Whether you’re into table tennis, card games, board games, shooting pool, console gaming, or the latest in VR, you can’t beat having a game room in your home. The best part is that you can fit a gaming space almost anywhere, even if you don’t have a ton of extra space.
Once you have your room set up, you’ll have an area for friends and family of all ages to have a good time. After all, game night shouldn’t come with age restrictions, just hours of fun with different games.
This guide will walk you through the steps of transforming a spare room or basement into the game room of your dreams. We’ve also highlighted some of the best game tables and furniture to use along with some fun ideas to level up your space.
How to design the ultimate game room
The secret to an awesome game room is designing it with intention. To get started, follow these basic guidelines. Whether you call it your rec room, game room, party spot, or just the dining room, you’re sure to create a winning space.
Pick a spot
The first step is to pick a space to build your game room. An unused den, bedroom, or small basement are ideal options, but you can use anywhere with some extra room.
You might be surprised at how easy it is to fit a game spot into your home. For example, if you have extra space in your living room, you could add a pool table or a few arcade game cabinets in the corner and a dartboard on the wall. If you’re on a tight budget, sometimes all it takes is rethinking what you already have. Case in point: using your dining table as a game table.
Once you’ve picked a spot, clear the area as much as possible and then take measurements of the space to reference later. This helps you get an idea of the room’s potential and what you need.
Make a wish list
Deciding how to use your space in advance will help you avoid overcrowding and clutter. Make a wish list with the games you would like to play, followed by what your family and friends will want in the space.
Narrow it down to what’s most important and can reasonably fit in the space. If you plan on creating a bigger game room in the future, put anything you had to cross off on a “future upgrades” list.
Unless you have plenty of room, you’ll likely only accommodate one or two large-scale items, like an air hockey or ping pong table. But you can have plenty of games that use the same playing surface and are easy to store, such as:
- Board games
- Video games and consoles
Space-saving games that don’t require much room will give your game area the versatility to cater to everyone.
Use your square footage wisely, as it’s easy to overwhelm a small space. Keep in mind that even the best game tables will need an extra 36–40 inches around all sides for chairs and room to walk around.
Determine your aesthetic
The trick to creating an Insta-worthy gaming spot is to decide on a design before you start buying furniture and accessories. The theme or style of your space can be as simple or in-depth as you’d like, it’s just something to guide the elements you add to the room.
For example, you might pick a minimalist design that fits your living room and won’t require much decorating. Or, if you’d rather have something fun that represents your personality, you could go with a Tron-inspired aesthetic or an old-style poker den appeal.
Decide on furniture
Now it’s time to pick your furniture. Remember, you don’t want to clutter the space, but you’ll want to make sure your game room is comfortable to spend time in. Depending on your space, this might include:
Add seating, storage, and any extras you’d like to have, but don’t overcrowd the space. Next, refer to the measurements you took of the area and check the dimensions of each piece of furniture you plan to buy. Finally, outline the dimensions of the furniture on your floor in masking tape — this helps you get an idea for how everything will fit in the room.
Don’t forget to leave room for big items from your wish list and space to walk around. A game room isn’t fun if there’s no room to move!
Add the games
Last but certainly not least, it’s time to add the games. Refer to your list of what you want in the room. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Foosball table
- Air-powered hockey table (also known as a push hockey or slide hockey game table)
- Billiards table
- Shuffleboard table
- Table tennis table
- Arcade game cabinets
- Indoor archery targets (usually for children)
- Gaming console with a variety of popular games
The list could keep going, but you probably have an idea of what you’d like by now. Remember, you can buy used games to save money, even if they require a bit of repair. For example, if you see a great deal on a full-size billiards table that’s not quite level, you can fix the issue with leg levelers.
If you don’t have room for everything you’d like, consider a combo game table. The best multi-game tables feature several game table tops that you can switch out, usually built from medium-density fiberboard or MDF, so they’re easy to move. High-quality combo game table sets might include conversion tops such as:
- Table tennis top with paddles
- Air hockey table with pushers and pucks (may not include blower for airflow)
- Pool table with billiards balls and pool cues
- Foosball playfield
- Chess and checkers
This is often the best game table option, but don’t run out and buy the first thing you see on Amazon. To make sure you get a quality table, check out some multi-game table reviews and find one with a warranty if you can.
Best game tables (and chairs) for everyone
The best game tables for most spaces will be sturdy, versatile pieces that can easily switch from cards to board games to charades. You’ll also want high-quality chairs that are comfortable to sit in for long periods.
Mitchell 3-in-1 Game Table
The Mitchell 3-in-1 Game Table might be one of the best game tables on the market — it can be used for poker or bumper pool or reversed for use as a board game tabletop or a dining table. In addition, it comes with pool cues and billiard balls, so you’ll be ready to play right away.
This table is made from durable oak with a sturdy base and eye-catching carved details. It features cup holders and chip holders and comes in an amber finish and a rich merlot finish.
If you’d like matching chairs, the Mitchell Upholstered Game Chairs come in chestnut and black or olive-brown and amber finishes; they feature casters and a swivel base with comfortable upholstery.
Turk 3-in-1 Round Pedestal Game Table
The Turk 3-in-1 Round Pedestal Game Table can switch between a poker table, a bumper pool table, or a solid dining table-style tabletop that’s perfect for board games. It comes with pool cues, billiards balls, and exquisite hand-carved details on the durable oak base.
The rich chestnut finish complements the dark green velvet that adorns the playing surfaces. Featuring cup holders and chip trays, it’s the perfect piece for game night. And if you’d like matching chairs, the Turk Game Chair has a swivel base, convenient casters, and padded foam upholstery.
Rayleene Rectangular Storage Dining Table
The Rayleene Rectangular Storage Dining Table is an excellent option if you’d like more playing space for board games. Its sleek, versatile style is also perfectly suited for the dining room. This table features a long, narrow drawer on one side, with full-extension drawer glides for a smooth experience.
The drawer boasts a felt-lined section for delicate items, with room to keep notepads, pencils, game pieces, and more. In addition, you can purchase a matching upholstered bench and dining chair set to complete the look.
Fun design ideas
Once you’ve found the best game table and added the games you’d like, you’re ready to play. But if you’d like to add a little extra to your space, here are some fun design ideas to help:
- Snack station: Consider setting up a mini-fridge or snack cart with a microwave and popcorn. Stock up on easy, non-perishable foods and drinks, or keep the tabletop clear for any homemade goodies you plan to set out.
- LED lighting: A few strips of LED lights behind the TV, under the sofa, or around the ceiling can give your game room a fun arcade-type feel. Alternatively, you might add a lighted bar-style sign or color-changing lamp.
- Throw pillows and blankets: Throw pillows and blankets will make your space feel cozy while making sure everyone can stay warm and comfortable. They’re also great for little ones who might get tired early during a night of gaming.
- Surround sound: If you plan to listen to music, watch movies, or play video games in your space, surround sound speakers will enhance the experience. You could pair this with a color-changing LED lamp that reacts to the sound of the music.
Even one of these ideas will elevate your gaming space and give it more character. Try thinking of more ideas by using your favorite arcades, bowling alleys, bars, or even video games as inspiration.
Get ready to level up
Use these helpful tips and a little creativity to transform virtually any space into a next-level game room. With some of the best game tables to choose from and fun ideas to make the space yours, game night is in the bag. But remember, you want everyone to enjoy the space, so it’s time to get your family and friends involved and start dreaming up your wish list!
Don’t miss Coaster Furniture’s catalog of bar and game furniture to get inspired and find what you need for your ultimate game room. Then, when you’re ready to buy, use the store locator to find a convenient retailer near you.
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