I think that every man secretly dreams of being the proud owner of his own games room – I know my husband does! It doesn’t really matter what games you have in there, your mates are sure to be knocking down your door to spend a weekend at your home!
I would also be willing to bet that many women secretly dream that they were the proud owners of their very own games rooms as well…
I should clarify at this point that I am using ‘games room’ here in its old school sense, as in pool tables, dart boards, poker, Pac Man and Donkey Kong. I am not really talking about the darkened rooms with a high definition TV, an Xbox and a Lara Croft poster that constitutes a ‘games room’ in the more modern lexicon.
So if the opportunity arises to create that place where your troubles will never get past the front door and your friends will never get home to see their families again, what do you need to bear in mind?
First things first, you are going to need to do some serious planning.
There is no getting around it, a games room can turn out to be quite an expensive proposition, so it is vital that you know beforehand how much money you have to throw at it. If you are going to buy a new pool table you should be prepared to pay a lot more than if you get a second hand one, or a table football or air hockey table instead which are generally much cheaper.
However, whilst it is important to remember that while a lot of your costs are going to be associated with the actual games you choose to populate your room with, you are also going to have to make a lot of important secondary purchases. Here I am talking about things like sound proofing materials for the walls, the right kind of lighting and sociable furniture.
Again this comes down to taking the time to plan properly. Whilst low hanging lighting may be great for poker or pool, it could reflect too strongly off of an air hockey table or arcade game screen.
The same goes for furniture: if all of the games involving standing up then a big, comfy multi-person sofa would be a great addition to the room to rest those tired legs when you decide to take a break!
Aside from money, the other major thing that is likely to have some serious potential constraints it is space.
You would be surprised at just how many people forget the fundamental rule that to play a game properly you will need enough space to stand in front of or around it. If there is one thing that is guaranteed to put your table tennis serve off it is having to try and avoid the table football table each time!
It is also likely that you are going to have a limited amount of plug points, so try and make sure you factor this in to consideration when in the initial planning stages. You don’t want to repaint all your walls only to find you need to start drilling holes in them for electrical wiring!
Some general tips…
Even though money and space are definitely your main planning concerns, I can also offer you a few other handy bits of advice with regards to converting your spare room into a games room.
- It is always worth making sure that you have enough storage space, e.g. shelving, for cards, board games or any other game paraphernalia that you have.
- A good sound system is always important for watching films or generally just rocking out.
- I would advise you to go neutral with your colour scheme for walls, carpets and curtains. This is because neutral colours better suit rooms filled with non matching pieces but also ensures that the games themselves are the main focus.
- It is also best to try and organise the room into different playing areas. By this I mean that all of the standing and sitting activities should be grouped together to avoid people running into the poker table during a table tennis match or getting in the way of the TV.
- If you are going to buy a pool table, new or used, it is always preferable to try and get one with a slate surface instead of a perma-slate or slatron, because it will stay in good quality condition for longer and will not warp over time.
Of course, each game room is a completely different entity and there is no ‘one size fits all’ way of going about converting your spare room into one. I hope though that I have stressed the importance of prior planning enough because it really is the key to the whole endeavour.
Please feel free to share any games room related tips, experiences, nightmares or triumphs with me below!
Estelle Page is an interior design currently fitting out her new home and trying not to give in to her husband’s childrens’ demands for a games room!