Give your family the ultimate gift by converting your finished basement into a game room. It’s the perfect place to entertain friends or just hang out as a family.
Whether you work with a contractor or decide to do it yourself, creating a game room isn’t just about picking the perfect activities. From flooring to furniture, there are several key components your basement needs before it’s ready to debut as an all-ages hang-out spot.
Before You Start
Create a solid plan for the room. Take stock of how much space you want for couches and chairs versus the area you’d like to devote to large entertainment like a pool table or arcade games.
Know how many electronics you want to install and make sure you have the outlets to support them. If you decide to add a bathroom or a bar, you’ll need the proper plumbing.
Basements get cold. Even if you’ve installed the perfect amount of wall insulation, you still want the room to feel cozy from top to bottom. Covering the floor in wall-to-wall carpeting is a great way to add extra warmth. Pick a brand that’s stain resistant, easy to clean and can withstand a large amount of wear and tear.
Furnishing a game room with stiff, formal furniture is a total no-no. You want pieces that your kids feel comfortable kicking back in. Think big, cozy couches, recliners and foot stools that double as seating. No doubt they’ll be subject to spills, so pick items that are stain resistant or easy-to-clean.
Don’t skimp on storage. From DVD’s to board games there are a whole host of small items that need a home. Standard shelves and bookcases are both viable options. Choose versions with cabinet doors to give the room a clean, organized look. Assign the lower shelves to kid’s items and leave the upper area for adult fare. If you don’t have a lot of space to spare, purchase an entertainment center that doubles as a storage unit.
A basement game room needs quality lighting. Simply sprucing up the space with a few floor and table lamps isn’t going to cut it. Opt for overhead LED lighting on dimmers and add some modern wall sconces for a touch of class.
Make movies and gaming an event with a Plasma or LED 3D television. Enhance the experience with surround sound that also connects to your iPod dock. Cut the number of cords you have to deal with by choosing a wireless system that’s operated by remote control.
When it comes to filling your basement with games, the options are endless. If you have the space and the funds, go all out with a pool table, foosball, air hockey or arcade games. Those on a stricter budget should pick one big-ticket item and then stock up on smaller activities like board games, darts and an indoor basketball hoop.
A game room can easily end up looking cheesy. If you decide on a theme don’t go overboard. Leave blinking neon signs and tiki-style torches for the local dive bar. Instead, choose a warm, inviting wall color and decorate with framed posters, family photos and vintage signs.
By Megan Mostyn-Brown
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