Billiard Room Design

Sometimes the focal point of a room is just too big to ignore. Case in point is a one hundred-year-old pool table that has sojourned in many places. The pool table started out appropriately enough in a pool hall. But then it moved from the public to the private sphere, residing in private homes belonging to members of the Watson clan.

Today, the table lives in the basement game room of Springfield, Illinois couple, Rob and Barb Watson. At 4 1/2' by 9', the restored pool table acts as an anchor for the game room which measures 700 sq. ft. In addition to the pool table, the room contains a variety of entertainment related items, such as a dartboard, antique jukebox, a foosball table, custom-designed bar, and a flat screen TV.

Some History

Rob recounts the history of the pool table, "It came out of a pool hall in Chicago, was in my grandfather’s house in Oak Park … went to my parents’ house (Oak Brook) when I was growing up. Then it came down and sat in a pile in my basement until we were able to get it all together and finish that part of the basement. Nielsen’s (Billiards) was able to put the thing back together." Rob and Barb have two daughters, nine year-old Mandy and eleven year-old Bev.

While not too many of us own a 100-year-old pool table standing in as a design anchor, anyone can create a recreation room that fits their personal needs and desires. If you're thinking of purchasing a pool table for your game room, Kathy Sullivan, the office manager of AAA Nielsen's Billiards advises that you consider whether you have the appropriate space for this feature, and to consider as well, what type of lighting will best play up the table and make it user-friendly. Be ready with the dimensions of the room as well as its furniture when you start your pool table shopping. "The most helpful information that somebody can bring to us as a sales company would be what size room they have so we cannot fill the room, but we can accommodate the room with the right-sized table," says Sullivan.

Bumping Walls

The tables are sold in three lengths: 7, 8, and 9 feet. The most common size is the 7 foot table, with the 9 foot table the choice of most professional billiards players. According to Sullivan, home game rooms are most often outfitted with 8 foot tables.  Sullivan explains that this has to do with the dimensions of the room. An 8 foot table works well with the size limitations of the average home game room. You don't want to be bumping the walls with your cue stick. Of course, Nielsen's is happy to adjust pool cues to suit your room, should it be too narrow or too short.