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Building a Dream Home Theater Experience

10 Jun Posted by in Blog | Comments
Building a Dream Home Theater Experience
 

Whether you are designing and building a new home or you are considering a current home renovation project, if you are looking to add a home theater into your life, you will want to carefully consider the acoustics of the room, along with the furnishings and lighting.  Be sure to consider the following:

Acoustics Are Key

You may have noticed that many audio stores use a special room to demonstrate their speakers.  That is because the acoustics in a room are just as important as the actual speakers when it comes to how you perceive the sound quality.  As you design your home theater, you will want to consider minimizing outside noises and containing sounds by ensuring your room absorbs sound instead of reflecting it or transmitting it. The secret to extraordinary sound is based on how you cover the home theater space, ceiling to floor.

Next time you go to a movie theater, check out the ceiling.  You will see that fiberglass panels are typically used to cover the ceilings.  Those same ceiling panels would be a great choice, acoustically, for your own home theater. 

Most homes today have walls made of either plaster or drywall, which is not good news. Both of these building materials have terrible acoustics.  You can fix this acoustic issue by attaching lightweight acoustic boards that are covered with indoor/outdoor carpeting to the walls.  Many movie theaters do the same thing to improve their acoustics. 

If you are renovating an already existing room that has windows, you will need to add some sort of window treatment that will block outside light.  Room-darkening window shades, combined with regular curtains work well to block the light.  If that is not a suitable option, heavier drapes or curtains that are lined will also work well to keep out incoming light.

Floor covering is equally important when it comes to the acoustics in a room. The floor of your home theater should not be linoleum, tile, wood, or concrete.  To optimize the acoustics in your room, cover the floor with a thick, plush type of carpet. 

Many folks are not aware that most theaters use specific colors to control light reflections from the screen. Certain colors can also be used to make a room feel larger. You might consider a black ceiling, along with a dark blue wall covering and a light color or off-white carpet. Such a color combination will make a darkened room seem bigger, reduce unwanted reflections and it will promote the best viewing possible.

Lighting and Comfort

Of course, most movie theaters spend a great deal of time and energy creating a decent lighting system and seating plan; their goal is to maximize each customer’s movie experience, making it as comfortable and pleasurable as possible. You will want to do the same in your home theater. As you complete the plans for your in-home theater, be sure to consider the necessary lighting and furniture options.

Most likely, you will want to easily control your lighting.  Using a lighting system or lamps that are dimmable is a great solution, giving you the ability to turn the lights up before and after watching a movie.  During the movie, however, too much lighting will most likely spoil the picture quality and diminish the atmosphere.  For convenience, make sure you can use the dimmer switch with a remote control to easily adjust the lighting.

The direction of the lights in your home theater is also extremely important. Indirect lighting will help you avoid reflections on your TV or projection screen.  The lighting should be positioned in such a way that it shines mainly on the floor or the walls.  Keeping the ceiling dark will make your home theater room feel larger than it really is.

Once the lighting decisions are made, you will want to consider the options for comfortable furniture.  Depending on your space and budget, you may opt for luxurious seating that is designed to make you feel like you are in paradise.  Top-of-the-line seating will give movie viewers an extra dose of luxury.  You might decide, however, on more economical options such as a comfortable couch or even recliners that you already own.  If your home theater is large enough to have two rows for seating, consider raising the back row for easier viewing.  A carpeted wooden platform that is approximately six to twelve inches off the ground would work fine.

Acoustics, appropriate lighting and comfortable furnishings are all important considerations when bringing a great quality movie theater experience into your home!

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