With the Christmas Holidays and New Year’s Eve approaching, this period might become quite hectic if like me you’re dealing with all the stuff to complete before the end of the year. However, these days more than ever, the undisclosed desire is to just spend time relaxing under a blanket with a cup of tea (or coffee) and watch a good movie. Isn’t it?
Inspired by this and the fact that, despite the lockdown, in 2020 we developed numerous projects for private cinema rooms in student accommodations, I thought to cover I decided to cover the 6 most important steps or decisions to make when designing a private Cinema room, whether in a commercial or residential space.
There is not necessarily right or wrong here, but most of all it is important to have really clear in your mind what’s the objective of the interior design. So, let’s dive in and see what’s what.
Focus on cosiness. The beauty of a cinema room is that it should feel as cosy as curling up on a sofa ready for a proper treat.
Starting with the flooring, carpet is definitely one of the best options here. There are numerous options here. You can check Forbo Flotex, which is among many other commercial carpets, the easiest to clean, or Sedna Carpet I talked about in the article about in the Sustainable flooring article. Both these options are sustainable, obtained from recycled plastic or ocean wastes, and suitable for both commercial and residential projects, depending on your needs. Timber is a good choice too. You can go for a natural finish and dark colour adding a touch of hygge feeling.
For a cost-effective yet cosy result, bean bags are the choice. Don’t choose any bean bag though, Ambient Lounge has the perfect piece. The Butterfly sofa that we featured in the West Hampstead Project is absolutely suggested, you’ll love it!
Want something more daring? Why not think about beds or sofa beds? The only real risk here would be to be too comfortable and fall asleep in the middle of the movie. Certain public cinemas that go for an unusual look as well as some privates for their residential spaces though pick this kind of ‘seating’ too.
Structured cinema seats. Not my favourites as they may be costly and once installed they reduce the potential flexibility of a cinema room (a major reason for not using them in student accommodations). Also, the choice has to be made with great care to avoid the risk of uncomfortable seats. However, if you pick well, they visually look very cool and you’ll feel like having a real cinema just for you!
Sofas are a great choice too for comfort and you can get creative with the visual look. My tip? Don’t go too matchy-matchy, mix different colours or styles for a more spontaneous look.
3. Projector or Screen
The factors to consider here are numerous. Once again, there is not a clear best choice between the two. Much depends on personal taste and the layout of the cinema room.
Today, it is quite cheap to get a very good screen with great colours and high definition. A projector will likely be more expensive but will be also more adaptable and you’ll also be able to project images on a larger portion of the wall giving you the true experience of a cinema.
You also need a white wall so make sure this works with the overall decòr of the room.
Another important factor to take into account is how dark the room will be. Projectors naturally need an almost pitch-black environment to perform at their best, while a TV screen even with lots of light provides great contrast and brightness.
Overall, the projector might be a slightly more difficult option to realise properly, but it might also give you a better and more special experience in the end.
4. Staggered rows
Much like for the previous paragraph, this is also a matter of budget and it depends on whether you have enough ceiling height to implement it or not.
If for instance, the space allows only a couple of tiers it might be not worthy to go through such effort. But if your room and budget allow it though, it is a great way to ensure a clear sight to the screen.
There are some creative solutions to create tiers using pallets too for domestic cinemas.
Wall lamps are a must. Typical light fitting in a cinema room: is born from the need to light up the perimeter so that people can walk on the side with a soft light even if the movie is on without disturbing the other viewers. Nothing screams ‘cinema room’ as much as a row of soft/moody wall lamps.
No need for pendants, especially if the room is small. The rest of the lighting can be simple ceiling spots that turn on when the movie is over.
Last but not least, acoustics. This is actually one of the most important factors to consider. Part of it depends on the device you pick for the actual viewing as television screens usually have their own integrated speakers. Some projectors or more special screens instead require a separate sound system.
As far as furnishing goes, it is important to avoid reverberation inside the room. If you want to go all out, you may also want to consider an acoustic ceiling or an acoustic flooring underlay so that you don’t disturb the adjacent rooms in the house or residence.
If soft furnishing is not enough, acoustic panels come in handy and can help with the décor. They can be found in any shape and style now. Alternatively, add curtains on the walls for a more theatrical effect!
Carefully assessing all these factors is a great start to plan your ideal cinema room or home theatre. Now, it’s time to get creative! In the meantime, enjoy some great movies to relax during Christmas! I will surely do too. Merry Christmas everyone!
This post contains product suggestions. We did not receive money or free materials from any of the quoted above.