Giving your home theater the right look depends on what you want to do with it. Will it be used for entertaining guests or is it a personal escape from a hard day? Do you like a modern design or traditional movie house look? Once you know what it will be used for, decorating it requires some time, a little work and a lot of imagination
Choose a Color Scheme
A color scheme should set the right mood for the home theater. There are the whites and off-whites of a simple, modern look. Remember, however, that the use of whites in a bright setting makes it difficult to hide wires. It does, however, give a room an elegant, almost museum-like feel. Accent lighting, including lamps and recessed lighting, can use colored shades and covers to use color for a dramatic effect.
Giving the home theater an inviting, warm feel usually requires earth tones and woods reminiscent of dens. Installing a chair guard and wood panels can give the home theater a library look, and it is easy to do. Simple wood panels can be stained or painted and nailed to a wall, and then lined with floorboards and a chair guard rail.
To give your home theater the look of a real theater, take a page from your local cinema house and use dark jewel colors. Painting walls a dark blue or purple with deep red accents would resemble current movie theaters and may sound cheesy or even tacky, but it can “sell” the look.
Choose the Room’s Focal Point
Choosing the focal point of the room is an important step in the decorating process. Be aware that your furniture will have to be placed according to the focal point. Whether you have a large TV or screen, try to keep the focal point as simple as possible. Avoid hanging anything on the walls in or near the focal point that may distract. Be aware of windows and natural light sources that may cause glare on the focal point. If this is a problem, try using heavy curtains that cancel out any unwanted light.
Avoid Excess Furnishings
Avoid large entertainment center shelving units that openly display electronics, movies, and games around the TV or screen. Try to store these away from the focal point. With proper wiring, DVD and video game units can be set up inside closets or on shelves out of sight.
Storage ottomans are useful in home theaters to store movies and video games, as well as remotes. Some even offer serving trays built into their lids to hold drinks and snacks. Rather than using large coffee tables that take up space, consider using small end tables between easy chairs or sofas.
Carpet and Drapes
If you can afford to invest in full carpeting, then installing your choice of carpeting should not be a problem. However, if funds are limited, consider using area rugs in the high-traffic areas that complement the color scheme and theme for your theater.
Consider also how much activity will take place in your theater. If it will be used every day by a number of people and will see the use of food, avoid white carpet or anything that may stain easily.
Drapes can really add to the look of a home theater. Consider that mini-blinds or shutters will not fully block light, so buy drapes that solve this problem. Consider looking for drapes that resemble the stage curtains of classic theaters, especially if you are using a “movie theater” theme or color scheme.
Wall Decorations and Accents
Decorating the home theater walls, if done right, can complete the room’s look. Done incorrectly, it can make the room appear cluttered and busy.
Recessed lighting is useful in many rooms, especially if it is a large room. Consider buying art-deco style wall sconces, which provide light with a classic movie theater look. Original sconces can sometimes be found on Internet auction sites or from home decorating salvage dealers.
Movie posters are popular options for home theaters. Frames that fit standard posters (usually 27 inches by 40 inches for newer posters) can be found at craft and framing stores, as well as retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target. Reprints of old movie posters are available from retailers as well.
If your wall space is limited, consider printing pictures of classic Hollywood stars off of the Internet and frame them. Large film reels, or film cans, can often be found in thrift stores or online and make great, low-cost accents.