COOL ROOMS

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FOR THE GAME LOVER

Use your gaming table as a visual centerpiece in the game room.Turning a den or garage into a game room might be the perfect retreat for your home. Make it fun for the entire family by starting a weekly game night tradition! A game table set is for the person who loves card games, backgammon, roulette or even chess. These tables can covert into several different games and have plenty of storage for cards and chips. Game tables come in a variety of wood finishes to complement the décor of the room. Mahogany is a popular finish but a honey finish also looks elegant. A game room wouldn’t be complete without your favorite games, such as pinball machines, arcade games, foosball tables, dart boards and even board games.

For the golf lover, set up a small putting green. Practice your putt right in your own home! The race car enthusiast can get the feel of driving a real race car with the Virtual GT Racing Simulator. Check out virtual-gt.com to become a race car driver with your own “personal racing simulator” without ever leaving the driveway!

Ordinary dart boards are a thing of the past! Upgrade to a dart machine like the Avanti Elite M by Medalist. It comes with 27 dart games, a midmounted LCD screen and computerized automatic scoring. Don’t have an opponent? Play against the computer! Check out bmigaming.com for all of your gaming needs.

There are many high tech game systems on the market, but the retro arcade games are just as much fun as they were 30 years ago. You can buy an original Pac  Man arcade game or create your own combination arcade with 20 or more games in one system. Pinball machines are still a popular choice for game rooms. Search around the Web for prices on game cabinets or learn about creating your own at mamedev.org.

Make it fun for the entire family by starting a weekly game night tradition!

SO MUCH STUFF!

Everyone love to collect “stuff” – memorabilia, valuable coins or stamps and even old childhood toys. All of this stuff ends up sitting around collecting dust and soon you begin to forget about it. Instead of cramming all this treasure into boxes and filling up your attics and closets, maybe it’s time to create a room for collectibles. Don’t know what to do with your husband’s collection of old baseball cards? Do you have a closet filled with movie posters and film memorabilia? If you have an available room in your home, consider turning it into a sports room. Framing baseball cards, sports posters or autographed photos will help to preserve them, while getting them out of the box and onto the wall for be the main concern when it comes to turning a room into a place for collectibles. Invest in wall shelves or display cabinets and install appropriate lighting so your collectibles stand out.

If you’re a golf enthusiast, consider putting your “hole in one” or “best shot ball” on display for your friends to see. Your collection will look stunning encased in round or square glass displays.

Use a pewter stand to give it that first class appeal. Check out usadisplay.net for tons of display cases for whatever you love to collect – coins, model trains, pipes, sports memorabilia, knives, etc.

This media room, from this month’s featured Home Discovery home, is complete with theater-style chairs and a popcorn machine.

FOR THE SPORTS FANATIC

Do the sports fans in your family tend to gather in the living room for hours watching their favorite sports teams on TV? Maybe it’s time to give them their own room to hang out in without disturbing the entire household.

A must-have for any sports room is an entertainment center. A home theater system is essential for watching sports events with friends and family. With an entertainment center, you need plenty of comfortable yet stylish seating. Recliners have come a long way from the ordinary boring piece of furniture. They come in a variety of modern designs while still remaining totally comfortable. Catnapper by Jackson Furniture offers a variety of comfy, stylish recliners in colors such as stone, chestnut, chocolate, burgundy and merlot. Visit catnapper.com.

Reduce trips to the kitchen by setting up a snack machine loaded with your favorite snacks and candies. Keep your guests from going hungry and let a machine do all of the work! The SlimLine vending machine, available from Eagle Distributing Company, works well for limited spacing due to its compact sleek design. It comes with an energy efficient sleep sensor and optional battery. Visit eagled.com.

If you’re a popcorn lover, a popcorn machine could be the perfect addition to a sports room. From antique old fashioned poppers to contemporary popcorn machines, there is something to fit your style. Paragon makes a jukebox popcorn popper that has a retro appeal, combined with the advances of modern technology. Check out all the offerings at retrowonders.com.

Munching on snacks will make you thirsty, so you’ll need refreshing cold drinks to wash them down. An old fashioned soda vending machine not only keeps your drinks ice cold, but it’s an interesting conversation piece. You can purchase a replica of the Westinghouse retro Coca-Cola soda machine just like in the old-time Mom and Pop stores through Eagle Distributing Incorporated. Visit eagled.com.

THE HANDYMAN

Garages can be transformed into almost any kind of room for entertaining, but it’s an ideal room for a workshop. An essential part of any workshop is proper storage. It could be beneficial to have a professional install custom built shelves, cupboards, counters, drawers, and tables, as they everyone to see. Proper storage and display willcan help you decide what to build depending onyour personal needs.

For many homeowners, garages tend to double as a storage area, and keeping everything organized can be difficult. Consider installing wall and ceiling units to hang tools, bicycles, and whatever else that you want to keep off the floor. Using wall and ceiling storage eliminates clutter and allows more adequate space for working.

You’ll also need adequate ventilation, lighting, a sink, and – of course – plenty of tools. It’s easy to accumulate quite a collection of tools over the years. Keeping your tools organized and stored away makes them last longer and can prevent nasty accidents. The Craftsman 1470 piece tool set and 26 inch storage combo bundle is the ultimate storage chest, with an internal locking system and full width black steel drawer pulls. Check out craftsman.com.

Here in the Lowcountry, the outdoor kitchen might be the coolest room during warm weather.

Don’t forget the other necessities of a workshop – saw horses, workbench, tables, shop vacuum.

Adding flooring to the garage can make it more functional, especially if you’re using it as an additional room to the home. Floor tiles made with polypropylene are durable, stain resistant, easy to clean, and are available in many colors and patterns.

If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the garage working on projects, consider using an infrared space heater to keep you warm during chilly mornings and nights. Check out garagetek.com for space heaters that can be mounted on the wall.

THE HIGH TECH HOMEOWNER

Our lives are busy and fast paced, so the home office has turned into a vital part of the home. Creating the ultimate home office filled with gadgets galore would be a dream for the tech geek. The technology guru will need plenty of space for an office desk, storage, printers, fax machines, telephones and more.

Sligh furniture makes a laptop docking station with power, Internet and data ports. It has tons of nooks and crannies for storage and even a charging station for smaller devices such as iPods or PDA’s. It’s compact and functional with a removable back panel for easy access to wall outlets.sligh.com. Modular home office furniture is a growing trend because it can be set up in different versions to accommodate the space.

The techie in your family will want to own all of the latest computer gadgets. The Logitech MX Revolution cordless laser mouse is the ultimate computer mouse with plenty of easy-to-use features. They never have to worry about changing the batteries because it includes a rechargeable base station.

Check out benzadesign.com for contemporary cool clocks for your home office. They also offer funky mouse pads, trashcans, and drink coasters ideal for spicing up any office.