There’s nothing quite like the experience of watching your favourite film on the big screen – even better when it’s in your own home. From the seating down to the screen size, you can customise every aspect of your theatre room to make it truly your own. If you’re a film buff who cares about picture quality and crystal-clear sound, your home cinema can provide this for you. It’s worth remembering, however, that you don’t have to spend thousands of pounds into a home cinema room if you don’t want to. You can create a beautiful home cinema on a budget too with just a few upgrades and some affordable design ideas.
In this guide, we’ve included solutions for creating a bespoke home cinema with a range of different budgets, from high-end home theatres to multi-purpose media rooms. Read on to find out exactly how to create the ultimate cinema experience in your own home – movie nights in your house will never be the same again!
You have lots of options when it comes to designing your home cinema and one of the first things to decide is how much space you want to dedicate to your own home cinema. At the higher end of the spectrum, you could have a dedicated cinema room with a complete audiovisual setup of speakers, projector and screen, multiple rows of cinema seating and soundproofing. Alternatively, or you could set up a home cinema system in a living room and continue to use it in a multi-purpose way.
When going through this guide, you can pick and choose the elements that you want to incorporate and simply ignore those that don’t appeal to you. The sky’s the limit!
The interior design of your cinema room is ultimately down to personal taste. You can get cinema room ideas by looking at other movie rooms of homeowners online, or by creating a mood board on Pinterest. When creating the design, here are a few things to think about:
When designing your home cinema, think about the atmosphere you want to create. Ideally, you want the space to be cosy and comfortable for curling up and watching your favourite films and TV shows. However, if you want a luxury home cinema experience, you can also make the space more modern by adding leather sofas, spotlights and even your own bar or popcorn machine.
Seating is a key factor in creating your home cinema. To make your cinema room look like the real deal, you’re going to want to invest in proper cinema-style chairs and not the same seating you would buy for your living room.
The first thing you need to think about is how many people you want to accommodate in your cinema room. If the cinema room is just for yourself and your partner, you could consider getting matching armchairs for the both of you. If you want to cater for a larger group (say, 5 or more), you’re going to need rows of seating. You should also think about your budget because cinema seating can quickly get pricey. Choose a style that goes with the atmosphere and colour scheme of the room, both in the colour and fabric. If your home cinema is going to be used as a man cave, leather seats in black or brown could create the right vibe. Natural leather seats are a popular option, as they have a luxurious feel. If it’s a family room, then soft fabric chairs can be cosier and inviting and are sometimes easier to clean too.
Your cinema seating can have as many amenities as you like, including reclining backs, footrests, cup holders and more. For maximum comfort and luxury, you could also consider getting full-size bed cinema seats, that allow you to fully stretch out on. You’ll want blankets and cushions at the ready too of course, for getting cosy once you’ve chosen your film!
Where you position your seating within the home movie room is also key to an optimum layout. For viewing comfort, you don’t want to be too close or too far away from the screen, and you’ll want each viewer to have plenty of space around them for relaxing. Ideally, the seats will start 2/3 of the way back into the room from the screen.
Lighting is a key component both for creating an atmosphere and improving visibility in your home theater. When choosing your lighting, there’s a couple of things you should consider. It’s important to make sure that your lights will not be reflecting on the screen, so you should be cautious about what you install on the wall opposite. Remember, you can open up the room by combining different types of lighting solutions on different levels.
The ideal cinema lighting won’t be in complete darkness since your eyes will be able to adjust fully to take in the full range of lights and shades on the screen. The trick is to find the right balance to bring out the picture detail without your eyes being strained. Investing in high-quality cinema lighting is worthwhile for this reason.
If the room is just being used as a cinema, you will not need too much lighting, but you might want to consider some specialist lighting options to make the room look more professional and to create an atmosphere. If your cinema space is a multi-purpose room, you will need more lighting to ensure visibility is good, especially if children will be using the room.
Some lighting solutions you could consider for your home cinema include:
Whichever light solutions you go for, having a comprehensive control system for your lights are essential. This allows you to adjust the setup before taking your seat and starting the film. If you have a smart home, you might already have automation features in place that allow you to adjust your light settings already using a smartphone or iPad.
“TV screen or projector screen?” This is the question that most people ask when looking for a screen for their cinema room. Luckily, you have a range of options when it comes to choosing a cinema screen, whether you opt for a TV screen or projector screen. Slimline TVs are easy to mount on a wall and are great for multi-purpose spaces. They can also be watched comfortably and without compromising on picture quality no matter the lighting of the room. Popular brands of cinema TVs include LG, OLED, Samsung and Hisense. To make a saving on your cinema TV, don’t go for the very latest models since they will quickly reduce in price within a year. A bit of research can go a long way when it comes to finding cinema TV that has all the features you need but doesn’t break the bank.
If you need a large screen size (more than 100 inches) then a projector screen is usually a better choice. A fold-down projector screen also stores neatly away so that you can use the space for other things. To get the best acoustics, consider getting an acoustically transparent projector screen. This will allow you to place your speakers behind the screen so that the picture and sound are coming from the same direction. It will also make more room for your speakers. With a projector, the lighting of your room is more important, as the wrong lighting can easily interfere with the picture quality.
The acoustics of your cinema is equally as important as the picture. You have a lot of options when it comes to creating the ultimate sound system for your cinema room. Once you have chosen your speakers, you need to choose suitable amplification, whether that’s a processor, power amplifier or A/V receivers. The type of amplification you choose will depend on your budget and the amount of space you have in your cinema room.
Surround sound is a great way to give your media room a cinema-like quality and enhances sound quality. Surround sound systems typically consist of a 5.1 system of five speakers and a bass subwoofer. You also have the option of getting a 6.1, 7.1, 7.2, or even higher numbers of surround sound systems. However, the 5.1 is the most reliable and affordable option for a home cinema room. If you’re using a TV in your home cinema room, you could also consider getting a soundbar to improve the audio with virtual surround sound without the need for wires and multiple speakers.
After installing your sound system and speakers, you might have to make some adjustments to the room to reduce echo or to improve the sound frequency. Luckily, these are pretty easy fixes, so don’t worry if you have to make a few adjustments to your system after it has been installed. To minimise the amount of sound reflection, consider getting some acoustic boards or carpet tiles for the walls. Also, consider getting a thickly carpeted floor. These changes will help to absorb some of the sounds and reduce echo. If your cinema has windows, make sure to get blinds as this will help both the visuals and acoustics of the room.
Depending on where your cinema room is located within your house, it’s a good idea to soundproof the room so that the sound doesn’t disturb others in the house. There are a few different things you can do to soundproof a room:
At AV Installations, our team are audiovisual specialists who can help you design the ultimate home cinema in the comfort of your own home. If you want a professional home cinema design with state of the art technology or a simple home entertainment system that will provide a great cinematic experience, we can help. Our team of AV installers can chat through your options and advise on the best technology for your requirements. We can also provide a professional home cinema installation service where we will create the best setup for you and your family.
Contact us on for more information via 0800 999 5577.