How to Create The Ideal Tabletop Gaming Room

Design a tabletop gaming room to store and play your favorite board games. Or simply transform your living room into a game room in plain sight.

Game Room with boardgames

Gaming Room In Plain Sight

Every tabletop board gamer’s dream is to have a dedicated gaming room with all the bells and whistles. Some of us aren’t so lucky and have to use our common rooms as our gaming room.

I designed this living room to be our ideal tabletop game room, complete with a ton of closed storage cabinets built to fit our growing gaming collection, a DIY gamer’s coffee table, and options for the different gaming comfort preferences.


Any time a room is transformed into a gaming room there are a few considerations to take into account:

Gold round #1

Plan For Adequate Storage

Don’t just calculate the amount of games you currently own, estimate the amount you will probably end up owning in a lifetime. If you think it is going to be a LOT, it is better to go with double depth storage cabinets, and plan for future overflow.


After estimating what our future game collection would look like, I opted to build my own storage from scratch so I could control the precise depth, width, and height of my storage.

I shared more about these cabinets and how to build them here, and of course building bookcases on top is simple enough.

However if you aren’t keen on the idea of creating built-ins yourself, you can add DIY pullouts to any set of cabinets by screwing 1″x2″ boards to 1/2″ Plywood and attaching drawer glides. They are cheaper than buying pre-made pullouts, but if you aren’t a DIY person they are worth the investment.


Use the same 1″x2″ boards cut to size to create fronts for the pullouts. I used pocket holes to attach the fronts securely.


I also created a pullout with ‘compartments’ to hold various miscellaneous gaming pieces such as extra dice, drawstring bags, game pieces storage baggies, etc.


I haven’t actually finished the top pullout on a couple of my cabinet units yet, but I plan to create one specially designed to hold video game controllers like I did here.

Video Game Controller storage

I also want to create another one for my daughter’s various puzzle pieces. When you build your unit yourself, only your creativity limits you in how you want to store your items.


The built-in units provided SO much storage (which was the plan) that until our game collection grows again I designated one cabinet for my husbands old video games and systems, and any other oldies but goodies he wanted to store.


Plus I assigned one other cabinet for my kids to store their puzzles and other items in for the time being.

Gold round #2

Comfortable Gaming Area

Most tabletop board gamers opt for for a round card or dining room table, which I’ve never entirely understood. Most of my tabletop Eurogames take a minimum of 4 hours, and my body has never been comfortable on a fold out or dining chair for that long.

However I realize that everyone is different, and you need to take all of your player’s comfort into account when planning your gaming area.

In my case, my kids prefer to sit on the floor or on stools that are closer to the floor. My husband will choose either the floor or a couch, absolutely NOT a dining chair/fold out chair, and I can’t sit on the floor at all or I might not get back up again.


For us, the ideal gaming space would be a gaming surface around a sectional sofa. However everything in this room is designed to be adjustable and movable to accommodate whatever is most comfortable.

Gold round #3

The Gaming Table

Once you have figured out what seating your players are most comfortable in you can plan for your gaming table. Consider something like an adjustable height table if you all disagree on the perfect height for your family.

In my family (and for my living room) a gaming coffee table is perfect. I built this coffee table (see the tutorial here), but there are a few features I didn’t share with you that only gamers will really understand.


I built this gamer’s coffee table to be slightly higher than a normal coffee table for a comfortable gaming height when sitting at a sofa. However I also used legs that be replaced with higher or lower legs should we desire.

I designed the length and width of the table to accommodate the size of most of our board games with extra room to spare (yet not so big that you have to reach far to play on a board).

However there are those games that just sprawl out with tons of working parts and pieces and you need extra space. That is where the coffee table pullouts come in handy.

Coffee Table with pullouts

I also included a puzzle drawer for one of my puzzle loving kiddoes at the bottom. It’s a great way for her to store and work on her in-progress puzzles so they don’t end up with lost pieces or accidentally broken while being moved.

Coffee table with puzzle storage

Gold round #4

Adequate & Adjustable Lighting

Of course lighting and light control is very important. Natural light from windows change throughout the day, so being able to control the amount that comes in with drapes is important.

Make sure that if you go with pot lights or other light fixture in the room they are directional and can be adjusted.

All it takes is a glare off the top of a game to annoy a player because they can’t see part of the board. Even my beautiful decorative light fixture has arms that can be moved so that the path of light can be adjusted. Even the wall mounted lights are directional, and non of the lights have LED bulbs that cause glare.

Builtin cabinets with bubble chandelier

I may be a board game geek mom and wife, but I’m also a woman who wants my house to look like a beautifully decorated space. Now it reflects both my inner gamer and my inner designer.

And for all you guys out there who are gamers but your wives aren’t fans, this might be the right solution for you… 😉

This room isn’t just great for gaming, it is stylish for normal entertaining, it makes for the perfect family movie night at home, and more!

Built-in bookcases coffee table with games

See the full before and after of this space and all the details that went into this design challenge here. Yes, that below was this room before!

Gross Avocado Living Room

Like this - gamer

Portfolio with an id of "organized_gamer" is not defined.

24 Comments on How to Create The Ideal Tabletop Gaming Room

  1. Yulanda Smith
    December 28, 2020 at 2:41 pm (11 months ago)

    where did you get the light fixture?

  2. Leslie Esparza
    October 12, 2020 at 1:40 pm (1 year ago)

    THIS IS AMAZING!!! I am working on my kids’ “teen lounge” and am looking for ways to get them playing together (offline) and this is PERFECT!!! Thank you so much for sharing this! This is going to the tippy top of my “stuff I gotta make” list!

  3. Jennifer
    October 1, 2020 at 5:09 pm (1 year ago)

    How can we purchase one of those gaming tables

    • Ursula Carmona
      October 4, 2020 at 10:24 am (1 year ago)

      I’m afraid this table was a DIY build, so it isn’t anywhere out there for sale. However it is a fairly simple build!

  4. Neelima Gaikwad
    September 20, 2020 at 4:57 pm (1 year ago)

    This is an amazing gamers table! We want something like this in our home too. We are board game enthusiasts and always have friends over for game nights. Is there way to get this made for our house? We are not handy people and no idea how to go about this. Any recommendations will be helpful. Thanks!

  5. Dirose
    June 8, 2020 at 1:39 am (1 year ago)

    The game table is stunning. You sure beautiful work.

  6. Candace
    June 7, 2020 at 6:51 pm (1 year ago)

    Holy crap this ROOM! The table?! The cabinet (we’re in the process of doing something similar)….. Everything!

    • Ursula Carmona
      June 8, 2020 at 5:38 pm (1 year ago)

      Oh thank you! I love that you are creating built-in storage, I don’t know how I lived without it.

  7. caroline l bedard
    June 7, 2020 at 5:01 pm (1 year ago)

    You are an organizational genius! I have never seen such perfection in organizing – I’ve been reading books and blogs about organizing for many years.
    Beyond the organization, this is also the most beautiful custom furniture and room to provide comfort, ease of use, and a lovely living space. In some ways it reminds me of the craftsmanship of projects in Sunset magazine in the 60s, but yours is more detailed.
    Just to let you know, I am very happy to have found you.

    • Ursula Carmona
      June 8, 2020 at 5:36 pm (1 year ago)

      Oh my goodness, thank you for such an amazing compliment. I truly truly appreciate it!

  8. Livia
    June 7, 2020 at 1:40 pm (1 year ago)

    That coffee table BLOWS MY MIND with its amazingness!!!

  9. Nic
    April 23, 2020 at 1:10 am (2 years ago)

    Wow, girl! I am so incredibly impressed with your projects. My boyfriend is a board game enthusiast and right now we have an Ikea Kallax shelf housing the games. That being said, they are on their sides and shoved in there and I know that he hates it because he doesn’t want those boxes to get damaged. We are moving into a new home shortly, one that allows us more room to store these games and I absolutely fell in love with your organization/storage ideas! I want this project to come to life in our own home and I would love to surprise him for our ten years together! My biggest concern is how much space you allowed between each pull-out shelf. We both know that games come in ALL shapes in sizes, just wondering what you followed or if you have any recommendations.

    Thank you so much and looking forward to chatting!

    • Ursula Carmona
      April 26, 2020 at 9:10 am (2 years ago)

      What a surprise! Somebody is going to get all kinds of brownie points! lol
      Yes, height between pullouts, and even the size of the pullouts is a super important consideration. I recommend getting out his largest game, and sizing it with an additional inch (at least). Or if you are okay with double stacking nominal sized games, then size it for two to stack on top. I personally went with a height of 6.5″ between pullouts.

  10. Irene
    February 23, 2020 at 1:45 pm (2 years ago)

    I think you are absolutely brilliant! You have a great sense e of design but as a mom you understand functionality which is impossible to find. Where did you get a puzzle drawer for the table? We are almost done with our home renovation which has taken 10 months due to the scale of the project and the thing I miss the most is doing puzzles with my son. It’s the way he bonds with me and the only time my teenager talks and tells me things. I would love to work on something like this or purchase it if you have any advice. Thank you for your ideas! Keep up the amazing ideas!

  11. Hamilton Billiards
    May 20, 2019 at 4:50 am (3 years ago)

    Lovely gaming table and a great idea for those without much space in their home. Thanks for sharing! Carolina at Hamilton Billiards

  12. Virginia P.
    February 23, 2019 at 10:40 am (3 years ago)

    So glad I found this, your ideas are so creative! We are an older gaming couple and for years we’ve been fumbling with where/how to store our collection of hundreds of games, where to play, etc. I *love* your coffee table but have to ask how comfortable do you find bending over a coffee table for hours? We had lots of back stiffness. I’d rather play at a coffee table while seated on pillows on the floor, but then getting the table height right is an issue. We found we needed to move to a standard table for all but short games. Of course, that’s not always so comfortable either! We are still searching for our solution, but congratulations on finding beautiful solutions for your family!

    • Ursula Carmona
      February 24, 2019 at 1:00 pm (3 years ago)

      How awesome! I’m always excited hear from other tabletop gamers. Yes, I built the coffee table because I have issues with my back. I realize it’s not for everyone, but I built it to be slightly higher than a normal coffee table with pullouts so I DON’T have to do a lot of bending over. At a table my shoulders hurt, on the floor (even on floor cushions) I am hunched over and can’t stand up straight for a good 10 minutes after a game. This worked for me…we sit at a couch that isn’t a “sink in” type sofa, and I can sit back and recline comfortably while waiting for my turn. I can still see everything, and my own individual gameboard/supplies/cards are all close at hand with my pullout. I hope you find what will work best for you! I would recommend building this coffee table top on an adjustable base, or maybe test different heights before building the legs.

      • Melissa M
        February 18, 2020 at 12:55 pm (2 years ago)

        I clicked on your link to follow along on the diy table but it brought me to an error page. May you please email the instructions to create our own?
        Kindly, Mel

  13. B. Dillinger
    June 1, 2018 at 7:46 pm (4 years ago)

    I’ve been following your blog for awhile because your awesome and have really great design sense. BUT. THIS???!!! You freakin’ nailed this table design + storage!! There is not one single thing you didn’t take into consideration and the unit is simply one of your best executed DIY’s ever. I mean it. You SMASHED this. Fantastic!

    • Ursula Carmona
      June 3, 2018 at 8:26 am (4 years ago)

      Hm, do I detect a game enthusiast? Or maybe a storage enthusiast? Haha! Thank you for such a high compliment! My heart is full… 🙂

  14. Marlece White
    June 1, 2018 at 4:58 pm (4 years ago)


  15. Lolly Register
    May 30, 2018 at 8:47 pm (4 years ago)

    I LOVE that gaming table as well as the wall built-in! You are quite the carpenter!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cookies, and data collection enable us to customize your browsing experience. By continuing to use our site, you agree to the use of data collection and tracking. See our Privacy Policy for details. more information

Cookies and data collection enable us to customize your browsing experience. By continuing to use our site, you agree to the use of data collection and tracking. See our Privacy Policy for more details.