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Beyond equipment, furnishings should add to a home theater experience

September 09, 2013

Home theaters are all about the lights, camera and action. It's the reason this type of room is becoming popular among homeowners. But after the electronic equipment is installed, design decisions that will enhance the experience need to be made. For instance, what better area rugs to place in a home theater than Shaw Floors' contemporary Encore collection?

Area RugHome theaters are all about the lights, camera and action. It's the reason this type of room is becoming popular among homeowners. But after the electronic equipment is installed, design decisions that will enhance the experience need to be made. For instance, what better area rugs to place in a home theater than Shaw Floors' contemporary Encore collection?

The shape of the room influences how well the sound travels no matter how expensive the audio gear is. Steps should be taken to minimize sound reflection off the walls and floor, which can be covered with an area rug in the theater but may be left as an unadorned hardwood floor elsewhere in the room.

Insulated, fabric-covered wall treatments in the home theater will fix acoustic problems if the room is situated in a place where sound is most likely to bounce from the speakers onto walls.

Soundandvision.com cautioned homeowners not to locate glass tables or cabinets in a home viewing area because the surface reflections will likely affect picture quality.

A common mistake made by home decorators is that they place the video display too high, creating a sight line that may not be comfortable for viewers.

Seeing the light
Window treatments that block light are another factor in outfitting a home theater so that natural light doesn't interfere with viewing. Many styles of window shades, including pleated or roman shades, are available with blackout fabrics. Custom drapery also provides a wide choice of fabrics that can eliminate light from entering a home theater, and can be drawn back to allow natural light in when the room is being used for other purposes.

A variety of lighting sources is particularly needed in a multi-purpose room design that includes a home theater. Task lighting for a desk and computer area may be appropriate to a home office, but sconces, floor lamps and recessed lighting are better choices for the theater section of the space. They help create the right ambience without casting a glare on the home screen, according to DIY Home Theater Design.

Some home theaters are designed on a grand scale, while others are family rooms for both screenings and a gaming area for children. Decorating the room should be determined by the needs of those who use it. If the home design calls for an office by day and a viewing area for entertainment at night, both functions need to be considered in the decorating scheme.