windows can help the sound, and make the room nice and dark for your viewing pleasure.
If you choose to paint your walls, a cool color would be best. Any bright colors can take attention away from the screen. No one wants that in their theater!
Sound bounces off of hard, flat surfaces. Therefore, for the best sound, you want to use carpet. This can be carpet tiles, rugs, or home theater carpet. That’s right, whether you are building a public movie theater or a home theater, you can have quality themed carpet to complete your space.
Temporary Theater Flooring Ideas
For a temporary home theater, flooring is a little different. Instead of wall-to-wall carpet installation, you might consider a cozy area rug to handle any loud noises from your movie, as sound tends to bounce off hard surfaces and create an uneven sound. Plus, if you or the kiddos like to sit on the floor, you’ll be more comfortable.
Great news, we also have a selection of rugs for you to choose from.
Permanent Theater Flooring Ideas
For the best sound quality in a media room, you will want to find a soft flooring such as carpet. This is so the noise of whatever movie you watch doesn’t bounce around, creating an uneven sound. Luckily, we have a wide selection of home theater carpet to choose from!
Residential Theater Carpet
This type of carpet comes in carpet tiles, and carpet rolls, with a variety of textures and colors. Specifically designed for low traffic, residential areas, this carpet can handle spills and stains with no problem. Whatever pattern or color you choose, your home theater will be looking great!
Commercial Theater Carpet
For a busier theater, you might consider a commercial-grade carpet. This selection has fun patterns and colors that are available in tiles and rolls. Tough enough for any snack or soda spills, this carpet will look awesome while you entertain guests, and watch your favorite movie.
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Once you have your sound system, walls, and flooring figured out, it will be time to add your furniture. This part has more to do with your guests’ viewing and listening experience, and it ties all the previous sections together.
You see, when it comes to sound, seats too close to walls end up with boomy bass. You also want the right amount of seating-to-speaker ratio. It’s suggested that your seats are at least four feet away from each speaker to ensure excellent acoustics (source).
Next, you want to be sure that from each seat in your theater, you can see the screen with ease. No shifting in your seat to see around the person in front of you. For this, you can either create steps or platforms for your seats to sit on or get creative with your seat arrangement based on the room size.
Last but not least, you want to figure out what kind of screen you want in your theater. The size and style of your screen depend on a few things, like your equipment and the size of the room. For instance, if you are using a projector instead of a TV, you will need a projector screen. If you don’t want to purchase a projector screen, you can always make one out of blackout cloth.
As for the size of your screen, you want to cater to the size of your room. If you’re working with a smaller room, a gigantic screen can overwhelm the space. Whereas, if you have a big room for your home theater, a small screen can be hard to see.
Whether you choose a TV or a projector, make sure it works with the room for the best viewing experience.
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There you have it! Are you ready to set up your awesome home theater? Let us get you started on the right foot.