How to Plan Out a Rec Room in Your Home

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By Michele Koh Morollo
The fast pace of 21st-century living can sometimes make kicking back and having fun a challenge, even in your own home. If you have the extra space—or can make the space by getting creative—why not set aside a room or area specifically dedicated to playful or relaxing activities?

A recreation room—a.k.a. rec room, ruckus room, or rumpus room—is a space that's set aside for a variety of recreational purposes. Often located away from the main living areas of the home, rec rooms have long been a favorite spot for poker nights with friends or family movie marathons. They're particularly valuable for teens who like to have sleepovers or want to get creative without worrying about disturbing their parents. 

If you’re planning on designing a rec room in your home, think about where you want the space to be located. Then, decide what activities it will be used for. Take a look below as we break down the steps.

Decide where to plant your rec room

A basement can be a top choice for a rec room, as it offers privacy and a distinct sense of being separate from the main living area. However, other locations in your home would also work, including an unused garage, mezzanine, porch extension, empty bedroom, or attic.

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Decide what it will be used for 

How you intend to use your rec room can help you decide on the location, layout, and furnishing choices. Here are some of the activities that you may want to use the space for. 

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If you want a game parlor... 

If you’re looking for a place where you can escape for a game of ping-pong or darts, then a game den in the basement—or even a large solarium—may be ideal. A large space is best for game parlors, as you may want to include a pool or foosball table, a section for video games, and perhaps even a table and mini-bar for poker nights. 

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Shop For a Game Rec Room

You & Me Table Tennis Table
You & Me Table Tennis Table
Celebrate Chinese New Year with a good old game of ping-pong/table tennis! Ping-pong masters and newbies alike will love the minimalist design of this standard-sized ping-pong table.
Aurosi Walnut Wood Backgammon Set
Aurosi Walnut Wood Backgammon Set
Fun nights with family await you upon this 18" Wood Grain Backgammon Set. Its size makes it look like a small briefcase, but upon opening, this set reveals its fun insides.
Backgammon & Checkers Game Set with Canvas Bag
Backgammon & Checkers Game Set with Canvas Bag
Roll it up and travel to play with this handmade, double-sided backgammon and checker drawstring game-bag set. Take your leisure gaming in style. Handmade in classic natural cotton canvas, leather drawstring cord and a signature red stitching detail.
Las Sillas Game
Las Sillas Game
Stack these petite chairs without being the one to topple the tower, or leave your arrangement on display as the shape-shifting sculpture. Made in Spain of compressed cardboard. Simple assembly required. Contains 14 chairs.
POP Tic Tac Toe Game Set
POP Tic Tac Toe Game Set
Make a statement on your coffee table or play a high stakes game of tic-tac-toe with the leading four year-old in the house. It's the perfect house warming present for a single friend or a growing family. Comes boxed ready to gift with a clear acrylic board and eight game pieces.
The Pure Foosball Table
The Pure Foosball Table
Work hard and play hard. The Pure Foosball table designed by Alain Gilles for Debuchy by Toulet not only helps you unwind after a long day or relax with friends on a Saturday afternoon, but it also adds a touch of modern design to your home.

If you want a home cinema...

Basements are perfect for home cinemas as they're easy to soundproof and offer better surround-sound acoustics. For a home cinema rec room, you’ll need a video projector and screen, comfortable seats and cushions, storage systems for DVDs, and perhaps even a mini kitchenette, bar, refrigerator, or snack pantry. 

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Shop For a Movie Rec Room 

Blockbuster Movie Night Popcorn Collection
Blockbuster Movie Night Popcorn Collection
Urban Accents is your culinary wingman and always has your back in the kitchen, and this set is no exception. This is the ultimate popcorn lover's collection with unique kernel varities and naturally flavored seasonings to suit cravings for savory, tangy, sweet and cheesy taste buds alike.
Chandra Contemporary Cotton Cord Pouf
Chandra Contemporary Cotton Cord Pouf
To pouf or not to pouf? It’s easy to jump on the Ottoman trend with the Chandra Contemporary Cotton Cord Pouf. Hand knit on the outside and cotton-filled on the inside, it’s the extra seat for an unexpected guest or an ideal footrest for an evening spent blissfully alone on the sofa with the remote.
My Cinema Lightbox Original Cinema Lightbox
My Cinema Lightbox Original Cinema Lightbox
Bring your words to light with creative marquee lightboxes for your home or office.  My Cinema Lightbox is constantly working on new options, designing by imagining what they’d like to have in their home or office and then bringing it to life.

If you want a space for painting, sewing, or arts and crafts... 

Most spaces in the home can easily be transformed into an arts and crafts room. Even small spaces work well as rooms where you or your kids can paint and draw without having to worry about making a mess. If you’re designing the room as a place for painting, choose easy-to-clean wall materials such as tile or vinyl. You might also want to include a deep sink for washing paintbrushes. If your passion is sculpting or pottery, you’ll need to install a kiln. With fire safety in mind, an outdoor location—perhaps a shaded porch or sunroom—might be your best bet. 

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If you want a music space... 

A basement with soundproofing is also ideal for a music room, where kids, teens, or adults can bang away at their drums, play the piano or guitar, or hold loud—and possibly off-key—jamming sessions with friends. When designing a music room, make sure the space is fitted with sufficient electrical sockets to accommodate electric organs, guitars, microphones, and amplifiers. Consider installing acoustic panels or foam noise absorbers in the ceilings and walls so that you never have to worry about disturbing the household, no matter what time the jamming starts.

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If you want a space for fitness and meditation...

This wouldn't be a full-on home gym, but a place dedicated to your movement and wellness. A room or small space that's close to a garden, courtyard, or patio that has plenty of sunlight and fresh air is a good option for a fitness, yoga, and meditation zone. Keep this space as clean and clutter-free as possible. Choose foam, rubber, or vinyl for flooring. You may want to include a corner for weights, or even a stationary bike, treadmill, or elliptical machine. If you’re using the room just for yoga and meditation, all you need is your mat, a cushion or two, and perhaps an aromatherapy burner to create a more relaxing atmosphere. Follow this link for more tips on how to create your own meditation zone in your home.

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Shop For a Fitness/Yoga Rec Room

Jagger Yoga Towel
Jagger Yoga Towel
Microfiber yoga towel with Super Grip bottom...
Turkish T Carry Handle Striped Beach Throw
Turkish T Carry Handle Striped Beach Throw
Beach day, handled. This big and easy striped throw is ready to drop everything and head to the beach at the drop of a straw hat.
"Home Sweet Home" Energy Clearing Set
"Home Sweet Home" Energy Clearing Set
Home Sweet Home is the perfect new office- or housewarming gift. Just as you would clean the dirt, grease, and grime from your home, you also need to clean the energy. This gift set comes with a bottle of best-selling Good Juju, made from three powerful herbaceous energy shifters.
Preserved Moss Living Wall Garden
Preserved Moss Living Wall Garden
Add a lush touch of green to your home or office with this preserved moss wall garden. It combines mood and reindeer moss with dried green hanging amaranthus inside a wood frame.
Grow-Your-Own Bonsai Forest Kit
Grow-Your-Own Bonsai Forest Kit
 Try your hand at bonsai gardening with this kit that includes everything you need to grow a grove of mini Dawn Redwood trees—ancestors of towering California redwoods. The little trees invite meditation and relaxation.
Ethics Supply Co. Redwood Candle
Ethics Supply Co. Redwood Candle
Adventure-inspired candles that bring authentic scentscapes of the outdoors into your home.  Ethics Supply Co, after visiting some truly awe-inspiring locales and collecting the scents that made up the olfactory landscape, has crafted some of the most authentic and best-smelling candles we’ve...


Wood & Leather Jump Rope
Wood & Leather Jump Rope
With hand-carved wooden handles and a thick, exceptionally durable leather cord, this jump rope is truly a handsome piece of equipment for fitness, training, or just for fun. The ergonomic wooden handles are mounted on ball bearings for enhanced comfort and increased speed.
F1 Fitness Kit
F1 Fitness Kit
For the travelers who never stray from their health routines, the F1 Fitness Kit will be their new traveling gym. The kit includes two lightweight jump ropes, resistance bands in three levels of difficulty, and an exercise manual that will help you create your own routine.

If you want a reading room... 

If your idea of recreation is simply curling up with a good book, then choose a quiet spot that’s far removed from the television and main communal areas. All you’ll need is a comfy lounge chair, a bookshelf, and a magazine rack to hold all your favorite reads—and maybe a few potted plants for company. 

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Shop For a Reading Rec Room

Triskelion Magazine Rack
Triskelion Magazine Rack
A striking yet practical geometric magazine rack designed by Gerardo Mari, Triskelion is made by laser cutting and bending varnished aluminum sheets, creating three pockets for storing magazines and documents that seem to fold upon themselves.Based on an ancient Celtic symbol consisting of three...


Guidelines Magazine Rack
Guidelines Magazine Rack
Everything from the Roijé studio is both aesthetically beautiful and highly functional. Flaunt your exceptional taste in interior design with this wall-hung magazine rack. This triple threat of a magazine rack showcases cover art, clears clutter, and adds modern design to your walls.
Magazine Rack
Magazine Rack
Designed by legendary Spanish designer Marti Guixe, Magazine Rack is made by a simple three-dimensional fold of a thin metal rod, creating multiple structures to hang your magazines, towels, or anything else you choose.Lightweight and simple, the bright vibrant colors make the item pop in any...
Yamazaki Side Table & Magazine Holder
Yamazaki Side Table & Magazine Holder
Organize your home with the power of Japanese design.  Yamazaki has been in the business of helping people declutter, organize and tidy up their homes for over 100 years.
Modloft Pearl Bookcase
Modloft Pearl Bookcase
The Pearl Bookcase adds a modern edge to any room. Four fixed hardwood shelves with ladder-style stainless steel supports give the Pearl a light appearance. Clean, modern lines and open shelving allow this stunning piece to act as a natural partition between adjacent rooms in the home.
Annie Leibovitz Signed Limited Edition
Annie Leibovitz Signed Limited Edition
Annie Leibovitz drew from over 40 years of work, starting with the viscerally intimate reportage she created for Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s and extending through the more stylized portraiture of her work for Vanity Fair and Vogue.