How to Build the Ultimate Board Game Room

So you’ve been building your board game collection for years now, and you have dozens of favorites lining your bookshelves – congrats, and welcome to the club, nerd! You’ve already improved your life with the rewarding intellectual pursuit of strategy and entertainment. But there comes a time in every board game lover’s life when they have to decide – is gaming at the kitchen table truly the best and highest use of time and space? Maybe it’s time to consider creating a game room! 

This may feel like an overwhelming DIY project, but sometimes it’s just as simple as reconfiguring your living room furniture and hanging some shelves. No matter your home’s size or your budget, you too can have a game room worthy of the name.

Get Clever With Your Square Footage

Maybe you have an empty finished basement, a junk room that you keep meaning to clear out, or even just an awkwardly unused corner of your living room. No matter what’s available to you, get creative! You love RPG games right? We know you have the imagination! 

Decide ahead of time how you want your space to be used, and be careful not to go overboard and pack it with too many activities. Most game tables need at least three feet of space around them so people can scoot chairs back and walk around the table without the space feeling cramped. If you’re working in a cramped apartment, you can still create a nice space for two by using a folding card table or installing a fold-out table against the wall. 

Thoughtful Touches Add Atmosphere and Comfort

Especially if you’ll be the one hosting game night for your friends, take the little things into consideration. If you tend to play in hours-long sittings, make sure you have comfy chairs and cushions available to keep everyone from getting sore booties. Cleverly placed cupholders, side tables that keep snacks off the play table, extra phone and electronics chargers, grooves for holding pens (Scrabble letter holders work great for this), cardholders, whiteboards or notepads, extra dice – think about the games you play and the preferences of the players and you’re sure to come up with a few great ideas yourself to make your board game room the talk of the squad.

Lighting is Key

People often think of Dungeons and Dragons being played in poorly lit basements (a la Stranger Things), but you need a well-lit room so you’re not straining to read the rulebook, see the board, or gauge your fellow player’s bluffing face! Overhead lighting can cause a glare on laminated boards and shiny cards, so it’s best to use bright, indirect lighting like lamps if possible. 

If you’re the handy, crafty type, consider setting up a dimmer for any existing recessed or ceiling lighting. That way you can control the glare and the mood! This is especially useful for roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinders that have dramatic storytelling moments! Just be careful not to electrocute yourself, ALWAYS turn off the breaker to the entire room first, and have a buddy in case of emergency or accidents. 

Keep Score

If your group is into tournaments, or you’re playing a game with complicated rules, a scoreboard can add to the excitement and make things feel very official! A cheap option is to paint a scoreboard with chalkboard paint! We don’t suggest whiteboard paint – the marker stains always seem to just end up staying on the wall, no matter how much cleaner you use. You can also make little indicators for each of your players and either magnetize them or laminate them and use double-sided tape to move them around on the scoreboard. 

If you want to talk ultimate board game rooms, stop by the Game Goblins store and chat with one of our knowledgable, local gaming masters! We love to dream big and compare notes on all things game!