How To: Design Your Cinema Room

Recreate the cinema experience in the comfort of your own home with the Houseology how to guide to creating a styling and practical cinema room.


How To Guides

Cinema rooms are a great way to bring the impact of the movie theatre to your own home – with some careful planning you can recreate the cinema atmosphere you love with the added bonus of relaxing in your comfy clothes.

To help you design your own cinema room, we’ve put together some tips and tricks from the professionals to really bring the theatre-experience home.

01.Cinema Room Design Basics

Planning is essential to the success of your design. Here are some of the key points to consider in the early planning stages:

Cinema Room Design - choosing a space

Choose the right space
The success of your cinema room will depend on choosing the right space. Cinema rooms tend to work best in the spaces that are least-suited to family life: rooms that are relatively small, isolated from the busiest traffic areas of the home and don’t benefit from good natural light are ideal for transforming into a cosy cinema room. Consider the height of the ceilings – good sound is paramount to a successful cinema room and if the space is too big, it will be difficult to create an intimate sound experience. False ceilings can help make the room feel more proportional and are also incredibly useful for adding built-in lighting and sound, as well as a projector-style screen.

Find your style
There is a number of different ways you can approach your style in this space. Cinema rooms lend themselves well to a theme; you could recreate the glamour of old Hollywood or introduce an Art Deco slant to your space. The other option is to choose a design that is a closer reflection of the overall style of your home – simple, cosy and chic, urban and modern or sumptuous and luxurious.

Choose a colour palette
Cinema rooms work best when they are moody and atmospheric spaces –as natural light isn’t your primary concern and you have the chance to experiment with colours that might not work in other spaces around the home. Dark colours also help maximise contrast and create a better viewing experience. Deep reds, rich navy, browns, dark greys and jet black are just a few colours that will work well in this space and create an optimal viewing environment.

Rather than simply painting the space, consider choosing a cinema room wallpaper instead. Richly textured wallpapers such as flock finishes can absorb noise, improving your home theatre's acoustics and ensuring the best possible movie experience. Darker tones also work better for this - chocolate browns and moody greys are perfect.

Cinema Room Design - Palette

Think about lighting
Lighting in your cinema room is an important tool to create atmosphere before and after the film. Most people watch films in the dark or with very minimal lighting – adding a dimmer to your main ambient lighting makes it easy to strike the right lighting balance. Recessed lighting is ideal for a cinema room because it means no lights or fixtures will obstruct your view. This lighting works both overhead and along the floor to mark a path to the exit. Table lamps pose a similar problem and are harder to find in the dark – avoid these and steer towards wall fixtures instead.

Create luxury
Cinema rooms are all about relaxing and enjoying your leisure time. Look for ways you can create a sense of luxury in this space with the textures, fabrics and finishes you use. Sumptuous soft furnishings will help you feel cosy and warm while textured wallpapers make this minimal space feel luxurious and decorated.

Think about electrical issues
Your home theatre system is complex - in this one small room there could be a number of appliances. In order to accommodate all of these elements, it’s important to think about how you want to install them. For a realistic experience, you’ll want to pre-wire your system and build it into the actual make-up of the room. Home theatre surround sound systems typically feature a subwoofer and seven different speakers. Tackle this project first – it’s much easier to paint and finish a room after you’ve handled any installation requirements – particularly if you’re building any elements into the wall or ceiling.

If installing your electrics isn’t an option, you can still create the atmosphere of a powerful surround sound system with an all-in-one unit that sits below your television. If you’re opting for a simpler home theatre system, take into account power outlets: consider installing one or two new outlets to minimise and hide wires.

02.Layout and Cinema Room Furniture

Next, it’s time to consider the layout of your cinema room. These spaces work best when they’re minimal as they don’t need to be as versatile or as decorated as other spaces in the home. The most important aspect of the layout is view – you need to create a seating arrangement in which everyone can see without any obstructions and make it easy for people to enter and exit the space without constantly walking in front of the screen.

Sofas & chairs
First, consider how many people will be using the cinema room and make sure there is a comfortable seat for everyone. Cinema style seats and recliners work well if you have a large room and screen. You can also position seating in two rows to accommodate more people; simply create a raised platform to elevate the back row. In smaller spaces, L-shaped sofas work particularly well – they are large enough that you can stretch out and relax and will create an easy arrangement around the television.

Side tables
Some table space in your cinema room will be useful to rest drinks and snacks on. Instead of a large coffee table in the middle of the room, consider using smaller side tables arranged on either side of the sofa – this option is discreet and will help prevent people from reaching forward too often, creating distractions while you watch the film.

Cinema Room design - furniture

Cabinets & console tables
The type of console you need will depend on the equipment you use in your room – if your television is mounted or you’re using a projector with speakers in the wall, you will need less storage than if you’re using a sound bar or have several different media players. Whether you put your DVD collection on display or have it tucked away will also impact the type of storage you use – open-shelves or bookcases show off your collection, while cabinets will give a more streamlined look.

Your television is the main focal point of your cinema room and it’s useful to think about it like a piece of furniture in the context of this space. Invest in the best quality projector or television you can afford; the larger the room, the larger you will want your screen to be. Think of the wall behind the television and place it so it’s proportional to the space itself. A recessed projector that’s stored in the ceiling above is a great way to shift the focus of the room when you’re not watching a film.

03.Finishing touches

The finishing touches will help bring your design together and make your room feel intimate, cosy and welcoming. Your soft furnishings are an excellent opportunity to use layering to introduce pattern and texture to the space as well.

Window dressings
The blinds or curtains you use are essential to blocking out daylight and creating the perfect dark environment to watch a film. Blackout roller blinds will completely filter out sunlight and are a space-efficient solution if you want to keep your window dressings minimal in this space. Long, thick curtains made from velvet or heavy cloth on the other hand can help create a movie theatre atmosphere and offer additional sound absorption if you need to improve the acoustics in your cinema room.

Floor pillows
Large floor pillows and beanbags are a great way to introduce additional seating into your cinema room if you’re hosting extra guests. They’re comfortable to stretch out on and suited to young children who may find it difficult to sit still for long periods of time.

Cushions and throws
Cushions and throws add that final flourish of colour, texture and pattern. Choose rich, soft fabrics that feel luxurious to wrap yourself up in. Cushions of different sizes will add extra comfort and support on the sofa, while layering different textured throws will ensure that you have the option to get snuggled up in style on cooler evenings.

Cinema Room design - accessories

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