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Now more than ever, our homes are having to become multifunctional. Hastened by the pandemic, they’re places where we socialize with our family and friends virtually, as well as in person. With that in mind, a modern gaming room can act as a refuge from the rest of the home; a place to get some much-needed me-time.

Styling

When we think of a games room – particularly a card room or even a roulette room – it’s tempting for the mind to be drawn towards a dark, smoky affair; less man-cave, more cave-man. However, poker has evolved into a primarily digital hobby. Even from a social standpoint, playing internet poker with friends has largely replaced the age-old notion of an at-home poker night.

A modern game room can maybe, be an enclave where technology can be blended with classic features. Think of your own space and what you’d like to do there. We no longer need to commit large amounts of room real estate to enormous CRT TVs, stacked hi-fi systems, and the endless cabinets and tables needed to house hardware, so you’re not necessarily confined by a smaller space.

Wall mount a big flatscreen set. Or if you don’t have space for that, think about leaving a wall entirely blank and installing a projector. Smart speaker systems, such as those by Sonos or Bose can free up space and are more importantly very easily portable, so can be moved to wider angles when a home cinema feel is needed, or put on a shelf if the occasion only requires background music. Perhaps think about smart lighting, and integrate a home assistant like Alexa or Google Home to control the environment at your command.

Poker, ergonomic chairs & playing cards

For poker specifically, remember your house isn’t Vegas, and likely, neither would you want it to be. You don’t have the constant array of lights, noise, and surly pit bosses on patrol for any funny business. Furniture can be based around comfort – ergonomic gaming chairs can double up from video gaming to table gaming, and it is worth investing in a good quality poker table. Likewise, don’t just pick up one of Texas Hold’em poker sets you to see in the discount retailers in the run-up to Christmas each year – 100% plastic cards from a good manufacturer like KEM or Copag will play better and last longer. Likewise, good clay composite chips are much more tactile to play with and more satisfying to rake up than lightweight plastic versions.

Beer fridge or minibar

Consider getting a beer fridge and/or minibar. Having one in the room saves shattering the illusion when you’re in an engrossing game with friends, and it will be useful for more than just poker nights. Not having to go to the kitchen is always a bonus when watching live sports. Room accessorizing can be card-themed, too. The Dogs Playing Poker picture, which you’ll be able to pick up a print of in a million places, will never not be fun. But if you’ve got natural light coming into the room, then some cacti are a little nod to Vegas and minimal maintenance.

Adding value to the home

The modern games room is a unique space to have fun in, and in these times where the roles of our homes are becoming ever more blurred, it is a great opportunity to have a venue not just for entertaining friends, but a refuge for ourselves to kick back in. Games rooms aren’t dictated by practicality, so they represent a chance for the homeowner to unleash some creativity into the arena. It’s an ideal venue to display the items you wouldn’t necessarily fit in with the other themes of the house.

Family photo collages would emphasize the casual and fun ambience of the space without resorting to the cliché of ‘guitar and football jersey on the wall’. That’s not to say you should go wild, particularly if you have an eye on selling at some point soon. But a well-executed gaming room can certainly add that wow factor to a property. Everyone would like to be seen as a high roller, right?

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