Design Inspiration Color & Paint

This Eggplant-Hued Home Theater Has a Secret

Hint: It’s not just for screenings.
Lydia Geisel Avatar
dark purple home theater

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By far the most impressive room on any episode of MTV’s Cribs was the home movie theater. Sure, we’re all familiar with the concept of a TV area, but these spaces—complete with rows of recliners, in-wall stereo systems, and (on occasion) popcorn machines—hit differently. The thing is, from a style perspective, they all tend to look the same: The steps are swathed in slate gray carpeting; the boxy seating is made of squeaky leather. Marie Cloud, the Charlotte, North Carolina–based interior designer behind Indigo Pruitt, knew this when she was tasked with creating a theater for last year’s Southeastern Designer Showhouse in Atlanta. Having never tackled one before, she welcomed the challenge. “You don’t typically see this space decked out, but for me, it was an opportunity to throw my sauce on it,” says Cloud. 

The designer wanted it to be welcoming, cozy, and functional, even when there was nothing actually playing on the screen. “It can be a space where you can throw a girls’ night or your family can gather and just catch up,” she says. “The TV doesn’t have to be on for that.”

Re-create Those Old Theater Bones

room with moldings
room with moldings

The curved ceiling and flexible molding that Benecki Homes and Source in Atlanta introduced immediately made the ground-level room feel like an Art Deco theater. The difference is that these walls are high-tech: The speakers are built within them, so you can actually feel the vibrations of your favorite action movie. But Cloud knows that color is a big part of any sensory experience, too. The designer landed on Farrow & Ball’s Brinjal, a paint that reads as either eggplant purple or Merlot red, depending on the lighting. “When you use jewel tones, it adds a sense of ease to your body,” she says.

Pick Your Lighting Mood, Then Find Your Seat

dark purple home theater

The key to any movie-watching space is being able to take the room from light to dark so you don’t have to worry about harsh glare interrupting the show. That’s why everything in this space is “dimmable by the dial,” notes Cloud. And when the overhead bulbs and brass sconces are turned off, lit-up onyx pedestals and under-stair strips will help you find your way.

Treat the Lowest Level Like a Living Room

dark purple home theater

When you first walk in the space, you might think it’s just another living area. There’s a custom Brooke & Wilson sofa, a graphic Moattar rug, a round coffee table, and a long console topped with leaning art by David Coleman Jr. propped on top. For both tables, the designer partnered with Hartstone (the company that handled the hardscaping outside the house). “It added an organic element to the space that felt fresh and clean,” says Cloud. You could plop right down on the couch, have a chilled glass of wine, and never think about watching a movie—that’s the point.

woman on sofa
tiled console table

As you make your way up the steps, you’ll find two rows of plush black recliners from RowOne that were designed specifically based off women’s input (both from an aesthetic and comfort point of view). “My goal for this room was for it to be an ode to sisterhood, a space for the woman of the house to bring her girlfriends,” says Cloud. “When they described the intentionality behind the research of this chair, I knew that’s what I wanted in my space.”

Carve Out a Hideout Within Your Escape

chair in small closet

Did you spot the pocket door at the back of the theater? That’s for when you really want to feel unbothered. Cloud turned the tiny closet into a book nook–slash–general hideout. “We do too much for others, and sometimes we need a little corner to get away,” says Cloud. “Mine is my [clothes] closet, but it’s not as gorgeous as this.”

Lydia Geisel Avatar

Lydia Geisel

Home Editor

Lydia Geisel has been on the editorial team at Domino since 2017. Today, she writes and edits home and renovation stories, including house tours, before and afters, and DIYs, and leads our design news coverage. She lives in New York City.