Having the perfect place to watch movies is key. Check out these great ways to take your living room and create the home theater design of your dreams!
Hi all! Today, Katie Porter is joining us to tell us all about how to create the perfect home theater design. So, without further ado, I'll turn it over to Katie! Are you considering setting up a home theater? Rather than spending money on having a separate room constructed, why not just use your living room? The living room tends to be larger than your average room, so you have plenty space. You can invest the money you save on construction costs on a better home theater system, ensuring that you get the best result from your home theater.
In order to turn your living room into a theater, there are several things you need to look at especially when it comes to decor and the overall experience of the theater.
Step 1: The right home theater system.
As you start your home theater design planning, you need to consider what type of theater system you would like. Factor in the size of the room and what kind of overall experience you want. You don’t have to overspend on the best system in the market, if you plan properly. First, you need to decide which wall of the living room will be used as the screen, measure it, and get a screen that easily fits. You don’t want to cover the whole wall with the screen, usually 90-110 inches is more than enough for an average size living room; however, if you have room for something bigger, then go for it.
The projector you select is important as it determines the quality of video that will be projected. If you have the budget, I recommend getting a 4K resolution projector; if not, then you can settle for a 1080p projector. 4K is recommended because of the exceptional sharpness and clarity, but a 1080p projector also gets the job done. Either way, you want to pair it with a good A/V receiver. I recommend choosing one with Blu-ray technology so you get the top quality as far as resolution goes since DVDs are old news now.
The sound system is equally important as the projector. You will want at least a 5.1 surround sound system in the room, if not a 7.1. In smaller living rooms, you can go with a 2.1 system, but you won’t get the overall surround sound feel. You will also need to consider speaker placement. You need to ensure that the speakers surround the seats properly. So you want your front speakers in the front, 2 speakers on the side, and 2 speakers behind the seats, that set-up is ideal for a 5.1 channel surround system. For a 7.1, you will have 2 more speakers so you can work them between the speakers on the side and the back. Make sure the speakers are at least 8 feet away from the seats, facing towards them, and not too close to the walls. This will allow enough space and direct throw of sound to where you will be seated for amazing sound quality.
Step 2: The decor of the room.
A home theater system is only as good as the room you plan to install it in. Many homeowners tend to just pick a room in their house and install a theater system in it. This is probably the worst mistake you can make. While the living room tends to be a good start, the decor of the room has a huge impact on how the home theater system performs. The walls and floors of a room have an impact on the video and audio quality of the system. How you ask?
Step 3: The walls.
c/o Katie Porter
The walls determine how much light is reflected from the screen. If you have bright colored walls, more light will reflect from the screen onto the wall which will cause displeasure to the viewers. The wall will be a huge distraction so it is recommended that you paint the walls in your theater room a darker shade so light from the screen is not easily reflected.
Like light, sound can also reflect from the wall. So it is a good idea to get acoustic panels fitted on the walls. You don’t need to go all out and completely fit the wall with panels. You should look for locations where the sound is reflected off the walls and place the panels accordingly. The good thing about acoustic panels is that they also block the sound from traveling into neighboring rooms, so you can turn the volume up as loud as you want.
With walls, you don’t want to overdo it. Some people make the mistake of carpeting their walls. While the approach isn’t bad, it doesn’t really help with acoustics especially when the floor is already carpeted. While carpets are great for absorbing sound, they can only absorb the upper spectrum of sound. When you carpet the walls and floor, then chances are you will get distorted sound as the upper spectrum of the sound will be absorbed at every angle while the remaining spectrums are not affected.
Step 4: The floor.
c/o Katie Porter
When it comes to floors, if your living room has hard floors, then you may want to get it carpeted or purchase a floor rug. Hard floors allow sound to reflect off them, which results in bad sound quality. A rug or carpet absorbs the sound and ensures that it does not reflect back, which makes for a wonderful audio experience. You also want to make sure you do not overcrowd the living room with too much furniture as sound reflects and bounces off furniture as well. So, keep the decor as minimal as possible to get the best sound experience.
Step 5: The lighting.
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We can’t talk about the decor of a home theater and not mention the lighting of the room. If you don’t already have dimmers installed, I strongly recommend adding them. This allows you to have complete control over the lights in the room. Yes, lights will most likely be completely off when you watch a movie, but having a dimmer on your lights allows you to have them slightly on if and when you want. You also want to make sure there is no light that reflects directly onto the screen. In order to avoid this, I suggest getting in-ceiling lights.
Living rooms generally have windows, which bring light from outside into the room. This, of course, is not good in terms of viewing pleasure. You can either seal the window or install blinds along with thick, dark curtains to ensure no light seeps through when the curtains are closed. Otherwise, your whole theater experience will be ruined.
Step 6: Getting cozy in the right seats.
As comfortable as sofas might be, they aren’t well-suited for a home theater. You want to be able to relax, recline back, and have your own personal seat as you sit for hours engrossed in a movie. The last thing you want is the person next to you invading your personal space. For seating, I recommend you get nice comfortable seats that recline and give you your space. Not only are these seats comfortable, but beautifully crafted so they will add elegance to your decor.
Not only is the type of seat important, but placement of the seat is equally imperative to get optimal viewing pleasure. You need to know exactly how far your seating needs to be in order to get the best view of the screen. This all hinges on the size of the screen and there is science behind calculating the perfect distance. You need to keep in mind that, the bigger the screen the further back your seats have to be.
If you want to have more than one row of seats in the theater, then you should consider installing platform risers in the room. The last thing you want is the front row to block the view of those sitting behind them. The riser will allow those sitting in the back to have an elevated, clear view of the screen. Risers are customizable so you can get one made according to the height and number of seats you want to fit on it.
Setting up a home theater is not as simple as getting a system and hooking it up to your television. There are numerous other factors that play a vital role in the performance of your home theater. Therefore, it is important that you ensure that the room you select for the home theater is the right size and has the right decor before you have your heart set on transforming it into your own home theater.
Now you have all the tips and tricks you need to set up your very own home cinema room! Does anyone already have one? Let us know how you set it up below, and share this post with all your friends who would love a home theater! Enjoy your new home theater, everyone.
Author bio: Katie Porter is an aspiring writer, movie lover, and part of the team at Seatup. In her free time, she enjoys exploring her home state of Colorado and plays in a women's amateur rugby league.