The Games Room: Making It Right!

If there is a second great love in my life behind gaming, it is home improvement.  I love HGTV (though if you are listening, producers, less shows about buying property, more actual renovation shows!) and I will watch DIY Disaster, Holmes on Homes, Holmes Inspection, Sarah’s House et al for hours.  And thanks to a varied work history coupled with a solid grounding in theatrical carpentry, I actual have many of the necessary skills to put what I see on the television to use.

Which brings me to the games room.  One-third of the roomies in my house moved out back in November (we miss you Stan!), leaving my roommate Kyle and I with a spare room.  Neither of us has felt the impetus to leave out current bedrooms, and unless/until we decide to regain a third roommate the room is free to use as a games room.  Since both Kyle and I like The Gaming and we both have people over to do so on occasion, turning the room into a games room seemed like a no-brainer.  We’ve already made some temporary steps in that direction, adding in a folding table and chairs and a large shelf to hold all our board games.  But I am starting to think about what more I want to do with the room, to make it the perfect Gamer Cave (Note: I do not want to make it a real cave).

Here are the conditions I must work under:

  1. We rent, so any changes I make to the room have to either be approved by the landlord, or be easily removed so we can restore the room to its original state.
  2. All changes must be subject to roommate approval; it’s Kyle’s game room too.
  3. I’m on a budget due to current unemployment, so the crystal wall sconces and teak table are right out.  I want it to look cool, but it can’t cost an arm and a leg. (That’s where the theatrical carpentry and set design training come in)

The room itself is 11’x10’6″, with a large closet and a 1/2 bath (toilet/sink) ensuite.  It has a slightly tall ceiling (8’6″), and original wood flooring.  In an ideal world, I would like the room to allow for the following:

  • gaming, of course, both board and role-playing, and possibly table-top miniatures
  • space for painting miniatures, creating scenery and other game-related crafts.
  • storage for not only our board games, but our RPG products as well.
  • storage of gaming snacks inc. cold beverages and a place to make coffee.

While the room is nominally the “games” room, in that we have a flat surface in the room that we play games on, there is nothing to differentiate it from any other mostly empty room with a table and chairs.  Also, as it stands right now the room is quite echo-y due to the unadorned walls and hard-wood floor.  This can make it difficult to be heard in the space, which is a problem during most games we would play.

Okay, all of that brings us up to date.  So what do I plan to do from here?  My initial ideas in the short term are to finish removing the last of the old roommate’s stuff so we have maximum space in the room.  I’d like to start addressing the echo problem by putting down an area rug, which will also protect the hardwood floor from further chair abuse.  And I need to expand the table space (currently 2.5’x6′) to better accommodate both board games and RPGs.  This last I’ll do by buying a second folding table of the same size, which will allow me a 5’x6′ playing area.  That is the temporary fix, as I also want to either find/buy/build a more permanent gaming table.  But that will keep until I make more important changes to the room.

Okay, gentle readers, that is where I am at with the games room.  I’ll keep you posted with the changes, and provide pictures when anything of note happens.  In the meantime, if you have any suggestions, tips, or tricks please pass them along in the Comments below.

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