Home Theater Seating Ideas
If you're planning a new home theater installation or looking to upgrade an existing home theater, one or your first tasks will be to explore home theater seating ideas. Comfortable, stylish seating options abound for home theaters, which have become much more prevalent in modern homes. The in-home theater experience can be greatly enhanced by a well-planned seating scheme, so you'll want to put seating style and design high on the list of home theater to-dos.
1920s Style Home Theater
The pinnacle of class and elegance, this home theater was designed to resemble a 1920s movie palace, complete with 12 plush chairs with custom-patterned fabric, a chandelier and wall sconces to add warmth. The space also features a coffered ceiling treatment with custom moldings and an embossed copper ceiling. Photo courtesy of Elite Home Theater Seating
User-Friendly Home Theater Controls
In this home theater the control system provides easy, full-featured use, and a custom screen allows for an optimum viewing experience in a room that is shallow in depth. The seating is arranged in tiers, and the room is completely blocked off from light and outside sound. Photo courtesy of Dynamic A/V, Inc.
This modern home theater was designed to create a high-performance space for movies and sporting events. Isolated acoustically and equipped with complete surround sound, the room provides a high-quality, immersive experience. The sound system features 20 discrete channels: the main left, center and right speakers; four side surrounds; two back-wall surrounds; and 11 subwoofers. The room also has an independent cooling system to provide ultimate comfort. Photo courtesy of La Scala in Vancouver, B.C.
High-Dollar Home Theater
This stunning home theater is a world-class screening room with two-and-a-half-inch-thick acrylic windows that look into the 98,000-gallon pool. The chairs are from Radio City Music Hall, and the carpet and wall materials were custom dyed to match. Design by Future Home in Los Angeles, Calif.
This extravagant home theater was designed with comfortable theater-style seating to accommodate young children and a large extended family. All amenities contribute to the true movie theater experience, including a candy counter, popcorn machine and refrigerator for cold drinks. Copyright CEDIA 2011. Used with permission.
Why go to the movies when you have this space? This theater features a 180-inch screen, exclusive projector, star-field ceiling, 15-person seating, surround channels for each row of seating, custom-built speakers, and audio/video components that rival the real theater experience. Photo courtesy of Admit One, Inc. in Edina, Minn.
Form and Function
This visually stunning theater is large enough to accommodate friends and family and also rivals the audio-visual performance of the best commercial theaters. The space features comfortable seating, a huge screen, 3-D capability, theater-quality audio and high-end decorative elements, which add to the luxury. Copyright CEDIA 2011. Used with permission.
Your first choice when it comes to home theater seating will be whether to emulate the feel of a traditional cinema or to explore a seating scheme that's a little more "media room" than "immersive theater experience."
If you choose to configure your home theater space in a way that's similar to an actual cinema—with, for example, stadium seating, dramatic curtains covering the walls and projection or TV screen, and cinema-style floor and wall lighting—then you'll probably want your seating design to feel like a traditional cinema's as well. Your options to reflect this design will be broad. If an authentic movie-house feel is what you're looking for, you could choose to feature actual cinema seats, with classic flip-up seating and velour upholstery—or go even further back and explore vintage wooden theater seats. Theater seats from the silent film era to the present are available via online and brick-and-mortar antique shops if vintage seating is on the marquee for your home theater.
If you're looking for a more updated experience but still want your home theater to have that movie-house feel, there are a multitude of options for modern home theater seating. Many homeowners choose to reflect a classic cinema layout, with rows of seating, potentially arranged stadium-style. The seats themselves are often plush, arm-chair-like single seats or rows of seats, often featuring individual cup holders, trays and other convenient accessories to help guests enjoy the show. Pricing tiers for these home theater seats run the gamut from quite affordable models with fabric or faux-leather upholstery, to extremely high-end versions in top-quality leather, with electronic adjustability and even the ability to rumble underneath guests when the action on screen gets particularly intense.
If your home theater is a smaller affair or falls somewhere between the multiplex and the media room, stadium seating and multiple banks of theater-style chairs may be a bit dramatic for the space. Instead, you may want to consider a more traditional, understated approach, with a simple array of couches and armchairs. For smaller spaces in particular, a comfortable wrap-around couch framing the room and potentially complemented by one or two armchairs can ably serve the purpose of providing plenty of great seating options for large numbers of guests.
See Also: Planning Your Own Home Theater
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