Do you love movies, TV shows, or sports? For those who LOVE watching a big screen but want to do it on their own terms, there’s no better way than to design and build your own home theater.
While having your own home theater seems too far out of reach for most people, it’s actually a lot easier than it seems! With modern technology, the right furniture, and a little bit of ingenuity, your own theater is within reach.
In this month’s post, we’ll take a look at how to put together your own home movie theater. Let’s dig in!
Find the perfect room
The first step in putting together the perfect home theater is finding a room that’s set up to give you an optimal acoustic and seating layout. While some homeowners choose to build a home theater as part of a larger remodel, a lot of homeowners pursue the project with an existing room they’re not already using, such as an off-to-college child’s bedroom, finished basement, or a home office or gym.
Generally, a perfect room for a home theater is a rectangular room. Not only will this set you up for a nice seating arrangement, but rectangular rooms generally offer better acoustics.
What else will you need for the room?
Hunter Douglas Duette® LightLock System™
Make sure it’s dark with blackout shades
Is a movie even a movie if doesn’t completely grab your attention? One way movie theaters do this is ensuring absolute darkness in the theatre. Think about it… have you ever seen a window in a movie theater?
While most rooms must have a window (it’s actually against code to not have them in most rooms), this doesn’t mean you can’t watch movies during the day.
Blackout shades and curtains make the dream possible! Fitting completely flush with your windows and made with special fabric that allows almost no light through, you can have the complete movie experience even in the middle of the day!
Hunter Douglas Duette® LightLock System™
Hunter Douglas Duette® LightLock™ system creates the perfect theater environment in your home
With Hunter Douglas Duette® LightLock System™, you can experience your movie, television show, or sporting event under perfect viewing conditions no matter the time of day.
The Hunter Douglas Duette® LightLock System™ are custom cut to fit perfectly with your window and include a patent pending side channel designed into the shades, which reflects incoming light back out of the window. This creates simply the best room darkening technology available to those building a home theater.
The system comes in three finishes and a wide selection of fabric colors. You can also control the system with the Hunter Douglas PowerView® Motorization to control the shades through the PowerView App or with voice-activation through Amazon Alexa.
Learn more about Hunter Douglas blackout window shades from Portland Window Coverings.
Portland Window Coverings carries a complete selection of Hunter Douglas blackout and light dimming shades and curtains. Contact us to learn more about our offerings and how to achieve the perfect Portland home theater in your own home.
Walls and floors
While walls are generally low maintenance when it comes to home theaters, one thing to keep in mind is to never use concrete walls, as it dampens the sound in the room.
Alternative wall materials include:
- Basic wall tiles
- Carpet tiles
- Acoustic wall panels (the best option)
For flooring, hardwood and carpet work great — though we always recommend carpet to make the room comfortable and allow for some emergency floor seating.
Dial in the sound system
While most homeowners want to ensure a high-quality picture, sound is just as important. Again, in order to fully experience a movie like you would in the theater, you need to feel completely immersed.
We feel the best way to do this is through a surround sound system that will give you a full auditory experience. Some things to consider when deciding on an audio strategy:
- A sound bar by itself will likely not be sufficient when building your home theater
- 5.1 surround sound is the standard for home surround sound. This generally means 1 sub-woofer, 3 speakers in front, and 2 slightly behind your viewing angle.
- Make sure your speakers are spaced correctly. Ideally, this would mean equidistant from one another, with a subwoofer directly in the middle.
While there are many examples of specialized “home theater” furnishings, they ‘re not always necessary. The most important part of this aspect of your home theater is that you’re comfortable and have a good view of the screen. This will mean different solutions for different people.
Invest in couches, comfy seats, or anything you think will be comfortable. We’ve even seen bean bags, both as primary and auxiliary seating in case you have guests. This is your theater, so whatever makes you comfortable is the right answer.
Determine a projector screen or a television
The crown jewel of your home theater will likely be the screen you display your movies, TV shows, and sports on. This generally breaks down to one primary question: TV or projector?
Everybody has a different theory on which one is better.
- Higher definition
- Easier to manage
- Harsh light
- More expensive
- Can’t achieve as large of a size
- Larger screens possible
- Modern technology allows for remarkably good image quality
- Reasonable price
- Image quality not as good as TV
- Needs a dedicated projection screen, which needs to be maintained
The least consequential decision, but one you should feel comfortable operating, is the video source you’ll be using for your home theater.
Modern technology has given you the ability to play all types of video from all types of services. Options for video sources include:
- Smart streaming boxes, such as a Roku or Apple TV
- Smart TVs
- Traditional cable services
- Blu-Rays or DVDs
Our preferred option a smart streaming box, which allows access to many apps and services in an easily manageable interface.
Similar to the seating decisions you make, whatever you are most comfortable with should always win out.
Screen viewing and placement
The final piece of the puzzle is arranging everything in a way that will give you and your movie crew the best possible viewing situation.
For distance, make sure your seats are placed at least 1.5-2X the size of your screen away. For instance, if you have a 60 inch screen, make sure your seats are 120 inches, or 10 feet, away.
One of our favorite seating placement strategies is to build a platform for behind a front couch to create a true theater experience and make the best use of the available space in a rectangular room.
Want the perfect home theater?
Portland Window Coverings is your go-to spot for blocking out sunlight so you can have the perfect home theater. We offer a full range of light-dimming and blackout shades for home theaters of any size or scale.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you have the home theater of your dreams.