Design A Unique Basement Home Theater - Finished Basements Plus Michigan
home movie theater carpet and platform seating

Design A Unique Basement Home Theater


Design A Unique Basement Home Theater

In Design Tips & Tricks by Adam Jensen / Updated: January 6, 2022

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One of the best things about a finished basement is the new spaces that it allows you to create!

Your basement is essentially a blank canvas for extra livable space in your home. When going through the list of things you could use in your home, many homeowners would love a dedicated space for watching movies with the family, or a fun space to watch the big game. Home theaters are an extremely popular type of room to add into your basement.

Home theaters can range in size and type; we have created everything from a living room with a projection screen to a dedicated and themed home theater complete with platform seating and a home concession stand!

No matter the type of theater you are looking to create, the space needs to have some thought behind it to make sure it is as functional as possible.

We have put together this blog to inspire and guide you towards making the best home theater possible for you and your family. This includes: design ideas, styles, and important things to think about when designing this type of space.


Questions To Ask While Planning Your Home TheaterWriting hand

One of the first things in planning a home theater is to figure out how you intend to use the space. This can dictate many things in the overall design.

  • How do you plan on using your home theater?
  • What are you looking for in a home theater?
  • Are you in need of additional space for the family to get together to watch a movie?
  • Is this going to be an entertainment space for family and friends?
  • How much seating will you need?
  • Will you be eating and drinking in this theater? Is there a way to add tables?
  • Is this a dedicated room or an open concept design?

Once you have narrowed down your usage of the space, you will have a much easier time working out the layout and design. We always recommend creating a list of “Must Haves” for any space in your basement!


Things to Think About for Your Home Theater

Movie Screen Size vs Best Viewing Distance

Thinking about creating a home theater space in your home? Have you thought about how much space you may need to have for optimal viewing distance? Depending on the size of your TV you may need more space than you think to have the optimal view of the screen. For HDTVs, a good practice is to make the viewing distance 1-1/2 and 2-1/2 times the size of the screen diagonal.

Screen SizeViewing distance range for 1080p HDTV’s
40″5.0-8.3 feet
43″5.4-9 feet
50″6.3-10.4 feet
55″6.9-11.5 feet
60″7.5-12.5 feet
65″8.1-13.5 feet
70″8.75-14.6 feet
75″9.4-15.6 feet
80″10.0-16.7 feet
85″10.6-17.7 feet

Keeping an eye on the viewing distance in your new theater room will go a long way in creating a comfortable experience for everyone. No one likes sitting in the front row of the movie theater because your neck becomes strained looking up at an odd angle.

The same thing goes for a screen that is too small for the room. Sitting too far away from a smaller screen can make it hard to see!


Too Much Ambient Light

Depending on what you’re going to use the home theater for, you may want to consider how much ambient light is coming into the space.

A space designed primarily for watching movies with large daylight windows may cause some headache at certain viewing angles.

However, a multi-purpose theater that is mainly used for entertaining may be ok with windows. You may need to consider an LED TV or a projector that is capable of working in certain lighting conditions.

Depending on the lighting conditions, you may need to consider moving the placement of the TV or projector. Standing in the area where the theater will be located at different times of the day is a great way to see if lighting will be an issue.


Sound Quality and Sound Proofing

Again, dependent on the usage, sound quality may come into play. When creating a well thought out viewing experience, it is important to not forget about the audio component of the theater.

Where will you be sitting in this room?
Is there adequate space and wiring to place speakers appropriately?

Home movie theaters often have many speakers to provide the full surround sound effect!

The other piece of the puzzle with audio is keeping the sound in the theater! You wouldn’t want a theater placed underneath a bedroom or living room to project sound out of the basement, disturbing others.

Acoustic treatments or soundproofing may be needed to keep the sound to permit-able levels in your home. The layout of your basement theater may need to be designed with this in mind. You may also want to consider adding walls and a door to the theater to keep the escaping sound down.

Home Theater Design Ideas


Custom Cinema

This basement in Northville, MI was customized to resemble a real movie theater. It contains fun carpeting, built-in surround sounds, cinema style sconce lighting, and platform seating which offers a great view for all!

Every detail of this space was thought out beforehand to create this amazing home theater set-up. A small dedicated room just outside the theater was created to house a concessions area, complete with candy and popcorn displays!


home movie theater carpet and platform seating in Northville, MI
Cozy Family Room

Going for more of a cozy family movie night? This basement in Wixom, MI features a more traditional home theater space. Dedicating one corner of the basement to feature a large TV, an oversized sectional and a fireplace, gives this space an inviting feel. This type of space can easily be converted into an entertainment space by removing the ottomans. Also, a bar area was incorporated beside this space for extra convenience.

large sofa and tv wall with fireplace and stone in this Wixom, MI basement
Theater with Room to Entertain

This basement in Brighton, MI features plenty of space to have a large cozy couch with a projection TV for watching the big game or a new movie. With framed movie posters and plenty of extra space, this basement is perfect for multiple uses. Everything from entertaining guests during the big game to relaxing with the family.

bright light grey basement with carpet and large sectional in Brighton, MI
Multi-Functional Living Room

These homeowners decided to finish their basement in Commerce, MI and add an extra living room type of area. A niche in the basement provided ample room to add a few sofas and an accent wall for a large TV. This space could be used as a theater or a cozy seating area.

seating area in modern industrial basement design in Commerce, MI
Dedicated Seating

Incorporating structural elements of the basement into the design can be a great way to create an amazing space. This large finished basement in Novi, MI had 2 support posts in the area where the home theater was. Instead of adding an extra wall to hide them, our designers worked them into the design. A half wall was added, along with a bar height counter top behind the sectional! This not only allows for plenty of extra seating, but also creates an accessible way to safely eat and drink while watching the TV.

custom basement theater with bar style seating behind sectional in Novi, MI


Working With A Designer

The ability to consult with a designer on your home theater can prove to be invaluable. They can offer recommendations and insight on every aspect of the room to help create the perfect space.

Things such as layout, design, and the technical aspects of your theater can be discussed. Our designers also offer years of experience, not only in basement finishing, but in the creation and development of multiple home theaters.

Home theaters, no matter how big or small, come with their own set of challenges. Knowing the fine details that go into a space like a home theater can make a huge difference in the final product.

Our Designers and Basement Specialists are here to help you create the basement of your dreams!

Check out our basement finishing service areas in Genesee, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties throughout Michigan.

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