Advice from the Experts: Brainstorming your Media Room Seating

Designing a new home theater space is exciting, but it can also be daunting to build a room up from scratch. It’s a mix of possibilities, measurements, limitations and creativity, especially when it comes to figuring the seating layout of your movie room. What if you don’t necessarily want to stick to rows of theater recliners? Or don’t have the space to?


Understanding that every home theater project is one-of-a-kind, we create home theater furniture that’s more than just rows of recliners. In fact, we specialize in customized home cinema seating. We love to push design boundaries – in look and quality – to create luxurious, versatile home theater furniture that’s accessible to anyone. 

Versatile multimedia furniture like home theater loveseats or sectional couches completely open up the scope of ideas for possible media room furniture layouts. As well, it also opens that scope of what kinds of rooms can make a great home theater. Let’s take a look at how, with a couple of creative ideas and a bit of seat customization on our 3D build feature, you can make that wasted room in your home into a well-loved media room.

Design Ideas for Basement Theater Seating

Nailing down the best option for theater seating in a basement home theater is different than an above-ground home theater. In fact, while people often overlook the basement when considering a home theater build, the features you might think limiting are actually advantageous, with the right theater seating and layout. Here are 3 great suggestions for how to arrange home theater furniture in a basement media room:

1. Low ceilings don’t limit you.

The vast majority of basements have ceilings around 7’ tall, often a bit less, but that doesn’t limit your seating options if you want rows of theater recliners facing a projector screen. You can often get one elevated back row of stadium-style seating in a typical basement; home riser platforms are only around 8” tall. That means you can still do rows of theater chairs, if that’s your favorite idea for your basement theater’s seating. 

Another creative and affordable seating option: You could add another “level” of seating with a layout that includes beanbags in front of the first row of chairs. This would especially be a hit with kids and teens.

2. Lack of light is an advantage.

Chances are you aren’t competing with many windows when choosing a setup for your basement theater seating. That means there are more choices for basement seating layouts than above-ground home theaters, where you’re competing with all that natural light you usually love about your house. 

When planning a layout for a basement media room, consider all your options for where to hang a projector screen. A little creativity with the layout, and maybe some mix-and-match types of multimedia furniture pieces, can go a long way in spatial possibilities and design inspiration. 

Even so, remember to place any screens facing away from sources of possible light intrusion, and choose theater seating in dark colors that match dark walls. Also, hanging heavy, dark curtains on the walls surrounding your basement media room’s furniture layout can shore up light-blocking as well as sound reflection.

3. You can revamp an existing living space, or create a new one!

The best ideas for your home theater furniture depend on the needs of you and your family. Maybe you want a home theater but your teens need a place to chill, or your guests need a private spot. You need entertainment room furniture that does double duty. Some good ideas for this type of basement theater seating are multimedia sectional sofas, couches and loveseats. 

This idea for basement media room seating gets you all the features of theater-style furniture with the style and layout of a typical living room. Not to mention that replacing that tired old couch with full-grain leather-upholstered pieces of multimedia furniture with features like powered reclining and lumbar support really elevates a neglected basement family room.

Home Theater Furniture Suggestions for Narrow Rooms

Narrow home theater rooms are a double-edged sword. On one hand, they’re great for sound distribution and viewing angles. On the other hand, you’re limited on width of rows of theater seating, and there’s not much room in the wings for theater accessories like popcorn machines or soda dispensers. 

But there’s more than one way to think about choosing home theater furniture for narrow rooms. Just like a bit of creative thinking can open your eyes to all the possibilities for basement home theaters, that long and skinny “4th bedroom” you haven’t found a great use for can easily become your favorite room in the house if you turn limitations into possibilities.

1. Take advantage of the length of the room.

Home theater risers are easy to assemble, and give you that stadium-style, elevated back rows of theater seating typical of authentic movie theaters. Narrow rooms are perfect for this movie theatre-style seating setup. Consider several rows of 2 or 3-seat theater seating, depending on the width of the room. And when considering this theater seating idea, don’t forget to include aisles on the outer edges of the room in your measurements.

Two pro tips to get the maximum number of seats into your movie room layout: 

(1) Choose curved rows of theater seating to make the most of the room’s width. 

(2) Choose wall-hugging rows of recliners to optimize use of the room’s length. 

Come to think of it, you don’t really have to “choose” #2; our unique reclining mechanism makes all our models of theater seating wall-hugging.

2. Consider a mixed layout. 

Speaking of home theater riser platforms, get your rows of home theater recliners and another piece of home theater furniture like a sectional or a couch with this seating idea – install one or two 3-seat rows of recliners, and then set a multimedia couch on a larger back riser platform. If you have the room, you could also try two theater-style loveseats angled towards the projector screen like the front curved rows of recliners.

3. Maximize floor space.

Whenever possible, mount things on the walls. Or ceiling. Your projector, the screen, the speakers, the wine fridge, and any other home theater accessories you can safely mount on the walls – do it. That way, maybe you’ll be able to fit a little wet bar along one side of the theater seating layout you’re considering.

The best way to make the most of a narrow room in this way is to have your seating layout ideas narrowed down when you’re doing the electrical and drywall for your home theater build. Installing extra studs or thicker drywall can create walls that’ll hold loads of weight, and mindfully placing outlets can minimize having visible cords and wiring running across the walls.

Seating Ideas for Small Media Rooms

If your home theater project is for a smaller room, you’ll have to be a bit more creative than the others to find the best ideas for your media room seating. Where’d our “turn limitations into possibilities” optimism go? Unlike basement home theaters or awkwardly-proportioned rooms where you can optimize the use of the space, small rooms are small – you can’t create space.

The good news is, you can still create a cozy but complete home theater. Also, sound distribution and immersion won’t be an issue in a small room. Bad news is, you’ll need a short-throw projector, and you probably won’t have room for any standing home theater accessories like a popcorn machine. But, we’ve still got a couple ideas to throw at you for maximizing space in a small home theater:

1. Consider convertible movie chairs.

Home theater furniture like couches that have a dropdown middle seat with a console and a tray give a small space versatility. You could also try a home theater loveseat and one theater recliner chair. Attach them in a curved row, or have them separate and angle them toward the screen.

Another thing you can do in a small space, if it’s in keeping with the vibe you want for your mini-media room, is having a couple bean bags on hand to add to the space when needed. Small kids, teens and pets alike all love a good bean bag. And then you get a couple more seats in without any more permanent pieces of theater furniture.

2. Use vertical space. 

Like you would with a narrow room, mount everything you can on the walls, and utilize the vertical space in the room with elevated rows of stadium seating. With this seating idea, you might be able to fit 8 or 9 theater seats where you thought you might have only had room for 3.

And short-throw projectors aren’t all bad; in fact, there are some really great quality ones with amazing clarity and color. Another advantage to these is that, since they’re made for limited spaces, they’re a bit smaller and they mount very close to the ceiling.

Bonus idea: if your viewing wall is the right dimensions, or close, you might be able to get away with forgoing a projector screen in favor of sanding the wall smooth and painting it with bright white matte paint. This is a fun idea for a media room with a casual seating layout concept (re: bean bags)

3. Wall hugger theater seating is your friend.

Get the relaxation and comfort of a reclining theater chair without requiring a tonne of space behind the chair. Our wall-hugging reclining design is available for any of your home theater furniture ideas. 

The great thing about this space-saving reclining design, besides the comfort, is it minimizes necessary space between every row – not just the back one. You might very well be able to get one more row of theater seating than you thought possible in your compact home theater.

And of course, every home theater – especially the small ones – benefits from in-wall wiring.


Mix and Match Designs for Media Room Furniture

Moral of the story is, you have so many options for home theater seating that you might now have too many ideas for the setup of your media room furniture. Everyone deserves a great home theater room if they want one; it’s a self-care space. So don’t let what you think your limits are stop you from researching DIY home theater projects and shopping around theater seats for sale. You’ll get new ideas for your basement or above-ground home theater seating, and you’ll probably also gather some build and design tips along the way. Contact our customer support team if you have questions on what kinds of customizations for your media room furniture you’re looking for and get started on designing your dream home theater.