The average U.S movie ticket costs more than $9. That’s nearly a $5 increase since 1999. If you make a night out of it, you’ll also be paying for snacks, drinks, and food. While the movies are a coveted pastime, it’s no secret that it costs big to be entertained.
What if you could have all joy of the movies from the comfort of your home? These days, home theaters don’t have to bee too expensive to implement, especially if you already have an extra room.
Find out some of the best home theater design ideas to get started.
1. Ambient Lighting
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of theater room décor. It’s important to have a bright, vibrant space where people can gather. On the other hand, you also need a space that can become dark enough to screen movies without distractions.
Instead of standard overhead lights and lamps, use recessed lights, track lights or wall sconces. Ideally, you’ll want a dimmable system that can go completely dark or give a little light if you still want to see.
You can also get creative and add task lighting throughout the room in the form of small desk lamps or baseboard light strips. For any lighting that you choose, try to use warm light bulbs instead of bright fluorescent lighting.
2. Comfortable Seating
The right seating is key to bringing the theater experience to your home. If you choose the right seats, you can even make your movie experience more comfortable than most public theaters.
Consider how often you’ll use your home theater, and who will be joining you. If it’s just for family, you could choose a sectional couch or conversation pit, which we’ll be the most comfortable and intimate.
If your theater is designed for entertaining, you may want the classic stadium-style seating with recliner chairs for every person.
No matter what type of seating you choose, make sure it’s durable and easy to clean. Movies go best with snacks and drinks, and spills can happen easily. Find the best fabrics for home theater seats that make a statement but are less likely to stain.
3. Insulating Wall Décor
Aside from lighting and seating, the acoustics are equally as important for your home theater.
Consider adding home theater décor that can also help insulate the room. Even if you don’t have windows, you can hang up thick curtains or tapestries along your walls. These will help absorb outside noises so the movie is loud and clear. They’ll also help add to the environment by creating the feel of a real movie theater.
You can also purchase foam panels in different colors to create a unique design along your walls. Recording studios and commercial theaters commonly use foam paneling, so it’s specially designed for optimal audio.
4. Plush Floors
Both your acoustics and comfort can benefit from plush home theater flooring. Choosing the right carpet will add more ambiance to the room while helping to absorb outside noise.
You can lay a thin carpet and add thicker rugs on top if you’d like to add texture and color. Consider a dedicated area near your TV screen for rugs and throw pillows where people can lounge on the floor if they’d like.
Steer clear of the usual white or cream-colored carpeting. Brighter colors can reflect light from your TV screen and make it more distracting to watch a movie. Carpets or rugs with designs are great as long as they’re dark or more muted colors.
5. Invisible Wiring
Whether you’re creating the illusion of a movie theater or not, nothing’s more distracting than bunched up wiring. Extra wiring can also be dangerous. If you have a lot of people moving throughout the room, they could trip or get caught on wires along the floor.
Consider trying some DIY updates to hide your wiring behind decorations or inside your walls.
If hiding your wires doesn’t work, consider investing in as many wireless electronics as possible. You’ll still need to plug in your TV or projector, but most everything else can be wireless or battery-powered.
Look for wireless speakers that can work through Bluetooth. If you’ve always used a DVD or Blu-Ray player, consider investing in a Roku or Amazon Firestick. These devices plug directly into your TV and eliminate a lot of the wiring needed.
6. Party Zone
If you’re using your home theater for entertaining, it’s great to have an area for drinking and eating. Consider designing a home bar that can be directly behind your seating.
At a minimum, you’ll need some counter space and a few bar stools. If you want to level it up, consider adding a mini-fridge so you don’t have to go back and forth to your kitchen for supplies. If the room allows for it, you can also install a sink to easily wash up when you’re done.
For more ambiance, you can even turn the space into café-style seating. Some visitors may wish to eat while they’re watching a movie. If so, add small cocktail tables that sit higher than your theater seating.
If you add a bar to your home theater, also consider installing end tables and cup holders to your seating. This’ll allow everyone to enjoy his or her drinks and food while preventing spills.
7. Snack Bar
If the adults get their own are for entertainment, you can’t forget about the kids. One of the best home theater ideas is adding a snack bar. This simple edition can transform your home theater into feeling like a night out.
To create a snack bar, all you need is some extra counter space. Add some cabinets full of candy, dishes, and napkins. If you want to make it look authentic, you can invest in some glass-top counters or even make them on your own.
Kids and adults can enjoy a snack bar, and it’ll probably be the most fun part of your theater to decorate. Add fun signage that resembles a real snack bar, and consider using themes plates and cups.
On the top of your counter space, place a popcorn machine, soda maker, snow cone machine, or any other fun gadgets you might have.
8. Sleek and Modern Design
It’s easy to design your home theater to make it look like a public theater. If you want a unique experience, design your theater room to be more sleek and modern.
Instead of the usual theater recliner seats, mix things up by using individual armchairs and love seats. You can also bring in ottomans for more comfort.
Rather than using a theme, consider decorating your space with a variety of beautiful art pieces. Even if the purpose of your room is to watch movies, you can make it just as appealing for relaxing and starting conversations.
9. Unique Electronics
Think outside the box and consider products you can use other than the standard TV and speakers.
These days, 3D images are still one of the most exciting experiences at the movie theater. Why not bring that home? You can purchase a 3D projector for around $1,5000, complete with 3D glasses. Make every movie feel like an adventure straight from your home.
If you don’t want to invest in 3D capability, a standard project can be just as exciting. A quality projector will feel closer to the standard theater experience than a regular TV. You can buy a projector with HD and 4K capability for the clearest viewing experience.
10. Multi-Functional Space
Even if you have the space for a fully functional home theater, it may be beneficial to create a mixed-use space instead.
Consider designing your theater in a room with windows. This may seem counterintuitive, but you can easily cover the windows with blackout curtains when you’re getting ready to watch a movie. When you aren’t using the room as a theater, you can open up the curtains for some natural light.
Use multi-functional seating like futons, which can convert your room to a guest space. When the theater isn’t in use, visitors could be able to nap and sleep after converting the futons to beds.
If you have a bar area, you could even install lighting and power strips to transition it to office space during the day.
Multi-functional theaters help maximize your space while giving you more use out of your home.
Choosing the Best Home Theater Design Ideas
If you’re working on designing a home theater, it can be difficult to choose the best furniture, electronics and more. Use our home theater design ideas to guide your process, but always consider your priorities and needs.
For more advice about home décor, visit our blog.