Building Out My Home Theater (Sound Panels & DVD Shelving)

A couple areas I focused on early for the home theater design were shelving and sound panels.  Sounds panels for deadening sound in the room.  Shelving for displaying DVDs and memorabilia.

DIY Sounds Panels

The sound panels are a great DIY project.  I made a dozen panels over a few weekends.  I hung four from the ceiling and several others on the wall.  Below, sound panels are shown before painting the ceiling and walls.

View of home theater towards front

View of home theater towards rear while under construction

First, I strongly recommend reading this blog post from  The post provides a great walkthrough of what supplies are needed and how to go about building a sound panel.  Important to note that the sound panels are for making the sound in the room clearer by limiting sound waves from bouncing off walls.  It will not make a room sound proof.

At its core, the sound panels are rockwall or fiberglass material surrounded by a wood frame wrapped in a fabric.  You can get creative with patterns and graphical fabrics or, like me, you can keep it simple with black fabric.

I don’t have DIY pictures of building out the sound panels.  My main piece of advice is take your time.  Second, invest in plastic drop cloths to protect your floor from glue while building out the panels

BTW, if you want to use Roxul as the insulation / absortion material plan to wait 2-4 weeks.  I had to special order from Lowes and it took a few weeks to arrive.

The positioning of the sound panels was driven mostly by the above referenced blog.  But in my design I used the panels as added space between the posters and other elements of the room.

View of home theater side wall

Also as noted in the blog post, you can buy 1×3 furring strips but your sound panels will appear “pillow-like”.  My first few as shown here have the pillow look.

View of home theater sound panel, pillow effect

I did not like that and wanted a box look, so I doubled up on furring strips when building the frames.  Once you make the first few sound panels, you’ll be able to churn them out with speed and quality.

View of home theater sound panel, box effect


DVD and Memorabilia Shelving

Over the years I’ve amassed a good bit of DVDs and Blu Rays.  I had a decision to make around the storage / presentation of the discs.  I wasn’t going to invest in DVD storage knowing digital is the trend.  Still some Blu ray discs such as Jaws and Band of Brothers are worth keeping but do I really need to keep Lost Season 1 or The Shawshank Redemption on DVD?   Do the discs get stuffed into a closet?

I settled on a design feature which I’ve used elsewhere in the house and that is adding a line of shelving at the top of the wall.  In my opinion it acts as the same way crown molding does, to immediately draw the eye upwards.

View of home theater DVD and memorabilia shelving

I made a quick trip to Home Depot and used 8″ by 12″ wood shelving to wrap around a quarter of the room and then down a wall.

View of home theater shelving

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