Designing your own home theater? Step 1: toss out everything you know about room design. Interior designers love a room with plenty of windows for lots of natural light, hardwood floors and light paint colors to make a space look larger. All these are completely wrong for theaters, where the primary concern is optimizing acoustics, visuals and comfort. Read these tips to find out how to design an excellent home cinema.
Choose a rectangular room.
For the sake of acoustics, place your display and front speakers on the shorter wall.
Glass reflects sound in strange ways. Lots of glass in a home theater will cause sound distortion. No glass coffee table. Hang art that does not have a glass covering.
Use plenty of fabric.
Fabric absorbs sound, preventing undesirable distortion. Put in plush sofas. Don’t just drape the windows, drape the walls.
Cover up hard floors with carpet.
Once again, absorptive materials improve sound quality. Remember how bad your high school band sounded when they played assemblies in the gymnasium? You don’t want that in your home theater. Place area rugs if you can’t do carpet.
Drapes and Dimmers.
Take control of your lighting. Too much light ruins the ambiance and the viewing experience. Black out curtains are great for midday movies.
Use Dark Colors.
White walls reflect light back toward your screen, which makes the images less vivid. Use a dark paint color.
Mount your display at eye level.
Remember the times when you got to a summer blockbuster a little late and had to sit in the front row. Remember the crick in your neck. For a comfortable home theater, make sure you can see your entire screen without looking up.
Match display size to room size.
Just like the last tip, this prevents neck strain and discomfort. Be realistic about how big you can go with your display. Have a friend stand against the wall where you plan to place your display. Ask them to walk to one side until you have to turn your head to see them. Use this process to estimate the screen size that will be comfortable for you.