By Ande Waggener
So you’ve decided to finish your basement and turn it into a game room. Congratulations! Now comes the challenge: how to get the best game room that will fit your budget and your desires.
Designing the best game room hinges on choosing game room furniture that not only lets you play the games you want to play but also fits well in your space.
Here are seven types of game furniture you can use to design a beautiful, fun-ready game room.
These days, when you think of games, it’s generally video games that come to mind. But cards and board games are still every bit as much fun. If you don’t have much room in your new game room for furniture, games can still be the focus of the room if you get a game table. When it comes to affordable game room furniture, cheap folding tables will do the trick for a poker night or playing board games. Such tables may not be stylish, but they can be the basis for a lot of fun.
Game tables aren’t always cheap, though. If you’re designing an upscale game room, you can get a stylish wooden felt-covered game table that looks like it belongs in a casino frequented by James Bond.
One of the most common game tables for basement game rooms is, of course, the pool table. No longer limited to the usual green-topped, traditional look, pool tables are keeping up with modern design. You can get tables in a huge range of styles and price tags. Some have modern, linear styling that merges well into contemporary spaces. You also can choose your color for a playing surface.
When designing a game room, if you know a pool table is going to be its star, pick the pool table first, then choose your design elements to blend with your table’s color and personality. Doing this will create a coherent, stylish space.
Ping-pong tables are the least expensive of the game tables (except for the folding game table, of course). You can get a ping-pong table for less than $100. Better ones cost more, but none of them are as expensive as a pool table.
Not every game room, however, has space for a ping-pong table. Because you need more space to move around to play ping-pong, having room for just the table itself isn’t enough. A full-size ping-pong table is 9 feet long and 5 feet wide. Ideally, you want playing space of at least three feet on either side of the table and five feet behind each end of the table. This means that to have room for a ping-pong table, you need a space that’s at least 19 feet long and 11 feet wide. If you know that you or the people with whom you play ping-pong are experienced or aggressive players, you’ll want even more space behind each end of the table so you and your friends or family can stand even further than is “normal” behind the table.
Be careful where you place the table in relation to light fixtures as well. A low hanging fixture might get pummeled with errant balls or even paddles.
A fun table game that requires less space than pool or ping-pong is foosball. Pricier than a ping-pong table but not as expensive as a pool table, foosball tables can be a good choice if your space and/or budget are limited. Fast-paced and engaging, this table soccer game is great for kids and adults alike.
If, however, aesthetics are important to you, a foosball table may not be the look you’re after for your upscale game room. Even though foosball tables are made from many materials and come in many colors, a foosball table just doesn’t have the elegance of a pool table or the tidiness of a ping-pong table. When the joy of play wins out over looks, though, foosball is a great choice for any game room.
If you have a gamer in your family, you may be getting tired of them lounging around your living room, snacks all over the place, game blasting from the TV. Now may be the time to renovate your basement and turn it into a gaming room. Although gaming set-ups conjure visions of racing-style gamer’s chairs, bean bags, or loungers, you can create a stylish gaming room set-up with a sofa, a coffee table, and an entertainment center for a TV, speakers, and a gaming console. Whether your video gaming area is all the game room you have or whether it’s a part of a full game room with other game furniture, be sure you include baskets or shelves or other storage areas to store gaming controls and other game accessories when they’re not in use.
Even though most game rooms are all about the games, you don’t want to be standing around all the time. Most indoor games aren’t team sports, and if you have a big family or a group of friends in your game room, they’ll need a place to hang out while they watch the games or a TV while waiting their turn to play. A nice cushy sofa and loveseat or a sectional placed near your main game table will serve this purpose.
Whether your game room is for adults only (or maybe it’s even a man cave) or it’s designed to be kid-friendly, including a bar in the space will up everyone’s enjoyment level. Bars don’t have to be for liquor alone. You can stock your bar with liquor (in a locked cabinet, if you have kids), as well as with juices, sodas, and an array of snacks. You can purchase standalone bar furniture, or you can build a bar to match the room’s styling.
These game room furniture ideas cover the basics of most game rooms but don’t let that stop you from adding whatever you enjoy. You can include arcade games, dart boards, or floor space for charades, Twister, or dancing video games. The more room you have, the more fun you can have.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.shutterstock.com