Media Room Makeover with Budget Friendly Design Ideas


This post is sponsored by The Home Depot and may contain affiliate links, all opinions are my own.

If you’ve dreamed of creating the perfect home theater room for your family, I am going to tell you exactly how I designed a cozy space for our home theater with simple DIY projects and elegant design choices. I’ll show you how you can turn a small space in your favorite room in the house!

Media Room Makeover

Why Our Media Room Needed a Makeover

You guys, I am so excited to share with you the Media Room makeover that I just got done with! This one was a special project for me because it was a Father’s Day present from me to Hassaan. He has been wanting to upgrade the home theater room for a while now and with all the other projects I take on, this one got left on the back-burner. If you haven’t caught up with some recent home renovation projects here are some you can check out:

Hassaan has always dreamt of a fully decked out home theater with high quality surround sound, a large screen and obviously a top-notch movie projector. Our family room already has a coffee table and is the perfect place for a family game night. This room, located upstairs is a decided theater room so the goal was not to create a multipurpose space. I got to work and looked into media room ideas that would work for Hassaans needs and also match the aesthetic of our house.

So when we first moved in, Hassaan and I painted the media room a dark navy wall color, Inkwell by Sherwin Williams. He wired it for sound and put the projector up and we left it there. When coming up with ideas on how to design this space, I knew Hassaan had very specific requests:

  • Nothing reflective (eg, artwork, mirrors, glossy surfaces)
  • A long media cabinet with storage for video games and sound equipment
  • Sound absorption panels 
  • A kitchenette area with some storage for snacks
  • Dark color on the walls to absorb light
  • maximum seating for friends and family members 

Design Decisions for Our Media Room


Paint Colors for Media Room

A favorite trick of interior designers is to paint the entire room a dark paint color to make the space feel cohesive. For a media room, this works because dark paint colors absorb light and allow the projector screen to display colors as they should, without any reflections. Since we had freshly painted the walls and ceiling, we didn’t touch the paint. One thing to note is the paint sheen, movie theaters have very little reflective surfaces and the walls should be painted in a matte or flat paint finish.

Media Console

DIY reeded media console for home theater

Keeping Hassaan’s storage needs in mind, I first designed the media console which was my first cabinet build ever! It was definitely a learning experience but the 8’ long cabinet ended up looking beautiful! Before starting any DIY furniture build, I like to plan it all out and make one trip to get all the lumber. I always rent a truck from The Home Depot and get the larger supplies in one trip. What really saves time is that I can order everything online using their app or website and pick it up in store in one convenient trip. 

To make this even more streamlined, I rented a truck from their tool and truck rental station for the same day as pickup and brought everything home in one easy trip. Make sure you sketch out the design and figure out exactly how much lumber you need and what sizes you’re ordering! I added a reeded trim to the cabinet front for an elegant look. The simple shelving unit really made a huge difference to the new space! There’s plenty of storage room for all of Hassaan’s audio visual equipment and more. I picked out some modern black metal legs for the media console and some brass hardware to go along with it. Don’t worry, I’ll link all sources below!

The extra long media unit also complements the large screen size which I love!

Wall Paneling and Sound Panels

DIY sound panels and wall moulding for media room

Once the console was done, I started on the wall moulding detail. I wanted this room to reflect my personal style and the aesthetics of my own home. I’m a sucker for wall paneling and I designed picture frame moulding boxes to go on the walls of the entire room. This is a great way to make any room feel elegant. Because I had planned for this in advance, I had ordered the moulding online and picked it up in-store during the same trip as the rest of the lumber. I made four large boxes spanning the length of the walls and the plan was to install sound absorbing panels inside the boxes. 

I was able to find the sound absorption fiberglass material online at and built simple frames with 2x4s to create our custom acoustic panels. All it needed was some navy fabric to cover the frame and insulation to make them look high end. With a little bit of elbow grease we saved a ton of money by making our own sound panels.

Movie Theater Snack Bar

DIY Media room snack bar

For phase 2 of the makeover I focused on the back wall and bought premade cabinets online that were delivered straight to my home. I built a custom frame to raise the cabinets and paired them with a birch butcher block countertop. I cut it to size using my table saw and sealed it with polycrylic without staining it. The natural color of the wood is so beautiful! With Home Depot, it’s so convenient to find everything from decor to building supplies all at one place!

I sampled a few different paint colors and ended up picking this rich jewel toned color called Burgundy by Sherwin Williams. I had it made by the Home Depot’s paint counter in Behr’s Premium Plus line which is a great formula to work with. One of my favorite details about this snack bar is the cane webbing I installed on the cabinet front. I had it leftover from a previous project and it adds some interest to an otherwise boring cabinet.

DIY Floating shelves

I made a custom floating shelf right above the cabinet to store glasses and other essentials for movie marathons. I added a little decorative trim to it and painted it the same color as the walls. It’s really the perfect spot to display art as well.

Finishing Touches

Media room makeover details snack bar

You can have the most amazing furniture and comfortable seating, but what makes a space is the finishing touches. From warm throw blankets, to the perfect thrift store finds, it’s the details that bring a cozy atmosphere. I started by replacing the wall light fixtures in our media room which were very dated. To stick to the modern cozy nook vibe I replaced them with these gorgeous brass wall sconces. To complete the front of the room, I added pre made floating shelves on either side of the projector screen. They were easy to install and look like built-in shelves.

We decided to keep our old media room sofa and freshened it up with new throw pillows and throw blankets. If we had more room between the sofa and the side walls, I would have loved to add side tables as well but without much square footage, that wasn’t an option.

Every room needs an area rug to anchor all the different pieces of furniture and to make it cozy. I picked out a beautiful rich toned rug to compliment the deep navy walls and it really pulls the whole room together.

media room makeover details with snack bar

Hassaan is thrilled with how this cozy media room makeover turned out with everything to his liking AND mine haha. We cannot wait to host movie nights here and enjoy the space with the whole family! If you enjoyed this room makeover, you might want to check out my guest bedroom remodel which is also heavy on wall paneling and custom details!


DIY Home Movie Theatre Design

This post contains affiliate links to products that I used or recommend. If you purchase something through an affiliate link, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. I really appreciate your support!
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