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May 31st, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Designing Your Home Theater, No Expense Spared

» by EmmaM in: Fun and Off Topic

If you have the money to go all out on designing your home theater then your only real limitation is the space you’ve got to work with. After all, it’s not like you have a whole city block at your disposal, allowing you to install an IMAX screen. But there’s still a lot you can do to create the home theater experience in a room of any size. Even if all you’ve got is a 10×10 cell of a room to work with you can still put in a spectacular monitor, surround sound, and a seriously luxurious captain’s chair (you might even squeeze an old-timey popcorn popper in the corner). So here are a few ways to create the perfect home theater setup when money is not an obstacle.

Let’s start with the foundations of the room. You can hardly get comfortable with a bare, concrete slab under your feet. So if you’re working with an unfinished basement you may want to put in a subfloor and some carpeting to kick off your home theater project. In fact, if you’re going for an authentic theater atmosphere, you should probably add/replace carpeting in any case. You’ll want something super plush with a complex pattern is deep, saturated tones. As for the walls and ceiling, skip the paint and surround yourself in insulated, sound-proofing panels to keep outside noises, well, outside. Then add a few art deco wall sconces on a dimmer switch to provide for traditional lighting. And if you have windows in the room, blackout shades or shutters are a must.

Now that you’ve got the basic foundation taken care of it’s time to start filling your room with all the goodness that makes up the theater-going experience. First you’ll want to secure a viewing apparatus of some kind. Although you could definitely opt for a large, flatscreen monitor, and this will offer an ideal solution for smaller rooms, you should look into getting a projector if you’re working with a large space (like an open basement) and you have a decent-sized wall available. This will provide you with an expansive picture surface so that you can mimic the larger-than-life feeling you get at the actual theater.

Of course, you’ll also want to install surround sound. The trick here is not really how much money you spend, but the size and variety of speakers you install, and if you want to hit the right note you need to tailor your selection to the space you’re working with. You can certainly cram some giant stacks into a small room, but the sound is likely to be overpowering, so you’ll never get the true potential out of your system (at least not without blowing your eardrums and inciting public disturbance calls from the neighbors). Showing some restraint here could actually ensure a more pleasant experience for your viewing party.

Once you’ve got your video and audio covered, it’s time to consider seating. Surprisingly, you could spend more here than on any other area. Home theater seating can be incredibly expensive if you go for individual, high-back recliners outfitted with cup-holders. And if you opt to put in a riser so that the back row has a better view you’ll likely have to make it a custom-built affair. But if you want to install a home theater with no expense spared then you should definitely spend the dough to get uber-comfy seating. Then it’s just a matter of adding a snack bar stocked with sodas and candy and finding that popcorn maker that will supply the smell of the buttery treat that is most associated with going to the movies.

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