By Ande Waggener
What are the best game room accessories? Before we get to the answer to that question, let’s talk about what they’re not. The best game room accessories are not just the pieces that go along with playing games. They’re not the controllers, the cards, the balls, the poker chips, or the board games. The best game room accessories are the finishing touches that transform a game room from a room for games into a stylish well-designed room you want to hang out in, and, where, oh, by the way, it’s fun to play games.
Most family game rooms, unfortunately, don’t have a lot of interior design style. They’re functional; but they’re often rather plain rooms that hold pool tables, ping pong tables, or gaming set-ups. If you’d like to, uh, up your game, in your game room, accessories are the way to do it.
Here are seven game room accessories ideas that will create a game room you’ll love and can be proud of.
Light fixtures are room accessories that aren’t just there to cast light; they also can either detract from or enhance the styling of a room. When choosing light fixtures for your game room, consider two things:
- First, be clear about the task the lighting will have to fulfill. Lighting over a pool table, game table, or foosball table should be low and bright. Pendant lights or chandeliers will work fine for these spots. Lighting over a ping pong table, on the other hand, should be as close to the ceiling as possible. Track lighting or recessed lighting are best above ping pong tables. When choosing lighting for seating areas, bar areas, or gaming areas, you can go with whatever style fits the room; but do consider how rowdy or rambunctious your game-playing crowd gets. The lower your lighting hangs, the easier it’s to break.
- Second, you need to think about the look of your lighting. Match the style of your light fixtures to the design feel of the space. Don’t just throw up an old-fashioned pool table light because it’s a pool-table light. A stained glass pool table light, for example, would be out of place in a game room with a modern feel. And modern pendants would seem silly in a game room designed to look, for example, like a traditional men’s club. Blend your styles well: put traditional with traditional and modern with modern.
One of the most useful accessories for game rooms is an equipment rack. Instead of leaving pool cues or ping pong paddles lying around, store them neatly in a cabinet designed for that purpose. You can find equipment racks in a variety of styles and materials. If you like a tidy or minimalist look, choose a cabinet with doors that enclose the equipment. If you prefer a look that emphasizes the playful feel of the room, you might prefer an open equipment rack that displays your cues and other game equipment.
At first thought, you might not envision a chalkboard in a game room. They tend to be classroom accessories. But one of the most fun home game room accessories is the blackboard. A blackboard has many functions in a game room. It can be used to keep score or list the members of teams. It can be used for group games like Pictionary. It can also just be there for kicks and giggles; when not playing an organized game, you or your family or guests might want to doodle on a blackboard. You can choose to hang a blackboard in your game room, or you can paint an entire wall with chalkboard paint.
Games and Their Pieces
Because what you do in a game room is play games, room accessories with game themes work well in game rooms. Instead of leaving table surfaces bare or, consider styling a coffee table, sofa table, or storage cabinet top with a game-inspired design vignette. Combine vintage game accessories like dice or cards with plants or books (perhaps books on game rules?) for an eye-catching lighthearted display.
If you’d rather keep it simple, use a game itself as an accessory. Beautiful chess sets, checkerboards, backgammon boards, or cribbage boards can look warm and inviting when left sitting out.
Because games are for playing, playfulness is a great theme for a game room. In keeping with that theme, consider hanging prints or paintings that depict fun activities. You don’t have to be too on the nose with this. You don’t need a velvet painting of dogs playing poker or an abstract print of a rousing ping pong game. Just ask yourself, “What’s fun for me?” Use that to help you choose play-inspired subjects for your wall art.
Game-themed Dishes and Pottery
Just as the theme of play can guide your wall art choices, it can inspire your serving dishes as well. In game rooms, you want to serve food. Why not make the serving bowls or plates part of your décor? Choose game-themed bowls, platters, and mugs, and display them when they’re not in use. As with the wall art, you don’t have to be on point with your choices. Sports-styled pieces work just fine in home game rooms.
Those bits and pieces of game equipment I mentioned at the start of this article may not make good game room accessories, but they do need to be in a game room. So you need someplace to keep them. The equipment racks we discussed above work well for traditional games like pool, but gamer equipment and board games need a different kind of home. What could work better than a set of old metal lockers? As game- and play-themed as you can get, sports lockers are a fun way to celebrate the enjoyment of your game room. They provide much-needed storage, and depending on whether you paint them in glossy colors or leave them battered and rusty, they can fit into any style of décor.
If you use some or all of the above game room accessories ideas, you’re sure to create a game room where you and your family and friends will want to spend hours kicking back, relaxing, and having a blast.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.shutterstock.com