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Bringing The Movie Theater Home With Your Family In Mind (It’s A REVEAL Y’all!)

Y’all, this reveal feels like the most overdue project coming out of the hygge ranch, and it really has been a long time coming, especially from whence we came! In Fall 2020, for the first time ever, I was chosen to be a featured designer for the bi-annual One Room Challenge event. In this unprecedented edition of the event, I was charged with highlighting High Point Market vendors to create a one of a kind virtual design. I was absolutely GEEKED because (1) getting tapped to be a featured designer was a huge honor and (2) virtual designs are my whole jam! This was the best of all possible outcomes. 

What most people didn’t know at the time, however, was that we were house hunting at the time. I decided to base the design of my “must be nice” rooms on one of the homes we were considering… spoiler: it’s the home we ended up buying! Using the home’s space plan, I concocted a design for a media room and study.

As part of the One Room Challenge, I worked with a 3-D Render Studio, Duke Renders, to bring my design to life… and after seeing their photorealistic renderings, I wanted to actually bring the project to life! These designs, being based on a real space & with my family in mind, were ideas that I felt like I could totally translate into something real. By the time we actually closed on the house, I was fully committed to making it happen, especially the Black Panther-inspired media room.

Sounds easy right? Wrong!

In case you’re not familiar with High Point Market, it is essentially the fashion week of the home industry, where vendors and retailers showcase new product lines, and designers and buyers come to take it all in. High Point Market vendors are, more often than not, inaccessible to the general public. Instead, you’d have to go through a designer and/or retailers to source their products. That said, sourcing High Point Market to create my virtual design meant sourcing trade only and/or custom items. How could I maintain the high-end, bespoke vibes of the space while being able to shop more accessible, go-to options?

Having something like a media room has always felt like it belonged on my dream home bucket list — nice to have but never really knowing if it would actually happen. When we chose this house, after the way 2020 kicked us around, I specifically had it in my mind to create a home I’d never want or need to leave… I.e. creating a dedicated space for games, movies, and fun.

Just like my living room design, I started with the largest piece in the room — the sofa — both for the virtual design and the real-life iteration. While I didn’t anticipate actually having this design in my home, I thought through the design with my family in mind, starting with their love of recliners & leather sofas.

On the heels of wrapping up my living room with Apt2B, I saw that they’d recently released a new power reclining sectional…in leather! YAHTZEE! This was one of the many design elements I was adamant about keeping in my real-life remake, including the lighting, my coming attractions wall, use of pattern, and balancing contrasting hues.

From here on out, there was no turning back…except every time we had to pivot. 

By the way… I’m just gonna go ahead and let you guys know now that I am officially the queen of the pivot…and the iconic Ross, Rachel, and Chandler Friends scene is permanently embedded in my head. While making final decisions for the media room & study, we also decided to flip the two spaces — after opening up the wall to the laundry room. This meant, the media room would go from having no natural light to a ton of natural light coming in.

The vibe of the virtual design was very “dark and moody” because of the tone on tone but also infused with warm elements & textures so that the space could feel bold & dramatic while still being cozy & chill. The flip actually made this contrast even more impactful. A total design win!

Sofa | Tray | Acrylic Frame | Nakia Poster | Picture Light | Cart | Cabinet | Cabinet Doors | Acrylic Cabinet Legs | Ottoman (similar) | Basket

Record Player | Swivel Chair (home goods) | Floor Lamp | Velvet Level Pillow

How did I create this swanky hygge vibe?…

Paint. Lighting. Texture.

I opted for Sherwin-Williams’ Cyberspace instead of the wallpaper from Fabricut & Sherwin-Williams’ Tricorn combination from the virtual design, which perfectly complemented the sectional’s Battleship leather upholstery. 

P.S. I am very amused by the fact that the upholstery is called Battleship & the paint is called Cyberspace

The blue undertones turned out better than I could’ve imagined in the space — thanks to the natural lighting — while the plug-in picture lighting paired with the acrylic framed coming attraction posters add a layer of drama that only lighting can create. 

The balance of light and dark finishes make this space a total nighttime destination for movie nights, while also very comfortable for an afternoon game of monopoly. And no room at the hygge ranch is complete without a cozy corner! 

I made deliberate layering choices to elevate the more subtle design elements.

White Trunks | Shuri Poster | T’Challa Poster | Shelves (repurposed cabinet shelves) | Projector | Pillows (unavailable)

One of my favorite moments from that design was the nod to Black Panther and so being able to honor this design element is one of my proudest moments of this transformation.

Play Kitchen | Curtains (home goods)

What started as a design that was totally inspired by my Pinterest boards and design daydreams, is now in my home in real life… from actually shoppable retailers… without sacrificing any of the bespoke vibes from the virtual reveal last year.

As a former e-designer, I am used to bringing digital designs to life, or guiding my clients on how to do so, but this one felt different… this one was different. I had to work around two renovations and unexpected delays, while trying to create something as close as possible to my Fall ORC design. I can’t promise that I’ve stopped messing around with this room — I already know I want to upgrade the projector and possibly add a mini-fridge… maybe even a popcorn maker. The ideas really never stop coming, lol. Nevertheless… I am happy with calling this complete for the moment, because this transformation is giving me exactly what I wanted…a real-life at-home destination customized for our family for fun & entertainment.

Oh and before I go here are a couple before and afters!

*Design by Albie K. Buabeng
**After Photos by Ellie Lillstrom

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2 years ago

thank you, so impressive to see the rendered design in real life!
How are the colors of movies on a dark wall? I have never seen this before. Always screening on white/light walls/surfaces.

2 years ago
Reply to  Evelin

thank you! and i am so glad you asked — it all comes down to the projector! i have plans to eventually upgrade our current projector, but we went thru two “budget” options and compared the result. the output isn’t impacted by the dark wall at all. even watching tv during the day, everything is clear & accurate.

2 years ago

This is beautiful. I have to say, I winced when I saw the grey sofa in the inspiration board because I am *very* over grey everything, but now it’s in the room it looks more silver and it’s perfect! I love how it and the white chairs pop against the dark walls, the contrast really makes the room feel like both a screening room and a general chill-out zone which I think is a difficult thing to pull off.
I also love that you used a projector rather than a TV. Are you projecting it directly onto the black wall? If so, is that working okay? I thought you needed a white surface, but if you don’t then I think this suddenly becomes an option for a lot of people who don’t have white walls.
I’m also a Black Panther fan, and I think it was a great decision to use individual pictures of the characters rather than a single large film poster, which might have been the more obvious choice. And I love that you used perspex frames too, it really gives it that cinema feel. I can almost smell the popcorn!

2 years ago

This is so cool!

2 years ago

Umm okay, if my husband see’s this post he’s going to want to turn my office into a home theater…and I wouldn’t even be mad because this is SO GOOD ALBIE!!

2 years ago
Reply to  Key

i support this decision lol and even tho my actually “office” is right next door, i get loads of work done in that cozy corner!

2 years ago

Love it all😍 Great job!

2 years ago

OMG – never wanted a theatre room before until I saw this. Awesome!!!

2 years ago

I think you have blown our collective minds with the projection on a dark wall! No shade to Leanne Ford, but white walls are just not my jam, and I thought it meant I could never really do a projection wall. But this looks amazing! THIS I would love to do in my own home!

Thanks for taking us through your many pivots. It’s a gorgeous room. Pivoting worth it!!

2 years ago
Reply to  Meredith

Yes! We’ve been struggling to design around a TV, and using a projector seems like it could (potentially? maybe?) be way more flexible. I’d love to see more discussion on this please!!!

2 years ago

Looks wonderful! So inviting and cozy! And now I’m officially bummed I didn’t look for a sofa with a powered foot rest when we were sofa hunting. Those AP2 ones look GOOD.

2 years ago
Reply to  Lauren

Mine is currently on sale now for their anniversary… just in case you’re still looking 🙂

2 years ago

This is SO AWESOME!!!

2 years ago

This looks great. One question— why did you decide to put the posters so high? That’s the only thing that looks off to me, am curious about the reasoning,

2 years ago
Reply to  Libs

Hey! A few reasons but the main ones where to visually draw the eye up (this is actually a very low room but didn’t want it to look or feel that way), to be able to use the wall space below the posters (ie. the candy cart & the mini’s kitchen), and to visually line up with whatever is projected on the wall. Also the picture lighting, a lower “eye level” level height would’ve taken away from the grand presence you typically get from a coming attractions wall, particular because these are low ceilings.

2 years ago
Reply to  Albie

Oh so cool to understand the reasoning behind these seemingly small decisions! So much thoughtfulness!

2 years ago

This is so good! Also every time I watch Black Panther I pick up something new. Rest in Power, Chadwick Boseman.

2 years ago
Reply to  Molly


2 years ago

I like that you still have space for the kitchen and toys and making a multi purpose space. What a beautiful room you created!! Congratulations!

2 years ago
Reply to  Sahaja

Thank you! While the primary function is movies, I knew this would be a fun room & that includes all kinds of fun & play. I was super intentional about that.

2 years ago

Love the space!!

Annie K
2 years ago

I want to curl up in that room for…I don’t know…a week or two? You won’t even notice I’m there! Please? I’ll bring both wine and soda water? Yes?

2 years ago
Reply to  Annie K

You had me at wine LOL

2 years ago

Wow this room really came together and I especially love the silver sofa and terrazzo patterned ottomans that kind of read asteroid belt in this context. It’s like a cozy space station hab. Always looking for interiors than transport and create whole atmospheres and this is definitely inspiring, thanks for sharing!

Amanda McCullough
2 years ago

LOVE LOVE LOVE a dark room! been searching and searching for inspiration on dark rooms to transform my own spaces – they are rare and beautiful! love it

2 years ago

Looks amazing!! LOVE the poster art too! Can you also link the black leather recliner couch??

2 years ago
Reply to  kiki

🥰 thank you! All the original virtual sources are here:

2 years ago

This is so good!!
Consider me officially inspired.

2 years ago

Love where you ended up! It looks gorgeous and comfy… perfect!

2 years ago

“Yahtzee!” KILLED me hahah. I love it!!

2 years ago
Reply to  A

Lol same!!

2 years ago

My kind of room! I really enjoyed seeing this reveal and how it all started… bravo! (And don’t you just love when paint names make a connection?!)

2 years ago

Hi Albie, what an inspirational room. I love all of the reiterations. I especially like what looks like black puckered sounding board (?) in the first rendering. I am making a room like this for my son and would love to know the source of the black puckered soundproofing. Now I also need to add a snack cart….which will always need to be refilled. And I must agree, a popcorn maker is needed. Just wish we could find a modern sleek cool one 😜💯💯

2 years ago
Reply to  Laurielulu

Thank you thank you 🥰 so about that first wall — it was actually a textured wallpaper from Fabricut. So good right?! And I actually enjoy filling up the snack cart because it’s one less thing in the pantry lol

2 years ago

Coolest media room ever.

2 years ago

Your posts are a gosh darn delight. AMAZING work, thanks for letting us follow along!
P.S. Those ottomans. (heart eyes)

2 years ago

Beyond impressive, Albie you have knocked it out of the park.
It looks phenomenal.
yes you are definitely onto something with the black paint. Screen innovations who does great screens, one of my favorite is the black diamond xero (as the name suggests it is black), different advantages like 900 x contrast then white screens, plus you can leave ambient lighting on it the room, as it absorbs 70% more light then white screens. So great for a room with dual programming. I am doing a home movie theatre for us, that is also my office, and down the rabbit hole at the moment.
love that sofa where the footrests come out, WOW a game changer, function and good looking sofa. Clever getting a Perspex tray for a pretty fabric ottoman that you don’t want to hide.
loved this post, THANKYOU!

2 years ago

love it!!!

2 years ago

Love this! Thank you for sharing!!!

2 years ago

thanks for the guide. Recently i bough a house and want to make one of my room to a movie theater. this guide really helped me and I really appriciate your efforts. Images are fantastic.

2 years ago

Love it! When I saw those reclining sofas for the first time I was shocked that they looked so good! Not my grandma’s (incredibly comfortable) recliner!

2 years ago

Great job! As a high end upholstery manufacturer who has a showroom at High Point Market, I can attest to the challenge it is to explain to the end consumer they have to shop at a store or work with a designer to buy our furniture. Very much looking forward to the day our industry becomes more transparent and easier for customers to buy custom!

2 years ago

I’m a new follower of the blog and all I can say is WOW – this is absolutely stunning. What an amazing and beautiful space. The posters made me teary eyed. I love The Black Panther so much. What a beautiful tribute to a powerful movie and the powerful actors that brought the characters to life for us all.

2 years ago

As a recent arrival to the MCU I would be VERY happy taking it all in from this incredible room! It’s all so good Albie. I never thought a reclining sectional could be so swanky. And the ottomans – love them!
P.S. unrelated but I have been thinking a lot about your laundry area as we all debate Emily’s laundry decisions. 😂 Yours is an excellent case for making it more of an open “closet” rather than a closed room!

2 years ago

Love the dark walls! This is going to be inspiration for decorating my media room 😉

2 years ago