THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE
February 8, 2019
A home theater should feel like a special destination in your house—the one place you can retreat for a couple of hours to escape from reality and be transported into another world. The place you like to visit frequently with friends and family to enjoy the latest blockbuster releases—but without walking out with a backache from sitting in a poorly constructed seat.
The best antidote for movie-theater aches and pains is a seat designed expressly for movie viewing. You might think the cushions of that cushy couch are comfy, but they can’t provide the support necessary for extended hours on your derriere. Specialty home theater seats are constructed of materials to provide the back and lumbar support needed for movie marathons. These chairs also sport features like reclining action, massage and heat, and adjustable headrests to maximize your comfort. Most manufacturers of specialty theater seating offer several levels of firmness, so you can customize the cushions to your liking.
Customization of comfort doesn’t stop there. If you’re tall, you can order a seat back to fit your frame. Ditto for the width and shape of the seat, the size of the armrests, and the height of the chair.
LOCK DOWN A LAYOUT
If you’re trying to make your theater look as close to the real thing as possible, rows of individual seats may be the ideal configuration. However, know that you can always include loveseats, sofas, and chaise longue in your home theater design. Additionally, the seats can be arranged in a straight line or a gentle curve, and placed on risers for a stadium-style seating arrangement. Know how you’d like to arrange out your chairs before you buy; it will help you choose the right size and shape to best fit the dimensions of your home theater room.
Once you have nailed down the type of seat for your theater, it’s time to think about how you’d like them upholstered. The sky is the limit, as manufacturers offer a wide range of fabrics, colors, and textures to suit your style. Leather is always a popular choice for its durability and resistance to stains and dirt, but your theater seats can be covered in suede, velvet, mohair—just about anything—and in any color, from neutrals like gray and brown to vivid hues like cherry red and cobalt blue.
Do you want your theater to look modern, ornate, rustic, or perhaps you’re designing the room around a specific theme? The fabric chosen for the seats should reflect this style. You can take this design scheme a step further by incorporating special finishes like fringe, tufting, nail heads, elaborate stitching, even have your family emblem embroidered on seat backs. You can add wood of any type or finish to the seating design, as well, like wrapping the arms and base of the seat with beautifully stained veneer.
DO THE DETAILS
A theater seat can be so much more than a place to plant your backside. If you like to nosh on snacks and sodas during a movie, accessorize your seats with built in-cup holders and retractable trays.
You can choose to have the cup holders illuminated and the trays motorized for extra flair. Integrated lighting on the base of the chair can help you find your way to your seat in the dark, and built-in ports can keep your phone and tablets charged.
A storage compartment is another handy embellishment, providing a stowaway spot for blankets, pillows, remotes, and other items.
You take your movie viewing experience to a whole new level by sliding a product called a “tactile transducer” underneath the chair. Designed to sync with the movie action, it shakes and vibrates the seat so you feel what’s happening on the screen. These products add another sensory experience to your theater—touch—for special effects that turn your room into a 4D theater.
Home theater seating manufacturers are pushing the envelope even more by incorporating into their product special sensors that enable their chairs to adjust automatically when you’ve taken a seat. It’s akin to the way seats in luxury cars move to cater to your comfort without any manual manipulation. These smart seats are even smarter, however, as they can activate certain features of your home theater based on whether you’ve sat down or stood up. For example, sitting down can trigger the lights to begin dimming; standing up can tell the light to brighten. This level of intelligence does require that the seat be integrated with a home automation system, which will drive up the cost of your home theater seating investment. Still, it’s just one more reason to consider specialty theater seats for your special home theater destination. Your backside will thank you.
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