I've always been a big fan of movies, TV shows, and video games, and I've always dreamed of having a dedicated space in my house to enjoy them to the fullest. In this article I'm going to share some of my top ideas that I am planning for my own home theater & hopefully these ideas will spark your own creativity for your home theater as well.
There are five major categories to consider when it comes to creating a DIY home theater: Lighting, TV/Projector, Audio, Seating, & Ambiance. I have some ideas for each of them & don't worry, this is all stuff you can build yourself, with the right equipment & some manual labor.
Home Theater Lighting
The first area to ensure you have an awesome home theater design, is lighting. There are a few different ways you can accomplish an awesome home theater vibe with lighting & more importantly, the absence of really makes your home theater feel more engaging.
First, if your rooms contains one main light & you aren't planning on removing or switching that light out, then you can easily add a Spektrum+™ Smart Dimmer Switch (below). These are very easy to wire & I personally have changed out hundreds of switches & plugs in my houses & with a few quick youtube videos you can learn how to do it very easily. The main thing to remember is to buy an electricity tester tool & make 100% sure the breaker is off before you touch any wires.
The second way you can make the lighting stand out in your home theater is to remove the main light & switch to can lights around the outer edges of the room. Obviously you will want can lights that can be dimmed & if you're really fancy you will pick ones that can change colors as well. The Spektrum+™ RGB+TW 4″ Brio (below) are our favorite DIY lights & they come with any easy to use app that can be downloaded on both android & apple devices for wireless lighting control.
The final way that you can enhance the lighting experience in your home theater is to add some plug covers with built in down lights. These are insanely easy to add & they are extremely energy efficient as they automatically turn on & off based on the amount of light in the room, which also will give your room an automated movie theater feel.
Home Theater TV/Projector
One of the most important aspects of the home theater design is the TV/Projector setup. In a DIY home theater, it's easiest to go with a large TV as your screen, but if you really want to go all out, buying a used high quality projector is for sure the way to go. We have a few listed here on our site & from time to time we have used high quality projectors, but if we are out of stock, I would recommend checking ebay from a highly rated seller, preferably a company that does work in this industry.
The first tv we would recommend is the new Samsung - 77" Class S95C. This TV has a great picture for the money & an insanely thin profile, which will no doubt make your home theater look very modern & high end. The TV also has a very great picture and thin bezel edge which gives you a very large & clean looking picture. I will likely be using this tv for my on home theater that I am currently building.
The other tvs that we really have enjoyed installing for our clients have been the Sony tvs. One of our best sellers has been the Sony 65 Inch 4K Ultra HD TV A95K Series. For the money, this tv delivers an incredible picture & the XR chip that sony uses doesn't struggle to drive an exceptional picture for just a coule thousand dollars. I am planning on having my family upgrade to these tvs for our double tv college football den at my fathers house this year.
Home Theater Audio
The next important component for an awesome home theater experience is to have a killer audio set up. The easiest way to do this is to add a Sonos wireless sound system to your home theater. The nice thing about the Sonos system is you can build your own sound system at whatever budget works best for you.
I personally will be adding an Arc Soundbar, with two subs, & a few speakers placed around the room to ensure I have great surround sound coverage. This system is totally wireless & delivers exceptional performance for a wireless system. All components will need to plug in, but some can be wall mounted with the right brackets, which I will likely be doing with my set up.
Home Theater Seating
If there is one aspect of your home theater you do not want to skimp out on, it's seating. Buyer a cheaper TV if you have to (most people can't see the differences in TV quality), but don't use an old ratty looking couch in your DIY home theater.
There are a decent amount of custom home theater chair makers if you want to go super high end, but the best bang for your buck is Row One Home Theater Seating. We carry all 4 of their major options here on our store & they have a new chair coming out soon, which will be doing an upcoming article on soon.
My favorite Row One Home Theater option is the Brown Prestige Home Entertainment Seating (below). I will 100% be using Row One for my home theater, mainly because they are so cost effective for what you get. I am waiting to see the full details of their new chair, but I can tell you it looks very promising & will be called the Calveri, but like I said more to come on that chair soon.
Home Theater Ambiance
The final thing you can do to up your home theater game is to add some decorations & accessories. Here are a few that I will be using for my design.
Starry Ceiling: So the ceiling in the basement bedroom I will be using for my theater is a drop ceiling. I am planning on removing this ceiling and replacing it with a sheet rock ceiling so that I can design some down lights, as well as a starry ceiling section. This one may seem like overkill but I recently visited one of our installs that included this feature & you would be shocked at how high end it made the theater feel. There is no way I will be leaving this addition off my list.
Movie Posters: Movie posters can add a lot of personality and authenticity to a home theater. They can create a sense of nostalgia and pay homage to classic films, or showcase the latest and greatest releases. By strategically placing posters on the walls of your home theater, you can set the tone and create a visual representation of your personal taste in movies. Overall, movie posters are a great way to enhance the overall ambiance of your home theater and make it feel like a true cinema experience.
Elevated 2nd Row: This one requires some light construction work, but it can really elevate the design of your theater. If you have a flat room, you would need to create a ramp for entry or plan this one more in advance on the house build, but the look it can give your theater is very authentic and impressive.