How to Create the Ultimate Game Room

By: Robert Prentice

Get Your Game On in Style

Serious gaming requires a serious game room! If you consider yourself a modern-day Minnesota Fats, or if you and your friends lust for full-scale digital battle in a totally immersive environment, then the occasional trip to the arcade or pool parlor can never truly cut it. If you feel that the time has come to dedicate a room in your home to the regular pursuit of fun and games — or even if you just need a place to entertain in style — take some time to toy with the following considerations:

1. Room Size and Layout

How much available square footage you have for your game room will affect what kinds of gaming you can accommodate. For example, Billiards Plus lists dimensions for its products ranging from 3.5’ x 7’ to 4.5’ x 9’. Allow 3 to 5 feet between the table and the walls, or between multiple tables. Leave room along the walls to install cue racks and other accessories required by the game in question. By contrast, you’ll find that a room devoted to video game requires less space, especially if you stack several monitors along one wall as in this K&W Audio Gaming Room created by Open Art Inc.

Photo by someToast via Flickr

2. Light Control

If the room you intend to remodel has windows, check out companies like The Shade Store, that offer window treatments that block out sunlight that could potentially obliterate video screen images, or otherwise distract players. Choose wood blinds or heavy drapes with a blackout lining to help insulate players from the outside world. Any kind of game room, even one located in a windowless basement, will also require strategically positioned task lights and ambient lights. Destination Lighting recommends dedicated pool table lights suspended over each table for clear, dramatic illumination of the action, as well as wall scones or recessed ceiling lights to provide atmosphere. If possible, connect your ambient lights to dimmer switches for precise control over light levels.

Photo by trekkyandy via Flickr

3. Sound Control

Sound control plays a particularly important role in video gaming, since the ability to hear directional audio cues can make the difference between fragging or getting fragged. The use of multiple game stations can amplify this problem — but you don’t have to isolate your guests by forcing them to use headphones. Invest instead in a set of the ingenious Sound Egg chairs from Acousticom. These chairs pump four channels of sound at the occupant while providing a degree of soundproofing in their stylish egg-shaped “shells.”

Photo by Doug Kline via Flickr

4. Decor

The theme of your room sets the tone for the fun and games to come. If you lean toward traditional tabletop games, for instance, think about using warm, rich colors accented with vintage posters and photos of famous players of the past, and add a vintage-style digital jukebox such as the Crosley iJuke Deluxe and fill it with tunes from the good old days . If you want to place the emphasis on high-tech gaming, employ sleek lines, modern lighting fixtures and futuristic decor, as shown in the K&W Audio Gaming Room example. Do you love sports? Put the floor to work for you by creating a hockey rink in your basement!

Photo of a coffee table by Wickerfurniture via Flickr

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