Lights, camera, action! With a little thought, you could soon be enjoying movies in your own home cinema.
Picture the scene: it’s the end of a long day and you’re relaxing on a stylish leather recliner sofa, a drink in your hand (shaken not stirred). Your favourite Hollywood blockbuster is playing on a state-of-the-art LED screen with digital surround sound. Sounds too good to be true? Well, with recent advances in technology, you can now get the quality and atmosphere of the big screen in your own front room. Or if you are really lucky and have the space, why not designate a room in your house as a home cinema?
Setting up a home cinema
Setting up a home cinema is a relatively straightforward undertaking but there are a few elements you need to put in place, starting with seating. A leather sofa is the perfect option for a home cinema, whether you choose contemporary bonded leather or an aniline leather sofa.
A high quality leather sofa will have padded cushions and a sprung base, providing comfortable seating to support you through even the most epic of films. And if you look after it with a protective leather care kit, you won’t have to worry about drink spills or sticky popcorn.
Of course you’ll need to decide on the best combination of sofa suites, armchairs or recliners for your home cinema needs. If you enjoy snuggling up with your partner for a romantic film night in, a cosy 2 seater sofa will be just the ticket. If a family film is on the cards, a 3 seater sofa or a combination of sofas, armchairs and stools might better fit the bill.
Don’t forget to include a coffee table or a nest of tables for the drinks and snacks you’ll need to sustain you through your choice of film. Some 3 seater recliner sofa even have a central backrest that folds down to provide a convenient tray with cup holders for your drinks. If you want to impress someone special, invest in a champagne bucket on a stand for a romantic night in.
To step up your home cinema experience to another level, it’s important to choose the right television. One thing to get right is screen size and resolution. As a rule, the further from the TV you sit, the larger the screen will need to be. If you’re sat closer than 5 feet, a 32” screen is fine, at 6 feet 42” is recommended and at 7 feet you’ll need a 50” screen. For longevity, if you’re buying a new TV be sure to get either 1080HD or 4k (ultra HD). Although, unless you’re sat quite close to the TV and the screen is very large you’re unlikely to notice a huge difference between the two resolutions.
An internet-enabled TV will allow you to view TV shows and movies direct from the internet via the apps on your screen, so no more DVD boxes cluttering up your home cinema space. Some of the advanced systems even have voice, motion and face recognition technologies to allow you to change channels or search the net with a word or a gesture.
If you’re happy with your current television, invest instead in a home cinema sound system. Choose the number of speakers depending on the size of your room and consider adding an iPod dock so that you can also play your music through the system.
Lighting is important in any home cinema. Invest in a blind or black-out curtains to recreate the cinematic experience at any time of day and consider installing ceiling spotlights controlled by a dimmer switch to allow you to choose the level of lighting you prefer.
For your décor, you may want to keep it simple and stick to neutral colours, with a rich, deep carpet to prevent the sound from echoing. Paint a feature wall a warm red or hang posters from your favourite movies on the wall to add to the atmosphere. Or go the whole hog and recreate the fabulous movie theatres from the early days of cinema with dark red or purple walls and art deco lamps.
Some architectural antiques stores and retro shops will stock old cinema seats, popcorn machines and other accessories to bring your room to life. Your room will look fabulous with a few Oscar statues, clapperboards and figurines of movie stars. You could even source a life-size cardboard cut out of Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart or Daniel Craig.
Finally, if you really want to relax in style, the ultimate in home cinema luxury has to be a sleek leather TV bed. Just try not to get popcorn crumbs on the sheets!