Today, busy lifestyles, demanding working hours and the draw of electronic devices can mean that families often struggle to find the time to sit down together and eat, let alone play a board game. There is so much joy to be found in traditional board games, though, and playing chess can be a great way for families to bond and enjoy each other’s company.
Designating a chess space
To ensure that chess, and other board games, can be enjoyed in peace, it is important for families to designate a space within their home to their new pastime. You could make use of a spare room, reception area or a snug in a summerhouse or conservatory; in fact, anywhere where the family can congregate to play without distraction. In smaller homes, any spare nook can become a chess space; from window seats and areas under the stairs to a cosy corner in the kitchen or living room – no area is too small, and it may fast become your family’s favourite place within the home.
Decorating and furnishing a chess space
It is essential that a chess space be comfortable, giving everyone the opportunity to relax and enjoy this most peaceful of pastimes. Accessorize your window seats with a mattress or large cushions, for example, or place plush armchairs in the corner of any room, while scattering cushions can transform a lowly seating area.
The greatest thing about a chess space is that there are no rules; whether players prefer a light, bright and airy space, a colourful nook, or somewhere a little more intimate and cosy, the only limits are your imagination. In terms of furnishings, think about how the space will be used – if at all – when the family is not busy playing. Curtains and drapes can be used to keep a chess space cosy and contained and will help the family to shut out the modern world. Consider furniture carefully: will it get in the way of everyday life, or can it be kept snug within the chess space? A table, such as a standard coffee table or specialist games table, is key, while seating must be inviting. Cushions and plush armchairs will add a comfy finish. Take lighting into consideration, too. Does the chess space benefit from natural light, or will additional lighting be required?
The right furnishings and accessories are perhaps the most important aspect of a new chess, or gaming, space. Storage is essential, particularly shelving and nooks for holding games, bookshelves for those wishing to use the space as a reading corner, and space for additional lighting and soft furnishings. Depending on the size of the space, this can be cleverly concealed in under-seat storage, or install inspired shelving or neat storage boxes. This will allow the chess space to remain a self-contained area, and keep it clutter-free.
You should be able to accessorize your chess space too; after all, it will hopefully become an integral part of family life – a space in which everyone feels most comfortable. Decorative lighting such as fairy lights, cosy cushions, a warm rug, bright posters and postcards, and a plethora of games memorabilia can really help to brighten a gaming nook, creating an inviting space for the whole family. Once again, how your chess space looks and operates is limited only by your imagination.
Board games, particularly chess, are a fantastic family pastime, and can allow people to enjoy simple pleasures away from the hubbub of modern life. It is therefore a great idea to dedicate a particular space within your family home to this new hobby, ensuring that time together can be enjoyed without distraction. You may even wish to ban mobile and electronic devices, consoles and TVs from this small oasis, giving everybody a cosy space in which to enjoy each other’s company.