Home Theater Colors - Choose Carefully!
From visual contrast to sound absorption, the colors, textures and fabrics in your home theater play an important role in the system's performance.
home theater paint choice
February 06, 2008 by Barbara Roth

Another Consumer Electronics Show has passed and as expected, there was a round of innovative and intriguing products introduced. Many of these new products will eventually find their way into your family room. The problem is, those using their family room as a home theater are not seeing or listening to their electronics at optimum levels. Are you close? Maybe…but probably not. And the reason may not have anything to do with the equipment, but rather the room itself.

Your home theater walls need your undivided attention. They play a crucial role into how you will view your display and hear your speakers. Preparing your walls is one of the easiest and least expensive to remedy. Light from the screen display will reflect on your walls and ceiling and wash out screen contrast so it is imperative to choose dark and muted colors. Pastel and white paint colors are very popular in decorating because they add a clean, soothing and pure look but they wreck havoc in a home theater. So use them instead in the kitchen, bedroom and bath! Conversely, remember that choosing too dark is also not good because it challenges and overworks the eyes.

While you are painting your walls, it is also key that you paint your ceiling. This doesn’t mean that the whole room has to be painted the same color. You can select corresponding or contrasting colors for your walls and ceilings. You could do a wainscot on your walls and use two different colors. Just remember to use the darker of the contrasting colors on the ceiling or on the top of a wainscot.

Let’s move from video to audio. Sound travels in straight lines from your speakers. So if it hits a smooth wall, it will reverberate. Your goal is to achieve clear dialog, precise sound localization, even tonal balance, spacious sound and full dynamics. You ain’t gonna achieve that with sound bouncing all around. You need to roughen and toughen up the walls. Painting applications, finishes and techniques have reached new levels. All it takes is for you to visit your local hardware store to preview. 

Don’t stop now, you are on a roll! Fabric, grass and textile walls are even better because they will diffuse your sound. Look at your budget and if you can swing it, consider these wall treatments. Perhaps, you could do an accent wall such as just your back wall in a fabric. 

Talking about decor with men is a touchy subject. While most men enjoy some DIY projects, the subject of decorating makes some weak in the knees. Please remember that all of these design issues are going to bring you closer to your “Wow” factor.

Barbara P. Roth is President of Paradise Production Company that launched a Home Theater DVD—Destination Home Theater.  Ms. Roth is a Radio-TV-Film graduate from the School of Communications at The University of Texas at Austin.  She is THX Home Theater certified, a member of the Interior Design Society and a Customer Assistant with Best Buy Magnolia Home Theater in Bee Cave, Texas.

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