Home theaters are a fun addition to any home. And, with just a few easy changes, you can create one in your home, without breaking the bank!
First, select a dedicated space. Homes with open floor plans can be a struggle, since controlling light and sound is key. Eliminate input from outside noises like kitchen appliances and kids playing. A basement is ideal, but many of us (especially here in Houston!) don't have them. Consider transforming a spare bedroom or study instead.
Another way to control outside noise is by adding sound proofing buffers. Specific sound-reducing wallboard can be purchased, or you can add a layer of insulating foam to absorb outside noises. Coupled with soft surfaces on the ground (rugs), walls and windows (draperies), and seating (cushions and pillows), this allows for the best sound quality to enjoy your movies.
Lighting is a key component in theaters. Picture your favorite movie theater and recreate the mood with recessed lights and strategic up-lighting. Rope lights and dimmers are easy, affordable options to transforming the room and creating ambiance with lighting without the harshness of direct lights that can distract from the screen. Control ambient light by utilizing blackout curtains and hiding electronics behind closed doors.
Keep distractions to a minimum. Shiny mirrors and fixtures can reflect the movie, creating unwelcome focal points. In addition, reducing knick-knacks and decor helps keep the focus on the screen. Movie posters can be a fun addition - in the back of the room with a popcorn maker and mini fridge!
Tiered seating is also an upgrade to consider. Handy DIYers and carpenters can build wide stair-step frames to elevate your seating when space allows. Even 6 inches can make a difference for sight lines, so this is attainable if you're looking for a true theater experience without vaulted ceilings. And, while specialty home theater seating is available, any comfortable forward-facing seats get the job done.
Utilizing streaming services like Amazon Prime, Hulu or Netflix is something you're probably already familiar with. By adding a larger TV or projecting onto a screen, you'll create more of a theater-like experience, especially when coupled with cozy reclining chairs and couches. Remember you may need to update your wiring to ensure a strong signal for uninterrupted movies.
You'll likely want to hire an electrician to help with the electrical components... Proper ventilation and wiring for your A/V rack, internet connections, and proper GFCI outlets might be more than a DIYer should safely take on!