One of the most challenging tasks about a home theater is choosing the right wall colors for your home theater. Although it may seem simple, wall colors are critical as they can make or break your viewing experience.
The best wall colors for your home theater are the ones that complement the overall design, like furniture and curtains. However, those colors should never overpower your TV or projector screen. When choosing wall paints, choose the darkest colors possible.
Also read: The Best Paint Color for Your Media Room
Moreover, you can further enhance your home theater’s overall look if you know the right furnishings to combine. This way, you will have the best entertainment experience all in the comfort of your home.
The Best Wall Colors For Your Home Theater
Many of today’s homes have a dedicated home theater. Apart from being a room where people can watch movies, entertainment rooms also function as a game room for the whole family.
But the color of a home theater is a vital aspect of how you will view a film.
Take public cinemas as an example. You will notice that the interiors of movie theaters feature dark tones. Even the furniture, ceilings, and curtains are dark in color.
In addition, you should avoid using glossy paints. Its shiny finish can reflect light, which affects the ambient light within your entertainment room. Instead, choose a flat finish that will not reflect light.
It is also not ideal to use bold colors like green, blue, and yellow. Such tones can distort the colors that your TV and your projector screen produce.
Below are the colors that you should use for the walls of your home theaters:
1. Flat Black
Your entertainment room should be as dark as possible. This factor will enhance your experience when watching movies at home.
When choosing colors for your home theater’s walls, consider applying dark and flat black paint on the wall where you mounted your television or projector screen.
If the area surrounding your TV or projector screen has a dark tone, it will make a frame for the image that your screen creates.
Painting the said section of your home theater black will allow you to decrease reflection. It will also provide you with an excellent picture while giving some color design within the room.
The rest of the room’s wall does not need to be black. But you should make sure that you use a dark color scheme for the best wall colors for your home theater.
2. Dark Gray Paints
Deep dark gray paints provide darkness all over your entertainment room, which is much needed for a great home theater experience. But apart from that, dark gray tones also give a room with a refined elegance that other colors do not have.
You should apply multiple coatings of dark gray, flat paints to get the darkest possible color. Such a factor helps remove light reflection from your screen.
Since gray is a neutral color, it will not affect the color of the film you are watching as it will not reflect the light coming from your screen.
Additionally, it is essential to note that the floor and ceiling should have a dark tone. This way, you will be able to reduce unintended reflections.
3. Browns And Navy Colors
Any color will work well in a home theater. However, you must consider style when choosing wall colors.
Painting your entertainment room’s walls with deep navy will go well with the dark movie room atmosphere. Not only that, but it will also give you an opportunity for fascinating design elements.
For instance, you can place movie posters or add a nautical theme over your dark wall.
What is even better is that rich brown paints can create a manly interior. For this reason, you should consider painting multiple layers of brown paint with a light brown under a sponged dark brown tone.
If you want to take your interior skills to the next level, you can create a faux leather effect on your home theater walls. To do such, paint the walls dark brown first.
Next, apply faux wallpaper to each section by gluing torn and wrinkled butcher paper onto the wall.
In addition, adding matte-finish glue over the dark brown paint will provide it with a leathery look.
4. Deep Red
If you went to a public movie theater, you would notice that they have deep red paint on the walls. The colors vary from burgundy to raspberry. Even the curtains used in these establishments are red.
Using the same tones for your home theater will give you a movie theater vibe.
When paired with low lights, you will get the darkness that you want without losing the sense of color style.
Low light or dim overhead lighting will also add up a dramatic flair when doing other things. For instance, it provides a different vibe when you are playing video games in your home theater.
Deep reds make great wall colors for your home theater.
5. Neutral Colors
Using neutral colors as wall paints for your home theater will maintain the accurate colors of the image produced by your screen.
But when choosing a neutral shade, you must pick the dark ones. This way, you will be able to reduce the light reflected within your home theater.
Light shades like flesh tones tend to appear blueish or yellowish. On the other hand, natural tones like grass green and sky blue produce an unnatural hue.
That said, you need to be critical in choosing the right shades and tones that you will paint on the walls of your entertainment room.
If you choose the wrong shades, it can affect how you watch a film in your entertainment room. The reason is that light shades can distort the colors that your TV or projector screen produces.
How to Decorate Your Home Theater
Right now, people are spending more and more time within the comfort of their homes.
So, they look for different activities that will allow them to enjoy their free time. That said, it would be an excellent thing to customize your home theater to achieve movie nights with public movie theater vibes.
To make your home theater better than it is, you need to ensure that everything inside complements each other.
It is also ideal to use high-quality screens and excellent sound options. This way, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your home theater as if it is the real thing.
Start with the room itself.
There are three things that you need to take note of when setting up and decorating a home theater:
- The shape of the room
These three factors will affect the comfort and sound quality that your home theater has.
The shape of the room
When you set up a home theater in a square-shaped room, audio and harmony sound distorted. So, if possible, choose a rectangular room.
It would also help for you to place your display screen and sound system near a short wall to ensure the best sound projection possible.
The fewer windows, the better when it comes to home theaters. The reason is that windows are hard surfaces that can reflect sound. As a result, they cause sound distortion.
Another problem about windows in a home theater is that they let light into the room. This ambient light can produce a reflection on your viewing surface. If such happens, the quality of the image on your screen will reduce.
If your home theater has more than two windows, you can cover them with curtains and shades. However, that means you need to pull down your blinds and close your drapes whenever you watch a movie.
To avoid such a problem, you can install blackout-style window treatments. They track tight against your window jambs, allowing them to block light from coming in.
In a home theater, you no longer need to staple inverted egg cartons or any soundproofing materials. The reason is that regular drywalls are already a great surface that works best for your home theater walls.
However, you should break up large and flat surfaces. To do this, you can add furniture and drapes inside your home theater.
But it is important to note that hanging artworks or pictures encased in glass frames are not ideal. Such is too reflective not only of light but also of sound.
Meaning, they can act as space where soundwaves bounce off, resulting in distorted sound and added reverberation.
Additionally, concrete or concrete block is something that you should avoid. If your home theater has concrete walls, you can install drywall and studs to refrain soundwaves from bouncing off.
You can also opt to use acoustic wall panels. This soundproofing material is mainly designed for home theater use.
Also called sound absorption panels, acoustic wall panels aid in modulating both high and low frequencies. They also prevent echoes and reverberations.
Acoustic panels come in 1’ x 1’ and 2’ x 2’ sizes. They also have an adhesive, making them easy to install.
Ensure you paint them dark though, to match the wall colors for your home theater.
For flooring, you can use a wall-to-wall carpet. This type of carpet has a cushy pad underneath, which absorbs sound. Wall to wall carpets also adds up to the coziness of your home theater.
If you have a kid at home who likes to sprawl on the floor when watching a movie or playing video games, carpets are ideal as they have a soft texture.
One of the significant considerations that you should make when setting up a home theater is the seating you will use. The seating in your home theater can make or break your viewing experience.
For this reason, you need to look for an option that is comfortable enough when you sit on it.
In addition, the seats in your entertainment room should complement the colors of the walls. This way, they will be accessible to the eyes.
Home theater owners see a wide range of pricing and options. For instance, there are options like armchair-style loungers and elaborate cinema-row-like benches.
Depending on the price, you will find various seating features, including leather upholstery, premium fabric, and sturdy construction. Some seats even have trays and cup holders.
But if you prefer less expensive, home theater seats are also available if you are on a budget.
The Sound System
Today’s speaker technology is highly advanced. As a result, competing manufacturers produced many different speakers for home theaters. Such resulted in an influx in supply.
Since many speakers are available in the market right now, it became difficult for buyers to choose the right sound system for their entertainment room.
Moreover, most speaker systems for home theaters provide particular audio from specific areas of the room where you place it. For instance, when thunder flashes on a movie scene, you will hear the sound moving from one side to another.
That said, you need to ensure the proper positioning of your speakers.
A majority of home theaters today feature 5.1 surround sound. This sound system consists of five full-range speakers. There is also one woofer included, which is responsible for producing low-frequency sound.
You need to place the first three speakers and the woofer toward the front of your home theater.
On the other hand, the remaining two speakers must sit on either side. They should be slightly behind your position when you are watching something on the screen.
Additionally, you should place your speakers at least 20 inches away from the walls.
However, it is also worth noting that every home theater is unique. For this reason, you can only achieve the best sound quality of your speakers after experimenting with how you will place your speaker around the room.
The center speaker
Out of all the speakers in surround sound, the center front speaker is probably the most influential. It is responsible for projecting audio directly from your screen.
For that reason, the center front speaker is crucial for dialogues. Of course, you would not want to watch a movie where the actors are throwing lines in front of you, and you hear the sounds from the side.
In every home theater setup, the most important thing to consider is a high-definition screen. Be it a projector or a 4K Ultra HD TV, a good screen will always increase your viewing pleasure.
When choosing a viewing screen, you want to go for one that provides you with an immersive experience. However, it should not be too big that you have to look from left to right to see the entire scene.
What you need to look for is the right combination of screen size and viewing angle.
According to home theater experts, the optimum angle for viewing screens should be somewhere between 30 to 40 degrees. This way, you will see all the action with only minimal and comfortable eye movement.
Moreover, you can determine the best viewing height by ensuring that the center of your screen is at your eye level.
Such might seem elemental. In fact, some home theater owners are trying to elevate their screen so that it becomes higher than their theater setup.
But if you want to elevate your screen, you need to tilt it to face your seating area. An elevated, tilted screen is ideal if you have a reclining seat that you can position so that you are square to the display.
Additionally, you should also elevate your speakers if you are elevating your screen.
When setting up your home theater, you need to plan out where the cables and wirings will run. You need the proper wiring for your TV or projector screen, sound system, lighting, and everything that requires electricity to run.
As a result, your entertainment room will crowd with many different cables.
The cables and wirings need to stay out of sight if you want your entertainment room to look neat. Apart from that, the wires can also cause accidents when you trip from them.
There are different methods of hiding your home theater cables:
- Flexible cable sleeves
- Cable trays
- Using the existing furnishings in your home theater
Flexible cable sleeves
Cable sleeves are a budget-friendly solution for the wirings in your home theater. They consist of nylon tube sleeves or flexible canvas where you can slip in bundles of connector cables.
Such is an excellent option if you want to group and run your wires from a central device.
Another excellent cable management option is attaching cable trays to a home theater’s entertainment center. Doing this method will provide you with a channel or ledge where you can run the cables through.
However, you need to use screws to attach cable trays, so you need to drill holes on your walls.
Using the existing furnishings in your home theater
If the wirings you used in your home theater are thin, you can run them under the carpet. However, this option is not ideal if the wirings you used are bulky. The reason is that they will become noticeable when you cover them with a carpet.
Tips for Enhancing Your Home Theater
It is not only the wall colors that can improve your home theater. Instead, there are other simple steps that you can take further to enhance the look and ambiance of your entertainment room.
It is essential to note that a home theater is not just a TV, a sofa, or a sound system. There are other specific requirements that you need to meet to make your viewing experience feel like you are out for a movie night.
Control the external noises that leak into the room
Ambient sound refers to the unwanted sound that comes from the external environment of your home theater. These external noises can adversely affect your viewing experience.
Some examples of ambient sound are your kids that play and giggle in the neighboring room. It also includes kitchen and plumbing noises and the noises coming from the houses around you.
If you cannot control such noises, then you will never have a fantastic movie-watching experience in your entertainment room.
To control ambient noises, you can install soundproofing materials such as acoustic panels. You can also add a second layer of drywall. If the noises are leaking from your windows, you can hang heavy curtains that can block those noises from infiltrating your home theater.
Control the ambient light
Ambient light can come from different sources from the outside of your home theater. Such can be the sunlight that passes through your glass window or the light that leaks from your doors.
Home theaters are different from the other areas of your home. Instead of adding natural light, you need to limit the ambient light in it.
The light that comes from different sources can affect video projection on your screen. As a result, the picture is difficult to see, which makes movie watching less enjoyable.
Your home theater needs to be as dark as possible. This way, the images displayed on your screen will be crystal clear.
Design your home theater similar to a cinema
Most homeowners want their entertainment rooms to look like classic movie theaters. For this reason, they add sconce lights, red velvet walls, tiered seating, and even a popcorn maker to their home theater.
On the other hand, other people want their home theaters to look like a scaled-down version of a cinema.
But people who do not go to cinemas often might have a different view of how a home theater should look.
Traditional movie theaters have sloped floors. Meanwhile, contemporary ones have elaborate, tilted seating. When it comes to home theaters, seat tiering is significantly easy to build.
You only need to use a framework of joists of boards set on the room’s edge. The panels can either be 2 x 2 or 8 x 8 in size.
In addition, interior grade plywood with a three-quarter inch size serves as the top. A carpet then covers everything up.
Take away reflective objects.
The only thing that should reflect light in your home theater is your screen. That means you need to take away all the objects that can reflect light.
If you have a painted picture in a glass frame, you need to remove that from the room.
If you want to keep the painting, you can replace the frame with flat sheens or matte frames.
In addition, shiny doorknobs, light fixtures, hinges, and anything that reflects light should all be avoided. But of course, you cannot easily replace these objects. So to reduce their shininess, try using a dark-colored matte paint.
Install a drop-down movie screen if you are using a projector
Some people prefer to use a video projector instead of a television. Unlike a complex TV to move from one spot to another, you can easily tuck a video projector away after watching a movie.
Moreover, there is a type of projector screen that you can manually raise or lower. If you want a high-end option, you can opt for an electric movie screen that automatically lowers and raises when you push a button.
Mount your projector on the ceiling
Putting your projector on a table or any other flat surface is a little risky. You can accidentally bump on it, causing it to fall on the floor.
In addition, this positioning of a projector tends to be very easily moved. This movement can distort the image that the projector creates.
For that reason, it is ideal for mounting your projector on the ceiling. Such is a method that is easy to do. You can purchase generic suspension kits online and simply attach them to your video projector.
What is even better is that many suspension kits feature a lock and key. So, your projector will be safe from theft.
Plan your home theater’s flow of signals
Your home entertainment experience relies on the flow of data. Wires carry this data through the air.
More entertainment delivers data through hard-wired connections and Wi-Fi signals. Your surround sound system or soundbar should connect to your TV using cables. Even your lightings need wires to connect to power outlets.
That said, you need to plan out how these wires will run all over your home theater. Additionally, you should keep them out of sight.
If you want to reduce the number of cables used in your home theater, you can opt for wireless speakers. However, you need to make sure that you are using a smart TV as wireless speakers connect to them using either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
Even projectors can be compatible with wireless speakers. For this reason, you can also use them even if you use a projector in your home theater instead of a TV.
Moreover, soundbars are the ideal speaker system that you can use for wireless connections.
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- John Riha, Home Theater Trends, DIY Network, https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/rooms-and-spaces/home-theater/home-theater-trends/
- Sean McEvoy, Home Theater Furniture & Accessories, HGTV, https://www.hgtv.com/design/remodel/interior-remodel/home-theater-furniture-accessories/
- Hadley Mendelsohn, 12 Home Theater Design Ideas to Make Movie Night So Much Better, House Beautiful, https://www.housebeautiful.com/room-decorating/living-family-rooms/g26523145/home-theater-room-ideas/
- Lee Wallender, 15 Tips for Building the Perfect Home Theater Room, The Spruce, https://www.thespruce.com/building-the-perfect-home-theater-room-1821298/
- Wesley Fenlon, 10 Ways to Make Your Home Theater More Like a Real Theater, How Stuff Works, https://people.howstuffworks.com/culture-traditions/tv-and-culture/10-ways-to-make-home-theater-more-like-real-theater.htm/
- Jim Richardson and Steve Kindig, Room Acoustics Guide, Crutchfield, https://www.crutchfield.com/S-9LqTiOdNGrw/learn/room-acoustics-home-audio.html/
Jason is a home theater expert with over 10 years of experience in setting up home cinema rooms and systems. What started out as a hobby soon transformed him into an authority in the audio-visual field. He is passionate about providing readers with accurate and up-to-date information on the latest audiovisual technologies and their applications for home theaters. Read more about Jason.