Welcome to our Room Buying Guides series! We’ll be going room by room to create a comprehensive breakdown of everything you’ll need to build the perfect room, with suggestions on what to look for when shopping and how to incorporate your own style.
We’re kicking off with a guide to creating the perfect rec room. We live in the land of basements–what better way to use the extra room downstairs? A rec room is pretty customizable; you can style it to fit whatever your interests may be.
Rec Room Essentials
Game Table & Chairs
What’s a rec room without a game table? Invite the gang over for a no-holds-barred game of Texas Hold ‘em, set up a day-long board game tournament with the family or break out the backgammon board. We offer game tables with versatile tops that can easily be altered to suit whatever you may be playing.
When shopping for a game table and chairs, keep in mind the following questions:
- How many people do you want to seat? Will it be just the family or do you entertain often and need to seat guests? Plan accordingly with the size of your table and the number of game chairs.
- How much space do you have? If you’re tight on space, consider our versatile counter-height table that features a dining surface that flips to reveal a gaming top with cup holders. Voila! Dinner and games all in one space. If you are building a dedicated room, then go all out with a full-size game table. Some models have built-in storage while others offer cup holders and compartments for game chips and cards.
- What’s your style? Since you are building a new room, this is your chance to really start from the ground up in the style you want. Building a rustic room with western elements and bright color? Look for a table in a light to medium wood tone with distressed details. Looking for a more traditional elegance? A dark finish and clean lines with ornate carvings will suit.
Other items you may need: Extra game chairs if you have more than four people gathering around the table. Make sure you are able to accommodate unexpected guests and visiting family members!
Ahh, the pool table. The focal point of any rec room. Watch guests’ eyes light up when they see the felted table in your new room and be ready to challenge them to a game (or three). As with the game table, there are a few questions to answer before choosing a table:
- How big is your room? Pool tables take up a lot of space so you’ll need to choose a table based on the size of your room. Sounds like a no-brainer, but don’t try to cram a too-big table into your rec room. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it changes the flow of the room. Typically, eight-foot tables are considered to be professional size. Make sure there is enough space around the table for players to comfortably use their cues.
- What color felt do you want? This is probably an unexpected question! Here at Homemakers we offer customization options for your table. If you plan to use red as your accent color in decorations and art, why not match the felt on your table? Choose from many different colors to truly make your table your own!
- How serious are you about the game? We’re not saying you need to enter the World Billiards Championship, but there are accessories available for those who are serious about making the most of their game room. If your table sees a lot of visitors, consider adding either a wall or floor rack for storing extra cues. Pick up an accessory kit for extra cues, balls, chalk, a cue repair kit and more.
Other items you may need: Make the game room as versatile as possible by adding a ping pong conversion top that comes with a net, paddles and ping pong balls. You can also pick up a dart board. Have you ever been in a good rec room without a dart board? Adding these extra elements ensures that guests are always entertained and that you will never be bored in your new rec room.
Maybe your entertainment consists of something other than shooting pool (or maybe that comes after visiting the home bar!). A home bar is the mark of someone well-versed in hosting and entertaining and is also something you can enjoy even without a house full of guests. If you have fun playing mixologist and concocting new craft cocktails, then a home bar is a must-have in your rec room.
Let’s establish what you need in a home bar:
- What style suits you? Home bars come in an array of styles, shapes and size. They can be constructed of everything from oak to walnut, painted or finished, mixed with metal, glass or stone accents. You have complete creative freedom with a home bar to establish the style of your room.
- What kind of storage do you need? Most bars offer storage in compartments, drawers and wine racks. But if yours does not, or if you usually entertain large groups or keep a wide stock, you may need some extra space. Add a bar cabinet for keeping extra glassware, bottles and wine. Some cabinets even contain pullout work spaces if you need more room for mixing, muddling and slicing up garnishes.
- What kind of bar do you want? Some home bars are mounted with a back and some are backless. A back is usually a hutch or mirror. A back bar hutch offers more storage space while a mirror not only adds an extra dimension of style, but also makes the room appear larger. These pieces add the finishing touches. If you just do not have the space for a full bar, you can always add a bar cart to your living room.
Other items you may need: A bar can usually accommodate two stools. But if you ever expect to have more than two people in your rec room, you may want to look into additional seating. Enter the pub table and stools. A pub table is a counter-height table around which guests can gather with the drinks you whip up. Extra bar stools are always a good idea for the pub table and even around the pool table for those watching the game.
Maybe gaming or bar-tending isn’t your forte (or maybe you enjoy all rec room activities). If films, television or video games are more your style, turn your rec space into a home theater with a few key pieces.
- What kind of seating would work best? Would the family be most comfortable on a big comfy sectional? Or is this the time to go all out and get home theater seating? Picture it: an oversized leather sectional that you can sink into for an evening of entertainment, complete with reclining abilities, cup holders, massage functions, heat capabilities and a built-in storage compartment. The best part: this sectional exists and we have it at Homemakers!
- What entertainment center best fits your needs? Do you already have a TV stand and just need an audio pier for extra storage? Or did you just pick up a brand new big-screen TV and now need an entire entertainment wall? Whatever you need, we have all the pieces in the Homemakers showroom. Measure the room you’ll be using as your home theater so you’ll know exactly how much space you have for a console. Then, figure out how much storage you need—are all your movies through a streaming service or do you have a DVD library in need of a storage cabinet? Will you need space for gaming devices and extra accommodation for cords and power strips?
- What is your home theater style? This room does not have to be all dark-toned wood and black leather. You can inject your own style into a home theater with every piece of furniture you choose. Choose entertainment centers in different wood tones and paint colors, choose a plush sectional in a bright color, add accessories that add style and color. You can be just as creative in the home theater as in the rest of your home!
Extra items you may need: Add style and dimension to your home theater with accessories such as striking wall art and colorful rugs. If your home theater is in the cold basement, look into adding an electric fireplace to keep everyone comfortable during family movie nights in the winter.
Building a rec room is really your time to shine. You have complete freedom and creativity to develop a space to explore your hobbies and interests and entertain with friends and family. Have any more questions about building a rec room? Let us know in the comments below!
For more advice on home décor, check out the rest of our Room Buying Guides series.
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