Game Room That Has No Entry Door

It has been over 2 years now that I have been showing you how I am making the lake house that Ed and I moved into our own. I have shown you how I transformed my studioffice, kitchen, foyer, living room, bedrooms, baths and more on a budget and even my ideas on what I would like to do with the exterior.

There is one room that I have rarely shown you though, and that is because the only thing I have done to it was clean up stains on the wall-to-wall carpeting and use it as a backdrop for a post I wrote for the Glidden paint blog I used to write for.

Well, it is time I show you the details of this room in my house that has no door. Yep…no door. From the molding around the door, we don’t think it ever has had one.

The previous owners used the room as a game room, they even left the pool table for us. I didn’t want it, but Ed did. In hindsight I am glad we kept it as it gets a lot of use when we have family and friends over.

Before room makeover photos of a game room

For the way we use the room, a door is not really needed, but when we are hosting a houseful of family and friends, we have used this room with a blow-up air mattress style bed.  A door is needed when we do this for privacy.

To keep this game room makeover on budget, we won’t need to buy a new solid wood door to match all the others in the house.  I can use this one..

Fixer upper house removing a wall between two rooms

…do you remember this pocket door that was in the wall we removed between the kitchen and living room?  We kept it. It is leaning against a wall in the garage just waiting for a new place to call home.  I will have to stain it to coordinate with all the other door upstairs, but it is the right size for the entry door opening in the game room.

Game room makeover before images

All the interior doors in the house are the color of this narrow closet door that was a gun closet when the house was built.  We have no need for that, so it is where we store all our luggage.

Decorating ideas for game or spare rooms

Most of the projects – no…ALL of the projects we have tackled so far in the house have involved paint and this one is no different.

We plan to rip up the carpet and replace it with luxury vinyl plank flooring in a medium dark wood tone. I will paint the light fake wood on the pool table since it will not coordinate with the color of the new darker flooring.  I am not sure what color yet, but I will leave the black ends untouched.


I will paint all the walls, trim and louvered doors my “go-to” white.

The IKEA shelving unit will stay where it is and just get a re-styling of what is on it.

Decorating ideas for game or spare rooms

The gym equipment stays since this is the main purpose of the room when it is just Ed and I in the house. He uses the Bowflex and bike and I use my Pilates Reformer.

Ideas for how to update a game room in a home

We haven’t decided on how to go about hiding the exposed electrical wiring on the ceiling.  I guess the ceiling fans were added a long time after the center ceiling fixture.  Once we open it up we will know if it is a job Ed can do or if we will need an electrician.

These two ceiling fans are the best in the house. They are “vintage” Casablanca’s that really cool the room. Right now I think we will keep them, but I may paint over the gold parts, not sure yet. Once the darker flooring is in, I will be better able to figure out what will look best.

I will post updates throughout the makeover starting with the first project which will be painting the walls while the carpet is still down.  Since it will be thrown away, I won’t need to put drop cloths down which will save some time and a little effort. :-)

Time to get out my brushes and rollers.  Stay tuned.


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  1. Nice use of the space! I have found many people say they don’t want a pool table because they havent played before, but they end up loving it.

  2. Hamilton Billiards says:

    Fantastic post Diane! I like how you have a little gym next to a billiard table

  3. Always enjoy your postings. Love the DIY world! Please add me to your distribution list for your postings. I used to get an email when you posted. but haven’t in quite a while. Thank you.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Patty –

      I just added you to my email list. You should start getting my posts and emails now. Thanks for subscribing.

  4. Ooh, I can’t wait to see what you are going to do with this room. I’m going to be tackling my kitchen soon. Paint cabinets, walls, and new floor, and I will be repurposing a large TV cabinet into an island for my kitchen. I will be posting the process.
    Looking forward to seeing your transformation!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi MaryJean – Sounds like you are going to be busy, lots of projects and work, but soon you will be able to step back and enjoy all your hard work. I will check out your progress and eager to see how you use the TV cabinet as your kitchen island.

  5. I am looking forward so seeing your luxury vinyl plank flooring in your workout/game room. My husband and I bought a home in NE Columbia and plan to redo the bathroom floors and the kitchen floor and are trying to decide on tile that looks like wood planks or the luxury vinyl plank flooring. You mentioned that you used Nu-Cor in other areas of the house, but for this room you will be using Tarkett Pro-Gen. Is one brand better than the other? Also, where in Columbia do you recommend buying the luxury vinyl flooring? I love all your ideas, and appreciate any advice you could give me about the luxury vinyl flooring.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Naomi – I hope the Tarkett is of the same quality of the NuCore. The NuCore is fabulous, but is only sold at Floor & Decor which we don’t have in SC. I bought all mine in Pennsylvania right before we moved. I am getting the Tarkett Pro Gen right from the manufacturer. To find a store near Columbia you can go on the Tarkett ProGen residential website and search for a store locator. I believe it is sold at Lowes and a few other flooring stores in the area.

  6. Elaine Williams in Baltimore says:

    What a cool room. Love the pool table. I really hate to see those ugly wire plates anywhere particularly on ceiling with that awful gold/brass color but maybe not all wiring can be ‘fished.’ I am not an electrician. I am sure you will do a beautiful job with this great room like you always do!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Elaine – Thanks – Lots of work ahead, but once it is finished I know it all will have been worth it to get the room in shape.

  7. Any advice about removing carpet and painting/staining subfloor until I save for flooring?

  8. No doubt this room will look great when you get finished working your magic. I get the feeling this room is upstairs. Guess there is no attic space above this room? I think I remember the exercise space you did in your PA house having a wall of mirrors? Will you be doing that in this room? Looking forward to the big reveal. Vikki in VA

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Vikki –

      The room is on the second floor and no attic space above. The rooms upstairs are in the dormer section of the house. The attic is on the same level. I do think I will add mirrors again, but not to see if I do exercises right, but to create a reflection of the lake on the back wall.

  9. What a great space. I wonder if you’ll be installing extra beds for guests in there?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Holly – Thanks. I think my husband wants to keep the room set up as a game room/fitness space. When the two rooms we have dedicated to guests are being used, we will continue to use the blow-up bed in the game/fitness room.

  10. I’m so glad you are redoing this room…we have a room that’s very similar. It’s our former family room…we live in a raised ranch. And now it’s become a little bit storage, exercise, and pool room. It needs help…so I’ll look to you for some inspiration. Looking forward to seeing what all you do! ;)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Donnamae – I think every house has a room like this – a little bit of everything. In the house I grew up in my mom called it the “rec room” as in recreation room, but it was truly a wreck. :-)

  11. After 36 years in our 8 room colonial, we are decluttering and updating in preparation for selling our home. We are in the process of sanding and painting our stained doors, trim and windows white following your blog advice. We also will be painting some two bedrooms and the staircase/hallway, pulling up wall to wall carpeting, and having the hidden hardwood floors refinished.
    What order would you recommend? Paint the walls, sand and paint woodwork and doors, and then floors?
    We greatly admire your DIY talents and appreciate everything you share!!! Thanks, Joyce

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Joyce –

      The order you mentioned in your comment is the order I would paint in. Doing the walls first is smart so if anything drips on the trim, you can easily fix it when you paint the trim. If you reversed the order then you would have to go back and touch up if a drip occurred.

      The updates you are doing will greatly help the sale of your house. Best of luck. I hope it sell fast.

  12. MarianneB says:

    Hi Diane! This is what I find so inspiring and amazing about your blog—-you actually do reuse and recycle and always make the most of what you have available. I really aspire to do the same so I’m really looking forward to see how you transform this space. Thanks for sharing. M. ( p.s. I didn’t see your reformer….I have a Stott, what kind do you have?)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Marianne –

      My Reformer is made by Stamina. I have had it for many years. It is my second one, I even have a back-up just in case they stop making it and mine breaks. My first one did after about 11 years of use. In the post my Reformer was near the door, but is hidden a little by the Bowflex. You can see it in this post:

  13. You will absolutely love the luxury vinyl plank flooring. I have it in 3 rooms of my home (I have 2 dogs and 1 cat in a small home) and it cleans like a dream. After 2+ years with lots of use and plenty of mopping, I swear it still looks like new. I’m extremely happy with it.
    I had no idea you still had this big room left to re-do in your new home. Now we know that you too sometimes leave a space “undone” for a while, at least. :) I’m sure it will be amazing.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Pat –

      We have used luxury vinyl planks in a few rooms and LOVE it, too. Like you mentioned it never scratches and is sooooo easy to clean. It is from Nu-Core. For the game room we are going to use Tarkett Pro-Gen. What brand did you use?

  14. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    How exciting for you! I’ve been waiting for you to get around to painting the rest of the brown. And can’t you hide the electrical with paint? I’ve been searching for affordable flooring to go over ruined Terrazzo and so far I’ve failed. Have fun with all that hard work!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sheryll – Once the brown trim in this room is painted, all the brown trim in the house will be history. It will feel nice to finally be done with that update. Ed is looking at opening up the ceiling so he can hide the wiring. If he can’t we may end up just painting it to match the ceiling.

      For discount flooring, is there a flooring warehouse in your area that might have some brands on clearance?

  15. I’m eager to see how your luxury vinyl planks will look. Thinking of those for our living room…..3 scampering dogs to consider so this might be a good option. :-)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Anna – We have installed luxury vinyl planks in my studioffice, powder room, hallway, laundry area and upstairs bath. We love it! It has been 2 years for some of it and it still looks brand new… so easy to clean, too. :-)