HowTo Choose Colours for a Theatre - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 25 Old 04-17-11, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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HowTo Choose Colours for a Theatre

Choosing Colours for a Theatre...

This is something that gets asked time and time again when someone is constructing or renovating their theatre..

What colour should I paint my walls?
What colour should I choose for my GOM walls?
What colour carpet should I put down?

Colour choice of course is always a very personal thing and what suits one person, won't necessarily suit another..
Another question that's not asked very often is " What do I select first for my colour"!?

There is a trick that most Decorators use for selecting colours when re-decorating a room and the principles can apply here..
When re-decorating a room (which is already furnished) the Decorator will pick colours for the walls from various furnishings in the room..such as a colour in a cushion, or a colour from the drapes or a piece of furniture.etc..This helps to tie everything together..

One of the requirements for most dedicated theatre's is to have dark colours where possible..and this makes the task even harder..
We don't have furnishings in the room to pick a colour from and any colour there.. or lack of (black ceiling or black cloth screen wall for example) is not going to help us in our choice.

You may have already decided that you prefer a blue or a burgundy or a purple room etc. and that's fine..but what shade of colour is that going to be!?
Even in dark colours there are varying shades of dark, so the choice becomes more difficult!..

So where do we start?..Your newly constructed room is just bare walls and a floor, or if you're re-decorating you've removed most things out of the room and maybe even taken up the carpet..if you're planning on starting from scratch..

It's the completely bare room that we will be working with..

First thing to consider is carpet colour!..
Most people first think about wall colour and at the last moment when everything is done..then think about the carpet that's going to suit the wall colour..

There is a huge choice of carpet colours and patterns (not so much here unfortunately) to choose from and generally most people will choose a patterned carpet of some sort that has more than one colour in it..

Example 1. Lets say that you've already decided that you want an overall blue room..so you go shopping for a darkish blue tone patterned carpet..
In that patterning there will be various shades of blue..Pick the darkest blue in that carpet and get the same shade of paint made up..That's going to be your wall colour.

If you feel that the darkest blue in the carpet is not going to be dark enough , for the walls, then get a sample of the colour (cutting a piece out of the pile) and take it to your paint place..Get them to match the colour initially, but then add black until you think it looks dark enough..
This will then match the general toning of the carpet and not look like a mismatching tone..

Of course, you won't be laying the carpet down until the walls are painted, but you won't have that problem any more of "What carpet should I get!"

The same principal applies when choosing a GOM colour for the walls..although you may not be able to get an exact match, but it should be fairly close..

Now the other side of this decorating is a contrasting colour between the carpet and the walls..

Example 2..Lets say that in this instance you've decided to have dark brown walls..You've found a carpet that you like that has another dominant tone to it besides brown..For this to be successful, it has to be a complimentary colour..something that goes well with brown..
In this example, the carpet has a dark blue overall toning..
Select the brown toning in the carpet and mix your paint to that shade or darker or lighter if you prefer.and that will be your wall colour..

In the two examples above,. you now have three colours in the room to choose from for other things like walls panels, seating and anything else that needs colour..

Example 1..Two tones of blue and black..
Example 2. Blue brown and black..

In the second example you also have the choice of using a different shade of the blue or brown for other colourings in the room, whilst still maintaining the balance between carpet and walls..

I hope this will be of some help for anyone who is about to decorate their new home theatre..

Prof..
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post #2 of 25 Old 04-17-11, 11:19 PM
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Great article Prof. Can I add that neutral tones like browns and greys or combinations of those are better than reds or blues. Also, paint should be in the flattest sheen possible to reduce glare and reflection from the screen if you're using a projector.

Kadijk


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post #3 of 25 Old 04-18-11, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: HowTo Choose Colours for a Theatre

Thanks Kadijk..

Yes you're right but WAF comes into the equation sometimes or a particular colour is more appealing..
A flat wall paint is a must!

Prof..
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post #4 of 25 Old 04-28-11, 12:29 AM
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Re: HowTo Choose Colours for a Theatre

Do you think that the color of the walls and ceiling can impose a "color cast" on the screen? If you paint everything red would the screen appear more red?
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post #5 of 25 Old 04-28-11, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: HowTo Choose Colours for a Theatre

It would probably depend on the room and the screen position..
For example.. if your screen was mounted in a shadow box type installation, with the side walls some distance from the edges of the screen, then there would be no chance of any colour cast affecting the image..
On the other hand..if your screen is a CIH type being very wide (mine is almost wall to wall) then if you have a relatively bright wall colour (such as red) there is a possibility of some cast that might affect the colour of the image..

My walls are a dark olive grey colour but I still need to have black cloth on the walls.. out from the edges of the screen so as not to have any light affecting the image, that might be reflected from the side walls..

The greater concern of lighter wall colours is that general projected light is reflected off them, thereby affecting the overall contrast of the image..

Prof..
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post #6 of 25 Old 04-29-11, 09:13 AM
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Re: HowTo Choose Colours for a Theatre

I never thought to much about using a shadow box, but maybe I will try to work that into my design now, thanks.
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post #7 of 25 Old 07-13-11, 09:28 PM
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Re: HowTo Choose Colours for a Theatre

Great post Prof!

I think picking carpet first is a great idea. I (as you know) did it the other way around. I was sold on a burgundy/black wall combination and struggled to find a burgundy carpet I was happy with. When I finally found one it was going to be a 6 month wait. I accidently stumbled onto a black carpet from the same manufacturer which I liked even better and they had it in stock!

I was also lucky with my recliners. Because I had them custom made I was able to the piping around the recliner matched to the burgundy GOM

Cheers,
Simon


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post #8 of 25 Old 07-14-11, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: HowTo Choose Colours for a Theatre

Thanks Simon..

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to follow my own advice when doing my theatre!
The carpet I used was given to me and laid for free..It was not exactly what I wanted, but who's going to knock back a free carpet!!
Having bluish/grey overtones, a blue or grey wall would have been appropriate except my first theatre had blue walls and I didn't want to have that again..and grey walls didn't appeal to me..
Fortunately,the olive/grey walls I finished up using doesn't look to bad against the carpet..

Prof..
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post #9 of 25 Old 07-14-11, 07:29 PM
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Re: HowTo Choose Colours for a Theatre

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Prof. wrote: View Post
Thanks Simon..

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to follow my own advice when doing my theatre!
The carpet I used was given to me and laid for free..It was not exactly what I wanted, but who's going to knock back a free carpet!!
Having bluish/grey overtones, a blue or grey wall would have been appropriate except my first theatre had blue walls and I didn't want to have that again..and grey walls didn't appeal to me..
Fortunately,the olive/grey walls I finished up using doesn't look to bad against the carpet..
Half your luck!

I certainly wouldn't have knocked back free carpet would have saved me 2 grand!

The other thing to probably take into account when trying to pick colour schemes is that very rarely (well for dedicated rooms anyway) are the lights ever on at full brightness. Although I guess complimentary colours are going to apply at whatever brightness

Cheers,
Simon


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post #10 of 25 Old 07-14-11, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: HowTo Choose Colours for a Theatre

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raZorTT wrote: View Post
The other thing to probably take into account when trying to pick colour schemes is that very rarely (well for dedicated rooms anyway) are the lights ever on at full brightness. Although I guess complimentary colours are going to apply at whatever brightness
That's true..Obviously in a slightly lit room it's not going to matter so much..It's more for brightly lit rooms or for when you want to show your theatre off to someone with all the lights on..

Prof..
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