The art and science of great home cinema design. Home cinema room with projector, screen and sunken seating.

Home Cinema Design

Brilliant home cinema design – science and art!

All great home cinema design is the result of two things: meticulous technical design and the art of creating a room which looks and feels great. Here at Imagine This, we have over 25 years of delivering the finest home cinema designs.

In this article we look at:

  • The Science of Home Cinema Design
  • Did you know? Home Cinema Design Software
  • The Art of Designing Home Cinema
  • The Imagining
  • In Conclusion
  • Further Reading

The Science of Home Cinema Design

Unquestionably, the science has to be spot on. When we produce a design, we are trying to create the perfect environment in which to view a film or TV show. Importantly, there are founding technical principles to which we adhere and performance objectives that we meet.

Drawings and Site Visits

When we design a home theatre, we usually work from the architectural drawings. These give us vital information about the construction of the room and the infrastructure serving it. This allows us in advance to consider and overcome any challenges with the construction of the space. Additionally, we visit the site to get a feel for the type and pace of the construction (or renovation). This is to make sure that there is a synergy between us and the design and build teams.

Performance Objectives

When we perform the design process, we are working to ensure that the room meets certain performance objectives. We use standards design criteria from SMPTE, THX, ISF, CEA and CEDIA. This ensures that all of the technical design elements aren’t subjective, but really do conform to the specific set of rules.

The finest picture and sound can only truly be achieved if the design is right from the start. Our design will include projection light output calculations, aspect ratio figures, and loudspeaker placement, coupled with subwoofer low-frequency consideration, to deliver the finest performance available.

As part of any intelligent design, one must keep an eye on the future. We, as part of the global industry standards development team, know more than most just what’s around the corner. For example: 720p became 1080p, became 2160p (4K), became 4320p (8K), in only a few short years.

Our designs take all of this into consideration. With the correct cabling, infrastructure and video path capabilities subtly included in our design and installation, we ensure that the system will deliver on the video front for many years to come.

The finest screening rooms in the world are those with the least amount of technical compromises. We aim to reduce those compromises to increase the performance of the equipment. The lighting and environmental control are geared up to conform to all of the relevant standards documents. We make sure that the environment only has a positive impact on the viewing area and the audio experience. There will be no annoying lights or rattly noises here!

Did you know? Creators of Design Software

You already know that we are leading home cinema designers and experienced installers. But, did you know that our principal designer, Guy Singleton, is also the inventor of The Cinema Designer software? The Cinema Designer is cloud-based software, which creates technically perfect home cinema designs in minutes. It is used around the globe by our peers.

(Our governing body CEDIA have since acquired The Cinema Designer and it is now known as The CEDIA Designer.)

Imagine This lead, others follow!

We created The Cinema Designer software, which is now used by cinema designers around the globe.

Our practical and thorough understanding of cinema design has allowed us to create this ground-breaking software and we are proud that others continue to use the tool to create their designs.

For your own cinema design, it’s reassuring to know that you have the market leaders on your team!

The Art of Designing Home Cinema

Although the science is very important, it isn’t the whole picture. Certainly, we want our cinema rooms to be comfortable, well-designed rooms. They should either aesthetically align with the rest of the home, or be unique places of escape.

Some clients come to us knowing exactly how they wish their room to look and feel, and our job is to turn their ideas into reality. Firstly, making sure that the science of the design is correct, we can then work with our client to implement their ideas.

Often, our clients don’t have fully evolved plans and they appreciate more of a collaborative design process. We work very closely with them; presenting ideas, evolving the design from their feedback and finally creating the scheme that is perfect for them.

Room to Complement, or Room with a Theme?

Initially, we gain input from the client as to whether the room is to visually complement the rest of the home, or whether it is to be a themed room. After this, the planning starts.

Where the room is to complement what is already there, we incorporate the texture and colour palettes from the rest of the home. This is to create a cohesive feel, ensuring that the cinema room “belongs” with the rest of the home. Alternatively; we can work with the interior designer to make sure that the room meets all of the technical objectives and looks stunning at the same time!

If the client should prefer a themed room, we work with them to understand their interests and preferences. This means that when it comes to the themed interpretation, we can naturally create a design that will thrill our client.

Home Cinema – The Imagining

We provide interactive 3D walk-throughs of our cinema designs, to aid aesthetic decision-making and planning.

We provide concept artwork, a wire-framed full-motion video walkthrough and photographic quality renders to convey our aesthetic design ideas. This method has historically proven very successful, especially with our turnkey solutions.

Our documentation for the science part of the design is equally impressive. Among other things, we present acoustic evaluations, electrical calculations, wire schedules, schematics, construction drawings, thermal calculations and programming strategies. This allows us to properly communicate with all stakeholders throughout the project and lays the foundations for the ongoing relationships.

In Conclusion

Whether you have firm ideas or none, we can help with your home cinema design. We have 25 years of experience in creating rooms that provide homeowners with great joy. That means that they deliver on a technical level and feel like amazing, inspiring places to relax.

We present our design and technical ideas in a variety of formats, to ensure that the process is exciting and problem-free.

Naturally, we are really proud of our pedigree in creating brilliant cinemas and we leave no stone unturned to deliver the perfect room to you.

Further Reading

For further reading, please see our article, What’s the difference between a media room and a home cinema? or our projects, Home Cinema – Stunning Basement Cinema, Immersive Home Cinema and Luxury Screening Room.


If you are ready to begin your cinema design journey with us, please do get in touch

    Your Message