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The installers just left. Your new flat panel television is installed, the speakers are placed just right for optimal audio, and all your components are hooked up. Yet, there’s something missing. You decided to make this room a place you could sit and watch movies, and get that theater experience at home. So why not go all out?

According to a recent poll by Ipsos for the Associated Press and AOL News, 73% of Americans prefer to watch movies at home, with only 22% preferring to see a movie in a movie theatre.

If there is any room in your house to paint a dark color, this is the one. If you have existing furniture that you will be using, pick a color that works with your furniture, but from the dark end of the paint haytheatre.com sample card. There are also wallpaper borders available that depict movie motifs. Home Theater Interiors (www.hometheatreinteriors.com) has a nice selection.

Do you have windows in this room? You will need room darkening window treatments, whether shades, drapes or a combination of the two. Many custom drapery and shade fabricators offer blackout lining as an option. You can find a wide selection of blackout lined curtain sizes at HTmarket.com, with over 30 fabric colors to choose from.

There are several types of lighting you can use to enhance your home theater experience. For “raising the house lights,” recessed lighting on a dimmer switch will allow you to have overhead lighting where you can control the brightness. If you set up a counter/bar area (or for the purposes of this article a “concession” stand) you can use a couple of pendant lights on a separate switch, so at “intermission”, people can see what they are eating and drinking. Sconces spaced along the walls will add that theatrical touch. Cinema Shop (www.cinemashop.com) has wall sconces with movie themes, as well as other lighting, that is functional while enhancing the d├ęcor.

Movie posters can be found at many sites on the internet. You may be able to get some for free at your local movie theater; ask if they have any they are going to throw away. Poster frames can also be found on the internet, at very reasonable prices. Frames-Direct (www.frames-direct.com) has a large selection to choose from.

You can also find movie reels at online auction sites that you can either hang on the walls with your posters, or use them to make other home theater accessories. For example, a couple put together can become a wine rack; one laid down on a coffee table or counter area could hold small bowls of nuts, candy or dip. Several of the websites listed have signs, lighted and unlighted, that you can personalize for your theater or place in your “concession” advertising your favorite drink. To really bring the drama home, you can put up velvet drapes on either side of the television.

If you do need furniture, many stores and warehouse clubs offer theater seating. Cinema Shop, amongst all the other items it carries, also offers theater seats, as well as cinema loungers. La-Z-Boy (www.la-z-boy.com) offers a line called “Matinee”, which has a wealth of choices in fabric and leather. From Home Theater Mart (www.htmart.com) you can find studio chairs, which are the height of a bar stool, for your concession/bar area. These chairs can also be used as extra seating, and can be folded up and stored when not in use. There are coffee tables, side tables and DVD storage shelves that have a movie reel look to them.

You can also find those little finishing touches at many of the businesses listed in this article, such as pillows, throws and area rugs keeping with the home theater theme. The possibilities are endless.

Finally, pop some popcorn, pour yourself a soda and get comfortable – it’s show time!

Kathy Passarette is a Certified Interior Decorator and Affiliate member of the Interior Design Society. She is the owner of Creative Home Expressions located on Long Island, New York. You can contact Kathy through her website.