How to Turn Your Basement into a Media Room

Your entertainment center can even double as a home theater if you’re extra ambitious. Check out these inventive ways to make your basement a haven for enjoying your favorite media.

1. Choose Suitable Colors

A room’s color scheme can break or break a viewing experience. Dark, matte colors like black or gray work best because they don’t reflect light like lighter hues do. They can also make the room feel larger when used correctly — like the widening effect you see in a movie theater.

Follow the same design principles for accents like curtains and rugs. If you plan to use your room for music, color won’t be as crucial, though you can still follow style guidelines to create an appealing space that either soothes or energizes you.

2. Designate a Place for Media Storage

As you transfer your DVDs and video games to your new media room, you’ll need to find adequate space to store them. This rule applies to your game consoles and DVD players too. All these components can quickly overwhelm a place if there’s no organization. You don’t want your hangout to look messy with wires and electronics spread all over.

Use storage solutions like cabinets, closets and bins to hide these elements. If you have an entertainment center or plan to buy one, you can place your things in the cubbies and nooks for safekeeping. You can also construct closed shelving as a DIY project. Remember to allow airflow so that your devices won’t overheat.

3. Manage Temperature and Humidity

Basements are prone to moisture, which can create mold if you don’t fix the source. If you plan to remodel the space, put vapor barriers in the walls to absorb water. Complete this step before framing and finishing the walls.

You could complete two jobs in one by installing insulation with a vapor barrier on both sides. Doing this will help soundproof your basement and keep temperatures in check.

A high-capacity dehumidifier is the cheaper way to go, and it removes the typical basement odors from your air. By eliminating moisture, it reduces the chances of unwelcome fungus setting up shop. You can chow down on popcorn and sweet treats during your movie without encountering musty smells.

4. Set Up the A/V System

What’s a media room without the audio and video components? Take your time with this step and choose the perfect system for your basement. You could pick a simple two-to-one audio system or a seven-to-one setup for a theater-like experience.

The number of speakers you select will depend on the room’s size — you’ll want to avoid overpowering a small area with booming sound. Wire your surround sound system into your basement walls if you don’t want speakers taking up space.

A projector or flat-screen TV can work as your video source. While TVs are suitable for most media rooms, you may opt for a projector screen if you want a cinematic look. If you choose a projector, you’ll need a satellite or cable box to access TV content.

5. Improve the Acoustics

The furniture, flooring and walls dictate what kind of acoustics your hangout will have. Insulation should cover most of your soundproofing needs, and you can further enhance the sound quality with acoustic wall panels.

Opt for soft rugs, curtains and lampshades to reduce any echoes, as rooms that contain a lot of hard surfaces will have more prominent reverberations. Ideally, you’ll want materials with high acoustic absorption to reduce the reflection of sound waves.

6. Pick the Right Seating

Choosing the right seating is essential, especially if your space will double as a movie theater. Everyone should have an equal view of the TV or projector, and they shouldn’t have to shift all night in uncomfortable chairs.

Sectionals are excellent choices because each seat curves inward toward the screen rather than away from it. Authentic theater seating works well, too, although you’ll want to build a platform for the rear seats. This step prevents the chairs at the front from blocking the view.

7. Use Smart Devices

Connecting your lights and A/V equipment to a single system adds a ton of convenience to your life. Smart home systems let you host multiple devices on one platform, and you can control everything remotely.

You can dim the lights or turn the speakers on without leaving your seat. Some electronics will even let you program a series of actions — like popping the popcorn and starting the DVD player — using a single command.

Construct the Home Entertainment Center of Your Dreams

These tips can help you create the perfect media room for all your music, cinema and TV needs. Turn up the volume and put on your favorite flick. Modern movie nights are miles ahead of where they used to be, and they’ll only revolutionize with time.

About Author: Holly Welles is a home improvement writer hailing from Upstate NY. She runs her own blog, The Estate Update, where she shares tips on everything from renting to remodeling. You can find more of her work on publications including Today’s Homeowner and Apartment Guide.