Quick question: If it’s your game room, do you get to make the rules? Because we’d like to declare that, in all golf games, high score wins. (In bowling, low score wins.) And while we’ve got tips to rig every game in your favor, our game room ideas don’t stop there.
From comfy furniture to retro arcade games and old-school pub games, these design ideas will turn your spare room into the perfect family room or teen hangout. Get ready to become the coolest house on the block — here are 14 epic game room ideas that will please even the hardest-to-please teens.
14 epic game room ideas for teens (and parents)
From video games to tabletop games to board games, here are our best ideas for every type of gamer guy and girl.
1. Pick a plush couch
Sure, you could go old school with a few bean bags strewn about, but it’s not 1985. Just because you’re designing a gaming room instead of a living room doesn’t mean you or your kids should settle for a subpar seating area. Choose game room furniture that’s big on comfort, like a soft upholstered sofa with reclining seats, so you’ll be happy to settle in for a video game or movie night.
2. Make your TV more ergonomic
Sure, sometimes it seems like teens are impervious to pain. But staring up at a big screen for hours on end can put a crick in anyone’s neck. Make your home theater more ergonomic by choosing a shorter TV stand. For a truly ergonomic TV setup, the center of the screen should be eye level when you’re sitting on the couch. Look for a TV stand that’s 22 inches or below, like this eye-catching 2-door TV console in sheesham grey.
3. Minimize glare with blackout blinds
If you’re going to use your gaming room for movie nights and video game showdowns, create a better gaming experience with blackout blinds. These window coverings black out 100% of natural light, which means no one can blame their low score on glare. They’re practical for any game room design — they’ll make it feel like a cozy cave during screen time, and they’ll open wide to let light in when it’s time for a round of ping pong or air hockey.
4. Double up on screen space
If you have multiple teens living in (or somehow always hanging out at) your house, you can keep them all entertained with multiple gaming areas. In addition to your comfy couch and TV setup, add a desk where you can put a desktop and gaming chair. Then you’ll have a true media room where one person can play video games while the other watches a movie.
This idea even works in a small room — you just have to choose furniture with a smaller footprint. Choose a loveseat instead of a sofa, and look for a desk with a width under 20 inches (like this Bradenton single-drawer writing desk), so you can squeeze more into your small space.
5. Go retro with old-school arcade games
Your kids might have you beat when it comes to Call of Duty, but you can school them in a round of Pac-Man or Space Invaders. Invest in a traditional arcade game machine and let it inspire all your interior design choices. Imagine vintage video game posters on the walls and Pac-Man throw pillows on the couch. You can build off your classic arcade game to create an entire vintage video game room.
6. Become a pinball wizard
Video games aren’t the only thing you need for a complete home arcade. Pinball machines can provide hours of entertainment, and since this is a stand-up arcade game, it will encourage everyone to get off their butts.
7. Keep the fun rolling with skee ball
Another classic, skee ball is perfect for head-to-head competitions. While a true arcade skee ball machine can cost more than $7,000, you can get at-home versions for closer to $700. You’ll have to keep score yourself with an at-home version, but that just means there are more opportunities for the kids to practice their math skills.
Word to the wise: Always check their work. You don’t want any cheater, cheater, pumpkin eaters in your game room!
8. Store more with a shelving unit
Game rooms require storage space for, well, games. Add a bookshelf with a variety of compartments to make room for board games or vintage Super Nintendo cartridges (because your kids need to know about Donkey Kong and Earthworm Jim).
Thoughtful shelving options can also add functionality to a small room. If you can’t squeeze another piece of furniture into your small space, look for combination pieces that can do double duty — like a bookshelf with a built-in desk.
9. Stay on theme with gaming memorabilia
With all the designers and graphic artists that work on video games, they’re an art form in and of themselves. They’re also the ideal inspiration for your room decor.
Choose a favorite game or browse vintage video game posters to find the perfect wall art. For a more creative decorating idea, create DIY wall decor by hanging retro game controllers or old Game Boys. You can find lots of old video game parts and other memorabilia on sites like eBay and Etsy.
10. Bring on the billiards
If you’d like your teens to put aside their video games and play something a little more interactive, a pool table is the perfect way to get them on their feet. This game also helps your teens see the importance of geometry in real life (gotta get those angles right!) and learn other life lessons.
When you’re doing a basement remodel or transforming another large space, make room for a pool table by dividing the room in two — with one section for tabletop games like billiards and another section for video games. (Just make sure none of your expensive gaming equipment is in range of flying balls!)
11. Make room for a foosball table
For more tabletop fun, add a foosball table. This classic game takes time and patience to master, and competitive teens will spend hours on their feet trying to get it right.
12. Improve your aim with an air hockey table
If you’re adding tabletop games, don’t forget about everyone’s favorite. Air hockey is ideal for competitive showdowns, so it’s the perfect way to solve family disputes — move over rock, paper, scissors! Next time you can’t remember whose turn it is to do the dishes, head to the game room for an air hockey shootout. Loser cleans up.
13. Put a spin on things with a ping pong table
If your teen dreams of joining the Silicon Valley set, they’ll need to start practicing their table tennis skills. This game does involve some healthy movement, but it’s actually a sport for brainiacs. You need to understand basic geometry and some serious strategy to win. Let your teen start learning the game now so they don’t get laughed out of the Google break room later.
14. Make card games more comfy
If your game room is going to have one thing, and only one thing, it should be this: a deck of cards. New gaming systems have all the bells and whistles, but with a simple deck of cards, you can play hundreds of different games. Your teens may scoff, but card games are a great way to teach them to enjoy the simple things.
Add a game table to your room to start hosting family game nights. These tables include a removable wood tabletop that reveals a felt-lined surface for easy dealing at your next game of poker, hearts, or rummy.
Get your game on!
The most important thing about designing a game room is functionality. Think about how you (and your teens) want to use the space. If your family is all-in on video games, add multiple screens and comfortable seating to improve your gaming experience.
If you want to encourage a little less screen time, incorporate tabletop games like billiards and table tennis. And if you’ve got space for both, divide the room into two sections for multi-functional family fun.
Once you’ve decided on your layout, shop locally-owned furniture stores to make sure your game room furniture is as comfortable as it is functional. Soon, you’ll be on your way to a winning game room design.
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