Let’s Go to the Movies!

The family room is one of the more fun rooms in the home to redecorate. All of the family members can have input into the decorating process and even have a part of the room that is theirs. One of the reasons that the family room is fun to redecorate is that the room can be themed. And the theme can be anything the family agrees on. There are ways to reflect almost any theme chosen-from music to animals to space.

Since the room probably already has a television set in it and is probably where most of the family TV watching is done, why not make the room into a home version of a movie theater? With such a theme, the decorating ideas will come fast and furious. Since the “theater screen” will be the focus of everyone’s attention, this feature should get a lot of thought and planning. Could you install a full wall-size screen with an overhead projection system hung from the ceiling? The control panel for the audio and video could be installed in a wall and accessed with remote control devices. If such an arrangement is not feasible, purchase the largest screen TV that you can afford that will fit the room spatially.

Since lots of people will use the room from time-to-time-family members, adult guests, kids’ sleepovers, etc-you will want to have plenty of seating. Reclining chairs, comfortable couches, reclining love seats will all make viewing more enjoyable. Arrange the seating so that everyone has a view of the screen. If the seating can have receptacles for drinks, etc so much the better.

The walls can be decorated with large playbill movie ads of family-favorite movies. At the entrance to the room you can have a wallboard with removable type that has space for messages and texts. The “movie of the week” can be captioned or the name of the person having a birthday party in the room.

If you have space in the room, you can add a small sink and a small refrigerator for handling snacks and pop. You can purchase one of the small home-size popcorn makers and serve up hot popcorn in theater type bags.

This will be an “active” room and spills and accidents will be inevitable. Plan for this eventuality with stain resistant, scratch resistant hardwood flooring. To make the room cozy and the floor warm for sleeping bags and blankets, put down area rugs. The rugs can be printed or woven in designs that match the movie theater theme. Angle the rugs or group them for interest. Large throw pillows can be scattered about for additional seating or napping. Some pillows can be grouped on one of the area rugs to make a small center for games or a reading area.

Because a lot of movies will be shown in this room, the window coverings need to be so dense that all outside light can be filtered out. The room lighting needs to be adjustable from “off” to “bright.” When the movie screen isn’t on and people want to play cards or games or read, the lighting should accommodate. Individual footlocker type storage chests could hold games or books or activities for various family members and each member could decorate their own “treasure chest.” A bookcase with shelves and doors could hold videos, CD’s, games, cards, etc.

Since the room is very informal and used for a variety of purposes, color-coordinated walls and area rugs and furniture are not as important as in some other rooms in the home. What is important is that everyone feels comfortable in this area and that they are not afraid to “live” in this space. To that end, have furniture, lamps, rugs, and furnishings that are durable and cleanable.

How neat would it be for Mom to say, “It’s time to go to the movie”? And everyone follows the aroma of freshly popped popcorn into the next room, just in time to catch the house lights going down and the movie sound track coming up.