I moved in to my current house in August of last year. As it’s a rented accommodation, I didn’t really have a lot of space to play with since the landlord still had a lot of things here. During the 5 years I spent in London, my collection grew but it had to be placed in storage (anyone who lives in London knows how tight space can be), so I was determined to have a “games” room where I could play any games in my collection at any time. The house has four bedrooms (one of which is completely inaccessible – again, landlord stuff) and the two back rooms are small. They both have a double bed and wardrobes. This meant that I could get a television unit in for the consoles but not shelves for the games. In order to get the room the way I wanted, I had to be a little bit creative.
Scrolling through twitter, you’ll probably see a lot of people with the same shelving unit – the Kallax unit from Ikea. I went for this unit as not only was it affordable, it was also easily assembled and sturdy. You can buy extra shelves that slot in to the unit to expand your storage space. The unit I purchased was the eight-unit version and I picked up four extra shelves. This allowed me to fit most of my consoles in it. I still have to buy an extra two shelves as I currently have the PlayStation on top of the PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation 4 on top of the Xbox 360. The top of the unit (I lay it on its side) had enough space for my television and a few consoles. I decided to place the GameCube, Wii, Wii U and Switch on top of the unit as they took up less space and I could stack the Switch on the Wii and the GameCube on the Wii U.
For connecting to the TV, I have two SCART switchers and two HDMI switchers. They’re not the hi-end versions but they do a reasonable job for now. I would like to upgrade them in the future but I’ll just have to wait and see. I didn’t use anything to tie the cables but I will in future when I finally move in to my own house. At the moment it’s just easier for me to access them if I need to. For the power, I have a standard tower I bought years ago. I can’t remember where I got it, I think it was Argos. Although it has 10 sockets, I only ever have the TV, my Now TV stick and two consoles plugged in at any one time (the Switch is always plugged in as my wife does like to play it in handheld mode so I like it to be charged for her). There are newer versions you can buy that do have a lot more features but I’ve never had any issues with this one. As I don’t have all the consoles plugged in at once, I bought a label maker and labelled each plug. This way I can tell what plug belongs to what console without having to try a few of them.
This is where I had to get creative. I couldn’t move the double bed or the wardrobe out of the room so I had to come up with another solution. Inside the wardrobe there were small holes that allowed you to move the shelf around if you needed to. Since the wardrobe wasn’t being used, I decided to turn it in to a shelving unit. This way the games would all fit and I could avoid sun damage. The wardrobe is broken up in to four parts, two smaller units on either side and the main area in the middle with three drawers below it. I took a shelf from both the smaller unit and the main unit and brought them to B&Q. There, they were able to cut some shelving in the same size (and almost the same colour) to fit in. They also had the pegs I needed to hold the shelves in place. I then placed the games in the left and main unit, while turning the right unit in to a small bookshelf for the few books we brought with us. The drawers underneath the main part were then used to store some other accessories or boxes.
One issue I’d always had was storing controllers. I was never comfortable with wrapping up the controllers. I used to store them in a box but it was an absolute mess. One day I found a small drawer unit in Aldi and had an idea. I picked it up and grabbed some ziplock bags. I placed each controller in its own bag and dedicated each drawer to its own company (except Nintendo, I have so many Nintendo controllers). That way I didn’t have to worry about tangled wires and I knew exactly which drawer to open for which controller I’ll need. It’s not the most original idea but it’s incredibly effective.
I’ve never been big in to collecting statues or figurines. I have a few from the special editions I’ve bought over the years and I have a Sephiroth model that’s sadly damaged. It was damaged when I bought it but I didn’t notice it and the damage has gotten worse over time. With the limited space, I wasn’t able to bring these with me so they’re currently stored in my parent’s house. I do have some small bits dotted around. In the window I have a light-up Goomba and a light-up PlayStation controller. I also have a mushroom, star and item box from Super Mario Bros. that I got as a secret Santa present. Inside the wardrobe I have a Funko-Pop of Wolverine and a Bret “Hitman” Hart figure. I don’t really have any where else to put them. On the Kallax stand I have the compulsory PlayStation symbols, a must have for any games room (or so it would seem as everyone has them).
Perhaps my favourite accessory in the games room (or they were until recently) were the frames I ordered off Insanity Prints. They are well put together and look wonderful. In a somewhat ironic twist of fate, I had to wait ages for the frames as I ordered them at the beginning of March and then the Covid lock-down occurred. Then when I finally did get them, I tried to use hooks that wouldn’t mark the wall. Sadly, two of them fell off. One was fine but the other had a small bit of damage on the bottom of the frame. I can fix it but I won’t be hanging them back up in this house as I don’t want to mark the walls.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my room. Do you have a dedicated games room? What clever tricks did you use to maximise the space? Let me know below.