Create your ultimate dream space with our home theatre design guide

Plus, 12 inspiring home theatre room designs that will help you survive quarantine.
simple home theatre design idea

image credit: www.electronicliving.com.au

Many movie theatres across Australia have had to shut their doors recently due to Covid-19. Watching movies in a home theatre room from the comfort of your own home feels like the next best thing. You can bring your family together in your home theatre—watch films and sports events in full glory or at times play video games.

Having an at-home cinema comes in different levels of luxury, depending on the home theatre room design that you prefer (and, of course, your budget). You can opt for a simple outdoors set-up, a living room-style theatre, or a high-end 12-seater home cinema should space permit. 

In this article, you'll learn some essential home cinema design tips along with ideas on tech accessories and elements to optimise your viewing experience. We'll also show you some beautiful home theatre room designs that are guaranteed to  inspire you! If you're looking to install one in the next few months or so read on.

Home cinema design guide

Below we cover everything you need to consider for your ultimate home theatre media room design.

Audio and visual system

A typical home theatre system includes:

  • A screen (can be a TV or projector)
  • A video source (can be a dish provider or a Blu-ray player)
  • Speakers

The audio and visual system you'll be using plays an integral role in the design of your home cinema. Choosing between a TV or a projector can affect the design of your at-home theatre. A projector looks more laid-back, while a large television looks more formal.

The type and number of speakers you use also affects the room's design. If your space is small, you can use soundbars. If your room is quite spacious, you can use large speakers. Typically, a home cinema features a centre speaker, front speakers (right and left), back speakers (right and left), special-effect speakers (act as surround sound technology), and a subwoofer.

The ideal screen size for a home theatre is between 122cm to 244cm. The exact numbers depend on your room size.  Evidently, a monster 200cm screen in a small space will overpower the entire room, while a small 80cm screen in a large space will make you feel as though you’re watching a movie on your mobile phone, especially if the seats are improperly distanced from the screen.

The ideal speakers also depend on your room size, design, and style preferences. Always think about what size and type of speaker you want from a decorative point of view.

Wiring and cabling

Wiring accessories like surge protectors and cables can make or break your home cinema experience. Choose high-quality and durable wiring accessories that can protect your home theatre from electrical spikes or surges.

Avoid exposed wires by drilling holes into your walls and hiding the wires inside. However, if you don't want to drill holes on the walls, you can use a wireless system. You can use your laptop or your phone to connect to your system.

A wireless home theatre is easier to install and less expensive than a wired one. It's perfect if you're looking to set up a home theatre within a week or so. You can set up one outside or in your living area.

Soundproofing and acoustics

Soundproofing and acoustics are essential to achieve that breathtaking sound depth and clarity to maximize your home cinema experience. These elements can also affect the design of the theatre room as you may need to insulate the walls and ceiling. You can choose different materials, such as loosely packed fibres, foam insulation, fibreglass insulation, mineral wool, or open-cell foams.

You also need to use a carpet with soundproof underlay, especially if you have hardwood floors that you don't want to replace. These thick carpets not only help absorb sound waves to improve your experience. They also help give that dramatic, high-end cinema ambience.

The arrangement of seats also plays a role in improving acoustics. If you can, keep the seats away from walls and speakers. Generally, a seat should be at least 122.92cm away from any speaker. Avoid placing seats near the walls, especially on the back wall, because you may lose that surround-sound effect.


Lighting in a home theatre must be subtle to achieve that 'cinema' atmosphere. However, it must also completely illuminate the space if you need to clean the room or do renovations. Here are some common lighting options that you can try:

  • Recessed lights
  • Wall-mounted lights
  • Ambient lights
  • LED lights
  • Ceiling spotlights
  • Fiber optic lights strips

Screen viewing optimization

Optimising screen viewing depends on the distance of your screen to the seats. Sit no closer than 229cm and no more than 381cm away from the screen. If the screen is too close, you'll start seeing the pixels. If it's too far, you'll miss out on the fine details of the movie. Level the screen to your eyes. Avoid placing the screen too high or too low as both may crane your neck.

Room layout

Create a room layout before choosing your home theatre equipment or materials. A rectangular room is best for sound projection, as a square one produces strange sound distortions. You can engage an expert home theatre designer to create the ideal layout for the at-home cinema room you're constructing or renovating outdoors or indoors.

Setting the scene (design and styling)

The home theatre room design and style depend on your budget and preferences. While 'quality' may not be entirely synonymous with 'expensive,' the costs will determine the freedom you can have on the room's design. It's best to hire a design expert who can make the best use of your budget, so you can still have a phenomenal home cinema experience wherever your budget lies.

sophisticated dark home cinema design
Image credit: diff-studio.com

HVAC (heating & cooling the space)

HVAC systems can be a problem as they can create huge holes in the wall for tubes or ducts. These holes can make sound travel outside the room, making your experience less theatrical. You can use sound baffles and fit them over the HVAC vent. You can also use acoustic sealant to cover the gaps around the HVAC vent. Alternatively, opt for a ductless mini-split AC system as they are generally quiet and are easy to install.

Inspirational design ideas to steal

Check out the following home theatre room designs we've collected–from simple open-air home cinema to all-the-frills indoors theatre–and get creative ideas to steal and inspire your next renovation!

Outdoor cinema

An out-of-doors theatre provides a unique cinema experience because you get to see blockbusters under the stars. While the sound quality may not be as good as being in an indoor home theatre, the experience can be more relaxing—thanks to the fresh air! If you have a pool, it would be an excellent location for an outdoor cinema. You can use your immaculate white privacy wall as your screen, just like Lisa Ling's outdoor home theatre below. To improve your outdoor entertainment space, have a vision and plan the design ahead.

outdoor cinema with pool
Image credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times

Basement Cinema

It's relatively easy to turn your basement into a home theatre. The basement usually features a foundation wall and a concrete floor, so reducing noise levels in this area would be a piece of cake. To boot, it doesn't have windows, so the light outside won't penetrate in the theatre. To add more cinematic ambience, this basement theatre featured below flaunts blue LED light strips, sophisticated wall-mounted lights, and state-of-the-art cinema-seating. It also has a white carpet that absorbs sound and prevents excess reverberation across the room.

basement home cinema without windows
Image credit: Home Stratosphere

Purpose-built home theatre 

Without a doubt, a custom-built home theatre is probably the best kind because everything is purposely laid out. You got to love the overall design of this purpose-built home cinema featured below. The screen is not too big, and its distance from the leather cinema sofa set is perfect. The red carpet, double door, and recessed ceiling light fixtures will make you feel as though you're actually in a real picture theatre.

purpose-built home theatre design inspiration
Image credit: Home Stratosphere

Converted living area home theatre

Want to make your living room look more extravagant than usual? Many homes in Australia have both a living room and a family room, which can be quite redundant. You can renovate your family room and create a home theatre for watching movies or playing games. The room doesn't need to be dark, just like this living-area home theatre below. You can make the big screen the focal point of the space. The round-shaped large feature wall cabinet is also ingenious, making the room look bigger or theatre-like.

converted living area home cinema design
Image credit: LetsRenovate

Understated style home theatre

Subtlety is classy. In this home theatre room design, white, grey, black, and light timber played a dominant role in creating a simple (yet not boring) ambience. This design is perfect if you're on a budget because you don't need to overdo everything. Instead of buying large (probably costly) speakers, you can opt for a sound bar that will complete the minimalist-slash-understated style. The space is ideal for casual viewing or relaxing while sitting on that soft fabric sofa.

simple understated home cinema inspiration design
Image credit: www.architectureartdesigns.com

All-the-frills home cinema 

An all-the-frills home theatre has it all—from the design elements up to the functional elements. When creating one, you can stretch your creativity, and the sky's the limit. You can add sectional sofa seats, wall décor, cabinets, different kinds of light fixtures, and of course, even a small bar! You can also play on the colour scheme of the room, just like the one featured below. The red velvet carpet flooring remarkably matches the red elegant walls and the white dropped ceiling lightbox.

all the frills home cinema design
Image credit: Home Stratosphere

Cutting-edge home theatre

This state-of-the-art home cinema will wow anyone with its Starscape ceilings and blue feature LED lightings distributed across the entire room. This design home theatre prides itself on cutting-edge technology. It uses a smart lighting system with its mechanized blackout blinds that manage light levels in the room.

cutting-edge extravagant home cinema
Image credit: Majik House

Fantasy home theatre

If you're a fan of Disney, this fantasy-like home theatre room design can be a great inspiration. The purple and gold accents appear glittering. The stunning crystal chandeliers add dramatic effect. The gorgeous velvety curtains would make you feel as if you're inside the world of Jasmine and Aladdin. A super fun option for the kids.

Image credit: Horner Networks

Theatrical home theatre

This theatrical home theatre gives the 'Phantom of the Opera' vibe with its classy walls and ceiling. The chrome-yellow lights make the ambience grand-slash-majestic. The cinnamon brown-coloured theatre seats and sectional sofa match the tawny brown wallpaper, too. Of course, the theatre drapes complete the whole theatrical concept!

theatre-inspired home theatre design
Image credit: Home Stratosphere

Modern home theatre

This modern home theatre looks out of this world with its numerous speakers, blue ceiling spotlights, high ceiling, and enormous screen. It also has a great overall layout, which gives you the feeling of being inside a space capsule (or a ship).

modern home theatre design
Image credit: Reno Assistance Canada

Boho home theatre

A bohemian-style home theatre can be outdoors or indoors. You can use a white wall as a projector screen if you're doing it indoors instead of buying a formal TV set. You also don't need a formal theatre couch. Unmade pillows and blankets would make the ambience more 'boho.' You want to retain that look as if the room or space has been slept in.

boho home theatre design
Image credit: Home Designing

Coastal style home theatre

You don't need that much décor when creating a by-the-beach home theatre. The outside environment already provides you with enough sights or visuals. Use the trees around you to provide dramatic lighting. Make sure that you also use those sun loungers to complete the coastal home theatre concept.

beach side home theatre design
Image credit: Travel Plus Style

Let us know the best home theatre room design for you

If you're thinking of renovating your property and adding a home theatre, let us know. Superdraft can connect you to designers who have the necessary know-how to create the ideal home theatre room that matches your budget, style, or preferences. Sign up for free to find residential renovation and design experts via Superdraft or request a free quote!

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