How to Build a Basement Game Room

This is first in a series of posts about wainscoting. If you’re not familiar with wainscoting, it is wooden paneling that lines the lower part of a wall. There are several different types of wainscoting, and for this post, I will focus on Board and Batten. I have been a lover of Board and Batten wainscoting for many years and have designed several rooms around this style.

I started my first Board and Batten project 10 years ago, and have grown to love it more as time goes on. It is such a classic style and is becoming more popular each day.  Our project started in our lower level. It was a very large space, and looked so bland with high walls of plain drywall everywhere. In this large basement space, there were several different areas, a cozy seating area, the bar area, and the pool table area. How to make the area feel more cozy and comfortable? Board and Batten Baby! Want to give the area a real warm feeling, paint the Board and Batten a color besides white. Paint the crown molding the same color as the Board and Batten!

The seating area of the basement was comprised of a sectional sofa, fireplace and of course a television. The basement has berber carpet, and I wanted to tie in the wall color to the carpet. I painted all crown molding, door and window frames, and baseboards a darker shade of beige and left the walls a lighter beige. We even painted the molding on the posts a dark color.fullsizeoutput_69a0
The contrast in paint color adds so much to the space.

The ceilings are 9′ high so the darker color on the moldings looked terrific against the lighter color of the wall.

The bar area is huge, housing a 14′ long bar. If you read my prior post you know what a fan I am of bars….I miss this bar…. Anyway, the front of the bar was plain drywall, so we added 1×4 boxes to the front of the bar to create a cabinet effect. We started the Board and Batten in the bar area, going 6′ high and continued around to the pool table area. We used a combination of 1×4, and 1×6 boards to create this look. web_lower-level-bar
The boxes create a cabinet effect on the face of the bar.



The pool table area gets a lot of attention and is fun for family and friends to gather around.

With this style of Board and Batten we created a square over rectangular style. The “Battens” are the boards that are used to create the look, which are the 1×4 and 1×6 pieces of wood. We topped the Batten Boards off with a 6″ shelf, perfect for drinks, while playing pool.

Sometimes it can be hard to make a basement feel warm and comfortable, but by adding Board and Batten molding to such a large space, it really warmed it up dramatically.



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4 thoughts on “How to Build a Basement Game Room

  1. I have to say I visit your blog often to look at your design style, I like the modern/classic mix and your choice of colors , I usually don’t leave much trace but I have to comment on your awesome space.

      1. Your photography and the spaces you capture are very inspirational and help me look outside my little box! You got a friend in me. (Yes, it’s straight out of Toy Story)

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