Theatre Decor Basics

With home theatres quickly becoming a reality for many homes, how do you go about designing and decorating a home theatre?  Remember the main purpose of this room is to create a movie theatre experience.  How?  Total light and noise isolation is the design focus for home theatres.


We need to start with the basic necessities in designing and setting up home theatre, the first being location, location, location.  For a true home theatre, a dedicated room is needed.  The room requirements are:

  • As few windows as possible;
  • As little foot traffic and noise as possible; and
  • Blackout curtains and shades for any windows.

Most homeowners choose the basement or an unused spare room or even attic space.


This is one room in which you don’t do light and airy.  Dark walls are best for optimum viewing.  Black tends to be too light-absorbing.  Choose a dark grey, deep eggplant, dark brown or similar.  Avoid any textured wall coverings or gloss finishes.  Your goal is not to focus on the wall color, but on the movie.


Sound bounces off hard surfaces, so wall to wall carpet is the best flooring option.  A deep colored berber is your best choice for theatre flooring. For total sound isolation, foam ‘sheets’ and neoprene can be used under the carpet if your budget allows. 

Window Treatments

If your home theatre is going to be located in a room with windows, use not only blackout shades, but dark fabric draperies to block light.  The fabric also works well with the sound systems - those old velvet drapes in movie theatres weren't just for show.  Hang draperies outside the casement of the window the center overlapping for best results.


Of course, controlling any outside light is important , but when decorating a home theatre, use the following tips for lighting:

  • Use dimmers on all lighting;
  • Ovoid overhead lighting which can cause glare;
  • Wall sconces with dimmers tend to the most popular choices when designing a home theatre

Your budget may not allow for a top of the line, dedicated home theatre, but keeping these recommendations in mind, along with the goal of the complete movie theatre experience, you can be well on your way toward a home theatre in your budget range.