One of the most important aspects to consider when designing your home theater is what type of seating you would like to offer. Surprisingly, furniture is one of the features many people overlook when designing their home theaters. It doesn’t matter if you have one of the most technologically advanced and expensive systems around; if you can’t relax and sit comfortably while watching a movie, the whole experience is ruined. Your home theater will most likely be the place where you will want to unwind after long, stressful days, so relaxation is definitely important when choosing the right seating.
Since everyone has a different idea of what is considered “comfortable,” picking furniture may be difficult, especially if you will be hosting numerous movie marathons or entertaining large audiences. However, keep in mind certain qualities when shopping for seating, much like you would if you were picking out a living room set. Aim for comfort by choosing lumbar support for your back and a recliner or motorized recliner in which you can relax. If you are on a budget, a manual recliner will do the trick or you may not need one at all; it all depends on that atmosphere and the experience that you are looking to create.
Types of Recliner
Depending on the size of the room and the space in which you have to work, you can choose from several variations of recliners. While most types of theater seating is sold in two-, three-, four- or even five-chair configurations, the most common setup is a three-chair row but again, you will need to consider the design of the room. You should also examine the construction of the seating before making a purchase; oftentimes, a chair may seem like a bargain, but if it is not built well, you will be in the market for new seating in a matter of months.
The most basic seating is an individual chair, designed to seat only one person. While some of these chairs have the option to recline and may feature massaging options, others do not. This is suitable for those who like individual space while watching a movie.
Double chairs, designed to hold two people, function in a similar manner but have an armrest in between the two seats. Many double chairs also recline, allowing one viewer to lay back and relax if the other viewer likes to sit upright to enjoy the show.
Triple chairs are the next size up, accommodating up to three people with armrests between all three seats. This is a great option for people who need plenty of seats but have a limited space with which to work. If this is the case, you may choose to have multiple rows of triple seats and place them one behind each other on elevated platforms, keeping some distance between each row to allow for reclining options.
Additionally, you may want to offer a loveseat, designed for two people to watch a movie in close proximity without a middle armrest. Loveseats are ideal for couples or families who like to spend time together, although most loveseats are not built to recline.
The last and largest type of seating, sectionals, are designed to hold multiple people at one time. These come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but most can seat a minimum of four people at any given time. Leather and suede sectionals are popular, and many higher-end sectionals feature a surface between the seats to hold drinks, snacks and other smaller items.
Typically, home theater chairs are made of both faux and genuine leather, available in a variety of colors. Opt for patterns or styles that complement the room and its décor. Common materials used to construct these chairs include kiln-dried wood frames, double-dowed joints, foam cores and corner blocks that are either glued together or screwed into the chair itself. While not all chairs are created equal, these are some of the more common materials you may encounter when shopping for home theater seating.
Some home theater chairs feature bass shakers that allow the seat to resonate or move simultaneously with the bass playing in the film. While they are technologically advanced features and help to complete the movie theater experience by adding the ability to feel audible sounds, it is often best to try out such a feature before purchasing to see if it is worth the money. Additionally, consider other, less expensive features such as cup holders if you like refreshments while watching films.