How To Design The Ultimate Home Cinema Experience
A special collaboration with Samsung
Staying home can be made more enjoyable with an amazing home cinema experience. Amp up the quality of your screen time with a cinema-like setting in the comforts of your own abode, complemented with a well-designed environment that combines the best of form and function.
We speak to three Singapore design firms, who share tips on how you can craft an envy-inducing home cinema.
Size it right
“For a sitting area, whether it is a formal living space or entertainment room or home theatre, having the appropriate TV size, the right distance ratio and the right viewing height are critical for viewing comfort,” says Terri Tan, design director of Designworx Interior Consultant.
Isabelle Miaja, the founder of Miaja Design Group concurs. “Designing a home theatre requires intimate knowledge of many industries. These include requirements related to audiovisual systems, HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), seating, lighting, construction, acoustics, and of course interior design—precise integration of all these disciplines is required to achieve the ultimate home theatre.”
Samsung’s The Wall is among the designers’ top picks for an impressive cinema-like setting. “As a high-end hospitality and residential designer I am always looking at the aesthetics but also at the practicality of an investment for my clients,” shares Miaja, who has proposed this screen to one of her clients for an ongoing residential project. “Choosing to work with The Wall could answer the needs of this particular client. Being a new-built home, I also can ensure during the construction we specify the right fibre cables so we can be prepared for this new technology.”
Miaja also recommends being mindful of the size of your room in proportion to the size of the display; large screens such as The Wall are most suitable for spacious rooms. Terri Tan, design director of Designworx Interior Consultant agrees. “The Wall will look best in a big space with a high ceiling, such as in a flagship store or in the living room of a Good Class Bungalow,” she says.
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Construct the perfect backdrop
For a statement-making screen such as The Wall, it is worth investing in the interior architecture and custom cabinetry constructed for the room, built around the unique needs of this extraordinary screen.
“Build a supporting wall to hide the wiring and use the materials that suit best the interior design and that blends with the colour or material intention overall,” says Miaja. “This display is extremely heavy, so it has to be put on a wall that is reinforced to support the screen. Make sure the supporting wall can take the weight—such as being mounted on a concrete or interior wall of sufficient thickness.”
Tan advises choosing a subdued shade for the supporting wall that screen will be positioned on. “In a home setting, a muted wall colour is recommended; it can be in graphite or even black, so that when a bezelless display, such as The Wall, is switched off, one would not even notice it,” she says. This allows the screen to look discreet in any setting and blend seamlessly into your interior scheme, when it is not in use.
(Related: 11 Feature Wall Ideas That Will Instantly Transform The Look Of Your Rooms)
Set up the best acoustic environment possible
“Acoustics are also especially important so that the sound bounces correctly in a home theatre setting,” says Miaja. “Wall-to-wall carpet, acoustic wall fabrics and ceiling materials as well as upholstery for drapery and chairs are all chosen to give the user the right look and feel as well as the right visual and sound experience.”
“The entrance of the room should ideally be sufficiently far away from the screen so that there is enough space to locate a speaker at the corner without having to consider someone walking in and out of the room,” says Terrence Quah, who co-founded Architology Interiors with Bu Shu Kun. “Try to maximise the left-right distance between the speakers because it will allow for more accurate and immersive sound positioning as part of the movie experience.”
Consider the scale of the sound system that you’re planning to incorporate in your media room. “If you want to go for the Dolby Atmos surround sound system, it includes overhead speakers in addition to the sound system at eye level to create an atmospheric effect,” says Quah. “Thus, sufficient space has to be catered for this, and the structure of the ceiling should also be robust enough to take into consideration the vibrations generated from the speakers.”
(Related: How To Create A Cinema-Like Experience In Your Living Room)
Design a social space with the VIP experience
The media room, whether situated in your living room or as a separate home theatre, is often a social zone, particularly if you’re planning to organise movie marathons with friends and your loved ones in this space. “In our approach to interior design, space is often defined in a social context to become welcoming for residents and guests,” shares Bu. “The Samsung The Wall will only enable us to enhance this experience further.”
Consider the maximum seating capacity that you would like when planning for your dream home cinema experience, advise the designers. “How many people are you likely to have in your home cinema? The number of people in the audience will determine if you have to split the seating arrangement into rows,” says Quah. “If the seating arrangements are split into rows, consider which row will be given the ‘VIP’ experience. Issues like viewing aspect and sound tuning will be focused on delivering the best experience for the best seats in the room.”
(Related: Home Tour: A Family Apartment That Combines Rose Gold, Shagreen And Marble)
Make room for art’s sake
Tan imagines The Wall being potentially used in the entrance area of a Good Class Bungalow project that Designworx Interior Consultant is currently working on. “Before we heard about The Wall, we were discussing with the homeowner the option to create a gallery wall and the type of artworks that would be suitable for the interior design,” shares the designer. “With The Wall potentially being used in this project as an art installation, this could mean unlimited options for the client to refresh the wall every day.”
The Architology Interiors co-founders could similarly envision using The Wall as an art piece in a future home project. “When art is integrated into the home, we like using large paintings because they provide a strong sense of scale,” says Bu. “In one of our past residential projects, the main social space was a gallery-like space that showcased art and furniture. At the time when the home was designed, display technology was relatively much smaller in size. Looking back, Samsung’s The Wall would have been a perfect complement to the large size artworks hanging opposite to the media console area.”
“The ambient effect of The Wall would allow digital artworks to be on display,” adds Quah. “A cycling display of still and moving digital artworks would create a talking point and promote a sense of liveliness within the home.”