Home Theater Inspiration

Creating the Perfect Getaway for Game Days and Movie Nights

Basement Home Theater

Heading into the fall this year looks a bit different than in years past given the pandemic in our midst. But while we aren’t able to gather in large groups or attend those long-awaited football games, we can still have some semblance of normal in our homes – especially when we create home theaters that serve as ultra-relaxing getaways. Whether you’re watching the TV-only football season ahead or curling up with the entire family for a throwback movie night, a home theater is a must to get the most out of at-home entertainment.

If creating a lounge space for endless movie marathons and ESPN coverage sounds like a dream come true, read on for our favorite home theater elements. Because once you’ve got the style in place, all you’ll need to top it all off is a stack of a few go-to movie favorites and bottomless popcorn and snacks.

Set the Mood

First thing’s first – to have the perfect home theater, good lighting is essential. From low-lit path lighting that brings to mind aisle lights in the theater to the glow of a fireplace or soft overhead lights, creating the right ambience can either make or break the overall effect. Of course, you can’t forget about proper window treatments, either, if your home theater happens to be in a room with ample natural light. Because while that’s gorgeous on a crisp fall day, sometimes you just need a darker room for those mid-day showings of your favorite films.

In this home theater, a feature wall flanked by built-in shelves and a gas fireplace makes it the perfect retreat year round, no matter the weather. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
In this home theater, a feature wall flanked by built-in shelves and a gas fireplace makes it the perfect retreat year round, no matter the weather. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

RELATED: Fireplace Feature Walls

Subtle wall lighting in this home theater manages to retain the glamour of a vintage art deco theater aesthetic. / Source
Subtle wall lighting in this home theater manages to retain the glamour of a vintage art deco theater aesthetic. / Source
A fireplace and low lighting make this home theater a cozy and welcoming space to lounge in for hours at a time. //Source
A fireplace and low lighting make this home theater a cozy and welcoming space to lounge in for hours at a time. /Source

Put Comfort at the Forefront

One of the best things about a home theater as opposed to a traditional cinema is that comfort always takes top priority. No need to sit for hours on end in a creaky folding chair with barely-there upholstery. Instead, this space should be filled to the brim with plenty of ultra-comfy lounge chairs, recliners, or sofas so you can really kick back and enjoy your time. It’s an investment, but trust us, it will completely transform the entire experience.

Two levels of spacious seating options provide the ultimate in comfort for any evening moviegoers. / Source
Two levels of spacious seating options provide the ultimate in comfort for any evening moviegoers. / Source
Reclining theater seats can’t be beat when it comes to home theater furnishings; in this home, the high backs of the seat provide both comfort and a visual separation between each space. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Reclining theater seats can’t be beat when it comes to home theater furnishings; in this home, the high backs of the seat provide both comfort and a visual separation between each space. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Deep leather club chairs and matching ottomans give this home theater a classic look that is unmatched. / Source
Deep leather club chairs and matching ottomans give this home theater a classic look that is unmatched. / Source

Incorporate Extra Seating

Speaking of seating, a home theater isn’t complete without plenty of extra seating built in for extra guests or extended family members. Bar seating is convenient and stylish, offering a more casual space to rest, while built-in benches or ottomans are discreet and functional, doing double duty regardless of the number of people in attendance. Of course, you can always go all-out and do a complete theater re-creation with multi-tiered seating levels, too – it’s sure to be a winning setup for everyone with no shortage of plush and comfortable chairs.

A mix of bar seating and home theater seats create ample space for people to spread out comfortably during the big game. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
A mix of bar seating and home theater seats create ample space for people to spread out comfortably during the big game. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Double-decker tiered seating in this home theater provides enough room for each person to lounge and achieve ultimate relaxation. / Source
Double-decker tiered seating in this home theater provides enough room for each person to lounge and achieve ultimate relaxation. / Source
A chic modern bar paired with a low-profile sofa creates a home theater viewing space that’s fit for a magazine. / Source
A chic modern bar paired with a low-profile sofa creates a home theater viewing space that’s fit for a magazine. / Source

Embrace the Nostalgia

And finally, unlike other rooms in the house where you might be wary of incorporating an unapologetic theme, home theaters are all about embracing the nostalgia of a night at the movies. Something as simple (and delicious) as a snack and drink bar is sure to please both adults and kids, while a retro cinema sign or door can be a unique and exciting way to welcome people into the space.

A full-stocked snack and drink bar turns this home theater from typical to incredible in no time flat. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
A full-stocked snack and drink bar turns this home theater from typical to incredible in no time flat. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
Bright red doors and a glowing theater sign mark the entrance to this home theater, evoking instant nostalgia and thrill. / Source
Bright red doors and a glowing theater sign mark the entrance to this home theater, evoking instant nostalgia and thrill. / Source
This home theater gets a dose of vintage charm with a full-functioning popcorn maker on display in the corner. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)
This home theater gets a dose of vintage charm with a full-functioning popcorn maker on display in the corner. (Interior Design: Carla Bast | Carla Bast Design)

If you have the space for a home theater, it is worth every penny to transform it into more than a game or movie viewing room. It deserves to be a true destination where entertainment comes to life, and with a few of these key elements in play, you’re guaranteed to be the talk of the town. Who knows? You might never want to go back to the real theater again.

By Megan Johansson, Contributor to Carla Bast Design

One Response

  1. I really loved your suggestions on how to bring back some of the old cinema nostalgia in your home theater. Having things like a snack bar and fuzzy seats could help my kids really have a lot of fun in that room, especially since they love going back and watching old movies instead of the newer ones. I’ll make sure to shop for these things along with audio-visual equipment from appliance stores in the area.

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