You’ve picked out your flat panel, sound system, and universal remote, but what about the other important details that make a home theater your own? By adding some well-appointed extras, you can transform your space from staid to standout in just moments. One way to make over a media room is to take the movie poster idea up a notch by including props or replicas from movies, TV, and video games. There are quite a few options for finding these items, but keep in mind that part of the process—and the fun—is in the hunt.
For the past year, you’ve watched some of the best (and worst) Hollywood has to offer. Now it’s time for the Academy Awards. What better excuse to host a party? But you can’t just invite a bunch of friends over and pass the chip bowl. On a night that celebrates glitz and glamour, why not follow suit and roll out the red carpet? Here are some tips on how to throw the ultimate Oscar-viewing party.
Acoustic treatments have long been considered home theater eyesores. While they’re essential to sound quality, their lack of style, to put it nicely, has left a lot to be desired. But many manufacturers have realized you can have it all and are now offering more aesthetically pleasing options. Here are five examples.
If you’re the kinda guy who can recite classic movie lines like, “Leave the gun; take the cannoli” on command in between handfuls of popcorn, you may want a pop culture print, painting, or sculpture in your home theater with a little personality, right?
Today’s flat panels are beautiful to look at whether turned on or off, but there are times when you just want to conceal—not reveal—your TV. Blending your big screen into a room environment doesn’t have to be a design dilemma; in fact, it’s easier than ever with these options.
Let’s face it—everything’s better with snacks. If you want a truly authentic moviegoing experience at home, you gotta have your concessions in order. Plus, what’s a movie screening without the familiar sound of crinkling candy wrappers, the smell of buttery popcorn in the air, and a Milk Dud or two on the floor? Add in some professional-grade signage, and your guests will never want to venture to the local cineplex again. Better buy your Duds in bulk.
Put a flat panel on the wall, and you gain back valuable real estate in your living room or den. The challenge then becomes what to do with your A/V components, media, and accessories. An enclosed or even semi-enclosed cabinet offers a clutter-free look, eliminates eyesores, and lets your TV serve as the focal point of your room.
You finally bought a big flat panel, but now what?
This T-shaped table might be your answer. It offers simple installation—no drilling holes, hiding wires, or stuffing a bulky subwoofer somewhere—and easy operation with just one remote. But even better, this home theater system is said to deliver the kind of sound quality you’d get from higher-end components bought separately.
Since the goal is to re-create the local cineplex in your living room, you might as well go the whole nine yards and include concessions. What’s a movie-going experience without popcorn? And we’re not talking about the kind you drop in the microwave or shake over an open flame till it expands. We mean the authentic, buttery goodness that is often devoured before the first preview rolls. And there’s an added bonus to popping kernels in the privacy of your home theater: You can always press pause when you need a refill. Here are a few of the best popcorn makers on the market.
In the past, we’ve shown you options on how you can decorate your home theater with movie-prop replicas from some of your favorite blockbusters. But how about we take that a step further with props that were actually used on set? Hold the knife that Arnold Schwarzenegger wielded in Terminator 2, sport a helmet used in a battle scene in Gladiator, or try on one of Jet Li’s costumes from The One. Then show them off to your friends when they come by for a weekend double feature.
Jason Mecier combines his crafty nature and a love of pop culture to create these unique mosaics. About 20 years ago, the San Francisco–based artist wanted to take macaroni art to a new level and made more than 200 bean and noodle portraits, mostly of ’70s TV icons like Charlie’s Angels, The Dukes of Hazzard, and Mary Tyler Moore. Feeling limited by the earth-toned palette, he started working with bright-colored candy. Then came experiments with yarn, pills, fake fingernails, makeup, and finally anything he could get his hands on.
Your favorite celebrities and movie characters need not be strictly relegated to the big screen in your home theater. With life-size cardboard cutouts, you have yet another choice when it comes to decorating ideas.
Most folks envision stadium-style seating for their home theaters, but that take-me-out-to-the-ball-game approach isn’t the only way to go. For a more flexible, family-style setup, think sectionals. These aren’t the stodgy, hulking pieces of upholstered furniture of the past. Today’s versions offer unique configurations that combine love seats, sofas, chairs, chaises, and ottomans (great as additional seating or as a table for food/drink) and can work together or separately for multiple options. One more thing: Don’t forget to take the tush test when you shop for any kind of seating. Comfort is the key if you’re going to enjoy your screening experience.
Designing a home theater can be a bit of a balancing act. You want to position your gear for optimal sound. But then there’s the matter of integrating it into a room your family may also use on a daily basis. How do you give equal attention to both form and function? Harmony Interiors in North Carolina (harmonyinteriors.com) combines interior design with engineering for a complete solution. Owner Scott Varn gave us some advice on how to make everyone happy.