By Nancy Taylor
Childhood obesity is on the rise. Kids are spending far too much time in front of the television and playing video games, and not enough time interacting with family and friends. This generation doesn’t relate to others as well as in generations past, families don’t talk to each other and we need to unplug our kids. In order to know what our kids are doing and learn who their friends are, parents should provide a friendly space for them to hang out with their crowd. Does all that sound familiar? If you are looking for a way to bring friends and neighbors together, give the kids a room where they will be willing and able to stay busy and engaged and away from the TV, a family game room may be the perfect addition to your basement or family room.
Any room in the house can be converted into a home game room. No matter what the size, there is likely something that can be done make the area a fun and engaging space for the entire family. Enlist the help of a home decorator, or consult books and magazines on the subject. You will be thrilled to see the options available to you. Remember to include young children when deciding on what to put in your game room, but invest wisely. A 7-foot pool table will not be as challenging as the regulation size once the kids are older, for example, so keep those things in mind. If your family is more inclined to play board games and cards, look for game table options, and if you are looking for ways to keep young teens and their friends in your basement on Friday and Saturday night, keep that in mind as well.
Whether you are looking for a safe haven for your kids and their friends, a family gathering spot or an area to entertain primarily adults, a game room is a wonderful home decorating option. The variety of games and entertainment systems ensure that no matter who your audience is, you can come up with something that is sure to please and become a favorite spot for everyone for years to come.
Things to remember when building your own game room:
Pay Attention to the Size of Your Room and the Equipment You Plan to Buy. A standard 8-foot billiards table will need at least a 13 by 17 foot area so that people can comfortably walk around it.
Remember to Have Food Available for Your Guests. Whether it is kids or adults you hope to entertain, everyone will appreciate beverages and snacks while they are in your game room. Whether it is a simple counter where bowls and beverages can be places, or an entire bar setup complete with refrigerator, icemaker and snow cone machine, don’t forget to feed your guests.
Think Beyond a Pool Table. While billiards is probably the first thing most of us think of when we build a Family Game Room, remember some of the other options you have available to you. If you have a small space to work with, a foosball, air hockey or poker table is a great game table option. Looking for something a little more avant garde? Antique pinball machines, jukeboxes and slot machines can be a fun variation to the standard game room. If the area you are working with is very long and thin, consider a shuffleboard table.
Remember to Decorate the Walls! Engage the entire family in decorating your game room. Everyone can participate in picking out artwork and furniture to tailor your entertainment area and give even the youngest child a chance to participate in the decorating process.
For more information and some ideas about how to set up a game room in your own home, check out these websites:
www.brunswickbilliards.com, www.gameroomantiques.com, www.potterybarnkids.com,
Looking for books on the subject?
Fun Rooms: Home Theatres, Music Studios, Game Rooms and More
by Ana G. Canizaras
Home Theatres and electronic Houses