Is there anything cozier than cuddling up with the fam and watching a movie? Probably not. So, consider creating a dedicated media room in your home. Most spare corners will work, really, whether it's your basement or your attic. A media room doesn't need much; a large TV, surround sound, and cozy seating will do. Beyond movie night, a home theater is really a multiuse space that can double as a living room, family room, and entertainment room.
But to turn a space into a media room, you'll need much more than surround sound and flat-screen TVs. It's important to think of elements like paint, flooring, and even lighting to set up the right home theater. The best way to start is with a comfortable couch, area rugs, and an incredible audio-visual setup. Paint the room a dark color to improve the visuals and add the finishing touches.
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If your creative juices are already flowing, below are 14 fun design ideas.
Media Room Inspiration
1. Don't skimp on the decor.
Media rooms don't have to involve boring blank walls and bulky recliners. Why not decorate with framed art, an accent wall, and fun throw pillows just as you would any other room of the home? Rather than going overboard with loud wall art, which could detract from the main focus (the TV), opt for something neutral, like this cream, brown, and black plant print from Society6. Or you could bring the room full circle with framed movie posters, like this one of Hitchcock's Vertigo.
2. Create a designated dining area.
It's okay. We've dropped pizza toppings on our couch one too many times too. But why not avoid this altogether by placing a long table against the back of your sofa and adding some chairs to create the dinner and movie dining area that dreams are made of? Here's a two-person counter-height dining set by Trent Austin Design to give you an idea of what's possible.
Get the look: Trent Austin Design Inola 2-Person Dining Set, $136.99
3. Get the sofa all your friends will be jealous of.
Have you ever seen anything dreamier? Several pitlike sectionals on the market would make the perfect addition to your media room. Grab the above modular sofa from Home by Sean & Catherine Lowe on Wayfair.
4. Paint the ceiling and walls dark.
Make your media room like a real movie theater and paint everything dark. Then, your projector screen will seem to come to life. Don't be afraid to visit your local paint store and ask for pitch black paint like this carbon paint from Behr. The dark color will provide the illusion of a real-life movie theater and give your eyes some rest so they can focus on what matters: the screen!
Get the look: Behr Marquee Matte Interior Paint and Primer, $49.98
5. Go for a color scheme.
One place where a matchy-matchy design doesn't look tacky is in a home theater. The gray-on-gray look of this one allows any film you watch to shine. If the idea of a black room scares you, try different shades of darker colors instead. For example, The Home Depot has a wide range of gray shades that can help you master a monochromatic look. Pair it with this ultra-cozy couch from Poly & Bark.
Get the look: Poly & Bark Marcel Left-Facing Sectional, $1,889
6. Consider converting your attic.
Just because your attic doesn't have a traditional shape doesn't mean it's a lost cause for a media room conversion. Get creative by staggering comfy chairs and adding matching side tables to each. You can be as creative as you want. Consider using bean bags instead of sofas so you'll have the versatility to move things around. They'll also fit better under a short ceiling, making the small space feel a little less cramped.
Get the look: Trule Suede Armless Bean Bag Chair and Lounger, $629.99
7. Install a wet bar.
If you're really trying to get fancy, we highly suggest installing a wet bar in your media room. Having a bar by your screening area will also make it the best place in the house to entertain, and it becomes a multiuse room. With that said, installation can be a pain, both financially and physically. For something a little easier, consider this bar cart you can grab at Wayfair. It's easy to move around and set up, and it features enough space to easily craft your cocktail.
Get the look: Kingstown Home Maspeth Bar With Wine Storage, $690
8. Save space and banish clutter with a drop-down projector screen.
Projector screens aren't the prettiest of sights to see, so purchase one that rolls right up! The one above saves tons of space by hanging in front of a bookcase, or if you painted your walls in a dark color, you can opt for a video projector instead. The Vankyo Leisure video projector works with a screen and also projects to the wall.
Get the look: Vankyo Leisure Video Projector, $199.99
9. Don't forget a popcorn machine!
Please be this extra. We support it because the microwavable kind just isn't quite the same, is it? You can purchase the popcorn machine above from The Home Depot. It features a vintage-inspired design and a cart that allows you to move it into your space or out when not in use.
Get the look: Nostalgia Vintage Professional Popcorn Machine Cart, $299.99
10. Be smart with built-in storage furniture.
If you have a small media room, you want to focus on built-in storage. Furniture with built-ins, from sofas to coffee tables to ottomans, will help you store away board games, throws, pillows, and more. Take it up a notch with a smart coffee table with storage, like this one by Sobro. It has built-in outlets, a refrigerator drawer, Bluetooth speakers, USB charging ports, LED lights, and other ridiculously cool tech features.
Get the look: Sobro Smart Coffee Table, $1,499
11. Transform any room into a media room with an entertainment center.
If you're working with minimal space, forget about the idea of a standalone media room and make the most out of your living room. Using an entertainment center like this one by Manhattan Comfort will instantly give you the media room look without having to do a whole lot.
Get the look: Manhattan Comfort Entertainment Center Wall Panel, $502.17
12. Deck out the space with ultra-soft rugs.
Not only will rugs make the room more comfortable but they'll also help absorb sound. In a space dedicated to movie-watching, keeping unwanted noises and echoes to a minimum is essential, and there's no more practical way than a rug. Any pile rug will do, but we personally love this colorful option from Rugs.com. If you're okay with a more bohemian vibe, layering a few — allowing some overlap here and there — can make the space a touch more eclectic and a whole lot quieter.
Get the look: Rugs.com Santiago Rug, $198
13. Install cushioning rug pads.
If you opt for rugs, this one hack will transform your media room. Use a cushioning rug pad to elevate the comfort level of your media room. RugPadUSA has a variety of these rug pads that give you enough support without the bounce, making the rug feel like you're walking on clouds.
Get the look: RugPadUSA Essentials Non-Bunching Rug Pad (8' x 10'), $83.99
14. Embrace extra seating.
If you're having a group over for a movie night, the couch likely won't have enough space for everyone to kick up their feet. To ensure comfort for everyone, grab a large ottoman or a few poufs, which allow for a more laid-back and comfortable movie night. We would recommend grabbing some that visually add to your space so that even when not in use, they can double as decor.
Get the look: Joss & Main Goodwin Upholstered Pouf, $198