February is the time of year when friends and family gather around the television for some of the world’s most exciting events. Whether you’re excited about cheering on your favorite team at the Super bowl or the world’s acting elite at the Oscars, it’ll take more than just a standard TV set to impress your guests. This article will help you transform your home theater into the ultimate hosting room for the television events ahead.
Choose the Right Flooring for the Best Acoustics
The sound from your speakers changes as it hits every surface in your entertainment space, so if perfect audio quality is important to you, you need to choose the right flooring. Sound waves bounce off hard surfaces more easily, creating an echo effect that diminishes sound clarity. That’s why hard surfaces like tile, hardwood, or thick laminates are best to be avoided. If your home theater or entertainment center has a hard surface, you might consider re-flooring the area. Alternatively, you could minimize the effects of the hard surface by laying down soft mats or rugs.
Carpeted floors are the best options for home theaters because they absorb sound and prevent reverberation. Wall-to-wall carpeting is a traditional choice, but easy-to-install carpet tiles can also work well.
Consider Soundproofing Your Home Theater
Having the best acoustics in your home theater will matter little if noise from outside drowns out your TV. If you live in a busy urban neighborhood or have kids who are likely to interrupt your viewing pleasure with rowdy games, soundproofing can help you keep unwanted sounds out. Soundproofing is also an advantage if you’re planning on using your theater when your kids are napping or trying to study.
Adding the same carpet you’ve used on the floors to the walls is an easy solution. Add a special sound-reducing underlay underneath the carpet for extra soundproofing power. Acoustic panels can also be added to the walls; there are plenty of commercial options, but if you’re on a tight budget, it’s easy enough to DIY.
If your walls aren’t already insulated, adding insulation to your walls can be a worthwhile exercise. It won’t just make your walls more soundproof, it’ll also make it easier to keep your home theater at a more comfortable temperature for you and your guests. Don’t forget your door, either. An acoustic door sealer can prevent sound leaking through the gaps around the door’s frame.
Select Furniture for Comfort
Plush, comfortable furniture is a vital part of any essential home theater setup when building a home theater. The right furniture will make your entertainment space the kind of place that you, your family members, and your friends will want to hang out in.
Think carefully about the number of people that will typically use your home theater and their relationships because this will dictate the seating choices you’ll make. You might choose separate lounges, sectional seating for couples to snuggle close, or a combination of these seating styles. Try sitting on a variety of seats, because comfort can vary significantly even among couches that look similar. Home theater seating is available in a variety of fabrics including leather, cloth, microfiber, suede, and much more. Which one you find most comfortable is also likely to be a matter of personal taste.
Light it Right
Your home theater room’s lighting is also really important for your viewing pleasure. Soft, recessed lighting overhead can make it easy to see your snacks while you’re watching the box. Make the lighting too bright, though, and it’ll distract you from the entertainment and create glare on your screen. Strips of lighting around the perimeter of your room can make it easy for your guests to move around for toilet or snack breaks.
Pale colored walls can also interact with your lighting and cause glare. If your walls are a light-colored hue, head to the paint store and stock up on a deeper shade like burgundy, dark blue, or even dramatic black.
Natural light is an advantage for most rooms because it makes them appear more airy and open, but it can be distracting in a home theater. It’s generally best for your media room to have no windows at all. If you do have windows, block-out blinds or thick curtains can help block the sunshine or moonlight.
Wall Mount Your TV
There are a number of great reasons to wall mount your TV. It’ll get your TV set up off the floor, reducing clutter and making your home theater appear more open and spacious. Wall-mounted TVs are also easier for large groups to see, and glare on the screens is reduced. If you’ve got small children, wall mounting your TV also puts it out of reach of their sticky fingers.
Make sure you choose a bracket large enough to comfortably support your TV. Use a properly calibrated stud finder to discover the best place for mounting your set. Then, use an in-wall power extension or power bridge kit to hide your TV cords in the walls, out of sight. Refer back to our tips for mounting your TV safely to ensure your unit remains secure.
Consider Building a Bar
Events like the Super Bowl and Oscars stretch for hours, so you’re bound to get thirsty during your viewing party. That makes a bar an excellent addition to your home entertainment room. A wooden bar is a traditional choice that will never date. Make sure you choose high-quality wood that’s durable with an elegant finish. Mahogany is a popular choice because it’s easy to work with and attractive, although it can be pricey and difficult to source. Rich, red cherry wood also doesn’t come cheaply, but fans insist it’s worth it for its durability and distinctive finish. Spanish cedar is another durable and beautiful wood. Its resistance to bug damage is another great perk. White maple, red oak, and white oak are also popular options.
If you’d prefer a bar that’s a little more unique, look to these nine mini-bars for small urban spaces for inspiration. These quirky upcycled designs are ideal for home theater fans who value sustainability and originality.
Consider Space Carefully
Some experts suggest mapping out your entertainment room design carefully before you start moving your furniture in. Consider where you’ll put the seating, the bar, and any entertainment additions so your home theater is comfortable to navigate and so everyone can see the TV easily. Also think about how you might want to use the space. For example, if you love Guitar Hero or games on the Wii, you may want a large open space in front of the TV.
With these home theater improvements, your entertainment room will be the perfect place for your nearest and dearest to gather for the Super Bowl, the Oscars, and other TV highlights in the year ahead.
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