Small Home Theater Ideas

You don't need a dedicated floor in your house to create a home theater. Even an average-size bedroom can be used, provided you don't plan on entertaining several dozen guests. After selecting a great screen and a great sound system, seating and decor are the keys to transforming any room into a theater where you can forget the world for a couple of hours while watching a movie.

New LED TV

LED-backlit LCD TVs are thin, energy efficient and offer brighter whites and darker blacks than previous generations of TVs. Sizes of LED TVs range from 19 inches—measured diagonally—to 85 inches. While every room is different, one way to estimate what size screen you should be looking at is to measure your seating distance from the screen and multiply this number by two-thirds or 0.667. If your couch or first row of seats is 8 feet from the TV, a 64-inch screen is a respectable-size screen.

Surround Sound Speakers

One of the benefits of having a small home theater is that you don't need a massive 100-watt-per-channel sound system to immerse yourself in a movie. For most small theater setups, consider a five-speaker setup with a subwoofer -- that's three in the front and two in the back. Speakers should be as close to ear-level as possible with at least 3 feet between each speaker. For extremely small rooms, you may just want to go with a sound bar below the TV and a subwoofer.

Seating

With a small room, it's unlikely you have room for several rows of seats. Depending on the layout, consider incorporating a sofa into the seating plan, which can seat three to four people when needed. You can flank the couch with comfortable theater seats with cup holders and put a row behind the couch if you have room.

Design and Details

If you want an immersive theater experience even in a small room, the details surrounding the screen and seats are usually what do the trick. Consider a dark carpet, dark walls and a curtain around the screen to draw the eyes to the focal point of the room. Installing some LED lights along the walls rather than a single overhead light in the center of the room adds to the theater effect. Plush curtains over the door and any windows in the room and a few framed movie posters greatly add to the genuine theater experience.

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