Board Game Shelf Ideas to Create a Master Game Room - Bookshelf Memories

Board Game Shelf Ideas to Create a Master Game Room

A game room or even a corner in a room used for storing board games is only useful if you use it. You’re more likely to use it when it’s designed to appeal. Shelves cluttered with board games aren’t appealing. Worse is that boxes having corners squashed from the weight of other games bearing down on them ruin not only the value but the appeal of pulling the game off the shelf and playing it. Particularly if you host a game night. Plus, let’s face it, you’re more likely to offer to host a game night when you have a gorgeous nook setup with a collection of games, and décor pieces to make them more appealing. When it gets you excited, you can bet that your gaming group will be eager to come join your party!

Explore Some Creative Board Game Shelving Ideas


board games stacked on shelves

By Ripen11via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0

Board game shelves don’t need to be much different from standard shelving systems, including bookshelves and bookcases. What they do need is enough depth to fit the boxes. Some storage brands that have designs suited to board game storage are BoxThrone, and the Lax Rax that’s designed to fit the Kallax cube storage systems. Asides from those, consider a few of the lines at Ikea. The Kallax and Besta lines are popular choices. Cube storage units tend to have an inside depth. of 13” by 13”, suitable for most standard board games. For bigger games, that’s a problem.

As an example, Heroes of Land, Air & Sea from Gamelyn Games has box dimensions of ‎13.5" x 13.5 x 5". For those bigger boxes, Ikea has several lines of open-shelving systems like the Vittsjö range or the Fjalkinge line, which can accommodate custom sizes because there are no side or back panels. Open shelving is ideal for unconventional-sized games because the base shelves run the entire length of the shelf, unlike cubed storage systems that limit the width of items they can store. For complete custom solutions that don’t require hiring a carpenter, the Ivar line can be shelving with drawers, cabinets, and baskets integrated into the units. In the budget range of shelves is the Billy line that’s intended to be a bookcase. They’re less bulky with a depth of 28cm so expect an inch or two of the boxes to overhang.  

Practical Gaming Accessories for Board Game Storage

The Root board game setup with inserts

By Terry Chay Flickr | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Many board games have board game inserts. The intention is to keep everything in the box in its place. Depending on your shelving setup, you may have some board games stored horizontally, others vertically. When you have board games on their side on the shelves, when you take them out, everything’s scattered around in the box. Board game inserts are handy when you need to have your game boxes on their side. For those with stacked board games on shelves, the aforementioned Lax Rax can fit any cubed units with a width of 13.25”. It’s just a plastic holder that gets stuck to the side of the cube to hold wood rods. When you go to remove a game from the shelf, you don’t need to do a nervous shuffle to wiggle the game from the bottom of the stack, trying your hardest not to topple the games stacked on top of it. The advantage is easier access, and there’s less risk of scuffing the print on the boxes or denting the corners.

Mixing Media on Game Shelving Units

As your collection grows, you’re going to find yourself with more peripherals being added. Once a game becomes a hit, expansion kits are released. Take Magic the Gathering as an example. There are so many expansions, they’ve been separated into categories. There’s the base set, expansion sets, and compilation sets, bringing the total number of expansions to 100+.  Rather than storing them all in a transparent plastic tote, display them on your gaming shelves in Satin Towers. The Ultra Pro range has a neat container at the bottom for stashing life coins, life counters, and dice. For war games, you could have some of the miniatures as shelf accessories placed strategically around your towers.

Board game layout on shelves

Book case collection displayed in a game room on shelves

By Eugene Kim Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Not every inch of space on your shelves needs to be filled, or all your games on display. Space can give it an aesthetic appeal, but to do that, you’ll need to make room elsewhere. You can do that by storing some of your games out of sight. Whenever your gaming preferences change, rotate in the ones you intend to play. For those games that haven’t been played in years, tuck those away in plastic tote boxes, or a closet with shelving, If you’re stuck for closet space, other space-saving storage ideas include under-bed storage, ottomans, and decorative boxes like storage trunks. Board game bags that are padded, although designed for traveling, can be handy for those prized games in your collection that you want to keep the boxes pristine. Padded travel bags with inner dimensions of 20"x12"x12" are ideal for Ticket to Ride (TtR) box sizes.  ‘

With some shelf space cleared, you’ll can get creative with your display and layout. The games with interesting artwork on the boxes, you could have those displayed face-out. For playing pieces, you may not want to tuck them all away in the box, instead opting to use some as shelf décor. Take, for example, the huge range of Dungeons and Dragons gifts players may accumulate like campaign cases, storage chests for dice, and the huge collection of DND miniatures. By having more space on your shelves, you’ll be able to accessorize it with miniature décor items displayed either on boxes or to the side of them helping to make graphics stand out.