A dedicated home theater space provides a lot of room for creativity when it comes to furnishings and decorations. Here are some of the things to consider when setting up your home’s theater.
Next to the actual theater equipment, this is probably the most important element of your room. Before you rush out and buy 12 recliners, measure your room and create a detailed drawing of the space. Include any windows and doors, ceiling height, and the dimensions of any additional furniture. We repeat: don’t buy anything without carefully measuring both your space and the furniture you want to buy.
Think about how you will use the room most: is it primarily for family and a few close friends, or do you envision large viewing parties? The number of people who need a place to sit will impact what you buy. A sofa that can fit 4-6 might offer you more flexibility than four individual chairs will.
There are a lot of options available, from individual chairs – usually these recline – to sofas with built-in recliners and cup holders. Shop around, sit in a variety of chairs and sofas, and take your time. You’re likely going to spend a lot of time in this room. Make sure you’re comfortable.
If you want to create rows of seating, you can build risers to allow for a good view from every seat.
All of that beautiful equipment should be stored properly to prevent overheating. An AV rack (see photos below) is a great option for affordable custom storage. AV racks keep all of your components cool and within reach, allowing for easy access when you need to plug in/un-plug something.
Storage for movies, music, and games
The easier it is for you to find the DVD or game you’re searching for, the more you’re going to enjoy the room. If you choose custom cabinetry, make sure you build some room to grow. Over time your collections will expand, and nobody wants piles of movies on the floor.
As an alternative to custom storage, you can get creative with media storage. Consider ottomans or other seating with hidden storage compartments. Or hunt for salvaged movie theater items, like ticket booths and concession counters – uses for salvaged items are limited only by your imagination.
Paint or wall coverings
Make the room cozy. Opt for dark colored walls and fabrics.
Layer your lighting, and use dimmers. Install wall sconces that can be dimmed very low during viewings, or turned up for the post-movie discussion. Use lamps to provide task lighting in your snack bar or game table area. You may want to consider some low-voltage lighting, like rope lights, to help people find their way to snacks, drinks, and the exit door during viewings.
Don’t forget the extra touches
The home theater experience isn’t complete without snacks and drinks. If your furniture doesn’t come with cup holders and/or trays, provide small tables near every seat. It’s also a good idea to have cozy blankets and extra pillows available for each seat.
When the budget allows, it’s convenient to have a mini-fridge or even a small bar in the room, fully stocked with drinks and movie candy. Another great touch is a popcorn maker.
Keep an eye out for movie-themed décor, like film posters, old movie reels, or salvaged theater furnishings and equipment. These details help bring your personality to the space.