Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

How to design a home theatre

Thursday, 16th September, 2021 // Tips & Advice

Take your home entertainment game to the next level. – by Lucy Francis

Home theatre rooms are becoming increasingly popular in Australian homes, and between cold winter weather and being homebound, there’s really never been a better time to jump on the trend.

If you’re rearing and ready to up your home entertainment game and turn your attention to a new project, we’ve got the low down on exactly how!


Image: Lisa Cohen /

Location, location

Unless you’re looking to reno, extend or build, you can add on a home theatre to your existing floor plan by converting a spare room or partitioning an existing room. The team from Kennards Hire recommends using a laser distance measure to make sure you’re getting an accurate read. “It can also help calculate area and volume, and most importantly stores this data for later access so you won’t lose track of your measurements.”

Size it up

Consider the size of the space you’ve selected – is the room big enough to warrant a decked-out home theatre complete with a projector, or would you be better off opting for a large HD TV?

Remember, you don’t want to end up sitting too close to the screen. Better Homes and Gardens architect, Peter Colquhoun, recommends measuring the size of your screen (diagonally across) and allowing 1.5-2 times that distance between the screen and seating.

Sound it out

It’s worth shopping around and doing some research on the different sound systems available. A 5.1 sound system will have a central speaker, two front corner speakers, two rear corner units, and a subwoofer. A 7.1 sound system adds two more, and a 9.1 another two.

“The more speakers you have, the more you will feel immersed in sound, but it’s not entirely necessary to overload the room with speakers if your room is smaller,” says the Kennards Hire team.


Build your shell

Once you’ve got your space and layout sorted, the next step is to build the theatre shell or frame. You can opt for a wooden or metal frame and plasterboard or ply for curved walls or an arch framing the screen.

Make sure you have a cordless drill, circular saw, and impact screwdriver handy as you’ll need these to fit the frame’s floor and wall channels and shape the framework for the partitioning wall. Other tools you’ll need include a ladder for easy access to the top of the frames, and a small scaffold for painting and fitting the partition material.

If you’ve opted to section off a larger area, you will need to add a frame to the room to add a back wall.


No one likes noise complaints (or having to make them!) so it’s worth ensuring your new home theatre has some kind of sound insulation in place. Bunnings have some great options! Another type of insulation often used in cinemas and concert halls is acoustic baffling on the outside of the walls and ceilings. This absorbs sound waves and stops them from reflecting and causing echoes while letting you hear sound in greater detail.

You can even hire a sound level meter to make sure you’re not going over the limit once you’ve installed the insulation.

Cords and cables

If you can, it’s worth ensuring that all your cables are run within the ceiling cavity behind the framework you’ve built – not along the floor (hello, trip hazard!). Make sure your speakers are facing toward where you’ll be sitting – you can even fix them to the ceiling.

Set the mood

Picture yourself in a cinema – it’s dark, there is dimmed lighting, and plush furniture. Make it as sophisticated, minimalist, or arthouse as you like.

All that’s left to do is prep the choc tops and popcorn!


You might also like:

How to create a Hamptons-style kitchen

How to revive a coffee table

14 decorating mistakes you’re probably making

20 Features that will sell your home

Disclaimer: The opinions posted within this blog are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, others employed by Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate or the organisations with which the network is affiliated. The author takes full responsibility for his opinions and does not hold Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate or any third party responsible for anything in the posted content. The author freely admits that his views may not be the same as those of his colleagues, or third parties associated with the Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate network.