Nope, You Don’t Need a Massive Basement to Set Up a Home Theater

Twenty-four cozy ideas for your next Netflix binge.

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We’re not going to lie: We miss going to the movies (or going anywhere, really). But if we’re being honest with ourselves, staying at home streaming a movie on Netflix does have its benefits: your own sofa, cozy throw blankets, and the access to a pause button (so that you won’t miss a thing for a bathroom break). 

But you don’t need a celebrity-style mansion with a basement to create your own private cinema. Instead we propose turning your TV room into the ultimate home theater—full of experience-enhancing details, from a techy sound bar to the perfect popcorn bowl. These six setups should help inspire your next at-home movie night. Lights, camera, action!

For a Palette Wes Anderson Would Love

Living room
Photo by Jessica Antola

Start with a super-plush sofa (bonus points if it has a curved corner spot that makes you want to settle in and stay a while) in a fun shade. Then layer on the textiles in lots of colors, patterns, and textures. A popcorn maker that doubles as a bowl plays a great supporting role to the decor. 

For Settling Into a Mad Men Marathon

Retro living room
Photo by Brittany Ambridge

For a fresh take on the mid-century modern look, pair clean-lined pieces—like an indigo blue sofa—with elements that have a natural, hand-hewn vibe: pottery perfectly proportioned for potato chips; a high-tech speaker done in warm tones (bronze and taupe); and a shaggy faux fur stool, so you can put your feet up while you Netflix and chill. 

For the Sophisticated Cinephile

living room
Photo by Seth Smoot; Styling by Rosy Fridman

Minimalism, but made interesting. The recipe: architectural furniture in neutral tones (say, a roomy sectional with sculptural brass legs), sunset-shade textiles (they can seriously liven up a neutral sofa), plus decor elements and accessories that feel special (a marbleized porcelain serving bowl and the chicest popcorn set we’ve every seen). 

For a Moody Thriller Vibe

dark living room
Photo by Seth Smoot; Styling by Rosy Fridman

An all-dark room might seem intimidating, but it actually creates a dramatic effect that’s super-intimate for watching films. Opt for matte finishes, like this velvet sofa, ceramic bowl, and a streamlined smart speaker that gives you movie-theater quality sound at home. Floor cushions in a floral print keep the space from feeling too one-note—and give you extra seating for your screening. 

For a Lush Spot to Take in a Rom-Com

Living room
Photo by Andie Diemer

This look is all about contrast. Neutrals create a canvas where bright decor accents—like patterned pillows in sunny shades—can really pop. Then sheepskin throws amp up the comfy factor. And a tiny, easy-to-store projector means you have a screen only when you want one.

For Nancy Meyers–Style Neutrals

Living room
Photo by Laure Joliet

If you love a clean, airy vibe, this is the look for you. Mix tone-on-tone neutrals—from ivory to taupe and everything in between—with reckless abandon. Then add in touches of wood and metal for a bit of textural contrast. A shiny brass tray is a decorative catchall that becomes a functional tool for hauling snacks and drinks. 

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Catherine Dash

Contributing Editor

Catherine Dash is a freelance design editor and prop stylist based in Oakland, California (a recent transplant from NYC). When she’s not testing new products and writing about interior trends, she’s likely on set sprinkling her styling fairy dust for clients like Nate Berkus and Chairish, perusing blooms at the flower market, or wrangling her charming, yet wily, 2.5-year-old toddler Coco.