Dorothy had it right when she said, "there's no place like home." Whether you call it nesting, settling in or cocooning, home is where the heart is. These days, more and more folks are fixing up their homes. Plans to spiff up the nest often include a game room, where family and friends come together for activities that transcend gender, age or ability.
This year, make room in your life for pool and room in your home for a pool table. For some folks that could mean building a new home or an addition, but for most of us it is time to be creative and make use of existing space.
The timing for home improvement couldn't be better and statistics bear this out. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) finds that home improvements are holding steady or experiencing less of an impact from the economic downturn than other industries. NARI's executive vice president, Kevin McNulty, states, "Consumers are taking advantage of low interest rates to reinvest in their homes."
In the past, homeowners may have remodeled to make the property more attractive to a potential buyer. Events such as September 11, 2001 and the current economic climate make people want to stay closer to home and change their living space to fit their lifestyle, needs and personal entertainment preferences.
"Remodeling projects that incorporate game rooms are quite popular," McNulty adds, "A full-service contractor, many with designers on staff, can assist in planning ahead to be sure that a billiard table -- that is to be the centerpiece of the room -- will fit and be functional within the room's design."
Stephen D. Ducoff, executive director of the Billiard Congress of America (BCA), agrees. "Retail and manufacturing members at our recent Trade Expo told us they are working with more contractors, designers and home owners to furnish game rooms. As a matter of fact, pool table sales indicate that more pool is played in homes while taverns and billiard rooms come in second and third respectively."
Now, how do you embark on the quest for the perfect game room? Review the layout of your home and ask yourself questions about your current situation. The answers will help you to go about making room for a billiard table and other games, furniture and accessories. Has the last child left home? Are there grandkids to take care of? Has the first "real job" since college enabled you to buy that vintage fixer upper with room to pursue your passion for pool? Do you feel the need to provide your preteens and teenagers with a safe place to hang out?
Before you decide which part of the house gets the billiard makeover, determine how big a game room needs to be in order to accommodate a pool table. The BCA has a handy chart on its website (www.bca-pool.com) to help you with this. Now that room size has been determined, let's start from the bottom up. A basement can be a perfect place to work your magic. If there is no lower level, other options abound. Empty nesters might take a look at the spare bedroom down the hall. Or, consider converting the garage into your play palace. Seldom-used formal dining rooms can pull double duty with a furniture-styled pool table that is easily converted with an easy on -- easy off tabletop. Many new homes have a great room -- a large space that combines the kitchen, dining area and family room. This is an ideal location for a game room.
Is your home too snug to accommodate a game room? Think outside the box (or walls) by taking it outdoors. A weather resistant, outdoor pool table on the back patio is just the answer for those living in more temperate climes.
If you are able to add on to your domicile, the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) can recommend members who have had experience with game rooms (www.asid.org). Alene Workman, ASID, owner of Alene Workman Interior Designs in Hollywood, Florida, works a lot with custom builders and remodeling contractors. "I've had at least three clients lately whose house plans included a billiard room," states Workman. "I had to do my homework to learn about size requirements and what is available in billiard furniture and accessories. I'm glad to know that the BCA is there for questions and guidance."
So, make room in your home for a game room and bring family and friends together over a game of pool -- everybody's game!
The Billiard Congress of America (BCA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing its members with exceptional value by promoting and growing cue sports worldwide. Go to the BCA website www.bca-pool.com to locate a billiard retailer near you.
By ARA Content
Five Tips for Creating a Great Game Room
Look at the layout of your home and identify underused areas. Factor in your current lifestyle to determine the part of your home best suited for renovation.
Make sure the space for your game room allows space for your pool table and the players, cue sticks, furniture and other accessories that surround it.
Ask For Help
Seek professional guidance before, during and after the renovation project. Trade organizations such as NARI (www.nari.org) and ASID (www.asid.org) provide a wealth of information on their web sites and can direct you to a professional contractor or decorator near you.
Do Your Homework
The BCA (www.bca-pool.com) is information central for "all things pool & billiard" including the history, rules and statistics of this venerable sport. They can also direct you to a local billiard retailer.
Be creative when it comes to decorating your game room. Whether the decor is futuristic, funky or nostalgic, a game room is the perfect place to showcase your personal tastes with billiard-themed furniture, art and accessories.