Now that we have access to huge digital libraries of classic films and modern cinematic gems, more and more people are looking at ways to bring the big screen experience into their own homes. With more new releases being available to watch wherever you are, having the space for your own personal screening can be a rewarding entertainment experience. Creating a home cinema is as easy as ever as now you can have all the necessary bits and pieces delivered to your front door, so we've put together the five main things you need to consider when setting up your own home cinema.
Making a home cinema space will typically involve converting a whole room into a mini cinema screen, so you'll need to assess the available spaces in your home. If you have a separate living room space, upgrading this into a home cinema space can enhance the quality of what you're already watching.
Alternatively, if you have a decent sized guest bedroom you want to get more use out of, then you can make a snug 4-person home cinema space with ease.
Wherever you decide to create your ideal home cinema will affect your choices down the line around what seats you can fit in and the potential size of the screen you'll be able to install, so make sure to balance your choices with how often you think you'll be using your home cinema.
Once you've picked where you'll be placing your home cinema set-up in your property, you'll need to think about any decorative tweaks you want to make.
You'll likely want to keep your walls a neutral matte tone to avoid any annoying reflections that could come from the screen, but you can opt for a dark or light tone depending on personal preference. Dark tones will be more reminiscent of a cinema environment, while lighter colours like beige or light orange can make things feel a bit more homely. Flooring will need a similar consideration, as hardwood floors can interfere with your viewing experience, so putting down carpets or a rug will help to resolve this issue.
You might also want to think about lighting options for the space, swapping out a big ceiling light for wall uplighters for less direct light, as well as thinking about dimmable lights so you can set the exact mood you want for your film screening.
The most fundamental choice you will need to make about your home cinema is around how you want to watch your content - on a screen or with a projector? You can get big screen, 4K televisions which will provide a fantastic viewing experience, but can be more expensive. In contrast, you can get HD projectors which can throw out video big enough to fill an entire wall but can lose out on picture quality when compared with a screen, and will likely need an appropriate surface to project onto.
Your decision here will come down to personal preference and the budget you have allocated to making your home cinema, as you figure out what's best for you out of these two options. If your home cinema will be more snug, then a large screen television might work best, while converting a larger room to a home cinema might benefit from having a projector which can provide a more cinematic experience.
Making sure your comfort levels are as high as possible while watching a 2 or even 3 hour long epic is essential to the home cinema experience. You can find amazing loungers and recliners which can suit your personal preference for how you like to watch movies.
If you intend on having guests regularly, you might want to consider a number of individual seats or even multiple rows so you can all sit back and take in the film thoroughly relaxed.
Again, you'll probably want these to complement the tones of the room and have a matte finish as to not catch the light from the screen and distract your eyes. If you do choose to have rows of seats, you might want to raise the seats further back to ensure no one's eyeline is obstructed.
Once you've placed your screen and seats, the last consideration you'll need to make is about the sound system. You'll likely want to think about this last only because you'll want to orient your speakers to the screen and where you'll be sat, so you can totally immerse yourself in a film or TV show.
If you have a smaller home cinema in mind, you can pick up 2.1 speaker systems or even all-in-one soundbars which do a fantastic job at providing quality soundscapes with minimal equipment and costs. However, for more immersive audio there's nothing more iconic than the surround sound system. This is usually 5 or more individual speakers positioned around a room to give the impression that the action on screen is happening all around you.
Typically, surround sound is seen as an essential piece of kit for a home cinema, but we don't take such a hard line with it. So, as long as you feel the sound suits the sort of level you had in mind, you won't need to follow the crowd on this decision.
If you're looking at new homes in London or elsewhere with the idea of a home cinema space in mind, Berkeley Group properties have got you covered. Our fantastic 3, 4 and 5 bedroom properties will give you ample space to create your own home cinema, with the neutral décor and plush carpets throughout many of the properties making a great canvas for converting a room into a home cinema. Some of our developments like 9 Millbank have a private cinema as part of the residents' facilities available.