This post is long overdue. We gave our home theater a face-lift a while back and I am just getting around to writing about it now.
I’m not one who really enjoys going to a movie theater. Waiting in line, paying an exorbitant fee for a ticket, buying overpriced popcorn and candy, watching 30 minutes of advertisements, listening to other people talk while the movie is playing, sitting next to someone snoring…the list goes on and on…get my drift? I have also never had the urge to run to a theater as soon as a long awaited movie is released.
BUT I am ALL about watching movies at home. I enjoy the privacy, the relaxed atmosphere, I can watch in my slippers, or have friends over and enjoy a drink. Movie watching has come a long way, and there are a number of options available to stream movies and stay in..instead of going out.
To take the experience of watching a movie at home to the next level….having a home theater is the way to go. If you really enjoy the movie theater experience, loud music coming from all directions in the room, the excitement of watching on a big screen, and relaxing in a large, comfy, reclining seat…you may want to consider a home theater.
My personal preference is to have a dedicated home theater. A room specifically designed for comfort and built for a movie watching experience in the privacy of our home.
Having a dedicated space to enjoy movies and family time is not a new concept for us. We have had theaters in our last few homes, each being somewhat different. In our prior home, we built a media room on our lower level, you can read more about it in Things to Consider When Building a Dedicated Media Room.
Depending on your space and room configuration, you may opt for a media room with a large sectional or if space permits..you can have a dedicated movie room with individual seating and reclining chairs. When we moved into our present home, we were lucky enough to have a dedicated home theater already built…but it needed work. The room had huge holes in the drywall where speakers and equipment had been removed. It was quite a mess.
The first step to getting this theater up and running was to call in an AV company to give us ideas and advice on how best to build the theater of our dreams…but still working within the confines of our home…and using the technology we already had if possible.
We measured the space. We wanted at least a 100 inch screen and 3 front speakers.
Our AV company installed speakers HERE on the sides and top of the screen. The sound is superb and really gives us the full movie experience. There are an additional 5 speakers built into the black ceiling as well.
We also installed a SONY overhead movie projector HERE. We chose a 1080P over a 4k projector, because at the time there just wasn’t enough 4k content available, and it wasn’t worth the extra cost (and probably still isn’t). The SONY projector we have has held up really well and we haven’t had any problems with it at all. I would definitely recommend this piece of equipment as a high quality projector great for home theaters.
The walls were in need of a desperate makeover! Movie theaters should be dark right? The burgundy and gold wasn’t cutting it.
But this room took WAY longer to paint than it should have…let me explain why and hopefully you can learn from my mistakes.
My paint plan for the room was to have 2 colors. My hubs and I started by painting the walls and taping around all the shadows boxes. These shadow boxes have curved corners…which made the job more time consuming.
These type of boxes require tape on the outside and inside of the trim to get nice crisp white boxes.
THEN…when we had finished with all the taping and painting of the white shadow box trim on the walls…guess what? You got it! I decided I didn’t like it! 😬 Who was going to be the one to tell my husband this…after he put all that taping work into it? <GULP>
We had divided the work up between the two of us, my hubs job was to paint the walls and mine was to paint all the moldings.
I also painted all the floor boards, using a stark white color.
Let’s not forget the columns too! Yup….that was my job as well! Since I had changed my mind about the white shadow boxes on the wall after all the taping he had done, I volunteered to repaint the shadow box trim. That was the easy part..since I was painting it the same color as the walls.
When we finished with all the painting it looked great. The color we used for the walls is called “Hale Navy” by Benjamin Moore.
Painting the shadow boxes the same color as the wall was the right choice…just wished I had thought of it from the start!
The white crown molding looks good, a nice contrast to the dark walls.
Heavy red velvet drapes with gold tassels add to the dramatic look of the center screen and the curtains open automatically with a remote.
The white painted columns were a good choice too, glad we decided on that color.
There are 4 light switches in the room. One controls the recessed lights. Another controls the accent rope lighting on the floor and the lighting behind the crown molding, another controls the wall sconces and the last controls the lights shining on the screen at the front of the room.
In a home theater, it’s nice to have different light sources, for instance light at or near the bottom of the room will help guide you when the room is dark and can prevent falls. You may also want mood lighting on during the show, having dimmers on the sconces and overhead recessed lighting is a great way to add a movie atmosphere to the space.
When we designed this space, it was part of a much larger audio visual project that involved many many pieces of equipment…too many to go into for this post.
This 8 foot rack with equipment may give you an idea as to the scope of the project. We added a Savant Whole Home Automation System with video matrixing and a bunch of components I have no idea what they do. All the TV’s, DVR’s, ROKU, Netflix, Apple TV’s etc. can all be controlled by the phone or we can use a fancy remote…which I actually prefer. The system allows one person to watch Netflix, another to watch cable, another ROKU and another Apple TV..all on different TV’s. It also allows us to play and control our SONOS and ceiling speakers from our phones and pull up Apple music, radio stations, playlists etc.
Of course the more components one has in a home…the more issues and problems you can encounter with things not working properly, which can be a huge nuisance. Anyway, the flexibility is really nice – to watch whatever, wherever. Would I do it again…not sure. Technology changes so quickly, it can be a struggle and a huge expense to keep up with the changes..not to mention the issues. I love having a home theater… and would do that all over BUT I recommend keeping it simple, get a good overhead projector, good speakers, subwoofer, and receiver.
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