Gleaming gourmet kitchens. Magnificent living spaces. Ample bedroom suites. When it comes to luxury homes, some interior must-haves are fairly obvious. But, today, a newer space is being elevated from niche to necessary: the grand game room.
Decked out with custom game tables cloaked in contemporary, bespoke grandeur, these spaces are delivering a new level of home entertainment, triggered — not surprisingly — by the start of Covid-19. But while the pandemic certainly put game rooms in finer focus, high-end manufacturers and retailers continue to see buyer demand today.
“During the pandemic, people were forced to spend more time at home, which created a higher demand for game tables, resulting in direct growth for IMPATIA,” says Gregg Brodarick, founder and creative director of the Italian-based, artisan-crafted luxury game table company. “In terms of growth for the luxury game room, this aspect is mainly driven by the interior design community and homeowners’ desire to revamp their average basement or entertainment room into something much more modern, immersive, and aesthetically beautiful.”
That modern aesthetic is a hefty departure from the more traditional look that dominated the game table market for decades. It’s also one of the reasons Los Angeles-based luxury gaming design company, 11 Ravens, has experienced “extreme growth” in luxury game tables over the last decade, says founder Michael Zaretsky.
“We attribute our growth and popularity to a number of factors. One, we began creating custom luxury game tables with modern design that was never offered before. Traditionally you see antique, carved-wood, heavy pool tables. Two, Covid has increased play at home, and then the improvement of Covid bringing employees back into the office has incentivized companies to create amenities like game rooms in their offices.”
Billiards tables remain a cornerstone for these high-end brands, comprising the largest share of the game room market, with sales that are expected to reach $291.6 million by 2028. “We see pool/billiards as the most consistent product trending with our clients worldwide,” says Zaretsky.
But they’re hardly the only option. Today, you may be just as likely to walk into a $19 million Corona del Mar home and entertain in a space that features custom shuffleboard and ping-pong tables, as well as three full-size pinball machines. Or this exceptional $52 million Bel Air estate, which is magnificent in every inch of its 36,000 square feet. That includes the expansive game room, with billiards, ping-pong, and foosball tables, as well as shuffleboard.
IMPATIA’s all-time, top-selling game tables, the contemporary glass Fillotto pool table, and the Lungolinea ping-pong table, fashioned in Italian leather with a glass playing surface, are indicative of the look luxury homeowners and designers have been seeking. Over the past year, the company has seen increased demand for their Unootto poker table, which also features an all-glass playing surface, and their newly launched glass-top Derby foosball table.
For 11 Ravens, contemporary trending spurred the addition of premium lucite to their collection. Lucite is available on the company’s Avettore, Theseus, Macan, and Malibu styles, the last of which Zaretsky calls a “versatile and popular model with sleek and minimalist lines (that is) also easily customized with materials like teak for outdoor use, hemp wood for sustainability, or metal finishes for a luxurious reflective surface.”
With clean lines, an abundance of customizable options, and designs that can look more like sculpture than leisure, these sophisticated high-end tables can fit in with any kind of décor and exhibit an appeal that makes them showoff worthy. “A big trend we are seeing is more modern aesthetics combined with premium materiality versus the traditional bulky game tables,” says Brodarick. “Putting a stronger focus on the design of each game table has resulted in clients and designers being more inclined to incorporate game tables into their everyday spaces as a statement piece rather than just hiding them in a basement.”