A home office is one great use of your flex or hobby room, but imagine this:

You’re touring your friend’s new home, marveling at the mid-century furnishings; the cute decorations collected from her world travels make you a little jealous. She shows you the master suite, and holy cow, look how many little pillows they have on their bed! There must be dozens! She’s really got her life together, you think. People with more pillows than they need is a universal symbol of success. You’re barely paying attention, already thinking about your trip to the furniture store to satisfy your insatiable pillow envy, when she says, “Now this is my favorite room…”

She opens the door to the coveted home theater.

Pillows be darned – a home theater is a quintessential wow-factor in any home. And on top of that, it’s one of the most functional uses for your flex room there is. From family movie nights to fantasy football frenzies, there are countless opportunities to make use of a space like this. And unlike a home office or gym space, a theater room will get used by everyone, young to old.

If you decide this is the route you want to take in personalizing your flex room, here are three elements to get a full cinema experience in the comfort of your home:

Having the biggest TV on the block might come with bragging rights, but you’ll be much better off buying something that’s the right size for your space than going for the biggest screen you can find. No one likes the neck-craning, head-swinging feeling of sitting in the front row at the theater, but that’s exactly where you’ll find yourself if you go too large with your screen.

Here’s a quick way to get a ballpark estimate of a good screen size for your space: figure out which wall you’ll be showing on, then measure the distance from the wall to where your seating begins. Take that number and divide by 3. That’s a rough estimate of your ideal screen height -- placing it 24 to 36 inches above the ground will put it right near the optimum viewing angle.

It’s hard to capture the feeling of a dark and cool movie theater if you miss the dark part. Unlike many of the other spaces in your home where you would try to maximize natural light, do all you can to block any light coming in through the windows with light-blocking curtains and shades. If you can’t eliminate all the ambient light in the space, opt for a projector with a high lumens rating, as the extra power will help mitigate any unwanted brightness.

Here’s where your personal preference is going to make the biggest difference. For that wow-factor, theater quality recliners are a great choice and can be found with a wealth of accessories like cupholders, swivel trays, USB chargers, seat warmers, etc. And if your planning on hosting larger scale movie nights, consider tiered seating to give everyone a great view.

Then again, if your ideal movie night is snuggling with family, then a favorite comfy couch and loveseat will do the trick. The bottom line is if you have enough seats, they’re comfortable, and everyone has a good view of the screen, then you’re all set! Just remember that for seating placement within the room, a quick way to calculate your minimum and maximum viewing distances is to take the horizontal measurement of your screen and multiply it by 2 for your minimum distance, and by 5 for your maximum. So, for a screen that is 70 inches long, start your seating at least 140 inches from the screen, put your farthest seating no more than 350 inches back.
Is there a home theater in your flex room future? Let us know what you’re planning in the comments! For all else Shea Homes, visit https://www.sheahomes.com/new-homes/arizona/phoenix-area/.

Sales by Shea Homes Marketing Company (AZ DRE #CO550381000), Construction by Shea Homes Limited Partnership (ROC #195895).

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