A recreation room (also known as a rec room, rumpus room, or ruckus room) is a room used for a variety of purposes, such as parties, games and other everyday or casual use. The term is common in the United States and Canada, but is less common in the United Kingdom where the preferred term is games room. Often children and teenagers will entertain their friends in the rec room, which is often located in the basement, away from the main living areas of the house. Usually it is a larger space than a living room to have the ability to serve multiple purposes and entertain moderately large groups. ~Wikipedia (obtained 10/24/11)
In Decorating Liveable Homes, Mrs. Burris-Meyer tells us the game room (she, of course, would never call it a rumpus room) should be decorated according to the types of games that will played in the room. It becomes apparent in her description of how to decorate it that she believes that it will be used primarily by men playing “card games” or chess.* She suggests that a fireplace, a bar (with range for quick suppers), comfortable table and chairs and paneled walls are all that is necessary.
That said, she reminds us to have a few well chosen accessories are also needed: lights that light the tables but don’t shine in the players eyes, cigarette boxes, match holders, and attractive ash trays.
The Mister and I periodically go to estate sales and quite frequently there will be a room that matches Mrs. Burris-Meyer’s description of a game room (without the fire place, though). Since we don’t generally have basements here in California, they are often additions built onto the house or the garage. What intrigues me is that these rooms seem to be different than a “man cave.” I’ll admit that I don’t know much about man caves but my impression is that they seem to be an homage to perpetual adolescence, keggers, and air guitar. Game rooms, on the other hand, seem to tip their hat to film noir and/or the Rat Pack. They are for grown up men who play high stakes “card games.”
What do you think? Am I wrong about man caves? Would Mrs. Burris-Meyer approve of man caves? Do you have a rumpus room in your house?
Get the Five Days to a 1950s-style Gracious & Elegant Life Mini-course
Subscribe (free!) to my newsletter with tips and updates PLUS get my (free!) Five Days to a 1950s-style Gracious and Elegant Life mini-course. Once subscribed, I will send you a newsletter with midcentury lessons for subscribers only. You also get access to a private Facebook group for subscribers only. How great is that?