Staying in has never been so simple! With so many great films on streaming services out there, it’s the perfect time to create the ultimate home theatre. To get you inspired for a relaxed night in, here are some of our favourite home theatre renovation tips.
Pick the perfect room
The location is the best place to start. The most common room to renovate for a home theatre is the basement. It’s an ideal space, because it’s away from the rest of the house, and can be a dedicated area for this exact use. If your basement is currently unfinished, you can take the time to soundproof and make any changes to the electrical work to accommodate any accessories you would like to add to the home theatre room.
If you don’t have a basement, you can still have the home theatre of your dreams! An unused den or a family room can become your dedicated movie night space. Many main floor rooms can become chaotic and disorganized, so by sticking to one clear use, you can help eliminate a messy multipurpose room, and create an inviting space to spend quality time with your family. An interior designer can help you get the most of this re-purposed space.
Install a big screen TV or an overhead projector
For the ultimate home theatre experience, a big screen TV or projector is a must. LED TVs over 70 inches are becoming more affordable. If your budget allows, OLED TVs offer better contrast, since each pixel is illuminated and can turn off completely, blacks are even more black. If size is more important than image quality and contrast, a projector is by far the more affordable option. Good quality projectors are available these days for less than $500, although the high end options can exceed $2,000.
If you have a room with little to no windows, a projector is a great idea, as they work best in low light environments. With many wireless options on the market, they can easily be installed in any room, without needing to run wiring through your ceiling or walls.
While you can project directly onto a wall in your basement or living room, investing in a projector screen is the best way to optimize your home theatre experience. They are designed and created with materials to help give the most vivid colour and cleanest, most crisp image contrast. If you don’t want the sight of a projector screen in your space when it’s not being used, opt for a retractable option, which will roll away and keep your space looking clean.
Invest in soundproofing and a sound system
No experience can be complete without movie-theatre quality sound. If you’re opting for a complete home theatre renovation of your basement, adding built-in speakers to the walls or ceiling is a great way to acheive a clean look. One of the most important elements for surround sound with depth is a subwoofer. It will allow the action scenes to feel like they’re happening right in front of you! The subwoofer can be hidden almost anywhere, since bass notes travel easily around the room, unlike treble notes which require speakers ideally placed at ear height.
As mentioned above, taking the opportunity of a complete basement renovation allows you to insulate the ceiling with soundproofing options. If you’ve invested in a high-quality sound system, the rest of your family will certainly appreciate not hearing every crash and bang if they’ve opted out of movie night. A soundproofed space can have many purposes, so if you eventually sell your home, this feature can be very useful for future homeowners as well.
If you’re looking to add a sound system to an already-renovated space, there are many wireless, soundbar-based options from Bose, JBL and Samsung on the market. You can customize your selections based on the size of the room. A complete home audio system like Sonos can integrate into your smart home systems, allowing you to use your speakers for more than just movie night.
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- Francis / Renovation Advisor at RenoAssistance
Easy ideas without major renovations
If an entire renovation is not in your budget, or you’re looking for some quick inspiration to make the most of a night in, here are some tips on how to create a special home theatre moment in any room:
Make your space cozy
You don’t have to have a complete home theatre installed to have a cinema-like experience! Gather up all your favourite blankets and pillows, opt for soft, warm lighting and create the perfect cozy zone right in front of your TV.
If you’re looking to entertain your kids, get them involved. Building a pillow fort as a family can be a great way to make a whole night out of your movie time.
If you feel like your current living room or family room doesn’t quite inspire coziness, here are some simple things you can add to make it feel more inviting:
Build a snack station
For kids or adults, nothing makes a party like good snacks. You can stick to classic movie theatre options, like popcorn and candies, or opt for a more themed approach. If you’re watching a classic children’s movie about an ice queen, try a build-your-own-snowman tray, with pretzels, marshmallows and candies. Themes can also be fun for adults: try making signature cocktails inspired by your favourite films.
Here are a few items that will help make your movie night snack station even better:
- Countertop popcorn machine
- Reusable theatre-inspired containers
- Cake pop maker
- Movie-inspired cocktail book
Fun beyond the film
A movie may last only a few hours, but that doesn’t mean you can’t extend the fun! While you set up the snacks and space, keep your kids occupied with movie-themed colouring books or printouts.
If you’re spending the evening with a partner or roommates, extend those cocktails a bit longer with some competitive trivia games. If you’re having trouble deciding on a movie, this can be a great pre-film game, for all ages – the winner gets to pick!
Here are a few fun activities that can help you make a whole day out of your movie night:
Plan your home theatre renovation
Now that you’ve got your fill on inspiration, it’s time to get planning! There are so many factors to consider when taking on a renovation of this scope. We understand the difficulties that come with finding a reliable and high-quality general contractor for your project, so let us take away that stress! Our Renovation Advisors can invite up to three 360° Verified Contractors to submit quotes for your renovation and help you decide which one brings the most value to you. Call us today or fill out our form to get started!