Design Tips to Create a Retro-Style Games Room

We all feel pangs of nostalgia from time to time, and the idea to use a retro theme in one or more rooms can be a compelling one. However, it also takes some bravery to go all in for a “plastic fantastic” 1980s kitchen or a lime green bathroom that looks like a refugee from the 1970s.

One room where you can get away with retro safety is in a games room. This is, after all, a room designated for fun and escapism, so it’s a place where you can give your imagination a free rein.

Select your color scheme

First and foremost, decide on your retro colors. The choice here depends on the era you have in mind, from tie-dyed swirling patterns of the swinging 60s to the oranges and browns of the 70s or perhaps some luminous greens and pinks for a 1980s vibe.

There’s also a great choice out there when it comes to retro wallpaper. As well as specialist suppliers, there are all sorts of treasures to be found on eBay or Facebook Marketplace, so take a good look around.

Choose a theme

With the era and the basic colors worked out, your next decision is on an overall theme for your games room. This is really a matter of personal preference, but we’ll take a look at a few popular examples:

  1. Retro gaming – if you grew up in the golden age of video gaming, this could be a tempting choice. A couple of arcade-style game cabinets with Space Invaders, Pac Man or similar make a great feature and can be found online for a few hundred dollars. Consider either an arcade table or perhaps a period game like air hockey as a centerpiece.
  2. Casino – a roulette wheel or a craps table makes a great feature piece for the middle of the room and will provide hours of entertainment. While a poker table also makes an attractive feature, today’s poker players need to access the world wide web, whether it’s to access a virtual card room or to get tips from a site like Tight Poker, so make sure web connectivity is up to scratch, too.
  3. Sport – again, plenty of options here. A pool table is a feature that will make you the envy of all your friends. Also consider a dart board for extra entertainment – it costs practically nothing and there is nothing more therapeutic than throwing a few arrows after a hard day.

Accessories and finishing touches

Choose accessories that fit your era and your theme. For example, if you’ve gone with 1970s colors and a sports theme, then some items of memorabilia and perhaps a couple of framed photos of 1970s sports stars would work well.

Finally, don’t sacrifice substance for style. Whatever else you choose, comfortable seating, practical lighting and unobtrusive internet connectivity are absolute essentials for any games room if you want to get real long term use and enjoyment out of it.

Sarah Ahmad

Graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in Media Studies, Sarah Ahmad embarked on her gaming journalism career in 2013. She worked with multiple sports journalism organizations before joining our team in 2021. Known for her in-depth analysis of gaming trends and player communities, she is also into podcasting. Her hobbies include digital art and participating in eSports events. Sarah’s passion for gaming has also evolved her as an amateur game developer who enjoys creating indie games in her free time.

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