There’s only one thing better than the visceral immersion of going to the movie theater: enjoying the full experience in your very own home! A home theater requires commitment and research, and these ten tips include design ideas, renovation advice, and decorating examples that can assist you in creating the home theater of your dreams!

Consider the Basement

If your home has a basement, consider yourself lucky. Because it’s isolated from the rest of the noise of the home, it’s nice and quiet, like a movie theater! It’ll also be easier to control sound performance and lighting. By painting the walls a dark color and installing a flat-screen along one wall, you can replicate the feeling of the theater, complete with plush seating.

Search for Alternate Locations

But let’s say you don’t have a basement. Get creative and transform a spare room, large walk-in closet, a garden shed, pool house, or unused garage. You’ll want to minimize natural light with blackout curtains and maximize space with built-in seating that can fit into any nook.

Insulate Your Space

Now that you have chosen your location, it’s time to assess your renovation needs. Do you want to simply redecorate the room, or go all out in recreating a movie theater? If you’re going for the more realistic renovation, we suggest insulating your walls to create a sound barrier between the theater and the rest of the house.

Optimize Your Wiring

It’s time to ensure you have the correct wiring for sound, lighting, and your screen. Consider keeping your equipment out of sight with discreet tubing that hides your wires, or speakers built into the wall or floor.

Peruse Sound Options

Designing a sound system is more complicated than it seems. How many speakers will you need to fill your space with immersive sound? Do you want the surround-sound feeling of a theater? Do you need to install a thick carpet to prevent echo and noise? Take your time in reviewing your available options.

Select Your Screen

Your room’s dimensions are the most essential things to consider when selecting a screen. Bigger isn’t always better in visuals. A gigantic screen won’t feel comfortable in a shallow room. Measure your room, and be sure you’ll have adequate space to store your game consoles, Blu-ray players, and whatever you need to make your home entertainment experience complete.

Configure Control Systems

It’s never a bad idea to install a control system that makes working your home theater a task easy enough for the youngest and oldest members of the family. With a universal remote, cell phone or tablet app, or whole-home automation system, you can operate the lighting, sound, and visuals all from a single place.

Add all the Extras

There are always extras you can add to your home theater, like 3D capability, surround sound, or a screen and projector that drop down from the ceiling. If you have plain white walls, a projector may do the trick without even needing a screen and a portable projector and a large white sheet can work just as well for summer movie nights outdoors.

Determine your Layout

Now that all your technicalities are worked out, it’s time for the fun part of interior design! There are a variety of options for seating, whether you want cinema-style stadium seating, plush reclining love seats, a cozy sectional complete with cup & snack holders, or something else.

Get Creative with Design

Finally, it’s time to decorate! A home theater gives you the liberty to choose a theme and really run with it. Create an homage to your favorite sci-fi series, or choose accents that recall 1920’s Art Deco elegance. It’s your space, so channel your sophistication, your passions, or your fandoms!