How to create a games room in your home

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There was a time when simply having a bathroom inside the house was considered a luxury, but now homeowners are thinking of increasingly imaginative ways to convert spare rooms into their own creative or relaxation space.

While a study or even a home gym can prove an effective use of space, games rooms are rapidly proving popular among those who like to unwind during the evening without having to put the TV on.

We look at ways to boost the fun factor in your house and turn your spare room into a place that friends and family alike make a beeline for.

Pool

No games room is complete without a pool table; it is what the sink is to the kitchen, and to create one without it would generate shock and horror in equal measure.

Of course, not every home has room for a 12-foot snooker table, and so pool can provide a more compact means of potting balls, with the bigger pockets also making you seem like a better player!

Due to the sturdy legs and slate top, it will be one of the heavier items in your home, but those in new-build homes will find that the flooring is perfect for preventing a seemingly good shot from rolling off due to an uneven surface – something common in older homes and pubs.

If the games room is on the first or second floor of the house, it is important to bear in mind the logistical feasibility of carrying the table upstairs and into the room, though many tables now come with foldable legs or even detachable ones, making them easy to move around the property.

Table football

Like pool, table football can be placed almost anywhere in the house, with the added bonus that you will not need extra room at the sides of the table for the cues.

Perfect for 1-on-1 or 2-on-2 games, it can provide the perfect accompaniment to the pool table when parties or family gatherings are taking place.

Anyone wanting to play both pool and table football could also consider a multi-game table, which has the added benefit of saving space, although you may need to flip a coin to decide which game to play!

Dartboard

Darts has exploded from a pub game and ITV World of Sport staple to a multi-million pound business with countless TV tournaments, and amateur players from around the world are now turning up to events and giving the big players a run for their money.

This is largely because a dartboard and a good set of darts can be bought for less than £50, and practice can be done at any time of any day, particularly if the player has a dedicated games room to play in.

The only real requirement is space on the wall to place the dartboard - ensuring the bullseye is 5ft 8 inches from the floor - and space in front of the board itself, as players must stand 7ft 9.25 inches from the board, known as the oche.

A final requirement is to ensure that nothing breakable is within touching distance of the board and that pets and small children are kept well back – darts do occasionally bounce out!

Games machine

There was a time when arcades were a common sight in city centres, but now they have largely been relegated to seaside towns, pubs… and games rooms.

The market for arcade cabinets is huge, with the likes of Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and Space Invaders all envied by collectors and retro gamers alike, though the electricity usage and relatively high price point of some cabinets - which can be upwards of £1000 - may deter some.

Alternatively, those with an eye on the present can choose to situate their games console in the room, particularly if having it downstairs in the living room beneath the main family TV makes it difficult to find time to play.

With the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U to choose from, gamers have plenty of options for home console gaming, though bear in mind that these will require an internet connection and plenty of bandwidth to ensure seamless online streaming and multiplayer gaming.

Food and drink

No games room is complete without a snack bar, and your home games room is no exception. Consider adding a small fridge to the room, or even optics if you really want to recreate the pub feel.

Those wanting to truly impress friends and family could even consider leather furniture and authentic memorabilia on the wall, to make the room something that is the envy of the entire neighbourhood.