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Design Question for Home Theater Room

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hi everybody,

Have a small "odd' garage that I turned into my "man cave" a couple of years ago (carpet, tv, etc, nothing fancy). Just recently I got into video editing and I'd like to make this small space my "Home Theater/Computer Room". All I would like to have is a projector/screen, seating area and a desk for my editing. Eventually utilizing the screen and projector to play final projects from my computer, as well as HD cable (UFC PPV events are big at my place), Blu Ray movies, etc.
The reason for my questioning is the following. Space is somewhat limited for what I'd like to have as an end result...and I am beginning to think my eyes are bigger than my stomach. The problem is the odd "L" shape that this room has. I would like to have 2 rows of either couch or recliners (perhaps just a 2 and a 3 seater at that...I do like the idea of stadium seating for the back row), and the small desk. I would prefer the desk to be placed behind the couches/recliners but making a third row is virtually impossible due to the lack of space. The only way to do this is by placing the editing desk alongside the Home Theater setup (not optimal...but I could live with it). As a second option I thought of just doing one row of couches (perhaps a sectional) and the editing bay behind it. Limited space for seating lots of people...but the room is not that big after all.
I am attaching a simple draft of what this room looks like...I'd appreciate your honest opinion on how to design the layout of this HT before I begin...how would you do the layout for it given the dimensions??

Thanks in advance for your input!


post #2 of 28
Just an idea on the layout using your largest space as the "theater" and keeping your desk and A/V cabinet close. Its not ideal by any means, but do-able. You could cut out the false wall to add some space if you don't mind your speakers sitting around your screen instead of behind. You could just paint the screen on the wall to save space.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the quick response! As simple as it is...I have been puzzled for days on what would be the best way to accomplish what I wanted and not make it look too crowded in that room.
Here's a scaled version (each cell is one sq ft), I am thinking of removing that small closet doors (it is only 16 inches deep or so) and tear down that false wall so I would get 1 foot plus on the with of the "theater" area. Thoughts?
With this much clearer layout, I just have a couple of thoughts/questions:
1) Would it be too crowded if on the island portion I put a 4 seater instead of a 3 one?
2) Would placing the front left and right speakers inside the cabinets I am planning on building going to affect the sound?
3) Is this room too small to think about a 7.1 Surround instead of a 5.1?
4) As you see, the side speakers are the issue (I do not want them standing on the way of the walkway)...would it work if for just the side speakers I go with "recessed" ones installed inside that half wall I was thinking of placing on both sides of the raised island?

Once again, thanks a lot for our input!

post #4 of 28
1) probably. you also drew a 5 ft deep riser, if you want reclining theater seats it needs to be 6 1/2 , you can move he front row ahead.
2)Absolutely, bad idea and too close to the side walls, if you are going with a 120 inch wide, 2.35:1 screen put them behind the screen.
3) in ceiling surrounds might work better in this space

Flip the room 180 degrees, side speakers on the walls,
Build a 3-4 ft wall out out from left wall, place screen wall above it on diagram, and equipment cabinet below outside the theater space.
post #5 of 28
post #6 of 28
Since you mentioned 2/3 seating, what about a 3/2 seating? A second row like the Fadum Theater might work, if the editing monitor used a lift built into the desktop.

Fadum9.jpg 57k .jpg file
post #7 of 28
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Yeah...I like that idea of the desk being the second row, and just having theater recliner seating on the front row...(would actually save me a few bucks...cheapest 2/3 decent seating I saw online doesn't come down from $1K. I also liked the idea of the 180 degree reversal...I drafted that and all of a sudden the floor plan looks a bit more spacious...from the double door entry you walk from the hardwood floor into the carpet straight...there is nothing on the way to cut the flow of space there...could make it feel less cramped...and placing the raised island between the 2 walls (boxed in there) gives me the surfaces to place the side speakers for surround sound.

I'll try to draft the desk raised idea once again, with the 180 opposite direction, to see how that feels. I am thinking I will also house all computer hardware on the same cabinet wth A/V, so to just have minimal equipment on that desk (raised double monitors, keyboard, mouse, backup laptop and sound mixer.

Thanks again for the ideas and different point of view Tedd, this helps a lot!


post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
So this is what it would look like with the raised island used for the editing desk and 3 of the Fadum seats you suggested. I think I like this setup the best. Where I had the old editing desk I can make a countertop that houses a small mini fridge below, some drawers for snacks, etc. And movie posters all around...thoughts?
post #10 of 28
More spacious but you pay for this audio-wise, with the loss of the symetrical side walls, plus you raise the noise floor of the room
with the mini fridge. That's why I was thinking of the hardwood floor area more as a transition space as opposed to theater space.
The french doors also won't keep noise from the theater out of the house.
post #11 of 28
I like the diagram in post #9 - but I would wall off that front area into a concession / entry room, with a separate entry door into the theater (single door, could dress up the trim around the door, marquee, etc.)
post #12 of 28
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
OH i see, I didnt know about the sound implications of having that side of the theater area open...so in your opinion this is a better setup then...I like the lobby idea, I just thought given the short dimensions if it wouldn't look funny (french doors into the room, and another door 4 feet in front of you into the HT area)...but I do understand sound wise it'll improve inside, and the double doors would also keep the noise level from the rest of the house. I was thinking of adding a second layer of sheet rock with green glue to help in this aspect as well...aside from the sound absorption panels I would try and decorate the inside of the walls too..

Now if I do add the wall extension and new door...is this direction of the HT room the most apropriate one? or since I get the symetry of all 4 walls...would it matter if its like this or 180degrees opposite?

post #14 of 28
From Big Reds project a little visual treat to get your creative juices flowing.

post #15 of 28
Originally Posted by Phoenix Max View Post

.would it matter if its like this or 180degrees opposite?

If you flip it you won't need a step up outside the room. just at the rear of the room
post #16 of 28
Either end will work for the screen.

How tall is the space?
post #17 of 28
I agree that either end works, but they're not the same. I'd prefer the entrance near the rear for the sake of not interrupting viewing when coming and going during a movie, but the exterior step does complicate construction.
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the comments, you are bringing a lot of angles I couldn't have thought about on my own. The space is a regular 8 ft Ceiling tall
post #19 of 28
Originally Posted by HopefulFred View Post

I agree that either end works, but they're not the same. I'd prefer the entrance near the rear for the sake of not interrupting viewing when coming and going during a movie, but the exterior step does complicate construction.

In a six seat theater you will be disturbed when anyone leaves front or back. I don't know about you but in a private screening room (Home Theater) I pause the flick when someone takes a break. IMHO this business about putting the door in the back so you won't be disturbed is highly overrated.
post #20 of 28
I have a similar width theater. The 120" 16:9 drop down screen is 8 ft from the front of the first row. I have two rows of recliners three across in the middle of the room allowing people to get in from either side. I like the raised rear area at the back of the L, but make the riser 1 ft high and put all the Rear speakers in the ceiling all the fronts behind the screen. I have towers on either side and the center below but that's just me. 5.1 or 7.2 will work well in a space that size. I would not use recliners in the back row for your setup but definitely in the front as they will be looking up to the screen.

My fixed screen is a 115" 2:35 format. Either screen is breathtaking depending on what you're watching. I followed all the rules with my earlier theater, (100" screen, 10 ft away) and my new Mantra is go big or go home!

I wouldn't put a refrigerator in my theater. Hearing it during the quiet scenes of a movie would be to distracting.

Regarding the floor, carpet beats wood every time for controlling the sound and light in your theater

My two cents..
post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that! Based on the new feedback I thought:
1) I really like the video editing table setup as the last row...but the more I think of the amount of people I have over when we entertain...that may be an issue...3 recliners in the front may not do it...what if by reducing the size of the seats and going with a normal movie theater seating I could fit one more row? (See below, each cell of the scale is half of a foot)
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
Would that be too close to the screen for the first row? What are your thoughts on sacrificing comfort for space? I honestly have 10+ ppl every time I host a UFC PPV event (at least once a month)...
I came accross these locally, which made me think of it ($800 probably negotiable for the whole lot...usually $160+ each online):
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
I thought it was a better deal than these guys ($800+ for just 3 seats):
post #24 of 28
Too bad you can't do both. Sometimes you got 10 people over, sometimes you got 2. Sounds like you need lots of seating and more importantly want the theater seats.
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
Exactly..I was just thinking if I can get really comfortable swivel chairs for the editing, table, since I am using those most of the time...and then regular theater seating for when I get people over I may be covered that way...thoughts?
post #26 of 28
My space is 13'6" wide and 26' deep.I have three vents going in and no return. The bigger limit to how many people you have in your theater is ventilation. My setup is ok for 10 people for SuperBowl but I have to scale it back to 6 for movie night because the door is closed.
post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
I see, that's about the numbers I was hoping to host for in this room. I was now toying with the idea of 2 recliners up front, then a 6 inch raise for a row of 4 regular theater seating seats, and the editing table with normal desk chairs at back (6 inch raise more for those, so 1 foot of the recliner floor). Thoughts? Are recliners too close to the screen? (thinking of putting a 10 inch wide screen, so I can put front speakers next to it thus not having to extend it away from the back wall, closer to the front row of seats)....
post #28 of 28
Sorry for the late reply. To answer your question: it's a matter of taste and who will sit there most of the time. My image is about 9 ft wide and the front row is about 8 away, making it roughly 10 ft to my nose. I can barely take in the whole image without turning my eyes or head. My wife won't sit in the front because she's more of a back of the theater kind of girl. Me, I want the IMAX experience. Sitting that close will be great for video games but not so much for chick flicks. Your call.
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