The Key Components to Making Your DIY Home Theatre

Too many people are put off by creating a home theatre because it sounds like such a big project. And we won’t beat about the bush; it is. BUT it can be simpler than you think. There’s no need to pull down the walls and rip up the carpet to get the full movie theatre effect. In fact, with a bit of ingenuity you can have a private home theatre with just a weekend job; enjoy the following article written by DIY expert Alex, on ‘The Key Components to a DIY Home Theatre.’


The Room

The room makes the theatre. It should be dark, moody and quiet. You want to escape into an alternate world – without distractions or interruptions – for 2 hours or more. A cleverly-designed theatre room can do that.

Image by GSloan under the Creative Commons 2.0 License
Image by GSloan under the Creative Commons 2.0 License



Soundproofing doesn’t just keep intrusive noises out of your new room – it also keeps your soundtrack in and so keeps the neighbours happy.

Acoustic tiles are the real thing, but they don’t come cheaply and they’re not easy to install. Instead think about insulating your walls with a bit of wall padding or acoustic underlay and some thick carpet.

Don’t forget your door, which will leak both light and noise into the room. The best way to seal it tight is to line the top and sides with weather-stripping foam tape. Add a plastic door sweep to the bottom of the door.

Blacking out

What’s a cinema experience without total darkness to fully immerse you in the film? Most light will enter through the windows; thankfully, blocking them out is fairly easy. You have several options to play with here, depending on your budget and preference:

1. Choose some thick curtains to hide the windows. Buy maroon red or gold fabric to evoke the true cinematic experience. But make sure they’re heavy so light doesn’t filter through.

2. Install roller shutters outside your windows. This will seal out light AND noise. It’s a more costly option, but tasteful and effective.

3. Use available materials for an inexpensive option; conceal the glass with carpet-covered plywood. If the plywood is well-fitted, you can make it a removable rather than permanent fixture.

The equipment

There are sadly some aspects of your movie room you won’t be able to DIY or cut costs for, including the projector, media centre, and quality 7.1 surround sound system. Nor should you! If you’re going to all this effort to create a cosy, intimate private theatre, you may as well invest in quality equipment!

But the screen is another matter altogether. Options abound! Sure, you can just buy a flat-screen LCD TV. But that’s not real theatre. Thankfully, you can choose a screen according to your preference and budget:

1. For a cheap and easy option, project your movie onto a blank, white wall.

2. Why not maximise your space by projecting onto a window? I know, that sounds weird. But if you have a large window, you can invest in thick outdoor shade blinds. In a white shade, they make the perfect screen and can be professionally fitted to your space.
3. Go the whole hog and invest in a proper projector screen.

Measure out your screen space before you buy so you’re sure you have something that fits.

Once you’ve decided your screen material, it’s time to position it. You want the Goldilocks position – not too high or low. The best spot is where the centre of your gaze when you’re seated lands naturally between the top quarter to top edge of the screen. That’s typically about 1 to 1½ metres off the ground.

The décor

One of the things I love about going to the movies is the atmosphere. With the velvet curtains, popcorn, comfy seats and old-school vibe, it’s the perfect way to pass a relaxing night. So why not replicate this in your home cinema?


Since it’s your own private theatre you may as well go for luxury – isn’t that the benefit of enjoying a cinematic viewing in your own cosy home?

Plush leather is a great Gold Class option and it’s easy to clean dirt and spillages from it. But for cheaper options, you can always look at recliners or even make your own seats out of pallets? Get inspired here for DIY pallet furniture.

Whatever you choose, don’t position your seating any closer than 1½ metres from the screen.

This is where you can go wild with your own tastes and personality, but here are just a few ideas:
• Wrap red velvet curtain around the screen for theatrical novelty
• Invest in controlled lighting; LED rope lights to illuminate the floor, overhead lights with dimmers, wall sconces.
• Line the walls with inexpensive movie posters in tasteful black frames
• Keep a mini fridge in the corner – or install a full-blown cocktail bar at the back, complete with a popcorn machine.

With the décor down, your room is complete. It’s time to dim the lights, roll the camera, and enjoy the action!

For more inspirational DIY design and décor ideas, check out the Love Life Outdoors blog today!

Alex Sign Off


Alex is the National Brand Manager at Australian Outdoor Living. She loves her job and loves jotting down her thoughts on all things outdoors. Outside of work, she loves: scoffing sorbet ice-creams in the summer sun, finding sand between her toes, trying to tame her very naughty puppy “Sabre”, and enjoying everything the outdoors has to offer! Especially in summer – the happiest time of year!


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