Hear us out on this, but you know that room in your house that you don’t know what to do with? The one you’ve been debating turning into a study, but you have no real need for one? We think we’ve got a great idea for it. Instead of using it for storage (which, if we’re honest, is what far too many of us do with rooms we don’t have a clear purpose for), how about turning it into a games room?

Because video game consoles are so popular, games rooms have spent a few decades out of fashion. Living rooms and front rooms have become the entertainment centers of the home, and so we don’t feel like we need to go somewhere else for amusement. Perhaps we should. For one thing, it would end the arguments that happen in the living room where two people fight over control of the television remote (sometimes with fatal consequences), and as an added bonus, it would give you somewhere to go and unwind and focus on fun. Even with a huge television and a cutting-edge games console, a living room isn’t totally based around the idea of having fun. A games room is.

Once you’ve cleared all the clutter out of your spare/unused room (a process which is in itself good for your mental health, so stop putting it off if you have been doing so), creating a good games room is just a simple matter of making sure you have the right ambiance and the right equipment. Here are a few basic ideas to get you started.

Invest In An Old Video Games Cabinet

Console games are great, but there’s still something to be said for the way we used to play them when we were children. The old cabinets that used to stand in amusement arcades and gaming halls provided thrills that a simple controller in your hand simply can’t match, and it’s a thrill you can still achieve in the 21st century. Old, reconditioned gaming cabinets often come up for sale on eBay, and can also be bought from specialist websites. If you have a little technical competency – or if you know somebody who does – you can even wire them up to work with your PlayStation 4 or your Xbox. You still get to play all the latest games; you just do it stood up. It’s better for your back that way, too!

Use Your Space Wisely

If your games room is too cluttered or too crowded, it won’t feel relaxing. The number of games or tables you have in there should be governed by home much space you have. If you’re converting a basement or an attic into a games room, you’ll obviously have far more space than someone who’s converting a spare bedroom. Aim to have at least two feet of clearance around every item you put in there. That’s enough space for light and air to circulate. You want this to be a room that you can invite your family and your friends into as well as enjoying it on your own. If you’re the only person who can comfortably fit in there, it won’t be as much fun!

Use Double-Purpose Furniture

You will probably want to rearrange your room based on what you’re doing in there, and how many people you’re entertaining. Having multi-purpose furniture helps endlessly with this. A table that someone can also sit on if they need to is a big help. Consider using stools instead of chairs where possible, as stools can easily be moved around the room and repurposed. In an ideal world, use an ottoman. That’s the most adaptable type of furniture around, and they’re also really comfortable!

Think About Having A Bar

If you have space along a wall or in a corner, adding a bar will underline the fact that you’re building a games room for adults, not a play area for children. Not only will having a bar in your home make you the most popular party host among your friends, but it will also add to the atmosphere of relaxation and fun in your games room. Installing a small bar in a confined space is unlikely to be as expensive as you think it is, and you can even add optics and pipes. Even when you’re not using the room to play games in, you can still pour yourself a beer or draw a shot or two of spirits from the optics. Somehow, doing so makes them taste better!

Have A Cards Table

This goes back to the idea of having multi-purpose furniture. One of your tables – or your only table, if that’s all you have room for – should be a cards table, with markings for blackjack or poker (or both). It’s true that gambling has gone digital within the past twenty years, and online slots have replaced slot machines as the preferred way of engaging with the hobby. That’s fine with us – we have no issue with online slots whatsoever. You might even find that some of the best UK Casino websites have digital versions of poker, blackjack, and other card games for you to play, but it doesn’t feel the same as sitting down with your friends and looking them in the eye while you’re playing. Factor in the fact that you have a bar in the corner or along the wall too, and you more or less have your own mini-casino!

Soundproof The Room

You won’t be able to enjoy your games room if using it is annoying everybody else in your house. If you have a few friends round, you might even find that you’ve started annoying the neighbors! Your games room is supposed to decrease your levels of stress, not add to them. To avoid arguments, start off the whole process by soundproofing your room. A thin layer of sound-absorbant material on the walls, floor, and ceiling, if necessary, will go a long way to keeping the peace. At the same time, it helps to keep out the noise of the world outside, too. That turns your games room into a private entertainment bunker – which is exactly what you should want it to be!

Oh, and one more thing. Put a dartboard on the back of the door. No matter what else you do, if your room doesn’t have a dartboard, then it isn’t really a games room at all!