The Ultimate Family Game Room

There are plenty of studies showing how much time the average American spends in front the television, but there are remarkably fewer that pin down how much time families spend together. The more time you carve out to spend together as a family, the higher quality the experiences you share.

Not spending as much time together as a family as you’d like? A game room can provide your family with an opportunity to truly interact. It’s more than passing in the hallway or catching a quick bite at night. A room solely dedicated to family fun time is a place where the focus is on each other and on sharing some down time.

There are certain elements common to any brag-worthy game room. Check out these tips on how to create a family game center everyone will enjoy.


Create a little world of your own. Soft lighting, woven wood shades that elegantly allow just the right amount of light, a door that closes to shut the world out, comfortable flooring beneath your feet, and accent pieces that speak to the mood of your room all create that perfect ambiance, according to For example, if you want to recreate an Irish pub-style game room, cover the walls in dark and moody wallpaper and hang a neon light. If you have younger children and would like to create a playful atmosphere, add colorful wall decals and bright, fun furniture.

Photo by Clearly Ambiguous via Flickr

Playing Surface

A solid game table is essential. Make sure that it is large enough to accommodate every member of your family, yet small enough to easily deal cards or move game pieces. If you have small children, opt for something that can be easily wiped clean. If you’re in the market for a game table, consider something with built-in cup holders. Emissary makes an incredible gaming table with built-in storage that is sure to last and grow with your family.


Really “road test” the chairs you are planning to place around the game table. They need to be comfortable enough to encourage your family to sit and play for hours. If you are repurposing chairs you already own that are not particularly comfortable, add padded chair covers.

Photo by someToast via Flickr

Create a small conversation area in another part of the room. A small sofa facing your favorite chairs will do the trick nicely. The idea is to have a spot where people can gather and visit.


One joy of a well-designed family game room is that there is a place for everything. Pinterest illustrates how neat and tidy a game room can look with ottomans that double as storage, a dedicated board game closet, and plenty of shelving for baskets to hold small items. Store board games in one area, children’s toys in another, and video games in yet another region of the room in order to help family members remember where everything belongs.

Old School Meets New

There was a time when a pool table was a staple in a well-appointed game room. If you have room and your family enjoys the game, carve space out for a pool table. A television mounted low on a wall and placed in front of a gaming chair creates a nook for any member of the family who wants to try his hand at 21st century games.

Photo by LakeMartinVoice via Flickr

A fully functioning bar is another welcomed addition to any game room. If that isn’t possible, opt for a compact refrigerator so that your family has quick access to cold drinks.