Once upon a time, building a home theater that could rival the local cinema was an option for only the rich and famous. Thanks to advancements in home multimedia technology, building an impressive home theater room for movies and games is a reality within reach for many families. A home theater can bring the immersive quality of the movie theater into your home.

Whether you want to convert a spare bedroom with budget home theater components for $2,000 yourself, or work with a custom builder for something more, a home theater is a great investment for those looking for fun, quality time with friends and family. In this blog we will give you some things to consider as you plan your residential home theater project.

The Room: Creating a Space

The ideal room for a home theater is one dedicated as a movie or game room. Of course, it is possible to transform a spare bedroom, office, or basement into a great home theater. As for space needs, strong options include:

-Distance from high traffic and “business” areas of the home: You want to make sure distractions are minimal, so theaters near kitchens or other busy areas frequently used for “home business” are less ideal. If it is in the budget, adding an addition is perfect for creating a space to escape into the movies. If adding on isn’t an option, a space away from main living areas is recommended.

-Long, rectangular room: Experts recommend a space that is at least 20’ x 12’ for optimal distance from the screen. However, with a small screen, it is possible to make a high quality home theater in a 12’ x 12’ spare bedroom. A rectangular shape allows for optimal surround sound without the odd distortions that come from sound projection is oddly shaped rooms.

-Minimal glass and natural light: Movie theaters are dark, right? Windows and glass may create unwanted glares or reflections, so the fewer windows the better. As for darkening an already bright room, there are plenty of options for blackout blinds, shades, or curtains to keep it dark.

-Sound dampening walls and floors: Hardwood looks nice, but if you want to keep the noise in the theater room then cushy carpeting or area rugs are your best bet. If your home has thin walls, consider sound proofing options like those in movie theaters or recording studios. There are many options for inexpensive sound panels to hang if Fast and Furious is thundering through the entire house.

The Media: Wiring for Sight and Sound

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges is wiring your room for audio and video. Home theaters typically use 7.1 surround sound which breaks down audio into seven channels: front left, front right, front center, side left, side right, and two rear. Whether converting a room or building a new one, it’s important to select sound components that work with the space you have. For that reason, we always recommend starting with the room and then buying equipment, instead of vice versa.

In addition to surround sound, you should consider the placement of the projector (we recommend this for the real theater feel).

Ambiance and Comfort: Lighting and Seating

The right lighting and furniture works wonders in making you feel immersed in a film. Recessed ceiling lighting and wall sconces with dimmers create perfect atmosphere. Paired with comfortable, reclining seating options, you are almost there to recreating the theater experience.

Home theater furniture options are plentiful in a range of price points. Whether you want rows of connected recliners or sofas, options include everything from cup holders to drink and snack coolers. You could even splurge and raise rear seating for a make-shift stadium seating effect so everyone has an unobstructed view.

Build Your Home Theater with Odom Design

Odom Design is in the business of bringing ideas to life. From new construction to renovation and remodel, the Odom team tackles all kinds of projects to create one-of-a-kind living areas. Whether a home theater or a remodeled kitchen, we’re excited to get creative and make your home more inspiring, functional, and fun.

Drop Odom Design a line, and let’s get started.

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