Maybe you’re working with clients to build a media room from scratch. Or perhaps your task is converting an existing space into something theater-worthy—a basement room, spare bedroom, even refurbished garage. Either way, there are lots of practicalities to consider:
How will you block natural light from windows, so the home theater can be used in the daytime?
What can you do to ensure good sound quality, minimizing ambient background noise while enhancing the room’s acoustics?
Will certain colors and surfaces in the room create glare on the screen?
If the room will be multi-purpose, what design choices will meet a variety of needs?
See how these four challenges can all be addressed with one smart solution: Custom shades and blinds can offer across-the-board benefits well-suited to home theaters.
We all know movies look best when they’re shown in a very dark room, where no light is emitted to fade the image or produce glare on the screen. Professional theaters solve this problem with a windowless environment, but homeowners need a more feasible choice. That’s where the blackout option in window treatments come in. Roller shades and cellular shades both come with a blackout feature, creating instant darkness whenever it’s needed. Transitional shades, as well as Roman shades with a blackout backing, offer much the same option. (One tip: vertical blinds, which are ideal for controlling light, don't offer the best solution when it comes to blocking light entirely, since they're comprised of multiple pieces of material overlapping and even when shut tightly, small rays of light can still get through.)
Transitional shades, however, can be an alternative option since they work similarly to roller shades and can be customized with darker fabrics that help block light. They also can come with something called a "Light Gap Stop" which is a small piece that sits between the shade and the wall to eliminate the small gap between the two and eliminate any light.
When decorating any space, sound quality matters. But if that space is a home theater, it matters most. As a designer, you may already be opting for sound absorbing panels, wall-to-wall carpeting and other décor choices that work to eliminate echo and audio distortion in the room.
The right window treatment helps too: Sturdy shades not only absorb noise but also block large panes of glass in windows (Roman shades may be particularly effective, since soft fabric helps absorb noise). This is key since glass is a hard, flat surface that reflects sound, potentially distorting both low and high frequencies and diminishing a viewer’s listening pleasure.
Dark neutral shades—deep browns, grays, tans and navy—work well in home theaters. These colors help create the desired darkness, so whatever is on the screen will ‘pop.’ Subdued hues also minimize glare—a chief reason so many pros use flat rather than gloss or semi-gloss paint in this setting.
Dark colored window treatments have a similar effect: they won’t add color distortions to your TV. The reflection from brighter shades can show up on your screen, affecting the picture’s brightness or contrast. Since you can find shades in such a wide variety of colors, textures and patterns, you can readily craft the best decorative solution.
Will this home theater occasionally double as a client’s home playroom—or maybe a reading nook, party room or spot for napping? The right custom shades or blinds will transform the room from darkness to daylight literally in seconds. And with motorization, the window treatments can be raised or lowered with a phone, tablet, remote, wall switch or other home automation device. So a home theater can turn into a sunny space for kids literally within seconds!
Want to learn more about all the benefits custom shades and blinds can bring to your clientele? Contact us today for a free design consultation.