Nail Your Home Theater Layout with a Smart Home Design

Theater in luxury home with red walls

Thie year, most movie cinemas have lost almost 100% of their income, and with studios considering releasing new films straight to video, there a good chance many of them won’t reopen their doors. 

So what do you do if you love enjoying movies in the comfort of your favorite movie cinema?

Now, there’s only one way to experience the full impact of movie theater movies at home and that’s with your own mini-cinema complete with all the latest technology. 

Here’s how to mastermind your own home theater layout using the latest technologies available. 

Planning Your Home Theater Layout

There’s a lot to consider when you design a home theater, so it’s important to start with a detailed plan for your home cinema installation. 

When considering how to set up a home theater, your first objective is to find a suitable venue. Many homeowners opt for the basement or a spare room above the garage. 

The ideal room ratio for a home theatre is 1 to 1.6 to 2.4 meaning that a room with 10 ft high ceilings should be 24′ long and 16′ wide. A cube with equal dimensions for length, breadth, and height is the worst shape for efficient audio. 

Bearing this in mind, the starting point is to measure the ceiling height of your room and then adjust the other dimensions based on that. You can do this using dry-walling. 

Once you’ve got that all figured out, you can draw a floorplan and work out your movie theater layout from there. 

Installing more than one row of seating also affects your acoustics. You shouldn’t have more than one row of seats unless your roof’s 9 foot high or more.

Speaker and Screen Placement

Speaker placement’s vital if you want to enjoy the best surround sound during your shows and your entire theater design should revolve around these sources of sound.

You’ll need three different kinds of speakers for surround sound:

  • Non-Dolby Atmos speakers placed at front left, front right, center, left surround, right surround,
  • 2 subwoofers in the front corners
  • Dolby Atmos speakers that go in the ceiling or on top of your other speakers

You can have only one subwoofer and you can have as many of the other two kinds of speakers as you want. 

The screen goes at the front of the room behind the speakers and the larger it is, the better. You can opt for a front projection screen or a large flatscreen TV monitor. Your screen should be dead center of the wall and equidistant from all the speakers.

Positioning the bottom of the screen about 30-36 inches off the floor gives the best line of sight, especially if you have reclining chairs. 

The final tech component is an AV receiver or a soundbar with a built-in amplifier.

You can opt to conceal your speakers out of sight or buy elegant wood-paneled speakers that do double-duty as a design feature. Either way, a bundle of messy cords is a no-no. Hide your cords in trucking concealed neatly against the wall, or under the floor. 

Home Theatre Lighting

A home theatre’s no place for natural light. Use blackout screens to block out any windows and paint your walls and ceiling a dark color to create the ultimate movie theatre experience. 

Every movie theatre needs task lighting, accent lighting, and safety lighting. For best effect, link these to a pre-programmable smart system that allows you to save your ideal settings and manage your lighting remotely. 

Safety lights are the brightest of these and you’ll probably never use them but they are essential and do come in handy when you’re cleaning the room. 

You’ll focus your task lighting in areas where you need good visibility of your system controls, and ambient lighting’s for effect only. The best types of ambient lighting are wall sconces, recessed lighting, and indirect column lights.

Some of the most innovative smart lighting features include lights that dim automatically when the movie starts and LED step-lighting for your risers that come on during intervals.

Seating Configurations

If you decide to go with a front projection system and multiple rows of seating, 16-inch high risers work best to optimize the viewing experience.  You can buy prefab risers that are cheaper and easier than constructing permanent risers in your room.

This type of stadium seating’s popular in high-end home cinema designs, but it’s not essential for a small home theatre, as long as everyone can see the screen. 

You’ll find an overwhelming choice available when it comes to custom home theatre chairs. You can choose from ordinary single-seater-sofa-like chairs and reclining chairs in numerous designs.

Fabrics range from pattern upholstery to leather in every color and you can also add extras like drinks holders and trays if desired.

For a small family theatre, you can opt for comfortable couches or ordinary recliners. 

Extra Touches

Some homeowners like to decorate their home theatres with movie posters and thick curtains. Popcorn machines, soft-drink refrigerators, and coffee machines are a nice touch. 

It’s important to note that anything you place inside your theatre room affects the sound, so it’s better to have these conveniences in a hallway outside the room if possible.

Get More of the Latest Home Improvement Tips

If you ever want to sell your home, modern, up-to-date home with luxurious extras is bound to attract more buyers and command a higher price. 

Coming up with the perfect home theater layout is just one way to improve your home’s entertainment appeal and overall value.

Browse our blog for more ideas on how to upgrade your interiors for a more comfortable life.