Designing The Ultimate Home Theater Room

Homebuyer tips

Written by

Teofil Molcut

Published date:

Updated: Feb 26, 2024 by

luxury home theater room

Don’t you feel that the days keep getting shorter with every birthday? Time seems to fly so fast, especially when we do what we love or are involved in a pleasurable activity.  Humans have always been looking for ways to make time pass in a pleasant manner so as to fill the void and silence it leaves behind. A home theater room is like a time machine - it takes you into the past or future.


“Home theaters” and entertainment in the past

Our ancestors knew how to have fun before the most reliable analog camera (and then the digital camera) was invented. As evidence, we have the theaters and agoras of antique Greece and the Olympic games. Then, the gladiator games in the Colosseum of the Roman empire and paintings of human and animal dissections provided an essential source of quality entertainment for every season in ancient times. 


And let’s not forget about the hot air balloons and the art of circus - people had been craving for “the sensational” centuries ago and still do. They weren’t occupied with “how much does it cost to build a home theater room?” or “What is the best color for a media room?” These are the philosophical dilemmas of 21st-century people.


How much do we spend on home entertainment and creating the ultimate home theater?

We continue to put one brick over another to build the giant we call today “the Entertainment Industry.” According to Statista, in 2020, Americans spent approximately $720.38 billion on entertainment and media products alone. The report states that digital entertainment and creating the ultimate home theater, whether theater room ideas on a budget or media room ideas on a budget, cost Americans around 36.6 billion Dollars in 2022, eleven percent more than the previous year. Let me remind you that this statistic refers only to implementing home entertainment technology and designing a home theater room.


Home theater room ideas

Although the market is open to new technological advancements, the eco-friendly smart TV is still the preferred device for home entertainment. Home theater room ideas start with smart 4K TV recommendations. In 2023, you can choose from numerous smart TVs, some are on a budget, and others are high-end television sets.


So why don’t we dig deep into budget home theater rooms and their essentials, and how should you create your own low cost diy home theater room? After all, DIY home improvement ideas are trendy. So, why wouldn’t you also apply to designing a home theater room? We will also cover home theatre room design ideas, for instance, which piece of furniture completes the best your ultimate home theater. In short, you’ll receive a satisfying answer: what is the best size for a home theater room, and what is the best color for a media room?


What type of TV fits your DIY home theater room the best?

modern panoramic smart tvBuying your first smart TV is like investing in a starter property. You must proceed cautiously and analyze your ultimate home theater’s parameters and requirements. 


Budget-friendly vs. high-end TVs

Before buying a smart TV, you must consider your budget and your home theatre room design. The best budget TVs in 2023 are the Vizio D-series, TCL 6-series, and HISENSE U8K, which will deliver the spectacular image quality you crave. Plus, installing such a TV is a hobby that won’t break the bank! On the other hand, OLED and QLED TVs are more expensive. So, you must invest a lot of money and energy in their configuration. On the upside, Sony, LG, and Samsung undoubtedly provide superior picture quality.


Consider the light in your room before purchasing a smart TV!

Suppose your telly will be in a particularly well-lit room (we mean natural light.) Then, we recommend buying a QLED or MINI Led TV (Sony, Samsung, and TCL) that can spectacularly fight glares and benefit from decent viewing angles. Even if direct natural light hits your screen directly, your QLED TV won’t crash because it can get bright enough and show crystal-clear pictures. 


Secondly, suppose you can control the amount of light in your budget home theater room, i.e., your set won’t face (an impact-resistant) window, and you can dim the place. In that case, we recommend the arguably, superior OLED TVs (Sony, Panasonic, and LG) that can create perfect blacks and boasts an infinite contrast ratio. In addition, colors can authentically reproduce the filmmakers’ original intent. Off the top of our minds, we advise you to give the LG C2, LG G2, and Sony X95K a chance! You won’t be disappointed!


Small theater room ideas - How big is a home theater screen?

We have the perfect small theater room ideas for you regarding your TV screen size! Don’t let limited space rain on your parade! We have excellent basement theater room ideas and garage home theater ideas so that small spaces won’t curb your enthusiasm! How big is a home theater screen? The golden rule for a 65-inch TV is keeping a distance of eight and 13.5 feet from the screen. If the distance between your seat and the TV screen is smaller, go with a 55, 50, or 43-inch TV! On the other hand, you can go wild with a 75, 83, or 100-inch TV if the space enables you!


Now, do you think your TV could use an upgrade? Or do you have an empty room you don't know what to use for? Think about the following media room ideas on a budget or start budgeting for a home theater room. Small home theater room design ideas are at arm’s reach! 


Nothing compares to designing a home theater room independently because it will reflect your personality!

Are you worried about how much does it cost to build a home theater? Don’t be taken aback by the apparently hefty pricetags! Our suggestions will provide you with simple low cost home theater room concepts! We will advise you on the questions of what is the best size for a home theater room, what is the best color for a media room, and how big is a home theater screen. In short, if you are looking for small theater room ideas, home movie theater cost, and home theater room size, you’re at the right place. 


Fear not if you can’t create an adequate space for your ultimate home theater in your living room! We bring you excellent alternatives, such as basement theater room ideas and garage home theater ideas, which will work just as fine as you experience movies at the cinema! Moreover, our home theater room ideas are ideal for hi-def content on popular streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Disney+, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime. 


Your comfort and entertainment come first in a home theatre room design!

With our theater room ideas on a budget, you can enjoy the highest quality of entertainment, films, streaming content, music, and even basic cable channels. Less money won’t bring a drop in quality! So, even a low cost diy home theater room can reproduce the same top picture and sound quality as its high-end counterparts.


Imagine you’ve just finished designing a home theater room of your choice! Then, you sit in your favorite XL-sized chair with a headrest You look around and see movie posters hanging on the wall as part of your theater room decor. Your actual home theater room size won’t bother you because you’ll know it’s all yours to enjoy! Nothing can compare to this wonderful feeling provided by your ultimate home theater!


What is a home theater room?

If you’re an avid cinema buff and love genre-bending films, you’ve probably been to the movies more than a handful of times. Whether you’re watching a pulse-pounding thriller directed by Ridley Scott or an epic crime drama by Francis Ford Coppola, it's all but undeniable that there’s no experience quite like enjoying a good film in a well-built cinema. Or is there?


This brings us to the current order of business: home theater rooms! With one of these set up in your home, you can replicate the movie theater experience and even improve upon it. In the difficult times we’re currently experiencing, characterized by recession and inflation, going to the movies has been almost impossible. Yet, once you set up a diy home theater room and design an amazing theater room decor, things will change for the better!


Home theater in 2023

home theater in a luxury house

So what is a home theater, and how can you go about the business of installing one? First, let’s take a look at just what a home theater is. The concept of the ultimate home theater, while all but unheard of until a few years ago, is exactly what it sounds like a mini movie theater right in the comfort of your own home!


In the past, setting up a home theater was costly and time-consuming work that required a comprehensive understanding of technology and captivating interior design. However, with the advent of newer and more intuitive technologies, setting up a simple low cost home theater room is much easier than expected.


Here’s what a home theater might look like in the current year. First and foremost, you’ve got your TV or projector, the larger, the better. After this, you’ve got your surround sound system (as an essential smart home device), for that thunderous, pulsing audio. Then there are your seats (or beds; read on to find out more), your curtains or drapes, and some sound-dampening floor, ceiling, and wall materials.


Cinema through the years

Before we move on, let’s remember that the first cinema in the world opened its doors in 1895 - the Berlin Wintergarten. At about the same time, the first cinemas on American soil made their first projections. Even the famous Thomas Edison got involved in the movie industry by purchasing the patent for the phantomat - the indispensable tool found in all cinemas until replaced by newer and more sophisticated digital projectors.


Today, the largest theater is Ashton Theater in Melbourne, Australia - it seats 1,150 people! (It was 550 seats larger when it first opened in 1936.) In the US, with 8,200 screens, AMC Theaters is the largest cinema chain. The number of cinema tickets sold in 2018 was over 1.3 billion and doesn’t show signs of an alarming decrease any time soon.


Should you invest in a home theater? Or, is designing a home theater room worth your while?

So what is the point of having a home theater? Is investing energy in such an undertaking worth if you don’t dispose of the proper home theater room size? First of all, there is intimacy. You select your company! You choose who you want to watch a movie with. One day you invite your best friends over, and the next day you decide to have a movie night for two. You can cuddle in your partner’s arms, laugh as loud as you want and eat the stinkiest potato or tortilla chips without anyone staring at you. However, remember not to throw the scrap food out!


Secondly, you can pause and rewind whenever you want to see a cool scene or hear a line repeatedly. Changing the movie after a few minutes is also possible, without moving to another hall and paying for another ticket. Last but not least, you can skip the ads. We all know that the first 10 minutes of a movie are commercials and movie trailers. At home, you can choose to skip those with the press of a button.


Need help as a:

I'm interested to:


I work in:

Reach out to the local professionals for help
I agree to receive FREE real estate advice.

Agents, get listed in your area. Sign up Now!

Here's what you'll get:

1. Full zipcodes coverage for the city of your choice for 3 months

2. The ability to reach a wider audience

3. No annual contract and no hidden fees

4. Live customer support/No robo calls

$75 - Any City - 3 Months Coverage
I agree to receive FREE real estate advice
I agree with Terms & Conditions and Section 5-5.9.

Media room vs. theater room

modern theater room

Let’s discover the most creative media room ideas on a budget! When we imagine the perfect media room, we usually picture an ideally spacious living room with comfy armchairs and sofas, as well as a coffee table. A classic set-up that looks similar in most American homes, regardless of their architectural style. Media rooms are great for socializing, while theater rooms, whether above or below ground, somehow have their limitations and impose a formal, almost ceremonious, attitude that discourages communication.


Between media rooms and theater rooms, a significant difference can be found only in the gadgets used. Of course, the interior design is different in every home, but the smart home devices working based on the home automation principle, are the same: TV, game console, speakers or surround sound system, and headphones. This cutting-edge technology offers us a glimpse into the future


At a certain moment, the question of what is the best color for a media room will certainly pop up. We recommend painting your walls in black or other dark hues to capture the cinema’s atmosphere! In addition, your walls’ brightness can affect the light’s quantity reflected on them. So, don’t use the color red! At the same time, you can investigate trendy colors for every room in 2023!


Some families have a large 75” flat screen TV - manufactured two months ago - and the latest surround sound system, while others have a 10-year-old 30” plasma TV and no extra speakers. It’s time to keep up with modern times, don’t you think? You may wonder how much does it cost to build a home theater room. Suppose you find yourself in the latter category of old-tech owners. In that case, you could use one of the following loan types to start a major living-room remodeling project:

  • Home equity loan
  • Home equity line of credit (HELOC)
  • Personal loan
  • Credit card 

Or, of course, you can always save money and pay cash. Depending on your financial wisdom, you can enjoy the latest technologies and entertain the implementation of media room ideas on a budget without tightening the belt for years. 


Is a home theater room right for you?

When choosing between a media room and a home theater room, you must consider your age and plans for the future. For example, young couples with small kids do not have as much time to spend in front of the TV as their parents. Families with a child under age 6 had an average of one and a half hours of TV time.


Seniors 65 and older spend the most time watching TV, with an average of 4 hours a day, according to the 2017 American Time Use Survey. Most Americans become couch potatoes between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.


A young family might be more interested in upgrading their open living room to a modern media room because, in this way, they can supervise their children while cooking in the kitchen. Home theater rooms are usually found in luxury homes or larger houses where space is more permissive. Families with children would rather have more bedrooms than an in-house cinema. So, knowing the home buying behavior of each generation could help you make the best decision, just in case you’ll ever plan to sell your house.

How much does it cost to build a home theater room?

how much does it cost write on a sticky note

Home movie theater cost is a delicate issue. Given the fact that most home improvements increase the value of a property, it is up to you to decide how deep you put your hand in your pockets. The cost of theater room decor can range between a few thousand dollars to $50,000 for a fully-equipped theater room. Note that small home theater room design ideas enable you to reduce your budget considerably.


Besides banks and private lenders, funds for your home theater room could also come from a successful garage sale.


Small home theater room design ideas applied to simple low cost home theater rooms start with selling your old appliances, furniture, clothes, toys, and decorative objects to raise funds for the new media room or home theater. The funds won’t cover the entire project, probably, but at least you can get a lower loan amount and keep a manageable debt-to-income ratio. This principle lays the foundation for a low cost diy home theater room.


Building a budget home theater room from scratch would cost anywhere between $50 and $250 per square foot, but if you have a finished room (like a spare room in the basement or above the garage), you can save a lot of money. Most people say a home theater room cannot be used as a guest room. They couldn’t be further from the truth!


Home theater or second guest room?

Double beds have replaced the traditional chairs in some cinemas across the world, such as at Buda Bed Cinema in Budapest or the Electric Cinema in London. Why can’t you do the same, if space allows? Replacing chairs with convertible sofas or beds will still make you a great host for family and friends. That’s one of the fundamental ideas behind a small-scale home theatre room design.


Best soundbars and chairs for your ultimate home theater experience!

Nevertheless, your major investment will be in acoustic treatment. Your average equipment could sound a lot better in a soundproofed room. Well, how to soundproof a room? Depending on what you want to achieve, you must use sound-absorbing materials, soundproofing materials, or a combination of these two. The cost of these materials depends on the size of the room but could be between $500 and $30,000. 


We recommend Wharfedale DX-2, Dali Oberon 5 5.1, or the high-end Sony HT-A9 Home Theater System (this soundbar is compatible with Dolby Atmos) for the best surround sound systems on the market. Let’s shake those boomboxes!


If you want to imitate a cinema, then you’ll want to invest in chairs - two rows of 4 reclining chairs cost about $5,000. But why not invest in massage chairs if you really want to create a deluxe-destressing home environment? Obviously, the sky’s the limit, but there are practical solutions for small spaces and simple low cost home theater rooms too. Two corner sofas would cost about $2,000. 


Sound equipment

And speaking of sounds, the cost of a 5.1 surround sound system is between $120 and $4,000. There is no need to overflood a room with “more sound” than needed. Sounds above 85 dB can cause permanent damage to your ears, leading to hearing loss over time, while 120 dB sounds cause immediate damage, according to CDC. So, you should install a decibel measurement app or invest $20 in a decibel meter for your ears’ sake.


Home theater flooring

spacious living room

Another important aspect of a media room or theater room is the carpet. Media room ideas on a budget advise using low-cost carpets (ranging between one Dollar to $2 per square foot ) specially designed for media rooms and home theater rooms! We advise you to look into the Mohawk Everstrand or Smartstrand! Carpets, as part of the theater room decor, improve the sound quality and give the room a certain innate feeling. It’s like a revival of the Golden Age of a bygone era.


Moreover, it is known that when the sound hits a hard floor, it bounces back and creates an echo. The carpet absorbs the sound, thus allowing you to turn up the volume. This type of carpet costs about $3-4 per square foot. 


Home theater room furnishing

But what about the ceiling? Maybe you’d like to have a star ceiling above your head made of resin-reinforced Fiberglass acoustic panels that are also flame-resistant. Depending on their size, these panels cost between $375 and $1,450, without shipping and handling, but are great theater room decor.


Or you may use soundproofing tiles or acoustic foam clouds that cost only a few hundred dollars. If you want to add an exotic but tasteful touch to your theater room, you may use bamboo for window shades, walls, and flooring. Bamboo floors should be covered with a carpet because, when so tightly pressed together, bamboo is no longer absorbing the sound; instead, it creates reverberation.


Now, if money is really tight, you can replace an expensive smart TV with a projection screen and a projector. The good part is that the projection screen can be retracted with a flick of the hand. The screen can be attached to the wall or ceiling - or even suspended on a stand - and you can then store it away until needed. No need to invest in expensive chairs, either, especially if you’re house flipping. Look for used chairs!


Cleaning your home theater

Last but not least, you may want to invest in a good vacuum cleaner. Since you’ll be eating loads of chips and popcorn, crumbs will fall on the carpet no matter how careful you are. Also, if you have kids, they’ll make a mess, especially if they have friends over, so be prepared for an extra house chore.


Interior design tips

theater room 3d illustration

How about small home theater room design ideas? If you choose the right window blinds or curtains, media rooms can still feel like home theaters.  Watching TV in complete darkness, though, will make your eyes fatigued. The best advice would be to keep a lamp or a bulb on behind the TV, to have a larger source of light, thus keeping the iris more relaxed. Experts recommend using lighting fixtures that spread a diffused light at night, while during the day we could use some window curtains and blinds.


What height should you place a TV on? For your comfort, find the level of your eyes when sitting down and make sure the TV is at that level. Your head should line up with the middle of the screen. Quite a lot of science is involved in a small home theater room.


According to THX - a company specializing in consumer electronics certification - the size of the room and the viewing distance will dictate the ideal size of the TV or screen. For example, the ideal viewing distance from a 40” TV screen is between 5 and 8.3 feet, while to watch a 70” screen, you should be 8.75-14.6 feet away.


What is the best color for a media room? Suppose you’re interested in small home theater room design ideas. Then, we recommend the following eye-popping colors! Dark colors work best - burgundy, royal blue, brown, and black. Of course, you can combine them with this year’s bright colors or accent colors, however, keep it simple and clean because the main focal point in this room will be the TV screen anyway. If you have a door to the home theater room, you don’t have to replicate the interior design of your house in here - you can go as crazy as you want, but it’s even better when the theater room decor reflects the personality of each family member.  


There is the best small home theater room design ideas and theater room ideas on a budget! Home to the biggest media companies in the world, the biggest and most expensive movie sets, and the birthplace of Google, Facebook, and YouTube, America is never running short on entertainment. We are not only producers of high-quality movies, shows, and documentaries, we are also exporters of entertainment.


We love our TVs, and with the advent of cable-free television promoted by YouTube and Netflix, it really makes sense to dig for more media room ideas on a budget or for state-of-the-art technologies for the ultimate home theater room. We spend a lot of time in front of TVs and smartphones, but this only proves that we are a nation of hard workers who can choose how they spend their free time.


image of a real estate dictionary page

Have a question or comment?

We're here to help.

*** Your email address will remain confidential.

Real Estate Agents Near You