Does your dream home include a movie theater? Having a luxury home theater or personal movie room under your own roof is possible for homeowners on nearly any budget! With the right DIY attitude and a little ingenuity, you can turn a bonus room into your own personal media room with these 25 home theater ideas.
Use Your Attic…
Choosing the optimal location for your home theater setup is essential. A movie room should be located away from high-traffic areas of your home to help minimize outside noise and disturbances that can ruin a movie-watching experience. For this reason an attic tends to work great! An attic can easily incorporate home theater must-haves, like additional insulation for soundproofing or a projector and surround-sound wiring, which can enhance your movie-viewing experience.
…Or Your Basement…
A basement can also work well as a media room. Not only is it separated from other living areas, but there are often few to no windows, which is perfect for creating an intimate movie-watching experience. A finished basement, which is necessary when creating a basement home theater, also adds to a home’s resale value and increases living space.
…Or a Spare Bedroom!
If your attic or basement is already established, consider using a spare bedroom or an open flex room for your home theater. Try to choose a low-traffic location with minimal background noise in your home, otherwise you may need to invest in soundproofing. For optimal acoustics, choose a room that’s a simple shape with limited windows, closets, or doors!
Pick the Appropriate Paint
There are plenty of great options for choosing paint colors for your home, but there are certain paint colors or tonal schemes that create a functional home theater room. Dark shades, like brown, gray, and black, help cut down or eliminate the reflection of light, so you have a clearer screen while watching your film. Additionally, choosing paints with a matte finish is another home theater idea that can help elevate your viewing experience.
Enhance Your Theater Carpeting
If you want to increase the sound optimization in your home theater room, consider installing thick movie theater carpeting or purchasing rugs to cover your floors. Carpet is great for sound-dampening, an often overlooked element when drafting a media room design, and can keep noise disturbances from neighbors or surrounding rooms to a minimum. Plus, carpet adds an additional touch of comfort to your movie room!
Install Curtains or Blinds to Reduce Outside Light
The ideal home theater setup will have little to no outside light in order to reduce reflection and optimize your movie room use. If this isn’t an option, simply installing floor-length blinds or blackout curtains can improve your viewing experience! Not only do curtains and blinds keep light out of your media room—they can also help lower the temperature of your space! which makes your cinema room an ideal place to get comfy with a warm blanket.
Incorporate Soft Lighting
Want to create home theater lighting like you see in real movie theaters? Stick with soft sconces on the walls and low voltage recessed lighting trim in the ceiling. This helps create a warm, inviting atmosphere. Use LED strips for easy DIY lighting projects like cove lighting, which can create this type of ambience in a cinema room, as well! Or add a dimming option to your home theater lighting to set the mood and ambiance for any movie, event, or show!
Create a Fiber Optic Star Ceiling
If you’re looking to go beyond the ordinary, fiber optic lights will create a one-of-a-kind experience guests won’t forget. You can buy fiber optics in kits that are priced by square footage. This is a great DIY project for those looking to add additional home theater lighting and a unique conversation piece for an affordable price.
Go for a Projector & Projector Screen
If you want an old-time feel and a large screen in your home theater room, setting up a projector is the way to go. In large enough spaces, a home theater projector can create a 100-inch picture, which gives you access to the big screen at home. Projectors are often cheaper than large, high-quality TVs, giving you the best value for your cinema room. Double check your projector connection options to see if your tech is compatible with laptops, desktop computers, or other mobile streaming devices.
Upgrade to a Smart TV
If a theater projector isn’t right for your space, a smart TV is a great option as well! Many smart TVs are available with individual operating systems and access to streaming services for movies, shows, sports, and other events. When choosing a TV for your in home theater, it’s important to consider resolution, screen size, and HDMI hookups in order to optimize your viewing experience. Additionally, HDR-compatible and plasma TVs are best for realistic colors and contrast, which can enhance your viewing experience.
Use Cable Management Tools
A mess of unruly cables in the corner of your theater room can distract you from any movie experience. Cable management tools help keep cords organized and out-of-sight. Consider using a cable management box to keep auxiliary cables, speaker cables, and HDMI cables hidden in plain sight. Cable ties are great for bundling cords so you can easily stashed them behind your TV cabinet. Try adding a TV credenza in your home media room in addition to holes and grommets in shelving units to manage any additional cable boxes, gaming system, or Blu-ray players.
Install Surround Sound Speakers
Besides picture quality, investing in sound equipment will improve the quality of your in home theater experience! Sound makes films feel more immersive and adds to the overall ambience of a movie viewing experience. Investing in surround sound speakers will ensure sound waves will hit you from all angles. To achieve the best sound possible in your new movie room, place floor-standing tower speakers toward the front and hide other speakers in bookshelves, on walls, or on the ceiling throughout the room. For a more affordable home theater speaker option, use a sound bar to deliver a high-quality sound experience.
Add Acoustic Panels
Sound is just as important as the visuals of a movie, so installing acoustic panels is a great home theater idea! Acoustic panels optimize the audio quality of your space by eliminating echo and reverb, which can help make a more immersive movie-watching experience. The best part is that audio panels come in a variety of styles, colors, and designs, so you can further personalize your cinema room. They can also be installed professionally or purchased in DIY kits!
Take Advantage of Large Spaces
If space isn’t an issue, consider adding large furniture options to your home theater for a sleek, clean, and modern look. It’s also perfect for packing in plenty of friends and family! Setting up furniture around a large space will help maintain an open concept home theater, which can give an inviting feel to your family and guests. Also consider adding a theater sectional to your home cinema, which can provide a variety of seating options while still keeping an open floor concept!
Separate Adjacent Rooms
If you’re planning to design a home theater room in an open concept basement or flex space, it’s important to separate the room from other areas of your home. There are plenty of ways to create room separation, including floor-length curtains, sliding glass doors, shelving units, and more. Be sure to consider what materials to use for the cinema room partition, to try and reduce light reflection and increase sound dampening.
Choose Your Theater Seating Material
Your home theater design isn’t just room decor and seating types, but also the material for your theater seating! Velvet seating is plush, absorbent, and available in a variety of patterns and colors, while leather is durable and offers a sleek feel to a cinema room. Consider home theater seating that’s resistant to staining, wear-and-tear, and scuffs, so your home theater renovations are built to last.
Install Row Seating
If you’re looking for the best home theater seating, row seating allows you to get the most out of smaller spaces. Theater seating can be professionally installed, or it can make for a great home DIY project to turn your movie room into the luxury space of your dreams! Some cinema seating options include features like cupholders, armrests, reclining positions, USB charging ports, and more. Also, row seating is perfect for creating a multi-level home theater design for better screen viewing!
Go with Lounge Chairs
Lounge seating is another home theater idea that can help create a pleasurable space for you to enjoy. This type of media room furniture allows you to lay back and sprawl out for added comfort. To help limit messes and distractions, use furniture with cupholders to help keep snacks and drinks together and out of the way. Find the beanbags, sofa seats, chaise loungers, and other lounge furniture that best fits your media room’s aesthetic for a great in-home theater experience!
Try Out Couples Seating
While your home theater room is perfect for family movie nights or streaming big sports events, couples seating can help set the scene for romantic home date nights! Create a movie theater with couples seats by including two-seaters like two-person recliners or a daybed where you can curl up with your loved one and enjoy a film.
Opt for Floor Seating and Pillows
Want super comfortable home theater furniture that fits a tighter budget? Adding floor seating, like beanbag chairs, floor cushions, or poufs, can be more affordable and allow you to rearrange your cinema room with ease. Plus, this type of media room furniture can help give your space multi-level seating vibes without needing to invest in home theater risers!
Decorate with Your Favorite Movie Posters
Set the mood and add flair by decorating your media room with some of your favorite movie posters. Hanging a few around the entrance of your home theater room can even create a grand entrance into the space! Or consider hanging posters within the cinema room itself to set the room’s mood. Arrange your movie posters by color, film series, or change them out with the seasons. You can even invest in original movie posters of vintage flicks or consider creating a movie poster light box to give your art pieces a classic motion picture theater look!
Themed Movie Room
When creating your home theater design, don’t forget to incorporate your passions into your decor! Consider creating a themed home theater where your love for Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek, or any other movie, book, TV show, video game, or subject you wish to display. Creating a themed movie room is a great way to show off any memorabilia, posters, figurines, and other fandom items within a single space.
Include a Concession Stand
If you really want to add a realistic feel to your cinema room, a concession stand is a great home theater idea! Pack it with all of your favorite movie theater snacks—like movie theater candy, pizza or pretzel warmers, a popcorn machine, and more—for quick access to delicious treats while watching a movie. As an additional comfort, you can even keep your at-home concession stand stocked with drinks of your choice or include a soda machine for the full experience!
Consider Adding a Counter Bar
If your home theater seating doesn’t have cupholders, install a counter bar! Whether you add a counter for every row of seats or use it for additional theater bar seating, a home theater bar offers viewers a place to set drinks and snacks, or to sprawl out other items while enjoying a film or game with the family or friends. This theater bar is perfect for setting out appetizer dishes like chips and dip and other finger foods for screened events like sports games!
Invest in Home Theater Storage
Creating the best movie theater experience at home means keeping blankets, pillows, and other cozy items on hand, but where do you store these items when your cinema room isn’t in use? Consider investing in home theater storage, like large baskets for blankets and pillows or a storage ottoman for remotes and gaming devices. Both options help keep your space clean and organized! Plus, some theater seating is available with built-in storage, including recliners with arm storage for easy-to-lose knick-knacks. If you use a TV cradenza or stand, utilize the cabinets and drawers for some hidden theater room storage. Or add shelves for DVD storage to help keep your space tidy and your films on display.
Need to store belongings while bringing your own home movie theater to life? Extra Space Storage has storage facilities across the U.S. Find a storage unit near you!