The cinephile’s living room: How to recreate the cinema experience


There’s nothing like going to the movies, from the buttered popcorn to the comforting quiet of a dark room. But for those of who would rather skip the commute, the crowds and the ticket prices, recreating the cinema experience in at home is easy once you have the set up right.

“In the ’80s or ’90s, it was all about going to the movies… but now it’s all about the TV, especially with Netflix and all the services out there” says Richard Misso, creative director of The Stylesmiths. “People want to stay home and be with their family and laze about.”

Luckily the technology has come a long way in the past three decades making it easier to get that cinema perfect image at home.

How do you bring movie magic into your home? We asked the experts.How do you bring movie magic into your home? We asked the experts. Photo: Domain listing

“Gone are the days in the ’80s and ’90s where you had this big black box that sat in the living room and really stuck out as an eyesore,” says Hass Mahdi, the head of audio visual at Samsung Australia. “We’ve really come of age in terms of design.”

So, how do you bring movie magic into your home? We asked the experts.

Choose your space

Movie buffs with large houses and deep pockets might opt for a dedicated TV lounge separate from their living room. Designer Luci Carney, of Luci.D interiors, says cinema rooms can free up other living areas from the distractions of television.

“The cinema room itself provides an opportunity for clients to create a cosy, comfortable room, often employing dark moody interiors to help create a seductive movie- or television-watching experience,” she says.

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People who want to amp up the atmosphere can aim for a tasteful interpretation of cinema-chic, with design features that reflect the glamorous style of Hollywood’s Golden Era. Think warm colours, textures, Art Deco detailing and film references.

“I recently sourced vintage 1920’s Hollywood posters for a client’s home cinema,” says Carney.

Misso says most people don’t have the luxury of media rooms. They just want a cosy space to enjoy movies or television with their friends or family.

“Because of open-plan [living], it’s really important that everything integrates into rest of the space and that it still looks homely and warm.”

Mahdi says the 2018 range of Samsung QLED televisions integrate seamlessly within the home and create the most immersive, cinema-like experience possible. 4K resolution allows for people to watch larger TVs at a shorter distance, which means you can now put a 75-inch screen television in a smaller room without having to sacrifice quality.

The 2018 range of Samsung QLED television is perfect for the cinema-like experience. Photo: Supplied

Planning the layout

If your cinema room doubles as a social space, custom joinery can be made with bi-fold doors to conceal the television when you’re not using it. It can also be designed to display a DVD collection or film memorabilia.

But if creating permanent alterations to your space is not an option, Samsung’s QLED Televisions Ambient Mode allow you to transform the screen into a piece of art, information hub or blend it seamlessly into the background, by matching your wall.

You can also forget the jumbled mess of cords connecting your TV to the wall and your other media devices. The Samsung QLED operates through a clear cable that runs to a One Connect external device, which can be hidden anywhere in the room.

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You also want to make sure everyone in the family can see the TV.

If your TV sits at a low position on a shelf or cabinet, the sitting area needs to be close. If the TV sits high on the wall, you can push the seating farther away.

Snuggle up

The luxury of a home movie theatre is that you don’t have to restrict yourself to cinema-style seating, says Misso.

“If you like to lay down with your partner or you all snuggle up as a family together, you can choose a big huge modular sofa,” he says.

Instead of cup holders, place little side tables around the sofa so you don’t have to move to grab your drink or your popcorn.

“It makes for a more pleasurable viewing experience if everything is in arm’s reach,” Misso says.

Most cinemas have fabric-covered walls to prevent sound from reverberating through the room. Improve the acoustic quality of your cinema room by adding curtains to the walls or rugs to the floors. Opt for soft upholstery instead of vinyl or leather.

“That’s going to soften the room and give something for the acoustics to be absorbed into,” says Misso.

The benefits of a home movie theatre include the freedom to snuggle up. Photo: Domain listing

Dim the lights

Installing dimmers or adding soft lighting features that make the room feel cosy and inviting can really add to the cinema experience.

“Dimmers can give you the right amount of lighting so you can actually move around the room and not trip over things,” says Misso.

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Carney says decorative lamps can create soft ambient light when television is in use. Designated home cinema rooms can have diffused, recessed LED strip lighting or decorative uplights.

“For the designated home cinema room, I try to create the moody atmosphere of a classic cinema experience,” she says. “The lighting is nearly always set to a dim warm glow.”

Movie buffs will also appreciate the picture quality of the QLED TV, which has an elite suite of innovations that make pictures clearer — even on sunny days.

“Every scene is optimised to look how the director intended it to look in terms of brightness and colour reproduction,” says Mahdi.

“If you’re sitting in front of a 75-inch QLED television, so it produces the best brightness, the best colour and the most detail, then there’s very little reason to be going to the cinema.”



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