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Home Theater Design Basics

by Clare Kaufman
Repair-Home Columnist

You settle back in your seat as the lights dim and the music comes on. Out on the town? No, this big screen is in your own home. With the help of a remodel contractor, you can transform an extra room into a state-of-the-art home theater.

Does a home theater seem like a scary home remodel project? Not if you take it in steps, and enlist the help of a contractor for construction and wiring. This site can point you to some professional resources, such as DISH network installation. But before you call in the pros, take some time to plan your home theater design.

Imagine...Your Ideal Home Theater

Is it a replica of a real movie theater? Does it have a lounge, complete with mini-bar? Consult a design magazine for ideas and sketch out your vision. Consider:

  • Seating. Couch, recliners, or high-backed seats? Rows or sociable semi-circle? Decked seating? Plan the seating type and layout.
  • Furniture: Home theater furniture can include everything from the practical (coffee table and cabinets) to the luxurious (bar, aquarium, popcorn machine...).
  • Components: Flat-screen television, Satellite DISH Network, DVD player, surround sound speaker--options for system components are nearly endless. Go catalog 'shopping' and decide which toys fit in your home theater room and in your budget.
  • Lighting: Decide which lighting style and dimming features best fit your design.
  • Décor: 'Media' interior design has introduced new decorating options, such as movie-themed carpeting, movie posters, and more.

Plan...Your Actual Home Theater Design

Your remodel contractor can help you translate your vision into a detailed blueprint that takes into account the technical details. Consider:

  • Acoustics. Optimum acoustics involve a delicate balance between hard reflective and soft absorbent surfaces. Unless you're an acoustics expert, it's best to leave this aspect of the home theater design to a remodel contractor.
  • Sight. The contractor can also help you tweak the seating and speaker positions for optimum viewing and sound.
  • Wiring. Not for the average DIYer! All those components make for an unwieldy mass of wires. Leave this crucial design element to your home remodel contractor or a professional electrician.


Once you've hung your last movie poster, it's time to invite your friends and neighbors to enjoy your new home theater.

About the Author
Clare Kaufman works as a writer and editor for an online media company. She has completed a graduate degree in English.