How To Create A Cinema-Like Experience In Your Living Room
Plato’s allegory of the cave may have envisioned the first instance of the television and modern cinema—the ancient Greek philosopher described people watching projections on the wall, as an analogy for mistaking appearances as reality. While it’s debatable what Plato would have thought about entertainment media, its importance is especially poignant at a time when we’re glued to our screens during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Elevate your viewing experience by designing your living room or a guest room as the ideal cocoon for a night of solo streaming or family movie marathons. Comfort is key, according to Fiona Ho, associate design director at The I.D. Dept (IDD). “The home cinema should be a comfortable and relaxed environment with minimal distractions,” says Ho. “Use soft materials to increase physical comfort and improve soundproofing.”
Larry Lim, managing partner at Summerhaus D’zign recommends choosing larger sectionals with deeper seats if you have enough space in your living area or entertainment room. For rooms with large windows or floor-to-ceiling doors, Lim suggests investing in curtains or blinds to keep sun glare off the screen. “Soft, indirect lighting sources such as wall sconces or cove lighting with dimmers work particularly well in entertainment areas,” he says.
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Terrence Quah, co-founder of Architology Interiors, agrees. “Being able to blackout a room is the first step in creating a cinematic mood, and nothing gives the sense of a purpose-built experience like home automation and lighting control,” says Quah. “Dimming the lights to a specific setting and having the curtains close at the touch of a button create the anticipation of a great movie.”
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1/11 Choose a multi-functional TV console
Designed by Iriam Bettera for MisuraEmme, the Urban collection is a sleek option for your entertainment area. The customisable system features freestanding and wall-mounted compositions that can be fitted with various storage units as well as an in-built LED lighting and display shelves. Opt to include sliding doors, so that the TV and selected shelves can be concealed when it’s not in use.
Available at Marquis QSquare
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2/11 Opt for furniture in rounded shapes
When the lights go down, tables with sharp corners can be a hazard. Avoid accidents with curved pieces such as the Fat-Fat and Lady-Fat collections by Patricia Urquiola for B&B Italia. Shaped like Moroccan ottomans, these coffee and side tables are made from upcycled PET bottles and covered in fabrics, leather or pony skin. Underneath the metal tray top is a storage space, where you can stash remote controls out of sight.
Available at Space Furniture
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3/11 Fade to black with block-out blinds
If your home entertainment area has windows on one or more sides, sun glare can make watching television in the day a squinty affair. Solve this problem with the 100 per cent block-out blinds from local brand Altex. The first of their kind in Singapore, these fully motorised smart blinds have frames that can fully prevent light penetration as well as reduce noise from the outdoors, so you can relax and enjoy a movie even in the afternoon.
Available at Mc.2
4/11 Add a quiet glow
Combining sound-absorbing textiles with a soft light source, Feel is a modular suspension lamp that also reduces noise pollution. Created by Sara Moroni for Penta, the lamp’s metal structure comes in three sizes and eight colours to mix and match as you like.
Available at Studio 216
5/11 Create a TV-viewing zone
Separate the movie-viewing spot from other functional zones in an open-plan space with the Folding Screen by Eileen Gray for Classicon. Comprising perforated metal panels, this foldable structure has a cool 1980s industrial aesthetic.
Available at Space Furniture
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6/11 Create a sound stage
A powerful speaker that will please the most discerning audiophile, the Formation Wedge by Bowers & Wilkins boasts a unique elliptical shape that promises a high-fidelity, room-filling aural experience. Featuring the brand’s exclusive Formation wireless technology, the Wedge can be combined with other products from the Formation range for a state-of-the-art home audio system.
Available at Bowers & Wilkins
7/11 Don't forget the tactile touch
“Acoustic wall panelling and heavier fabrics help to keep the cinema experience inside the room,” says Ho of The I.D. Dept. The Grès and Cannet upholstery textiles from Casamance and Zimmer + Rohde’s Night Bloom fabric have high sound absorbency ratings and are smart choices for improving room acoustics.
Available at Cetec
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8/11 Drink it up
“Incorporating a built-in mini bar can make your home theatre more enjoyable for you and your guests,” says Ho of The I.D. Dept. Keep your wines perfectly chilled with Liebherr’s GrandCru WKes 653 wine cabinet. It can be placed on top of a sideboard or wall-mounted, and stores up to 12 bottles at your preferred temperature setting.
Available at Liebherr
9/11 Hide the cables
“The TV console should help you stow away cables and have good ventilation to disperse heat,” says Lim of Summerhaus D’zign. Opt for the Riga TV unit from Porada, a solid canaletta walnut TV console with ribbed drawers and central drop-down compartments.
Available at Marquis QSquare
10/11 Settle in
“Home cinemas are akin to a slumber party-like environment; the furniture needs to be plush enough to fall asleep on,” says Quah of Architology. Take, for instance, the Juul 101 sofa by Jens Juul Eilersen, a modular sofa which scores high marks for cosiness and is incredibly easy to lounge in for movie marathons.
Available at Danish Design Co
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11/11 Smart screen
LG Electronics’ three new art-inspired GX Gallery series of OLED TVs include advanced core technologies such as the new (Alpha) 9 Gen 3 AI Processor, which uses AI to improve picture quality. Designed with an ultra-thin profile, the wall-mounted models can be hung completely flush to fit seamlessly into any modern interior.
Available at all major electronics stores