Creating the Perfect Home Theater for Your Vacation Home

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Imagine you’re reclined in a plush, comfortable seat with a bag of popcorn and a cold drink, when slowly, the lights dim until the room is almost completely dark. Music fades in and the opening credits light up the screen in front of you. Your favorite movie is about to start and you’ve got the perfect seat, where you can let yourself get lost in the story.

Now, imagine that you’re sitting, not at the crowded multiplex theater down the street, but in your own home – in a room designed from top to bottom, front to back, as a special place where you can take in a movie the way it’s supposed to be viewed… big! Imagine inviting friends over to watch a football or soccer game, or binge-watching an entire season of that series everyone’s talking about.

For many homeowners, a home theater is a luxurious dream come true. It’s a unique gathering space where family and friends can gather and be entertained comfortably. For owners of vacation rental homes, however, a home theater also adds value in the eyes of a renter, which means they can charge guests more to stay there.

That said, building a great home theater is not as simple as you might think. If you go to your local electronics store and purchase a “home theater in a box” and a large flat-screen TV, you’re not really creating a home theater. You’re just upgrading your TV room. A true home theater is the kind of room that will “wow” your friends, as well as your renters.

Here are a few things to remember if you’re thinking about designing a home theater:

Pick the right room

Ideally, the room should have a rectangular shape. A square room can work if you have no other options, but you might experience a little distortion in the sound. If you’re working in a rectangular room, place the display and main speakers against one of the shorter walls. Also, the fewer windows you have in the room, the better. Even with the blinds closed and the curtains drawn, windows tend to let in light. If you can’t avoid windows, install blackout-style treatments that shut out all light, such as curtains that glide through tracks installed in the window frame.

Prepping the walls

Once the display lights up, it will cast light around the room, so bright colors on the walls can be distracting. Dark tan, brown and olive work best. Also, avoid using semi-gloss or gloss paints, which will reflect the light from the screen. Eggshell or flat paint, on the other hand, are less reflective and won’t pick up the light as much. Another solution to fighting reflection is to install dark drapes that can be pulled over the walls. Plus, drapes will help with the acoustics of the room.

Also, while sound absorption panels will help a little with the acoustics in your home theater, regular drywall is usually good enough. However, you should stay away from hanging art that’s been framed with glass. As with windows, the glass could distort the sound. Plus, they will reflect light coming from the display, causing a visual disruption.

Configuring your TV or display

Naturally, if you’re going to create this oasis of entertainment within your home, you’ll want a large screen. More important than the size, however, is the angle of the screen to the seating. You should be able to look at every part of the screen comfortably, without having to move your neck and head too much. That’s why, ideally, the center of the display will be at about eye level.

If you feel you need to raise the screen higher than that, be sure to tilt it forward so your sightline from the middle of the seating area is perpendicular to the screen. Also, consider installing seats that recline so you and your guests don’t have to lean your head back too far to watch it.

At SBA Interior Design, we’ve worked with dozens of clients, helping them turn their existing rooms into breathtaking home theaters. In other words, we have the experience and know-how to do the job the right way and ensure that you’ll be thrilled with the results. If you’d like more information on home theaters, please visit our Contact Page or give us a call at 863-424-8476 and let’s talk!

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