You’re beginning to think about a game room.
You haven’t quite gotten to the point of jumping into it, but you’ve got some thoughts about fixing up a game room somewhere in your house.
You’ve been daydreaming about it for a while, but you just haven’t got around to doing it.
Here are some basic things for you to consider while you’re designing a game room for your man space.
What’s going to get you jump started? Well, think about it.
You can go out to play pool with the guys or hang out at your local bar just to get access to the pinball machines or dart board. That’s fun.
But if you have your own room, you can use it any time of day or night. You can have your buddies over to your place with your own food and drinks, and not at the prices you’d pay when you go out. You can hang out in your own place looking like a bum and no one cares.
Types of Rooms
You probably already have an idea of what kind of game room you want:
- totally devoted to your favorite game like pool or poker
- multiple games for a good time – foosball, pinball, poker, table tennis
- a total video game room
- something that can be shared with the family without ruining the sanctity of your man space
Remember, not all game rooms mean beer pong, pool or poker. Here’s a list of some items you might include:
- Dart board
- Pool table
- Poker table or card table if you are a Magic or other competition game player
- Multiple game table
- Table Tennis
- Air hockey
- A table for puzzles – yes, some people actually do buy those big 1000’s of pieces puzzles
- Chess / checkers table – we happen to like bao, but don’t need a special table for that game.
- A jukebox
- Indoor shuffleboard
- Indoor golf for putting or driving
- A games table – there are dozens of games for serious players or casual players
- Arcade games like the 30 Year Anniversary Pack-Man Arcade game
- Video games
Storage and Accessories
The accessories are the fun part after you main game purchases. Think neon signs, posters, lighting, clocks, wall murals and decals. If you have to take your time with the big purchases and remodeling, you can have a few smaller items that set the tone and set your stamp on the room. If it’s your space, seating is important. Whether it’s manly leather lounge chairs or the comfy old stuff that you don’t want to throw out but is too tatty for the living room, you and you buds are going to want to ‘set loose’.
Don’t forget storage options when you’re setting up your game room.
Wall shelving or cabinets work well for board games and books, while you could also use a storage ottoman to offer storage, a table for munchies, and seating all in one.
Pool cue wall racks, storage lockers, and under-the-counter cabinets and drawers can all be used to store extra equipment or other items.
What do need to get going? Well, that depends on your space. Is it already finished or not? Do you already have some of the games you want or not?
No matter what state your space is in, you’ll need to do a little planning and drawing. A lot of game rooms include big items, so this is an important step.
Before you start, measure your room and draw out a floor plan diagram so you can figure out exactly how much you can fit and where you’ll put it.
If you watch the DIY TV show Man Caves, you’ll sometimes see them have problems getting pieces of the cave they are working on down the stairs or through the doors. They can take the time to revamp, redesign, or take off door trim or steps of basement stairs.
Avoid the problem by measuring twice.
Or make sure that big items come in a series of smaller boxes.
This will help you narrow down the actual games and furniture you can fit. If you are a real pool or ping pong fan, and don’t have the space or can’t get a table into your room, check with a contractor to see what can be done to make the room you really want.
Then see what you need to do to prep the walls and floor. You’ll want finished walls and, in most places, insulation, to make your room year round useable.
And I said floor, too. This isn’t as important in other types of man caves, but for this one, you want your room level and the floor smooth. No tilted pool tables or wobbling game tables for you.
If you’re doing a video games room, this next item is important. Make sure the wiring is what you need and where you need it. You don’t want to trip the circuit breakers in the middle of your game or your team’s game. Extension cords just won’t cut it. You’ll want to call in an electrician if your room doesn’t have the proper wiring.
Where to Put Your Game Room
Generally, game rooms get put in less used spaces. If you have a female other half, they don’t seem to be on board with setting up game tables in the living room.
Usually game rooms get put in a basement – generally they are at least partially finished and have some sort of heat. Maybe you are thinking of using a finished attic. Here’s the problem to take into account with a basement or an attic space or above the garage: can you imagine trying to fit a pool table down your basement stairs? Or up the stairs? This is where measuring is really important. Besides, think about getting the thing out of there, too, in case you decide to move. Not all new buyers want to keep the game room and its contents.
If you can do it, the best place for a game room is probably a garage, since it will be easier to get the large pieces in there. If you have the option to convert your garage and don’t need to park your car there, go for it.
We’ll have plenty of suggestions in future posts about what you can put into your game room. Keep checking back and we’ll tell you about some cool gadgets, toys and decorations that will take your room to the next level.