Buy the best sofa you can afford. A good sofa can last 20+ years with a few re-coverings. There are several trade-only lines that I have had very good luck with over the years. There are also some excellent retail lines if you are a do-it-yourselfer.
If you are investing in a new sofa, check the legs to see if they are wood. Many brands use cheap plastic legs which will not withstand heavy wear. “8 way, hand-tied” is also an indication of quality.
Don’t think you have to have down or blend-down. Down backs require constant re-plumping to look good. Sometimes a “tight back” style is the way to go, which has no separate back cushions. Again, a good designer can help you make the right decision.
As for style, you need to decide how you will use the sofa.
In a family room where someone might lie down to watch television, for instance, you would want to avoid a Knowles-style sofa which has very high sides.
Toss-type back cushions will end up on the floor, especially if you have young children. Semi-tight backs aren’t able to be rotated, or even easily re-plumped, since they are attached.
A single bench cushion for the seat is a good look and on-trend, and is more widely available as an option now.
Two seat cushions are not as comfy for someone lying down to watch television, but more comfy if two people are sitting together (upright). All of this is worth a discussion with your design professional.
A good design professional will keep you from making an expensive mistake.
For color, a good solid neutral gives you the most flexibility.
Punches of color can come from pillows and accessories. You should avoid a pinky-beige undertone, because that particular color will limit your other design options the most.
Here is the pinky-beige color you will want to avoid if possible, especially if you have yellow or yellow beige walls. This creates a very undesirable clash of undertones:
A nicely designed quality sofa is always a good investment. The wrong sofa will just be an expensive mistake.
A sofa will probably be the third most expensive soft furnishing in your room. Drapery and rug will be one and two, most likely.
Good Design is always an investment, but Bad Design is just costly.
Yes, it is possible to have a tasteful home movie room. What are some decorator secrets for an attractive dedicated home movie room?
#1 Don’t call it a Home Theater
This verbiage has less-than-tasteful connotations, I am going to call it like I see it.
Home Theater draws an image of a soldier-row of lumpy leather recliners with built-in cup holders.
What about calling it your movie room? It sounds so much more attractive already!
#2 Function First
A good Audio Video specialist can help you decide what type of equipment fits your demands and your budget.
If possible, have your room pre-wired for the type of equipment before your walls are installed.
I personally like a front-projection system in a dedicated (completely light-controlled) movie room, see the little projector mounted on the ceiling below? Visit a good A/V demonstration room to see what you like and what fits your parameters.
#3 Know your optimal viewing distance
Ask your A/V specialist what the optimal viewing distance is for the system you have selected. Obviously, the larger the screen, the further away the optimal viewing distance. This is where your main sofa should be placed.
Make sure your screen is placed at optimal viewing height as well (above a fireplace is usually NOT optimal height if you wish to avoid neck strain.) You can see how comfortable viewing would be from the main sofa here, below:
This is not the time to go it alone. Get an experienced designer involved before your installation is purchased.
If you are on a budget, you can not afford to make a mistake.
Working together, your designer can suggest a floor plan and soft furnishings that will enhance the use and beauty of your movie room, so that it will be one of your favorite rooms in your house.
#4 Pad and cover your walls with fabric for optimal sound.
This is a job for an experienced professional.
Don’t forget extra sound-proofing between floors.
#5 Carpet is a must for any good audio system to sound its best.
#6 Use operable (hand-drawn) draperies with full black-out lining for complete light control.
#7 Good-looking case goods/built in cabinetry for housing components.
#8 Comfortable furniture and a soft place to prop your feet
Think a full-sized sofa, some lounge chairs, and ottomans.
No hard-surface coffee tables, which are uncomfortable for foot-propping, and will improperly reflect sound waves.
A better look is to have your dedicated movie room look more like a regular family room, tailored around the movie screen.
#9 No extraneous appliances or auxiliary activities
As tempting as this may be, don’t put anything else such as pool table, ping-pong or appliances in the same room. If possible use an adjoining area nearby.
Ice machines, even the most expensive, make distracting noise and should never be placed in the movie room.
Find a place in a nearby area to install the wet bar, ice machine, a small fridge, etc.
It might sound like a fun idea at the time, but a ping-pong table or pool-playing are not really compatible activities with movie-viewing, and as such really don’t belong in a dedicated movie room.
#10 Dimmers on all lights in a movie room.
Make sure that you can easily and quickly access them when entering and exiting, because a dedicated movie room is dark without natural light. This is an overlooked tip that will enhance your enjoyment of the room.